How to Play Multi-Hand Video Poker

Multi-hand is one of the most popular video poker variants. It comes in Triple Play, Five Play, Ten Play, 25 Play, 50 Play, and 100 Play formats. The denominations start at penny on the games with the most hands. Triple, Five, and Ten Play usually start at nickel or quarter. 

Nearly all standard video poker game titles are available in multi-hand versions. This includes Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Deuces Wild, Deuces Wild Bonus, Double Bonus, Double Double Bonus, Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, and Triple Double Bonus.

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Differences between multi-hand and traditional video poker

The concept behind multi-hand video poker and single line is the same. The goal is to make the best poker hand. In most games, that is a royal flush. 

The main difference between multi-hand video poker and the traditional version with one hand is how many lines there are to win. For example, in Triple Play, there are three hands. It can go up to 100, depending on the casino. Some properties only go up to five or ten hands. 

The player decides how many hands to bet at one time. However, you do not have to bet them all. The maximum bet per line is usually five coins. This means that a penny 100 Play game requires $5 for the maximum bet that gives the full payout on a royal flush.

Once the bet is established, the cards are dealt. If you bet less than the maximum, you must press the deal button to receive cards. 

Five cards are dealt to all hands played. Each hand is identical. The player chooses which cards to hold. This is the same for all hands. For example, if a player receives two aces and three cards that are no help, the two aces should be held. All hands played keep the held cards. Fresh cards replace the discards. The ones thrown away on the deal are not available in draws. 

Each hand receives unique replacements. In the aces example in Ten Play, the bottom hand receives three cards, followed by the second hand, etc. The remaining cards are then shuffled every draw. This means a card drawn into the first hand may show up in other hands. Discards are removed until the next hand when a fresh deck is used.

Advantages and disadvantages of multi-hand video poker

There are advantages and disadvantages to playing multi-hand video poker. Here are some examples.


Playing multi-hand video poker gives you more ways to win. If you are dealt a four-card royal flush, the extra hands increase your chances of hitting the jackpot. The lower denominations on multi-hand allow players with small bankrolls to enjoy video poker. A dealt winning hand covers all spots. 

There is no new video poker strategy to learn. All video poker decisions are the same when comparing single and multi-hand games. 

The variance is lower at multi-hand video poker. Even terrible hands often return at least part of the full bet. This can help keep you in the game longer. 


The most common negative to playing multi-hand video poker is that the pay tables are usually worse than the single line games. This is especially true of the 25, 50, and 100 play games. These pay tables are often 96% or 97% when single hand games may return as much as 3% more in the same casino.

If you are dealt trash, it affects all hands. This can create a larger loss.  

High-limit players have a hard time finding those denominations, especially on 25 hands and more. These machines may only go up to a dime or quarter. The Triple, Five, and Ten Play machines tend to offer higher denominations.

Using a players card at multi-hand video poker

Most multi-hand video poker games accept a casino players card. It is important to use one when available. This adds slot points to your return. The casino may also send you mailers with free slot play, hotel offers, and comped meals. 

Since the house advantage is often higher on multi-hand video poker, it may increase your rating. This means you may receive better offers when compared to traditional single hand video poker. 

Last Updated on September 26, 2023 by Kristina Mehaffey