How to Play Video Poker in Michigan

Michigan is home to thousands of lakes and ponds and while you’re here you’re never more than six miles from a natural water source. If the trend continues, you might soon be able to say the same things about Michigan and video poker kiosks.

Video poker is a popular game to play in the Great Lakes State and gives you the chance to win big money while enjoying the same traditional game of poker you’ve come to know.

While live poker is played with a group of people where you might have to bluff your way into a win, video poker is played against an algorithm, which means players need to have lots of skill and knowledge of how poker works.

Is Video Poker Legal In Michigan?

Several forms of gambling are legal in Michigan and it’s important to know the laws so you can make sure you gamble safely and don’t get yourself into trouble.

There are two main types of gambling: online and in person.

Some forms of online gambling in-person gambling are legal  in Michigan and some are not and the differences can be confusing.

The following forms of gambling are legal online in Michigan:

  • Horse races can be wagered on using off-track betting apps. Unfortunately, betting on greyhound racing is not permitted so you’re only able to place online bets on horses in Michigan.
  • Michigan is also home to an online lottery that features Fantasy 5, Lotto 47, Powerball, and Mega Millions. Playing these games is easy online as you just have to play online slots to have a chance to win cash.
  • Online poker, sports betting, and casino gambling are also legal in Michigan. Online poker can be played from smartphonesmobile devices or computers throughout the state.

The following forms of gambling are legal in-person in Michigan:

  • Horse racing is legal to bet on in-person and is the oldest form of gambling in Michigan. Interest in horse racing is decreasing so there are fewer bets to make and fewer races everywhere, but it’s still a popular form of gambling in the Great Lakes State.
  • Michigan allows charities to use gambling to raise money for a good cause and the following types of games are often played at charity nights: bingo, raffles, casino nights and poker tournaments.
  • There are also two dozen casinos in Michigan but most of them are located on Native American tribal grounds. Casinos are what most people think of when they think of live gambling, featuring expansive gaming floors with slots, video poker, and table games.

Can You Play Video Poker Online In Michigan?

Live and online casinos are legal in Michigan.

Online casinos, including slotstable games and live dealer casinos, are 100% legal and regulated in Michigan. Act H4311, passed in 2019 and signed into law that year by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Dec. 20. This bill set up a framework for online gambling regulation and licensing and covers casino games and poker. Separate concurrent bills introduced sports betting and expanded lottery gaming.

The initial licenses are available to the commercial and tribal casinos. These venues began partnering with online brands immediately to develop their products.  To legally gamble online in Michigan, you must be 21 years old or above.

Online casino apps will not work outside of state borders.

Another option is sweeps cash casinos that allow players to gamble online in Michigan without even needing to deposit funds as many sites give players “free money” to start with.

The sweepstakes model is allowed to operate online throughout the United States. The way it works is when you deposit your money goes toward Gold Coins. Equivalent to the Gold Coins is a currency known as Sweeps Coins.

Sweeps Coins are available for free after users purchase Gold Coins or, depending on the sweepstakes casino, other no-purchase-necessary ways. You can use the sweeps cash to play real casino games and should you win, convert the sweeps cash to real prizes.

Best Casinos For Video Poker

Video poker can be played all across Michigan at a variety of casinos, and players are always looking for places to ply their craft and improve their ability to win a hand. The following is a list of some of the best casinos for video poker:

  • Firekeepers Casino
  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • Little Rivers Casino Resort
  • Saganing Eagles Landing Casino
  • Four Winds Casino Resort

Popular Video Poker Games Available in Michigan

There are lots of different video poker games available at Michigan casinos, but some  are more available than others. Some players prefer them because of their interface or because they feel like they get better odds.

Different video poker machines will all give you a varied experience and part of the fun of playing is finding one that works for you. Play around on different machines and take notes on which machines you prefer.

Hot Roll

Hot Roll is a variant of video poker that has more complexity than standard video poker games. The biggest change that hot roll makes from regular video poker is adding two dice to the game to create a multiplier. The multiplier can then affect how much money you can win on a hand.

The only downside of the dice is an additional five coins must be wagered to have the dice roll. Depending on how many numbers the dice show, your multiplier will change.

If you want to have a bigger win, gambling more on the hot roll is a great strategy. It’s important to remember to balance your hot rolls so you only use the additional five coins when you feel like you have a chance to win.

Players find that using the hot roll feature adds a layer of excitement and risk to the game. You can win a lot more money but also lose more if you’re flippant with your use of the feature.

Other than the dice feature, Hot Roll is similar to other video poker machines in that you still draw cards to have the best hand possible to win the game. Many of the same strategies that apply to other video poker games also apply to Hot Roll.


Superstar Poker is another popular variant aimed toward players who enjoy the single-hand variety or the multi-hand variety.

In addition to allowing users to play both ways as well as offering quick startup, Superstar Poker also offers the following games: Spin Poker, Super Times Pay Poker, and Ultimate X Poker. This variety ensures poker players can enjoy playing on the Superstar table for a long time.

Ultimate X

Ultimate X is a bit different from other low-variance poker games because the sheer amount of different outcomes is much higher.

The reason there’s so much variety in Ultimate X is that you can carry your bet from one round to the next. In addition to this, you can also bet from one to 10 credits per round, increasing the risk.

Once a player bets 10 credits, they can activate the Ultimate X feature. These games are available in three-play, five-play, and 10-play variations and machines offer different denominations from 5 to 25 cents.

Where To Play Video Poker In Michigan

In addition to being a great game to play online, video poker is a big deal at many of the casinos across Michigan. These casinos often feature video poker on the main floor in addition to table games and other standard features.

It can be hard to know which of the state’s casinos offer video poker. Luckily for you, we’ve created a list of all the places where you can play video poker in the Wolverine State.

Use this list to see which casino is closest to you.

Bay Mills Resort And Casino

  • Address: 11386 W. Lakeshore Dr., Brimley, MI 49715

Kewadin Casino Hotel and Convention

  • Address: 2186 Shunk Rd., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

Leelanau Sands Casino

  • Address: 2521 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Peshawbestown, MI 49682

Little River Casino Resort

  • Address: 2700 Orchard Hwy., Manistee, MI 49660

MGM Grand Detroit

  • Address: 1777 Third Ave., Detroit, MI 48226

MotorCity Casino Hotel

  • Address: 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit, MI 48201

Odawa Casino Resort

  • Address: 1760 Lears Rd., Petoskey, MI 49770

Ojibwa II Casino – Marquette

  • Address: 105 Acre Trail, Marquette, MI 49855

Turtle Creek Casino

  • Address: 7741 M-72, Williamsburg, MI 49690

What Video Poker Games Have The Best Odds

Video poker has the lowest house edge of all casino games, which is part of the reason it is so popular.

You can sometimes find full pay video poker games with a zero house-edge if you play the mathematically perfect strategy, which is probably why these games have become increasingly rare. Typically, most video poker variants have a Return to Player (RTP) of 98% or better.

To get the video poker with the lowest house edge, you need to check the paytable. What you should look for first are the odds for straights and flushes. The best you will find is 9/6 and the worst are 8/5 or lower.

Basics Of Video Poker Strategy

The most important tip you can ever receive in video poker is to understand the game you’re playing, but the number of variables can make learning them all a big hassle. The good news is there are similarities between most of the poker games.

Jacks or Better, 10s or Better, Deuces Wild, Bally’s All-American, and Joker Poker are all different types of video poker you can play. They have different rules for how many cards you keep and how many cards you drop and it’s helpful to know how each variant works.

Maximum coin bets are an effective strategy for winning more at video poker. You can win more per round when you’re doing a maximum bet and the payouts become substantially higher. The risk is also higher, so it’s important to weigh the risk versus reward.

Practicing is very important because you can play the same game without betting money at all. While many players are tempted to rush in and start making money, practicing on free-to-play or demo versions of the games you are interested in will be helpful.

You’ll learn the ins and outs of how bets work, different game styles, and all the hand combinations required to succeed in video poker.

Lastly, an important tip for playing video poker is to know when to stop. If you find yourself always saying one more game and playing for far longer than you planned to, you might need to slow down your playing.

If you or a loved one has issues gambling, reach out to National Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-522-4700.

Is Video Poker Rigged?

A classic debate is a question of whether video poker is rigged. It’s easy for gamblers to think a game is rigged because they’re on a cold streak, but there’s rarely any merit to their complaints.

For example, some players will claim they haven’t had a Royal Flush in months, so the game must be rigged. The reality is Royal Flushes are so rare that a perfectly balanced game can still cause players to go a long time without receiving one.

One estimate finds that a Royal Flush occurs once every 40,000 hands, and you could play 40 hands a day for 1,000 days and still not be guaranteed to hit one.

While different video poker machines will have different payouts, it’s unlikely any poker machine made by a certified company would be rigged. There are regulatory companies that audit video poker companies for compliance.

These audits measure the rates at which video poker cabinets give different flushes and the cards they deal to make sure the machines are fair.

Video poker, like any casino game, is designed to make money for the company, but that doesn’t mean it’s unfairly rigged. That’s why it is important to pay attention to paytables and to understand the rules of the variation of video poker you’re playing.

Can Video Poker Be Beaten?

Having a low house edge means you will win at video poker more often than in other casino games. Over the long run, results will always revert to the mean, which in the case of this game is around 1% in favor of the house.

The trick is to find the right machine to play with the right strategy.

Bonus games add volatility to video poker but give you a shot at jackpot-sized prizes. As long as you don’t risk too much of your bankroll on a single session, games like Ultimate X and Hot Roll Poker give you a chance at a windfall.

Online casinos offer bonuses and loyalty incentives to their players. Combined with the low house edge of video poker, these give you the best shot at a winning session.