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Video Poker Strategy

Page summary: A discussion of the tips and strategies for video poker. Includes information about general strategy as well as how to win specific games.

Video Poker Strategy - How to Win at Video Poker

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Following specific strategies for video poker can maximize your odds of winning. Unfortunately, no strategy yields a guaranteed win with every hand you play. Moreover, a lot of myths that simply are not true surround video poker strategies. If a method of play promises to yield fantastic money, it likely is a myth. To help distinguish real from false, here are some tactics that may increase your odds of winning and also make you a better overall video poker player.

Tactics to Win Your Game

These strategies are very basic in nature. However, they may help you achieve greater success when you play video poker. As with any game, an element of chance does exist, so proven methods are far from perfect. If you devise a method of play, though, you will likely be distinguished as a diligent player with skill.

  • Always give up a Flush if you can draw a Royal Flush.
  • Never draw four cards if you are able to draw just three to make a Royal Flush.
  • Never keep a kicker if you hold a Pair.
  • Never give up a Straight for a Flush.
  • Never give up a Full House or Two Pair to try for Four of a Kind.
  • Never give up all five of your cards if you already hold a Jack or better.

The easiest note to remember is that within your hand, the grouping of two or more cards that provide you with your highest-ranking combination are the cards that you need to keep. The remaining cards that do not correspond to said grouping can be discarded. This rule of thumb really provides you with your most beneficial strategy.

Some players argue that you should discard all five of your cards if you are faced with a particularly poor hand. However, even in such a case you should be able to discern one or two cards that could prove to be strategic and/or winning. Of course, such ability takes time and practice.

A Further Look at Winning with Video Poker

You might complement your playing strategies with simple mental tactics as well. Abiding by these may further improve both your playing ability and your chances of winning. Again, no guarantee is provided with regard to potential payouts. However, your comfort level with video poker will increase and your confidence will also grow.

Perhaps the best playing strategy you can employ for yourself is that of selecting the casino that is best for you. Conduct your research before you make a decision with regard to any casino. Look at customer service provision, financial options and player reviews from several casinos to help you make a sound choice.

The same is also true of video poker games. Review your options and see which varieties sound most appealing to you. These games should be enjoyable to play, but they should also offer fair odds and high payouts as well.

Learn just a few variations of video poker before you begin to explore a multitude of these games. Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild are two popular choices that are easy to play. You can practice your playing tactics with these varieties before moving forward.

Acknowledge and understand the rules and pay tables for every video poker game you play. Video poker comes in more varieties than any other casino game. Each one, therefore, has its own set of standards that you need to know.

Take your time when you play. You are not against a clock, and no other players are awaiting your decision. Relax, take a deep breath, and assess your hand. Do not over-think, but do not act impulsively either.

With each round you play, bet the maximum number of coins or credits that the machine allows. If you wager anything less than the maximum bet amount, you may cheat yourself out of a jackpot with substantial winnings.

If you are adverse to betting the maximum amount with each round, then go just slightly higher than the minimum bet figure. This way you really do save money and will not feel as cheated if you could have won the jackpot.

Look for those machines that have a 9/6 payout, where 9 coins or credits are awarded for a Full House and 6 coins are awarded for a Flush. 4,000 coins or credits should be the minimum payout for a Royal Flush when you bet the maximum of five coins/credits.

Specific Game Strategies

Jacks or Better

  • Maintain hands that are a Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind or Full House.
  • Draw one card with each of the following hands:
    • Four-card Royal Flush
    • Four-card Flush
    • Four-card Straight Flush
    • Four-card outside Straight
    • Two Pair
  • Draw two cards with each of the following hands:
    • Three of a Kind
    • Three-card Royal Flush
    • Three-card Straight Flush
  • Draw three cards with each of the following hands:
    • A Pair
    • Two face cards
  • Simply draw four cards when you have one high card.

Deuces Wild

  • Maintain hands that are a Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind or Full House.
  • Draw one card with each of the following hands:
    • Four-card Straight
    • Four-card Royal Flush
    • Four-card Flush
    • Four-card Straight
    • Four-card Deuce Royal
    • Four-card Deuce Straight
    • Four-card Double-Deuce Royal
    • Four of a Kind
  • Draw two cards with each of the following hands:
    • Three-card Royal Flush
    • Three-card Straight Flush
    • Three Deuces
  • Draw three cards with each of the following hands:
    • Two Pair, where you discard one pair and keep the other
    • Suited 10-J, Q-J or Q-K.

Adhering to these guidelines is not fool-proof, but it is a great way to begin playing video poker games. The combination of maintaining your best cards and discarding the others, selecting a well-rounded casino and choosing to play an optimal video poker game provides you with the best strategy available. Also follow those strategies provided for Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild to help maximize your potential winnings.