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Video Poker Strategy

video poker strategy

A video Poker strategy when used correctly, can put the odds of winning in your favor. This makes this game highly attractive compared to normal online slots. They are really fun to play and if taken seriously, Video Poker Slots can win you a good sum of money. Follow the advice below, get some bankroll, use the strategy, invest some time, and you can make some money. Our video poker strategy will cover the following topics:

  1. -How to play Video poker
  2. -Reading the payout schedule
  3. -Tips to increase your odds
  4. -Basic video poker strategy
  5. Video Poker Strategy #2 – What should I hold?

How to play Video Poker

First you place a bet and receive five cards. Then you decide which cards to hold and which to discard. You may draw up to five new cards to improve your hand. Finally you obtain replacement cards in exchange for the cards you have discarded. All cards are dealt randomly from one card deck.

Finding a good machine is as simple as looking at the payout schedule. You really want to stay away from specialty pay machines that have larger top payouts, but negate the lower payouts. The payouts for all video poker machines are the same except for the payout on the flush, full house or royal flush.

As video poker uses a 52 card deck (or a 54 card deck employing 2 jokers) there are only so many combinations of hands that can be made. It is the number of combinations that determine the payout, and these are based on the frequency (possibility) of each winning hand. In fact, there are 2,598,960 possible hand combinations from a 52-card deck.

The computer chip in a video poker machine is designed to simulate the probabilities of drawing any of these combinations in a random manner. As these are fixed probabilities, the casino has adjusted the pay table of the online machines to produce the house edge which equals their long term profit.

Here is a typical comparison of payouts relative to a jacks-or-better machine.

Jack Odds

This means that a player, on the 9 / 6 machine is the one to play

Video Poker Tips

Tip 1:

Of all the hands dealt only 21% are winning hands. It’s truth of video poker. The rest, which is 79%, are losers. The profitable video poker player knows what he must do with 70% of the hands dealt so that it becomes a winner.

Tip 2:

Play Maximum Coins. If you bet five coins, all winning hands are paid out by X 5, except for the royal flush. This is a bonus amount designed as an incentive to play five coins. Any player who plays less than maximum coins will contribute to a Royal Flush that will be won by another player. You don’t want other players to win at video poker you want to win! So, play for the royal flush.

Tip 3:

Before you start playing, be on the lookout of only for machine with the most favorable payouts. A 9 / 6 will generally hit the royal flush once for each 40,000 hands. The 8 / 5 odds are once for each 45,000 hands etc – So try and play 9 / 6 machines only. Play the 9/6 machine and you increase your odds of success.

Tip 4:

Do not rush. Playing faster will not bring any results, except perhaps negative ones. You must take your time (no need to rush anyway). To win, you will have to invest time, and not just money. A player, on the 9 / 6 machine, has odds to 1:40,000 to get a Royal Flush, or equivalent to approximately 40 hours of play. You need to keep playing the machine until you win the royal flush to win at video poker You will finance your play from your bankroll, or by collecting money from the lesser hands until you do win at video poker. Keep in mind to win at video poker you need the royal flush.

Tip 5: It is already obvious that you need to play maximum coins, but you also need to look at the size of the jackpots on several machines and then play the one that has biggest paying jackpot.

Tip 6:

Each hand is setup by a RNG (Random Number Generator). The moment you start to play, the hand is set in stone. The machine will randomly select all the cards from a 52-card deck and deal them out.

Tip 7:

There’s no memory. As explained in tip six, the system uses a RNG to setup the hands. The system has no memory. It does not know that you have not had a full house in 400 hands or that you just received three four of a kind hands in a row. It’s possible to go 100,000 hands without a four of a kind and it’s possible to get ten in a row. The machine does not keep track, because in the end, the numbers work out.

Video Poker Strategy

Due to the numerous different games, different pay tables, and levels of complexity in the strategy I cannot write just one video poker strategy here. There are so many different types of video pokers that it would be impossible to write a video poker strategy for all the different variations. However I can go over the basics that you can use for every video poker game and after that I will show you some more specific gambling strategies.

Basic video poker strategy:

  1. Don’t ever hold a kicker with your pair. This reduces your payoff by 5%
  2. Don’t draw four cards, if you can get a royal flush drawing three.
  3. Always stay on a winning five-card hand except when drawing a royal flush with one card.
  4. Never break a flush to draw a straight flush even with one draw.
  5. Always break your flush to draw a royal flush.
  6. Don’t break your straight to draw for a straight flush.
  7. Don’t draw five, if you’re holding Jacks or better.
  8. Never leave a ten on a four card draw.
  9. Finally, never underestimate the Jack. Many players mistakenly think the Ace is the most important card in the deck. Wrong. Holding the Jack over the Ace gives you more opportunities of making lucrative hands. Don’t forget it!

Holding the Jack over the Ace gives you more opportunities of making lucrative hands. Don’t forget it!

Video Poker Strategy #2 – What should I hold?

Like many casino games, there is no strategy that is set in stone, but given the number of options a Player has due to the number of variations that can be held each game, the skill level is higher than many Casino games.

The below table is in order of cards you should look to hold in order to maximise your returns, therefore start from the top and work your way down until you come across one that relates to your particular hand. This gives you the best possible opportunity to become a winning Player.

For the clarification of terms, a ‘High’ pair or card is Jack or better, whilst a ‘Low’ pair or card is 10 or lower.

For information on Poker Hands, see our Poker Hand rankings page

4 of a Kind, Straight Flush, Royal Flush
4 cards of a Royal Flush
3 of a Kind, Straight, Flush, Full House
4 cards of a Straight Flush
2 Pair
High Pair
3 cards of a Royal Flush
4 cards of a Flush
Low Pair
4 cards to a Straight
2 Suited High Cards
3 cards of a Straight Flush
2 Unsuited High Cards (if you have more than 2 of these, pick the lowest 2)
Suited 10/J, 10/Q or 10/K
One High Card
Discard everything

Video Poker Worst bets – ones to avoid

  1. Avoid the impulse to play any machine. Always check the payouts and go for those with the highest ones.
  2. Avoid holding a high card when you have a pair. Unless the high card is part of the pair, discard it as it wastes space in your hand. This is one of the most common mistakes you can make as it can reduce your chances of winning by 5%.
  3. To maximize payouts, you should avoid playing less than the maximum number of coins allowed. On a machine that has a maximum bet of three coins, if you play just one or two coins, you are simply priming the machine for other players who play maximum coins. If you need to, drop down a coin level to keep the cost within your budget. The appearance of the Royal Flush (biggest jackpot) is roughly once every 40,000 plays. This is exactly the reason why it is important always to bet the maximum amount especially on Progressive machines. This ensures you get paid out to the maximum when the Royal Flush does appear.
  4. Avoid playing for shorter periods of time. The short game period decreases the odds of hitting the Royal Flush. This hand is the key to winning the big Jackpot. Instead play for longer periods of time. It takes roughly 40 hours of play on a Video Poker machine to reach 40,000 plays. Keep in mind that the Royal Flush appears once in every 40,000 plays. Playing longer improves your chances of hitting the Royal Flush.
  5. Study your hand carefully, especially online. Remember, there is no time limit so consider all your options carefully.

 

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