While there’s no magical solution for winning, employing a video poker strategy could put you in a better position to win. While the house always holds the edge, there are several different mathematical models to try your hand at and in this guide, we will provide you with details of the top ones to use when playing the game online.
The Best Video Poker Strategies
Several video poker strategies exist. The best, though, is the type that works best for you. Below, you can find out more about the best strategies to try and incorporate into your gaming sessions.
The Video Poker Table You’ll Want to Follow
A basic video poker strategy requires you to know what to do whenever you play video poker. That’s why we have put together a table regarding the different hands and the appropriate action to take regarding them. This video poker strategy chart is useful for various versions of the game, so utilize it to make your way through the hands, thereby optimizing your gameplay.
|Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four-of-a-Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight||Hold, don’t discard anything from the hand|
|Four Cards to a Royal Flush||Hold the four, discard the remaining card|
|Three-of-a-Kind, Two Pair, Pair (Jacks or Better)||Hold and then discard the unnecessary cards|
|Four Cards to a Straight Flush||Hold the four, discard the remaining card|
|Pair (Lower than Jacks)||Hold and then discard the other cards|
|Three Cards to a Royal Flush||Hold the three, discard the other two|
|Four Cards to a Flush||Hold the four, discard the remaining card|
|Lower Than a Pair||Discard all cards and draw five new ones|
Our Top Video Poker Strategy Tips
You can find various strategies online for different types of video poker. Yet we’re interested in providing insight into the best all-round options. That’s why we have put together a selection of the top video poker strategy tips. Read through these pointers below and try to put them into your own gaming sessions.
- Choose the Right Paytable – It is crucial to do proper research so that you can identify the best video poker machines providing the top payouts. You need to understand that the return on a video poker machine is based on the machine’s paytable, which will give you the best chance of beating the game.
- Keep an Eye on Video Poker Promotions – Online casinos often provide inviting and enjoyable bonuses and promotions. Sometimes, these will cater to video poker, and when they are available, take advantage of them.
- Don’t Forget About Your Own Safety – You need to know that you’re playing a safe version of video poker at a safe online casino site. This is a video poker basic strategy. In fact, it’s a basic strategy for any type of casino game. Your safety and the fairness of the games you play are vital.
- Use the Strategy Chart – Video poker strategy charts are fantastic tools to make use of for playing the game. The table we put together above advises you on the cards to hold and discard in different situations.
- Take It Slowly – As we noted earlier on, it is better to take things slower with video poker. This way, you won’t go beyond your means, and you can figure out each game round on its own.
- Understand the Basic Game – If you’re new to playing online video poker, then you need to ensure you understand the basics behind it. Check the rules, hand rankings, and so on, as a basic video poker strategy.
- Understand the Variance of the Game – There are always ups and downs in all casino games. Thus, you need to know how frequently you can expect to win or lose in a game of video poker. Higher variance releases provide bigger wins but on a less frequent basis. Low variance video poker is the opposite.
- Take Breaks from the Game – There is nothing wrong with taking some time away from playing. Have a few hours away from it or a day or two, for example. Video poker is an intense game, and this is especially true during longer sessions. Regular breaks allow you to refocus.
Different Strategies for Video Poker Variations
As with many casino games, video poker games aren’t available in a single version. Various incarnations of the game exist, and you can enact different strategies for each of these. Below, you can see the best video poker strategy for each of them.
Jacks or Better
Known to many people as the most popular version of video poker, Jacks or Better is a game you can play with a simple video poker strategy. The smallest winning hand in it is a pair of Jacks, which is where its name comes from.
Traditional poker hands are present, too, with the Royal Flush being the top payout. You need to ensure you understand the hand rankings before playing it. At the same time, the game usually allows for flexible betting. The best Jacks or Better video poker strategy sees you placing the maximum bet every round. As highlighted earlier, this gives you the best chance of securing a top payout if you get a royal flush.
Make use of the video poker strategy chart as well, as this details the correct action to take for each potential hand. It’s crucial to know which cards to keep and which ones to discard.
Getting the most out of Jacks or Better requires you to aim for a win, but also to try and win the biggest amount possible. Thus, you have to have at least part of your focus on the royal flush and maximizing that jackpot.
Another popular variation of video poker is Deuces Wild. This version acquires its name from the fact that its 2s (deuces) are all wild cards, thereby able to stand in for any other to make a hand. You’ll need a different video poker strategy for playing this game, though.
You will of course need to make use of the deuce cards as much as possible. They can significantly strengthen a hand for you, so the rankings are different from traditional poker in Deuces Wild. The minimum qualifying hand is usually three-of-a-kind. Five-of-a-Kind and Wild Royal Flush are two hands that are only possible because the wild deuces exist.
You need to know how to play poker based on the number of deuces dealt to you. Should you receive four deuces – a lucky outcome, indeed – hold all of them. The hand cannot be improved beyond this. With three deuces, hold on Five-of-a-Kind or the Wild Royal Flush if you can. Otherwise, just hold the deuces and draw two new cards.
If you receive two wild cards, hold a hand of Four-of-a-Kind or better. In any other instance, hold the deuces and discard the rest. For a single deuce, hold a hand that is Three-of-a-Kind or better, hold four cards of a Royal Flush or a Straight Flush.
It is only if you are dealt a hand without any deuces that you should change the strategy in use. A paying hand of Three-of-a-Kind or better means you should hold on to it, because it guarantees a return.
Aces and Faces
In Aces and Faces, you usually play with a single deck of 52 cards and the standard two rounds are played in each game. A Jacks or Better hand serves as the lowest paying one, while a Royal Flush is also possible.
Essentially, this is a game that is a variant of Jacks or Better in itself. The name of it comes from the fact that the paytable is set up to reward hands featuring aces and face cards. That’s pretty much it.
As a result of Aces and Faces being like Jacks or Better, you can play with the same sort of strategy. Thus, we always recommend setting the bet level to the maximum it can reach. If you get a pair dealt, then it is best to hold both the cards, regardless of their value.
Should you come to a point of almost being able to make up a Royal Flush, then you should discard whatever cards you need to and try to go for it. Furthermore, you should always keep four cards to a flush. Always hold a winning hand, too – unless there is a Royal Flush up for grabs.
Double Bonus Poker
You may have heard of bonus poker, but double bonus poker takes this game one step further. It doubles the bonuses for all Four-of-a-Kind hands that you achieve. A hand of four aces, for example, pays out double the amount in comparison to standard bonus poker.
As a result, you can adapt your video poker strategy nicely to suit this game. Keep any three cards to a flush or any four cards to a flush. Should you be dealt a pair, you need to keep them as well. That applies even if it is a low scoring pair.
In another instance, if you get a single high card, then you should hang on to it and do whatever with the remaining cards. Being dealt a hand without any pairs in it dictates that you are better off discarding the entire hand for something else.
Make Your Next Round of Video Poker a Strategic One
With everything outlined here, why wouldn’t you incorporate a video poker strategy into your gameplay? There has been some debate throughout the years over whether video poker requires any skill to play. The answer is, without a doubt, a resounding yes, as you can incorporate a strategy into your gameplay and potentially make yourself more successful.
Through this guide, we have provided guidance on using strategies when playing video poker games at online casinos. Make use of the information presented here and try to heighten your own payout chances.