Video Poker Strategy

Strategies for playing Video Poker

Video poker, have you ever tried it? And did you like it? Have you made a lot of gains? No? It could be because you haven’t put the right strategies in place.

Indeed, in all casino games, you can implement strategies. It can be game strategies or strategies which do not have a direct influence on the results of the game but which will still benefit you during your experience. This is what we are going to “work” on today with you.

Follow our strategies and watch your earnings improve quickly.

Video Poker Strategy #1: Find the bonus that benefits you

Getting a bonus to increase your player balance is the advantage of playing in an online casino so you might as well take advantage of it. Your goal here will be to find a bonus that will give you a good rate while minimizing mandatory bets and offering a good maximum withdrawal.

Observe and carefully compare the offers that the casino sends you. You can get closer to your customer advisor who can give you the three important characteristics.

Video Poker Strategy #2: Increase the amounts of your bets

Play more to win more: no, this is not a political slogan but indeed a reality for video poker players. Indeed, it should be understood that the more coins you insert for a round, the more the sum to be won, if you win the round, will be important. This is what you need to do all the time if you play progressive jackpot video poker machines.

Video Poker Strategy #3: Favor full payments

You should know that in video poker, there are machines that pay more than others when you play online but also when you play on the Internet, they are called full pay machines. There is a benchmark for whether you are practicing on a machine like this and they are taken from the Jacks or Better and the Deuces Wild:

  • On a Jacks or Better machine, 9 pay units are required for a full house and 6 pay units for a flush.
  • On a Deuces Wild machine, 9 pay units are required for a straight flush and 5 pay units for a square.

Rely on these references and if the machine, via the paytable, does not promise them to you, then you can simply go looking for another machine.

Video Poker Strategy #4: Set up basic video poker strategy

Just like in blackjack, when you are going to stand in front of the machine, you should know that all the decisions you make regarding the exchange of cards will of course have direct consequences on whether you build a combination or not. Due to the many variations that exist, be aware that the strategy may vary. It’s up to you to adapt it. For the most played variant, the Jacks or Better, this is what it gives:

Full house or higher
This includes the following hands: royal flush, straight flush, 4 of a kind, or full house.
4 cards to a royal flush
Yes, this means if you have any other paying hand beside the ones listed above, you’ll break it in order to go for the better-paying hand.
Straight, 3 of a kind, or flush
This is the 2nd big group of hands you’re hoping to see on your initial deal.
4 cards to a straight flush
Your odds of completing this hand are about 2%.
2 pair
You’ll see this hand more often than you expect.
A pair of jacks, queens, kings, or aces
This is the hand that gives the game its name—jacks or better.
3 cards to a royal flush
You only have a 0.04% chance of hitting this hand, but it’s still nice when you do.
4 cards to a flush
You have a roughly 1 in 4 chance of filling this hand.
A pair of 10s or less
You’re hoping to hit 2 pair or 3 of a kind or better when holding this hand.
4 cards to an outside straight
This is a straight draw where you have 8 cards which can possibly fill the straight—either a high card on one end or a low card on the other.
2 suited cards of jacks, queens, kings, or aces
You have an outside shot at a royal flush, but you’re really a lot more likely to see a pair of jacks or better.
3 to a straight flush
You’re really getting into the longshots at this point.
2 unsuited high cards
Now you’re just shooting for a pair of jacks or better. Since the cards aren’t suited, you don’t have a shot at a straight flush or a royal flush.
Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K
You’re still looking for that royal flush, but you’ll settle for the high pair if you draw to it.
One high card
You’re hoping to hit a high pair.
Discard everything and start over

Varying the strategy means, for example, not to keep a pair below the jacks in Jacks or Better since it will have no value.

Video Poker Strategy
Video Poker Strategy: Poker Hand Ranking

Video Poker Strategy #5: Play video poker Variants

Because video poker is a game that has a lot of variations (see our specialized article), you will sometimes have the pay tables that will be changed. Rest assured, the rules of video poker do not change. But for this to earn you money, depending on the version, you will need to build a more or less important combination. For example, if you are playing Tens or Better, you will just need a pair of 10s to win, while in Deuces Wild you will need at least a set.

It is for this reason that you must absolutely observe this data before you start because otherwise you could have disappointments for a few rounds and therefore lose money. For those who would like to try the video poker games for free without deposit, you can log on to the English speaking site on the free video poker page.

Video Poker Strategy #6: Take your Time

We told you before, video poker is not slot machines. Here you have to think before you act. Building a two-draw hand can be quite strategic, so you need to take your time to analyze the situation properly and not miss an opportunity to make money. Also, take the time to get as much information as possible beforehand on dedicated websites. 

The more you know about video poker, the more you will increase your chances of winning money. Also know that you can play on a free video poker casino that will allow you to sharpen your techniques. This is an option that should not be overlooked.

Sit down with each draw and imagine in your head all the possible moves with the cards that came out. Then, keep the ones that will be more interesting so that they can be completed in the second drawing and thus form a winning combination. 

Learn as much as you can about techniques or other strategies. You can for example read the best video poker strategies on this partner site which gives you a lot of information.

Video Poker Strategy #7: Bet a Maximum if you Play Progressive

If you play progressive video poker, you will have to bet as many coins as possible and achieve the best combination, that is to say, the royal flush, to hope to win the jackpot. If you are on a progressive machine and you are not at full blast all the time, then this won’t get you more than just a machine.

Don’t be afraid to bet hard. In addition, even if you do not win the pot, with each winning combination you place, the payout will be greater. Do not forget the ratio between the amount of your bet and the amount of the win.

Video Poker Strategy #8: Use multi-hand mode

When you are playing video poker, when you are just starting out, you will first be playing with one hand. Get used to it this way, but then, when you are more confident, you can then venture into the multi-hand mode, which earns you more money each round.

Indeed, you will control one hand, but on all the others, your actions will have repercussions. That is, if you keep a card on the first hand, it will also be kept on the others. Then, in the second draw, then all the hands are different and this is where you pocket a maximum, with varying combinations depending on the hand. Some casinos give you the option to play with 50 hands, and now some even go up to 100 hands.

Video Poker Strategy #9: Trying to quit or double

If you make a win in the first part of the game, you can very well try to double or quits. You will simply have to draw a card stronger than the one drawn by the system. 

It’s quite simple and often paying but be careful not to be too greedy, take a turn, see a maximum of two double or quits per round and then cash your winnings, it’s more prudent.

Video Poker Strategy explained

How to Become a Winning Video Poker Player with Video Poker Expert Henry Tamburin

Video Poker Strategy #10

First of all, take a good look at the paytable to know what type of video poker you are up to. There is a multitude of games out there and the winning combinations depend on the type of video poker you are playing. For example in “jacks or better” pairs of aces, kings, queens, and jacks are worth the bet.

Conversely, in “deuces wild” the winnings start from three of a kind. We are going to introduce you to two of the most popular games. Jack or better and deuces wild (the two are counting as a joker) and the specifics of each game (common sense doing the rest: four royal flush cards, draw one; three of a kind: draw two, etc).

Jacks or Better

It is clearly the most popular variant and it is the basis for many others. It is its simplicity, its ease that makes you want to play. “Jacks or Better” means a lot about the minimum hand you must provide to win money.

In land-based casinos, players like this variation, and in online casinos as well because it can pay off big, especially as soon as you start going up in combinations. You will often find progressive jackpot pokers videos that are played with this variant.

Payouts start from jack, queen, king, or ace pair. This is the most common game in video poker. It is also one of the most profitable as the house margin is very low.

  • Draw two cards if you have a three-card straight flush
  • Draw one card if you have two pairs
  • Draw three cards if you have a pair
  • Draw three cards if you have a jack, a queen, a king, and an ace.
  • Draw four cards if you only have one jack, queen, king, or ace.

Deuces wild

It is one of the variants of video poker that players prefer based on attendance statistics. It is also one of the variants that will pay you the best in terms of payout rate, and with significant gains, if you manage to build the right combinations.

The rule which is modified here concerns the 2. These four cards will have a special role since they will be able to replace all the other cards. They will be in some ways considered as jokers. You understand then that it will be easier to build winning combinations, in any case, you will have more luck.

Since this is a slightly easier variant, you will have to build a set of at least three for the machine to pay you back. And beware, there are special bonuses for special combinations, such as a square of 2 for example.

  • Draw three cards if you have two pairs (getting rid of one) to aim for a set or more.
  • Draw two cards if you have a straight flush or a three-card royal flush (the 2 being wild you maximize your chances of winning). Keep both (they are wild cards).

There are other variants of type 10 or better, king or better, joker poker (with a deck of 52 cards plus a joker)… Each one has its own particularities that you will easily understand with practice.

Play Joker Poker

Here, it is not with 52 cards that you will play but with 53 because the joker that you generally remove will be kept. A little on the model of the variant before, this card can replace all the others and thus make you build winning hands more easily. If you want to hit a win, then you will need to have at least a pair of kings, which shouldn’t be too complicated thanks to this unique card.

Play Tens or Better

As the name suggests, here the rules are identical to those of Jacks or Better but the combination that will bring you into the paytable is lower, it is a pair of 10s minimum. 

If you have better than a pair, you will start to gain a little more but you should know that the gains of this variant are still quite low if you compare them with the others. However, if you are new to video poker then this is the ideal version for you, due to its simplicity and minimal risk-taking.

Play Aces and Faces

In this variant, it is the figures, that is to say, the aces, the kings, the queens, and the jacks which are honored. The rules to follow are those of Jacks or Better but on the other hand, you will have special bonuses when you build hands with tricks.

So here, you have every interest in keeping them if you have them in the first draw. For your information, the minimum combination is also a pair of jacks.

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