Video Poker Strategy

Casino games have never been the same since the entry of video poker way back in the seventies!

It’s like you’re playing on slot machines because of its similar computerized console. Unlike your slot machine that relies purely on luck, nifty video poker strategies are still very much needed to gain big winnings.

Video poker is one of the most popular casino games there is to date. If you want to give it a shot, this article will surely get you started on video poker strategy. Here’s all you need to know:

Why should you play video poker?

The two main reasons why casino game players prefer video poker are its low house edge and the probability of games with a payout percentage of even over 100%!

A lot of variations are available. You just have to check the video poker paytable before committing to any game.

A full pay Jacks or Better machine has a house edge of only 0.46%. This is the most common video poker variation you would want to get your hands on. Another popular choice would be Deuces Wild video poker.

A lot of players put slot machines and video poker in the same group.

Although it has similar computer simulations, a lot of skill and strategies for video poker are required to make the most out of the game. This definitely adds to its enjoyment too.

Even if you are a huge fan of table games, playing video poker makes a nice compliment to your existing ones.

Video Poker Rules

The goal of video poker is the same as in any poker table game. You will be dealt five cards and hope to achieve the best poker hand possible.

You can either win with a royal flush, a straight flush, full house, flush, straight, four of a kind, three of a kind, two pairs, or jacks or better (a pair of jacks, queens, kings or aces).

A standard game of video poker uses a 52-card deck. For games involving wild cards, this will often include one or more jokers in the deck.

  1. Place a wager of one to five coins, or max bet.
  2. Press the deal button for the game to randomly deal you with five cards from the deck.
  3. You will then decide which cards to discard and which to keep.
  4. The game will then replace your discarded cards randomly from the remaining cards of the deck.
  5. You will be paid accordingly to the value of your poker hand, as posted on the pay table.

Tips to Win at Video Poker

Before we start dwelling on video poker strategy, video poker tips on winning regardless of the game variant, are firstly made available for you:

Play on a Full Pay Machine

This type of machine offers the best poker odds. The key is to take note of the payout of a full house or a flush outcome.

A full house should pay 9 times your wager while a flush, six times. These machines are usually referred to as the 9/6.

On average, this is a return of 99.54% for the video poker players.

Of course, if you play incorrectly, the rate of return will only favor the house. If you are unsure which games pay full, a lot of reviews online offer a list of the best-scouted video poker sites.

Play at Max Bet

Depending on the video poker machine, you can bet from one to five coins per hand or maximum bet.

Betting the max number of coins maximizes your chances to win the top payout in case you get a royal flush. This experience is something you definitely don’t want to regret.

Always review the poker pay tables or charts that show how many coins you can receive for a certain hand at a specific wager.

This will also help you strategize with your bankroll management. Yes, you can even receive a bonus payout if you get a royal flush on a max bet. But if you can’t afford it, don’t risk it.

Lower denomination machines where you can bet in cents are also available if you want to play conservatively.

To be a responsible video poker player, you have to know where to draw the line. How you win is as important as winning the money itself.

Take it Slow

Even if video poker gives you the advantageous position of the lowered house edge, do remember that it is still designed to provide the casino with a hefty profit.

The point is, the more you play, the more you could also lose. Human as we are, the simplicity and the enticing possibility to come home with big wins could make us lose our sense of reason.

Be wary of every session. Decide on your limits and also consider taking some rest from time to time. Do not rush or play for volume.

Unlike online casino poker, becoming a winner is to play fewer hands while applying the best strategy. For video poker, our advice is to play slower hands. This will help you lessen the possibilities of a losing streak at a given hour.

Familiarize the Components of the Video Poker Machine

If you’re a beginner, you must get to know the different parts of the video poker machine first so as to avoid even the simplest of mistakes. These are the following video poker components:

Paytable – part of the screen that shows the value of each hand. This is the number of coins you win in return for a winning hand from whatever bet you placed.

Display Area – where your cards are shown.

Credit Total – the number of credits you have remaining for you to keep playing, as well as the total after collating winning amounts.

Money Insert/Return Slots – where either cash, vouchers, or club cards are inserted for you to commence a game. After playing a game, your balance will be returned as a voucher. If you are using a club card, you can earn reward points too.

Deal Button – hit this button after making a bet for the computer to deal you a hand. After selecting your cards to keep or discard, hit this button again to draw replacement cards. When you get a winning hand, the appropriate credits will be added to your balance.

5 Hold/Cancel Buttons – press these buttons that represent each card dealt that you wish to keep for your final hand.

Cash-out Button – this tells the machine you’re done playing and will release your appropriate wins or balance.

Join A Club

Joining player’s clubs is an excellent opportunity for you to reap the benefits of exclusive bonuses! These are often made available to valuable and loyal players.

A club card will be able to monitor this for you. In the long term, you will be able to reduce the house edge even more.

There are a lot of club choices available in online casino video poker games. Make sure to compare these casino promotions to make the most out of your games.

Mind the Bonuses

A lot of one-off promotions and offers are available not just in Jacks or Better video poker, but in other games too.

Check out the gambling sites or take advantage of the casino’s live chat and forums to gain information on the latest casino bonuses running at a given time.

Play Progressive Jackpot Video Poker

These types of games offer players a chance to win a phenomenally big amount over a relatively small bet.

If you’re confident in applying your best video poker strategy to win, why not give this one a shot.

We do recommend this gambling game variant only sparingly. Keep in mind, some of these variants may not be able to give you a good return for your money if not played well.

How to Read Video Poker Strategy Charts

These video poker strategy charts are also known as cheat sheets. It tells you in order of strength as to what cards you should keep when you’re dealt your 5-card hand.

You simply have to see and compare what you have in your hand with the strategy list. The list is often ranked from best to worst hands, so be mindful to read from top to bottom.

This will help you make better decisions as to your probabilities of achieving a specific hand, by determining which of the cards should be exchanged for new ones.

For example, if you are given the chance to form a four with an outside straight, one or two high cards, or maybe to go for a three to a straight flush, or a low pair, a low pair is ranked higher on the strategy list. So that is what you should choose.

These ranks are based on math and probability.

Types of Video Poker Games and their Strategies

Different video poker games have varying strategies. It can be quite a handful to memorize. For starters, choose one or two to master to make the most out of any game.

Jacks or Better Video Poker Strategy

The most common and best in terms of winnings odds would be playing Jacks or Better video poker machines.

Simple Strategy

  1. First, check if you have a four of a kind, straight flush or royal flush. If so, keep. You got yourself a winning hand already!
  2. 4 to a royal flush, draw one.
  3. Full house or flush, keep.
  4. Three of a kind, draw 2 cards.
  5. Straight, keep.
  6. 4 to a straight flush, draw one.
  7. 2 pair, draw one.
  8. High pair, like Jacks and Aces, draw 3 cards.
  9. 3 to a royal flush, draw 2 cards.
  10. 4 cards to a flush, draw one.
  11. Low pair, draw 3.
  12. 4 to an outside, aka open-ended straight, draw one.
  13. 3 or more high cards, hold the 2 suited or connected.
  14. 2 high suited cards, draw 3 cards.
  15. 3 to a straight flush, draw 2 cards.
  16. 2 unsuited high cards, and if you have more than 2, then pick the lowest 2, then draw 3.
  17. Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K, draw 3.
  18. One high card, draw 4 cards.
  19. If you hold none of the above, draw 5 new cards.

Optimal Strategy

  1. Keep a royal flush, a straight flush, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind or two pair.
  2. 4 to a royal flush. If you have a 4 to a high straight flush of the same suit, take the straight flush rather than take your chances of the royals.
  3. Flush.
  4. Straight.
  5. 4 to an open straight flush.
  6. 4 to an inside straight flush.
  7. A pair of jacks or better, draw 3 cards. Don’t hold a kicker card in video poker. Give yourself the opportunity to draw a third high card, or form a full house or a four of a kind hand.
  8. 3 to a royal flush.
  9. 4 to a flush.
  10. 4-card open straight, 2-3 high cards.
  11. Low pair of two tens or lower.
  12. 4-card open straight with one high card.
  13. 3-card inside straight flush with 2 high cards.
  14. 4-card open straight with no high cards.
  15. 2-card royal flush with no high cards. You have better chances of winning with lower cards.
  16. 3-card double inside straight flush, with 2 high cards.
  17. 4 unsuited high cards.
  18. 3-card open straight flush with no high cards.
  19. 2-card royal flush with an ace but missing a 10.
  20. 4-card inside straight with 3 high cards.
  21. 3 high cards.
  22. 3-card double inside straight flush with one high card.
  23. 3-card inside straight flush with no high cards.
  24. 2 high cards.
  25. 2-card royal that includes a 10 but missing an ace.
  26. One high card.
  27. 3-card double inside straight flush with no high cards.
  28. If you hold none of the above, draw 5 new cards.

Deuces Wild Video Poker Strategy

The second most common variant of video poker is the Deuces Wild poker.

This video poker game is widely preferred also because of its full pay feature and expected return of 100.71%. By putting the best strategy forward, you can definitely win big with Deuces Wild Poker!

Simple Strategy

  1. Keep any completed hand or pat hand, except if you have more than 2 deuces, or at least a four of a kind, or only one card away from a straight flush or higher hand.
  2. If you do not have any completed hand, keep any deuce or pair and discard the rest. Unlike Jacks and Better, Deuces Wild requires you to keep at least a three of a kind to win anything. Anything lower than two pairs in Deuces Wild is nothing.

Optimal Strategy

  1. Keep 4 deuces.
  2. If you have 3 deuces, keep them and hope for a royal flush.
  3. If you have 2 deuces, keep both and hope for a 4 of a kind or higher.
  4. If you only have 1 deuce, follow the order of strategy: 4 of a kind or better; 4 to a royal flush; a full house; 4 to a straight flush; a flush, a straight, or a 3 of a kind; and lastly, 3 to a royal flush. Otherwise, keep the single deuce.
  5. No deuces, 4 or 5 to a royal flush.
  6. 3 of a kind to a straight flush.
  7. 4 to a straight flush.
  8. 3 to a royal flush.
  9. A Pair.
  10. 4 to a flush.
  11. 4 to an outside straight.
  12. 3 to a straight flush.
  13. 4 to an inside straight.
  14. 2 to a royal flush, with high cards jack and queen.

Bonus Poker Strategy

Bonus Poker is a variation of Jacks or Better video poker. The difference is it pays video poker players additional bonus payouts for a 4 of a kind hand.

The bonus will be based on the ranks of the cards in that hand. If it is not obvious enough, you will want to bet max on this type of video poker game.

  1. Royal flush.
  2. Straight flush.
  3. 4 of a kind, Aces.
  4. 4 of a kind, 2s, 3s, or 4s,
  5. Any other 4 of a kind.
  6. Full house.
  7. Flush.
  8. 3 of a kind.
  9. 2 Pairs.
  10. A pair of jacks or better.

What’s the Difference Between Video Poker and Real Poker?

Video poker is fundamentally based on traditional poker rules.

In video poker, however, you need not have to beat other players or the dealer in the case of an actual table game.

It is purely a solo game where you will need to make the best five-card poker hand through a poker console.

This can be a good option for those who want to experience peace and quiet while playing a poker game.

Which Type of Video Poker Should I Play?

For any beginner, the best game start is Jacks or Better. If you suit yourself an expert, you can go for other options like a full-pay deuces wild machine that often pay over 100% with perfect strategy.

There are a lot of new video poker machines popping up that you can give a shot, and maximize wins.

You have Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Loose Deuces Wild, Joker’s Wild, and Pick’em Poker.

Trying new variants could be a lot of fun. Just make sure you’re all prepped with the right strategies to avoid losing money.

How Can I Win at Video Poker Every Time?

There is no way you could win video poker every single time you play. Even with the use of a perfect strategy, you cannot control the fact that a part of the game still relies on chance.

You can however improve your chances of winning or decreasing the risk of losses with proper management of funds and practicing optimal strategy.


Video poker sure can be a fun way to ease yourself into the world of casinos and gambling.

Compared to real poker, this version does not give you the stress and pressure of being amongst a live dealer and competitive opponents.

With the right strategies in mind and a lot of practice, playing video poker can soon be a no brainer.

We hope we’ve answered all your questions and provided you with the best strategies to gear you up to play video poker for real money. Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences with video poker in the comments section below and for more content like this, see more on our homepage.

Related post

Pennsylvania Officially Legalizes Online Gambling

Pennsylvania officially becomes 4th state to legalize online gambling.
Earlier today, AP Reporter Marc Levy twitted that Governor Wolf has signed H 271 bill. A bill which legalizes online gambling within the borders of Pennsylvania.

Read More
Pennsylvania Online Gambling Bill: FAQ and Expert Review

Earlier this week, Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representative passed H 271 bill which is set to legalize online gambling within the state borders. We are keen to set things straight and figure out what is the future of online gambling in Pennsylvania.

Read More
Pennsylvania Online Gambling Bill Passed

Until Wednesday, Oct 25th online gambling was illegal in Pennsylvania. However, a bill that legalized online gambling and online poker was passed by Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday and passed by Pennsylvania House on Thursday. Many consider this to bthe biggestst gambling expansion since the state legalized land based gambling a decade ago.

Read More

0 Reviews

Write a Review

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram