Video Poker Strategy

video-poker-3

Video Poker is a game that is in a class by itself. Unlike slot machines where you press a button and cross your fingers hoping for the best outcome, video poker requires some CHOICES by the player that will determine the final outcome. There are some that will say that there are slot machines that have bonus round where you have to pick and choose items on the screen that will determine things like the number of free spins, bonus multipliers, extra credits, and a whole pile of other gimmicks to entertain the slot enthusiasts, but as sure as you are able to select what prize awaits you behind door number 1, 2 or 3 you can be sure that it doesn’t matter which door you pick because the computer has already determined in advance what prize you will receive. With slot machines and bonus rounds, you are presented with the ILLUSION of choice. In video poker the choice is real. How do we know this? Because the choice you have to make with video poker is not so much which cards you will keep, but which cards you will THROW AWAY. Once you throw away a card from a hand, that card is gone and can not be redrawn from a deck of 52 cards.

It is because of this fact that players that do not have a good working knowledge of the game along with at least a basic strategy can end up making bad decisions that will dramatically reduce the payback percentage for their play. It is also for this reason that GAMING LAWS have very specific language addressing video poker and payback percentages. This is why video poker is quickly becoming a dinosaur in the casinos. If you can find a video poker machine, then you need to first check for the pay tables and you should also ask the slot host about the comps associated with video poker play (which are most likely less than slot comps). Now that we know why it is important to have a strategy, let talk about a basic one for for Jacks or Better that will keep you playing for a long while.

Basic Jacks or Better Strategy

Here is a good strategy that will help you to maximize your payback percentage. The way to use this table is to evaluate the hand that is dealt to you before you discard and find it on the list from the top down for the correct play. Just remember that that higher the hand is on the list, the more valuable it is in terms of payback percentage.

Pat Royal Straight Flush
Pat Straight Flush
Pat Four of a Kind
4 to the Royal Straight Flush
Pat Full House
Pat Flush
Three of a Kind
Pat Straight
4 to an open ended straight flush
Two Pair
4 to an inside straight flush draw
High Pair
3 to a Royal straight flush
4 to a Flush
TJQK
Low Pair
9TJQ
89TJ
QJ9 suited
JT9 suited
4 to an open ended straight, 2345-789T
3 to an open ended straight flush, 345s-89Ts
KQ9, KJ9, QJ8 suited
QT9, JT8, J98 suited
QJ suited
AKQJ
KQ, KJ suited
AK, AQ, AJ suited
4 to an inside straight with 3 Hi Cards
3 to an inside straight flush (2 Gaps & 1 High card)
3 to an inside straight flush ( 1 gap & no high cards)
KQJ
QJ
JT suited
KQ, KJ
QT suited
AK, AQ, AJ
KT suited
Jack
Queen
King
Ace
3 to an inside straight flush (2 Gaps & no High cards)
Redraw