How to Master Video Poker

Many people incorrectly relate video poker to slot machines, believing that winning is based on no more than the luck of the draw.

While it is true that luck does play a major part in video poker, much of the result is based in skill, logic, and your decisions. By using an optimal strategy and betting the maximum amount, you are likely to receive returns of approximately 100%, and sometimes even more.

Topics Addressed

  • General video poker guidelines
  • Video poker system

*Previously Required Knowledge

As a guide for advanced players, you should be well aware of how to play 5 card draw table poker, use a video poker machine, and recognize the winning hands in poker.


Instructions

Step One

Follow these general guidelines:
This system works because it is based on the fact that you are the only player competing, and there is no way to bluff or card count.

When you have:Draw:
Nothing of value 5 new cards
1 high card 4 new cards
1 pair or 2 high cards 3 new cards
3 of a kind, or 2 cards less than a straight flush or higher 2 new cards
2 pairs, or q card less than an open ended straight or higher 1 new card
Straight or higher No new cards


Step Two

Follow a system:

This strategy works by matching your hand to the highest possible value combination. Basically, you are required to determine what to keep and discard according to a ranking of the hands that are considered more likely to win. Simply look at the cards you hold - your aim is to match them to the highest hand ranking appearing on the chart that you can.

  1. Full house or better
  2. 4 to a royal flush
  3. Straight, three of a kind, or flush
  4. 4 to a straight flush
  5. Two pair
  6. High pair
  7. 3 to a royal flush
  8. 4 to a flush
  9. Low pair
  10. 4 to an outside straight
  11. 2 suited high cards
  12. 3 to a straight flush
  13. 2 unsuited high cards (if more than 2 pick then pick lowest 2)
  14. Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K
  15. One high card
  16. Discard everything

For example, if you hold a 4 of clubs, 5 of spades, 6 of diamonds, 7 of spades, and 7 of hearts: although it seems as though 4 to an outside straight may be our best way to play (#10), the chart shows that a low pair (#9) is the smarter way to play and has a better chance of winning, because it lies one rank higher.

Tips

  • When playing Deuces Wild, the 1st strategy holds an exception: if you are holding 4 of a kind and the remaining card is of no value, you have a better chance of winning by dropping it.

Warnings

  • The 2nd strategy is only relevant for 9/6 Jacks or Better.

See also

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