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Video Poker Strategy


Video poker has grown into one of the most popular forms of casino entertainment since the 1970s. But since the dawn of the internet and the option of playing casino games online, video poker has exploded and become one of the top games in the world, played by millions of people every day. In an internet poker game, you are dealt a hand of cards and you simply select which to keep and then have those that you reject replaced by fresh cards; the aim is to get the best possible hand (based on standard poker hand hierarchy) and get paid according to the strength of that hand. As with all casino games, as popularity increases, more and more people are trying to devise a video poker strategy that increases their chances of winning more cash. Luckily, there are certain ways that you can gain an edge over the house and be in with a better chance of winning.

Video poker strategy is based upon making the best move during your initial deal. You need to memorise (unless you prefer to keep a video poker strategy card in front of you) a list of actions that relate to the action you should take with the hand that you have received. Each machine will require a slightly different approach, so make sure that the strategy card you select is specific to your chosen machine.

The way that video poker strategy works is as follows; following the standard rules of poker hands and their natural hierarchy (e.g. a Royal Flush is always the best possible hand, while a trips or three of a kind will always beat a pair or two of a kind), there are certain card combinations in your starting hand that will always give you an advantage. You simply look at the cards you have been dealt, compare them to the chart to see what you have available and then select the best possible cards to keep.

For instance, a commonly used video poker strategy approach when playing Jacks or Better is to follow the hand system shown below. You simply compare your hand to the hierarchical list below and select the cards that are highest on the list. Note: a "high card" means a jack or higher.

  1. Four of a kind, straight flush, royal flush

  2. Four cards leading to a royal flush

  3. Three of a kind, straight, flush, full house

  4. Four cards leading to a straight flush

  5. Two pair

  6. High pair

  7. Three cards leading to a royal flush

  8. Four cards leading to a flush

  9. Any low pair

  10. Four to an outside straight

No two video poker strategy cards will be identical, so you need to select one that works for you and try it out; if you like the results, there’s no need to swap to another, but if you’re not happy with the outcome, shop around and find another. But remember; it takes time to see the effects of any video poker strategy or system that you follow, so don’t jump around too hastily otherwise you could be doing your game more damage than good.