Video poker is a sought-after casino game that makes you win by dealing cards. It is very similar to slot machines wherein a beginner-level player can easily play without interacting with any other dealer or player. However, video poker is not entirely contingent on sheer luck; one needs to have skill, practice, and good strategies to beat the machine. Since the match randomly shuffles a 52 deck card, an optimal playing strategy and calculative combinations can help you win big money. This video poker strategy guide is an excellent start for newbies to learn the ropes. Our general and advanced strategies, along with a dedicated Jacks or Better strategy list, will surely help even the most seasoned players.
Can You Make Profitable Gains in Video Poker?
This classic video poker is bound to give you the most profitable gains during your play session. Video poker ranks as one the best profitable casino games in the world, most probably next to Black Jack. Another reason why players usually find the match so comforting is its straightforward rules. This game is not the most complex and intimidating casino game out there. However, if you play this card game relying on guesswork, you will surely lose as soon as you click the button.
On the other hand, if you devise and strategize your game plan effectively, there are high chances of winning profitable gains. Another positive factor is the possibility of finding games that offer a payout of over 100%. No other casino game offers this feature. Thus you can find the best machines that have a higher payout percentage for bigger winnings.
Understanding Video Poker
Video poker’s primary objective is to acquire a specific set of valuable cards that offer a certain payout. It is entirely based on a classic five-card draw structure. The card set combination is the same as a physical real-life poker game, so players who are familiar with real-life poker can easily play video poker without any learning required. You can initiate the game by placing a bet and clicking the ‘deal’ button. Upon clicking, the player receives five cards that he can exchange. The player has the freedom to exchange one card for another card to line up a winning combination. After the computer determines the winning set, the player can collect their winnings. Players have the privilege to either draw the cards or hold the ones that are already flashing on screens. Thus, a rare winning set gets a better payout rate. Most players always aim for the Royal Flush, the most profitable poker hand that gives the highest payout. But the probability of hitting this set is very rare compared to acquiring a ‘three of a kind’ hand.
2. Winning Hands
To keep track of your winning hands, you need to know all the possible winning sets that video poker allows. Players will receive a payout once their screen shows any one of these ten winning sets.
Royal Flush is the best and most premium hand in poker. A royal flush always consists of Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit (hearts, clubs, spades, diamonds)
Straight Flush is the next best hand in poker, where you hit five consecutive cards in a sequence but of the same suit. For example, 5,6,7,8 and 9 of diamonds can be called a Straight Flush hand.
Four of a Kind
Four of a Kind hand includes getting four cards of the same value but of different sets. The additional card from the group does not affect the result of the hand. For example, four Jacks from all the houses can successfully pass as Four of a Kind hands.
A Full House hand consists of three similar cards with one pair. You can claim a Full House on any number provided it follows the three-plus pair rule. For example, a hand can be called a Full House if it showcases three sixes and two aces.
You can call any hand a flush if it has five non-consecutive cards from the same suit. The digits don’t have to follow any sequence. For example, 2,4,6,8 and Ace of a spade should be considered a Flush.
A straight hand consists of five consecutive cards of a mixed suit. For example, a screen showing 4C, 5D, 6S, 7H, and 8C is eligible for a straight hand.
Three of a Kind
You can call your hand a Three of a Kind when three cards have the same value and the rest show different numbers. For example, three tens, ace of spades, and seven of diamonds.
As the name suggests, a Two Pair means two sets of the same value cards of any group. The last card’s denominations don’t affect the result. For example, a pair of queens with sevens is approved as a Two Pair hand.
A One Pair hand is valid when any two cards of the same value are present in your set. For example, a pair of diamond and hearts, seven spades, three clubs, and nine diamonds should make One Pair hand. The other three cards’ value doesn’t affect the result.
When the player hasn’t made any hands from the above nine sets, the highest card from the set plays. For example, if the card reveals 4,6, Jack, 7, and 9, Jack is considered the highest card.
3. Playing With The Machine
Let us introduce you to the buttons and video game machine to play video poker:
Step 1 – Selecting Your Bet Size.
Selecting the size is the very first step where you need to choose your exact betting figure. Since video poker uses coins, also called credits, a player needs to select how much each credit is worth for their game. The next step is determining how many credits (coins) you have to bet for each hand.
● There are special buttons on the machine that let you automatically bet one credit or a max of five credits. The number of the credit depends on the player’s will to spend.
● Another essential feature is the Paytable, which is usually displayed on the top of the game screen. This Paytable tells you the total hands to win and how much each hand pays, depending on your bet credits.
Step 2 – Drawing The First Cards.
Once you have fixed your bet size, you need to hit the ‘Deal’ button. Hitting the button will reveal your first five cards.
Step 3 – Holding The Cards.
Now that your first five cards are open, you need to select the cards you wish to hold onto. To keep the card, you need to push the ‘Hold’ button. The number of cards you want to ‘hold’ entirely depends on your choice.
Step 4 – Drawing Second Cards.
After selecting the cards you wish to hold, hit the ‘Draw’ button to start the second card round. The cards that you aren’t holding will get replaced with new ones.
Step 5 – Outcome And Final Payout
If you are a newbie, chances are you will barely figure out your poker hand. The game machine will automatically display the best possible hand on the screen. The more extensive and premium your poker hand, the more money you will end up winning.
Essential Strategies To Never Forget
These basic strategies are excellent for both standard and video poker games.
1. Be Highly Conservative
There are two types of poker players- a loose player and a tight player. A novice player usually stays for every hand till the showdown, bets and wins mediocre hands, and ends up losing more than he has made. On the other hand, a tight player folds most of the hands before even making a bet. A good player knows that he will lose a little money before waiting for the right hand.
2. Be Aggressive At The Right Moment
Have the understanding of being a little aggressive during the right time. Avoid playing too tight even at the right opportunity. When you see a good hand, ensure you raise and keep raising until you earn a profit.
3. Know Your Odds
We aren’t implying that you need to be an intelligent mathematician to figure out the odds. Neither should you memorize long stat tables for the sequence. Just pay attention to the cards, rounds and be observant about the total cards in the deck.
4. Smartly Weigh The Cost Against The Pot
Sometimes a player gets a hand that they wouldn’t usually play with. Suppose a player stayed during such a hand and is close to the river. Then, in that case, we suggest considering the total amount in the pit vs. the amount to stay. For example, if it costs only $5 to keep playing the hand with a $250 pot, then, by all means, it is worth the risk.
Strategies That Let You Win Video Poker
1. Choosing The Right Paytable
This most profitable video game’s most exciting feature is its Paytable. Video poker is the only machine game in the casino world that lets you see the expected return from the machine before you start the game. This Paytable shows you the correct and accurate return numbers based on how much you have wagered. You need to scour all the machine games to find the best machine with the best Paytable to get the best charts. For example, a video poker machine with a Paytable of approximately 99.44% returns is more profitable than a game of 97.19% since you have a higher chance of beating the machine. These chances are genuine because the competition with 99.44% returns keeps a house edge of 0.56%, whereas 97.19% usually reserves 2.81%. Thus, players should select a game that offers 99.44% returns as it guarantees nearly full pay. To conclude the point, you should always choose machines that have a high Paytable.
2. Betting The Max
Always play max coins to get a better payout. Betting the max is genuinely a golden rule for playing video poker. If you decide to play with one token, then the payout for a Royal Flush is 250-1. However, if you bet five coins, then your payout automatically increases to 800-1. Thus betting max is indeed giving you a more significant advantage than betting just one token. An intelligent gambler is always looking for such sneaky opportunities. However, pay attention to the cards while betting total coins on the hands. Lastly, ensure that you are playing on a correct poker machine to afford to bet max coins.
3. Play The Best Machines
Refrain from sitting on the first machine you see in the parlor,when you enter the casino. As mentioned earlier, some poker games offer a considerably high payout while others offer less. Always go for the ones that provide a higher payout. Similarly, try to find a machine with Deuces Wild and play if it has full pay. Deuces Wild is the best poker machine, so consider playing the game while using a few basic poker strategies to earn a hefty payout.
4. Join A Player’s Club
You will notice several players’ clubs that exist solely for regular players. These clubs especially welcome players who have played more games by spending lengthier periods in the casino. These players’ clubs usually offer possibilities of gaining hefty bonuses only reserved for regular and valuable players. These bonuses and offers help lower the house edge in the long term, which means more possibilities of winning and earning hefty pay.
Players and gamblers should always keep an eye out for bonuses and promotions. Players that play online tend to get huge rewards for just registering or making the first deposits. This bonus increases your chance of winning since you are more or less using free money. Most casinos usually provide such bonuses to lure new customers. Players should take advantage of such offers, especially while playing video poker, since it already has a low house edge.
Strategy List For Jacks Or Better
This strategy list for the poker game Jacks or Better has the best sequence to earn huge payouts.
1. Full House or better
2. 4 to a Royal Flush (Player has four cards and needs one for a Royal Flush)
3. Straight Hand (Three of a Kind, or Flush)
4. 4 to a Straight Flush (Player has four cards and just one more for 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 (Player has five cards- 6, 7, 8, 9, 2 and needs one more on the outside to complete the straight. It can either be a five or a 10)
11. 2 Suited High Cards (Usually face cards)
12. 3 to a Straight Flush
13. 2 Unsuited High Cards
14. Suited 10/K, 10/J, or 10/Q
15. One High Card
16. Discarding everything
Things To Avoid While Playing Video Poker
● Players playing online video poker should avoid the mistake of holding a kicker. Many players believe that keeping a kicker for later hands can highly increase their high payout chances. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case when playing video poker.
● Another big mistake is to avoid keeping three cards while pursuing a Flush or Straight. This step highly increases your chances of losing.
Video Poker Strategy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How Can One Win At Video Poker Every Time?
You must note that there is no shortcut or tried and tested way to win every time. However, playing video poker involves less risk and more chances to win a fifty payout. We highly recommend a slow yet systematic approach for a clean win. To beat Jacks or Better video poker, you should find a machine with excellent Paytables and go with max coins to play. Always try to play max bet and keep playing until you hit a four of any kind. Once you hit the four, switch to another denomination and again try to score a four of any kind. Once you do that, consider moving to a different machine.
2. Which Video Poker Game Variant Has The Best Odds?
Video poker games are an excellent choice for many casino gamblers. Poker games are indeed a better and superior alternative than slot machines. Based on pure odds, Double Bonus Poker is one of the best video poker games to play. The odds in this game are so high that players end up getting paid for playing. Jacks or Better is another game that has a superior balance of house edge and payout. Even Deuces Wild has good odds, and the full pay version tends to have a 100.8% payout rate. Some other noteworthy games you can try include Bonus Poker, Aces, Eights, and Pick them poker.
3. How Do You Cheat On Video Poker?
The following are the four most typical ways that players, swindlers, and gamblers cheat on a video poker machine:
Hacking the video poker machine
One can enable the Game King 2.0s bug by activating the device’s ‘Double up’ feature. This sneaky step allows you to take another second gamble to double the initial payout rate. Two gamblers named Nestor and Kane deduced the exact sequence of buttons that could eventually confuse the poker machine’s denominator. However, they got caught and faced strict legal action under the commands of various casinos.
Using some other player’s credits
You can gain profits by using someone else’s credit after they leave the machine unattended. Imagine playing with someone who kept losing and, in utter frustration, leaving the device with a few credit points still intact. In such cases, you can use the coins to get a few games on the house.
Tricking the machine
Tricking the machine is most probably the oldest trick in the books. The scheme is called fishing because people literally use a fishing line to carry out the scam. Players used to tie a nickel with a fishing line before starting the game. The con artists would insert the coin till the end to trigger the game’s play function. Once the game initiates, these swindlers pull the tokens to play for free. This trick doesn’t increase the winning chances but indeed lets you enjoy free chances to win.
Using a calculative device to win
Instead of relying on memorizing strategies, many gamblers end up taking the help of a cheat sheet. These color-coded strategy charts may end up helping a few fellow players. Many players also learn all the possible starting hands and draw up conclusions using mathematical values.
This information is for research purposes only. We do not condone cheating while playing, as the results often lead to legal notices and actions. You may end up getting perma-banned from the casino or face severe legal measures in the form of a prison sentence or hefty fines.
4. Which Video Poker Games Are The Most Beginners Friendly?
Beginners and novice players should always start with Jacks or Better as this game is the most common, popular, and easy variant in poker. Once you learn Jacks and Better, you can then jump to Deuces Wild. We highly recommend focusing on a maximum of two games at a time. Focusing on a lot of games at a single time can ruin your performance. Instead, you can focus on any two variants and study the nuances and strategies to consistently win bigger payouts.
You now hold this complete starter guide to play video poker along with various accurate and valuable strategies to win the game. If you are a slot machine player, we suggest playing video poker because of its high payouts. You can beat any video poker variant with the proper playing skills, strategy, observation skills, and a pinch of luck.