Best Video Poker Strategies for Beginners


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Video poker offers up some of the best odds at the casino. For anyone just starting out, it is a good alternative to slots as you still have the chance of hitting the jackpot, except that in video poker, you are five times more likely to actually to get there. Anyone who enjoys slots should seriously think about trying their hand at video poker as you really do have a much higher chance of winning. Of course, if you are playing slots purely for entertainment, then stick to the spins.

For those that actually do want to make a bit of money, video poker is a good place to start. The catch is that if you really want to maximize your profits, you are going to have to learn the proper strategy. If you just guess which hands to play, you can easily end up losing far more money than on a standard slot machine. But it’s not all bad news. Even if you have never played before, there is a simple, beginner’s strategy that you can use to get you winning in no time.

Covering the Basics

First, let’s just cover how the game works. In video poker (classic Jacks or Better) you are dealt five cards. From there, you decide which of the five cards you want to keep and which you want to discard. You keep cards by clicking on the cards themselves. Once you have made your decision, you click on the draw button and get replacement cards for the ones you have discarded. If you end up with a poker hand of a pair of jacks or better, you will win a payout in relation to the strength of your hand. The payouts are displayed on the pay table on the side of the screen.

It is important to note that each video poker game has its own strategy. For example, the strategy used in Jacks or Better video poker will be completely different to that used in a game of Deuces Wild. The best way to start is to pick one game and focus on learning the strategy to its fullest extent. Once you have learnt all you can, you can branch out and play other variants. For now, we are going to focus on Jacks or Better as it is widely available and pays out 99.54%. It also has one of the easiest strategies to learn.

Using the List

Learning the simple strategy drops your rate of return to 99.46% from the original 99.54%. The 0.08% penalty is really nothing if you consider the fact that the simple strategy is far easier to learn than the perfect strategy and it will get you going in no time. The concept is quite simple, in this strategy, you simply play the highest hand in the below list that matches your cards.

  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 (Jacks or Better)
  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 Playing video poker online is the best way to implement your video poker strategy. This way, you can take your time and go through each of the 15 points on the list to see which of the hands you have in front of you. If you stick to the above list and make sure you play the highest hand first, you should be in the positive before long.
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