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Video Poker Strategy
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Video Poker Strategy
Each Video Poker game has its own strategy, based on the rules
and the payout schedule. Pay particular attention to the payout schedules
before playing a game, as certain games pay better on straights or flushes
or special hands, which may affect your decisions. Also, since the payout
ratios do not necessarily reflect the true odds, familiarity with basic poker
rules and odds will help you play smarter.
You should notice that the payout schedule almost always favors the
Max Bet column. So if you are comfortable with betting the maximum, you
will have slightly better overall odds of winning. But ultimately, the
only way to beat a Video Poker game in the long run is to win a Royal Flush.
In this way, it is quite similar to slot machines.
A Basic Video Poker Strategy (other than Deuces Wild)
Keep any hand that is already a winning hand. You may make an exception
and go for a higher payout if you have 3 cards of a Royal Flush, or 4 cards
of a Straight Flush, Straight, or Flush.
Don't hold 4 cards of a Straight that can only be completed one way (an "inside" Straight).
Don't hold 3 cards of the same suit, hoping for a Flush, unless it could
potentially become a Straight Flush.
If you have a Pair or 3-of-a-Kind, don't hold a single high card with the hope
of making another Pair.
Keep two or three high cards of the same suit, and discard the rest.
(Note: a "high" card is one which pays on having a Pair.)
If you are dealt four high cards of mixed suits, keep them all and discard the 5th.
Keep three high cards of mixed suits if they are consecutive,
otherwise discard the one that is not in sequence.
Keep two high cards of mixed suits and discard the rest, if you have none of the above.
Keep one high card and discard the rest, if you have none of the above.
ALL-AMERICAN: This is your basic Video Poker game, but it generally
has higher payouts for Straights and Flushes. Therefore, hold any three cards of
the same suit to try for a Flush. Also favor 4-card inside Straights over Pairs
and single high cards, and favor 4-card outside Straights over any kind of Pair.
JOKER POKER: This is generally a "Kings and Better" game, so the only Pairs
that win are Kings and Aces. Your strategy should be basically the same as for
basic Video Poker games like "Jacks or Better". You should always hold onto a
Joker if you are lucky enough to get one (about one every ten hands).
Also, your odds of getting a Straight Flush a considerably better than in
Jacks or Better, so you may want to keep an eye out for hands one or two cards away.
Deuces Wild Video Poker Strategy
As we mention on the rules page, there are more winning hands with four Wild cards
per deck, and payouts are lower than in other Video Poker games. Your strategy should
therefore take into account the welcome appearance of these Deuces.
If you already have a Royal Flush or 5-of-a-Kind, it goes without saying that you
should hold all your cards. . .
If you have three or four 2's, hold them and any others making up a Royal Flush and
go for the Royal Flush.
If you have two 2's, keep a Straight if you have it, otherwise hold any four cards
of a Royal Flush or 4-of-a-Kind. If you have none of these, hold onto the 2's and discard
If you are dealt a single 2, you generally want to hold onto any winning hand,
unless you have one of the following hands (in this order): a 4-card Royal Flush or
Straight Flush, a 3-card Royal Flush, 4-card Straights and Flushes, any kind of Pair
(not including the Deuce), or a 3-card or a 2-card Straight Flush. Otherwise, hold
onto the 2 and discard the rest.
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