The Strategy I Wish Everyone Knew About Video Poker

When playing Video Poker, you can play it comfortable in your home. You also have the possibility for big payoffs. If you want to play this entertaining game you have to pick the right machine and to play with the right strategy.

There are different kinds of games that can be played on Video Poker machine – Jacks or Better, Joker’s Wild, Deuces Wild, King of the Decks. It means that there are different types of poker machines, consequently there are many different strategies included in each machine.

If someone wants to play, first he has to press the push button marked deal. He can find this button on the front of the machine. After that the player have time to study the five cards representing his hand. He has to decide which cards to hold and which to discard then draw the number of cards he needs. At the moment when he draws, the game ends.

In the case of a win, the player is rewarded by the sound of coins spilling into the well of his machine, or he is advised of winning credits. These credits may be turned into a cash payout, or used to continue play. The real payout amounts vary with the number of coins wagered, and the value of the final Poker hand displayed.

The Video Poker player inserts one or more coins into the slot provided. You must know that different machines use different coins. In some cases, the poker player may wager up to five coins on one play. In other cases he can bet up to 100 coins.

Video Poker Strategy

video-poker There are three things you need to do in order to strip away the mystery of an online video poker machine and understand its value to you. These should be included in your video poker strategy:

  • You must be able to read the pay tables and know which ones have the highest payback.
  • You must know the best video poker strategy for the machines you choose to play.
  • You must know the volatility of a particular machine – what effect it will have on your bankroll.

Based purely on the mechanics, playing online video poker is simplicity itself. However, playing it well entails a bit more effort and that’s where your video poker strategy comes into play. Online video poker is one game where the house advantage is definitely affected by how much knowledge the player has. The two main skills involved (proper machine selection and knowing the proper strategy for the video poker machine you’re playing) get complicated because online video poker comes in a never-ending variety of games.

How do you navigate this sea of machines? First, lets look at them in the broadest terms: there are non-wild card games such as Jacks or Better and Double Bonus. Then there are wild card games such as Deuces Wild or Joker Wild. Within these two general types, there are many varieties. Payout schedule return rates may vary from below 90% to above 100% (see table below).

The best place to begin honing your video poker strategy is with the machine that started the whole phenomenon: the Jacks or Better game. The Jacks or Better pays off for a pair of jacks or higher, which is particularly good for beginners because of its easily understandable strategy. Better yet, the best version of Jacks or Better has a 99.5% payback percentage when played with expert strategy. This means it has only a 0.5% house advantage. In other words, in the long run, you expect to lose only 50 cents of every $100 you play. This is one of the best bets in the casino.

Consider Jacks or Better as the hershey bar of the video poker candy store: classic, reliable, straightforward, and simply satisfying. You may want to move to more new and exotic confections, but Jacks or Better must always be the most accessible and understandable part of your strategy.

While there are many factors to consider in developing your online strategy, they are far too numerous to detail here. We will leave you though with an important factor, and possibly the most important thing to look at when developing your strategy – the pay table. The pay table strips away the game’s mystery; its basically a window into knowing whether the game is worth your money. An example of a pay table can be seen below, and unlike slot machines, the pay table isn’t just there for us to “oohhh and aaah” over all the pretty payoffs – it can reveal how much a game pays back if played perfectly.

You can consider these tips the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in developing your online video poker strategy. How they help … Enjoy yourself.

Hand Frequency % Probability Payout Return *
Royal Flush * 1 in 40,390.55 0.002% 800* 1.98%
Straight Flush 1 in 9,148.37 0.011% 50 0.55%
Four of a kind 1 in 423.27 0.236% 25 5.91%
Full house 1 in 86.86 1.151% 9 10.36%
Flush 1 in 90.79 1.101% 6 6.61%
Straight 1 in 89.05 1.123% 4 4.49%
Three of a kind 1 in 13.43 7.445% 3 22.33%
Two pair 1 in 7.74 12.928% 2 25.86%
Jacks or better 1 in 4.66 21.459% 1 21.46%
Nothing 1 in 1.83 54.543% 0 0.00%

* – Royal Flush payout is based on max coins (4,000 coins for 5 coins played).
** – Total return: 99.55.

If you are going to play video poker online, you must make sure that you do so on a “full pay” machine. This term has to do with the pay schedule that is offered. This is easiest to describe for Jacks or Better. A full pay machine will offer a 9x payout for a Full House and a 6x payout for a Flush. A machine that isn’t full pay will often offer 8x payout for a Full House and a 5x payout for a Flush.

When you are playing at an international online casino, this isn’t usually a problem as there is a lot of competition and almost all of them use full pay video poker machines. You have to be aware at the real money poker sites USA, however, because there aren’t as many of them around and they may be able to get away with it without the players complaining or being aware of the payouts.


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