Video Poker Strategy

Your handy Video Poker Strategy Guide

It pays to have a good Video Poker Strategy. Video poker has experienced enormous gains in popularity. Today it is played by more people in casinos than any other game except slots. Many are turning to video poker because, unlike slots, a player’s knowledge and skill can affect the outcome of the game. Video poker machines not only provide you with hours of entertainment, expert video poker play can put your payoff expectations at close to 100%!. We have only one word of strong advice, always play for maximum coins. Your payout line always rewards such play! Most video poker machines are programmed to pay-out close to 100% when players play at the expert level, the casinos can do this because the vast majority of players don’t play anywhere near the expert play level required.

Video Poker Basic Guide

  • Don’t forget that in video poker you are playing a machine, and therefore there is no real video poker strategy that one can play with. The machine is programmed to only payoff when a player holds one of the posted hands. Don’t bother holding a ‘kicker’ card (a high value card to be used along with a pair) this works when playing against other players but the machine doesn’t care and you have lost the opportunity to draw a better card.
  • Don’t draw to an inside straight (where you have four cards and need one in the middle to fill a straight). On the other hand if you have an open-ended straight (you have four consecutive cards and only need one at either end to fill a straight) then take a shot at making the straight.
  • Always keep any pair vs. holding a high card. Many players would discard a pair of two’s and keep one or more high cards, this is not the best strategy, trying for three of a kind you have better odds when considering the payout and chances of drawing what’s needed.
  • Always keep a high pair vs. a four-card open straight, a four-card flush or a three-card royal. Try for three of a kind with the knowledge that at worst you have recovered your bet.
  • Always keep a low pair over a four-card open end straight. The low pair has more value as a potential 3 of a kind than going for the straight and should be kept.
  • A three-card royal should be kept over a low pair, a four-card flush and a four card open end straight. The bonus for the royal flush makes it a better play. Don’t be afraid to draw five cards if you have garbage (one that doesn’t have a least one high card).

Basic Playing Strategy Summary

Here is a chart to help you find your way

Cards in your hand Draw
4 of a kind or better 0-1 cards (keep all cards or trade 5th if wild cards apply)
4 cards to a royal 1 card
Full house or flush 0 cards (keep all your cards)
3 of a kind 2 cards
4 card straight flush 1 card
Straight 0 cards (keep all your cards)
2 pair 1 card
High pair 3 cards
3 cards to the royal 2 cards
4 card flush 1 card
Low pair 3 cards
4 card straight 1 card
3 card straight flush 2 cards
2 high cards 3 cards
1 high card 4 cards
Garbage 5 cards