Video Poker Strategy

Video poker is a popular game at online casinos. It involves the player taking a decision that can affect the outcome of the game. In order to be successful the player must take this decision based on correct video poker strategy. Online video poker strategy has been devised keeping the objective of the game in mind and therefore the objective must be clearly understood.

Video Poker Online Strategy

In online video poker the player is dealt a five card hand. He can replace as many of those cards as he wants. His objective is to ultimately get as high ranking a poker hand as possible. The online video poker strategy is based on the probability of getting the different types of hands and their relative payouts. However, it is not possible for the player to perform these complex mathematical calculations and hence the video poker strategy must be memorized. The problem is that there are more than a dozen common variants of video poker, each with its own payout table. Therefore, each variant of video poker has its own strategy and the player has to learn many different video poker strategies. What the player can do as a compromise is master one online video poker strategy and apply it to other games with obvious changes.

Online Video Poker Games

Jacks or Better is the most popular video poker game at the best casino websites, and the online video poker strategy for that game is discussed below. A video poker tip is to formulate the strategy in such a way that it is easy to learn. One way of doing this is listing the hands in descending order, in case of a choice the player should go for a hand higher up on the list. The list for Jacks or Better is given below.

  1. Hold all five card winning hands
  2. Hold four of a kind – in Jacks or Better the fifth card is irrelevant
  3. Hold 4 to a royal flush and discard the fifth
  4. Hold three of a kind and discard the other two
  5. Hold 4 to a straight flush and discard the fifth
  6. Hold two pairs and discard the fifth
  7. Hold a high pair (jack or higher) and discard the other three
  8. Hold 3 to a royal flush and discard the other two
  9. Hold 4 to a flush and discard the fifth
  10. Hold a low pair and discard the other three
  11. Hold 4 to an outside straight and discard the fifth
  12. Hold 2 suited high cards and discard the other three
  13. Hold 3 to a straight flush and discard the other two
  14. Hold 2 unsuited high cards and discard the other two
  15. Hold Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K and discard the other three
  16. Hold one high card and discard the other four
  17. Discard everything

The video poker strategy outlined above works as follows. If the initial hand is Ace and King of diamonds and seven, six and five of hearts, the player can keep the two diamonds or the three hearts. The list gives priority to keeping two suited high cards over three to a straight flush and therefore the player must keep the diamonds and discard the hearts.

Video Poker Online Tips

There are some important video poker tips that the player must keep in mind that are not related to the card play but the mechanics of the online video poker games. The first of these video poker tips is that the player should always wager with five coins. For all winning hands the payout with five coins is five times the payout with one coin. However for royal flush the payout with five coins is much more than five times the payout with one coin. By not wagering with five coins the player is giving up this advantage.

There are video poker tips that are helpful to new players. Most online video poker games provide an Auto Hold facility that automatically marks on hold all cards in winning combination. Thus new players are prevented from discarding any of these cards by mistake and breaking a winning hand.