Video Poker Strategy
Video Poker is a great game to play but if you are going to do it seriously you should go in ready with a strategy that you are sure that you can stick to. That is a very important part of strategy in itself, picking one that will work for you and sticking to it. Jumping back and forth between some will probably end up making you lose more in the end than winning.
You must first decide whether you are going for big money or if you are going in for the smaller wins expecting them to add up the longer you play. There is a big difference in how you will bet and play for the two so this should be your first decision. If you are going for the big Royal Flush win, and you want to win the maximum of course then you should bet the maximum to get the highest win. Also if you are playing for that big win you will want to be more aggressive with what cards you keep and which ones you throw away. If you are going for a Royal Flush, then you should not keep things like a Pair or Two Pair because you won’t be able to get the Royal Flush if you keep these cards. If you get something like a pair of Aces, then a Jack and a Queen you should get rid of the one ace and the other card to shoot for the Royal.
On the other hand, if you are a player that is going to win the smaller wins and allow your bankroll to add up slowly you will play a lot different. You will keep more hands and never throw away a hand that is already a winner. Say if you have a hand that is dealt to you originally that holds Three of a Kind you will keep that and discard the other two cards to see what you get. Playing this way can lead to a hefty bankroll if you are playing at the top of your game. This is something else that you should always make sure to do, remember that you are playing for your real, hard-earned money so you should always go in to play your best. Although you don’t have to always bet the max since you aren’t going for the big win, it will increase the amount that you win if you do play more coins.
One final thing that will help you put online casino video poker into perspective, you are not playing against other people like you would in a poker room or at a land based casino, you are playing against a machine. This can help you because you can take your time and not worry about the pressure from the other players. This is a very handy aspect because the more time you are able to take and think about your hand the better you will play the game.
Video Poker Payoffs
Video Poker offers many variations on the standard Jacks or Better game, and Online Casinos offer many variations of Video Poker, and with each game it will pay to learn to read the payoff table. On the top of the screen of each game you’ll find the table that shows you the winning hands and what each one pays for each coin bet. You can bet from one to five coins, and the coins usually start at $0.25 and go up to $5.00 so if you bet max on a $0.25 game, you are betting $1.25 for each hand. If you bet $5.00 and bet max, you are betting $25.00 for each hand. No matter the coin denomination, always bet the maximum for each hand so you can take advantage of the higher payouts for each hand. Not to mention the fact that if you are only betting three or four coins, and you happen to hit a Royal Flush, you will not be paid the 4000-coin payoff, but an amount much less.
In order to get the most out of a Video Poker game, Jacks or Better in particular, look for a game that offer the 9/6 Full Pay. What this means is that it pays 9 coins on a max bet for a full house and 6 coins on a max bet on a Flush. This is the highest payout on Video Poker and not all casinos offer this, but the better ones do, so look around before you play. The following chart breaks down the payout tables and gives the percentages for each.
Based on Jacks or Better
- 9-1 for a full house and 6-1 for a flush = payout of 99.5%
- 8-1 for a full house and 5-1 for a flush = payout of 97.4%
- 7-1 for a full house and 5-1 for a flush = payout of 96.3%
- 6-1 for a full house and 5-1 for a flush = payout of 95.2%
Below are the hand rankings for a basic game of Jacks or Better. It’s helpful to learn these so when you’re playing you don’t have to keep referring to the table or payout schedule at the top of the screen. These payoffs are based on the maximum coin bet.
Hand Rankings based on Jacks or Better
- Royal Flush 4000
- Straight Flush 250
- Four-of-a-Kind 125
- Full House 45
- Flush 30
- Straight 20
- Three-of-a-Kind 15
- Two Pair 10
- Pair of Jacks or better 5
Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Tens or Better, and Aces and Faces are all great Video Poker games and can be found in most of the online casinos. As with Jacks or Better, check the payout table for each game before you play to be sure you’re getting the most for your money. The payoffs are going to differ slightly with each of these variations because of the difference in winning hands, (when you introduce wild cards into a game, you can get more winning hands such as 5 of a Kind etc…) and hand rankings. For these games you’ll notice that the payouts for the rankings can be slightly lower than it is in Jacks or Better since there are more winning hands.