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Starting Hands in Video Poker

By Gary L.

Level: Apr 30th 2010
Video poker is a game of skill, and one that is featured at most of the best online casinos. It’s an ideal style of game for players who like to leave some elements up to luck, but can affect the outcome by using some strategies that truly can make a difference to whether they win or lose. Some players may prefer games like online slots that are based primarily on luck alone, but those that prefer the strategy, games like Jacks or Better Video Poker, one of the most popular games in this category, is great to learn and play. With this game, the cards that players receive in their first hand can make a difference. Discarding beneficial cards can mean that they will not end up with the best hand possible, and that reduces their likelihood of winning a big jackpot. In Jacks or Better Video Poker there are card combinations as well as draws that players should focus on keeping. Not all of them mean the better chance of a win, so while players should give these strategies a try, they aren’t foolproof and in some cases, intuition and a gauge of all available cards needs to be taken into consideration as well.

1. Four royal flush cards - the best draw is four hands that could form a royal flush. The goal is to form A-K-Q-J-T all in the same suit, ideally. Cards don’t need to be in the right sequence, but they should be kept if they are above 10.

2. Four straight flush cards - with this draw, cards don’t need to be a part of the highest straight. They need to be part of the same suit but can be lower faced cards like 4-5-6-7-8. The same process as with the royal flush should be followed when any of these 4 cards are in a player’s hand.

3. Three royal flush or straight flush cards - whenever players have three cards that could make a flush they should be kept, even if they are more widely spaced out like 2-4-6.

4. Open-ended straight draws - these are four cards that are in sequence that could make a straight on either side, like 6-7-8-9 where lower or higher cards could build the rest of the sequence. There is also a gunshot straight draw that can be beneficial, which is when there is one card not in sequence.

5. Ten-paint suited - it’s a 2-card combination in the same suit where a 10 is with a face-card. This one should not be played over stronger starting hands but should not be discarded if it is the best combination in the hand.

With most video poker games, players really can affect the outcome. Understanding all of the strategies, including the best cards to have after the first deal can help them secure a better chance of having a big win. And, when players know it was there smart decisions that had a bearing, it’s even more rewarding to receive a big payout.
Lesson 1: Video Poker Overview
Learn about the Poker machines that seem right out of the Jetsons
Lesson 2: Video Poker Rules and Strategy
How to play and point to follow to play smart
Lesson 3: Video Poker Bonuses
Most providers and games offer different bonuses, learn about the most popular
Lesson 4: Video Poker Tips
Things to keep in mind and simple advice

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