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Video Poker : Strategy To Play Video Poker

By Ellen Smith

Level: Feb 23rd 2006
In video poker, you are not playing against anybody; you are simply trying to draw a winning poker hand. You're playing the percentages as you choose the cards you'd like to keep and those you wish to discard. As in blackjack, you can play according to your hunches about what cards will come up next, but you can get a far better return in the long run by playing according to a strategy that is based on statistics.

The probabilities of certain hands appearing on first draw stay the same. You can find these probabilities in a chart of Poker Hands. What changes your strategy is the game or variation of online video poker you're playing, and the payback percentage of the individual machine you choose. First of all, read and compare the paybacks on the machines and don't settle for a machine that pays less than 99%. Look for the payout chart posted on the front of the glass, or the screen of the video poker machine. Read the column of numbers 'credits paid' for different winning Hands.

Typically, a Royal Flush will be listed as paying 250, a Straight Flush 50, and so on. But the payouts you must pay attention to are for a Full House and a Flush. If it says it pays 9 for the Full House and 6 for the Flush, this is a 9/6 machine and is the optimal machine to play. If it says it pays less, go find a different machine. If you're playing with strategy in mind, there is no reason to even play this one.
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Lesson 1: Video Poker Overview
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Lesson 4: Video Poker Tips
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