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Basic Video Poker Strategy

By Steve A.

Level: Mar 17th 2010
Unlike most games where the house always has the advantage video poker is one game where the odds are swayed in the player’s favor, especially if they know how to play properly and are aware of the effective strategies. Playing at online casinos is a great way for players to learn these methods since there isn’t the same pressure as if they were playing in a brick and mortar casino environment. At home, players are able to consult video poker strategy guides, like video poker strategy cards, and then later once they’re familiar with the strategies, can begin playing outside of the house or simply carry on with greater skill. As with blackjack, there are video poker strategy cards. But unlike with blackjack, there are multiple versions of video poker, and in turn different strategy cards that players need to learn for each type of game they want to play.
Video poker games truly are based on strategy, which means that to do well and get the payout percentage that an online casino promises, then players need to learn how to play the right way!

It’s not too difficult to understand strategy cards when the information is put into plain English and players also understand which hands are the strongest. The video poker game Jacks or Better is one of the more popular versions, and easier to learn. So, using this video poker game here is an example of hand rankings in video poker, with number 1 being the best, followed by strategy.

1. Four of a kind, straight flush, royal flush
2. 4 to a royal flush
3. 3 of a kind, straight, flush, full house
4. 4 to a straight flush
5. 2 pair
6. High pair
7. 3 to a royal flush
8. 4 to a flush
9. Low pair
10. 4 to an outside straight
11. 2 suited high cards
12. 3 to a straight flush
13. 2 unsuited high cards (if more than 2 then pick the lowest 2)
14. Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K
15. 1 high card
16. Discard every card

Strategy to follow with each hand:

1. 4 cards to a royal flush - Keep the 4 cards, discard the fifth. Even if this means breaking up a complete straight or flush.

2. 3 cards of a royal flush - if the hand contains a straight flush, four of a kind, full house or

3. 3 of a kind, - keep the winning combination. Otherwise, hold the 3 cards to the royal flush and draw 2 new ones.

4. 2 cards to a royal flush - Keep any winning hands. Keep any pairs, even if they are too low to payout.

5. Hold 4 cards to a flush or straight, 2 cards to a royal flush - Keep these in preference to single high cards or 3 cards to a flush or straight.

6. 4 cards to a straight flush - Keep any complete flush or straight, else go for the straight flush.

7. 3 cards to a straight flush - Keep any winning combination or a low pair. Otherwise discard the other 2 cards and draw 2 new ones.

8. 2 cards to a straight flush - Keep any winning combination or a low pair. Otherwise discard the other 3 cards and draw 3 new ones.

9. 4 cards to a flush - If you have a high pair, keep it. Else, discard the 5th card and draw a new one.

10. 3 cards to a flush - Keep any 3 of a kind, 2 pairs or any pair. Otherwise hold these 3 cards and draw 2 new ones.

11. 2 cards to a flush - Keep any pair or winning combination, otherwise hold just these 2 cards and draw 3 new ones.

12. 3 or a kind - Keep it; draw 2 new cards in hopes of a full house or 4 of a kind.

13. 2 pairs - Keep them, unless you have 3 cards to a royal or straight flush.

14. High pair - Keep it unless you have 4 to a royal or straight flush.

15. Low pair - Keep them if you have nothing better. Discard if you have more than 3 to a royal or straight flush.

16. High cards - Retain them in hopes of forming a high pair otherwise consider discarding the entire hand and drawing 5 new cards.

Follow these basic video poker strategies and you are on your way to becoming a much better videopoker player.

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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