Top Casinos

Casino Offers



Video Poker




Free Games

Video Poker : Understanding a Strategy Table – Lesson3

By Joni Hawk

Level: Nov 9th 2006
For the past two weeks I was studying all the parts of the strategy table for pull-pay jacks or better and besides that I tried to teach you how to play this version of the game, our main goal was to help you understand and analyze a strategy table. Perhaps, it is possible to learn it line by line but I believe that in order to get a complete understanding of the strategy table it will be easier for you to bear in mind all the little tricks that each exclusive strategy table contains.

Now, we should finish the rest of the strategy table. It is true that these hands are the worst payers on the table but still, they are important to us. Making even a small mistake in any part of the strategy table will shorten your bankroll without even to see it.

Since these final 12 rows also contain the 2-card Royals, playing inappropriate these hands can deeply reduce your odds for hitting that Royal. It is essential
to comprehend the power of the 2-Card Royal, without giving them either TOO much importance or not enough importance. It’s a tricky job to play perfectly isn’t it?

Below are the next six rows of our strategy table:

Expected Value

2-Card Royal (Version 3)

4-Card Inside Straight with 4 High Cards

2-Card Royal (Version 2)

3-Card Double Inside Straight Flush with 1 High Card

4-Card Inside Straight with 3 High Cards

3-Card Inside Straight Flush with 0 High Cards

The first row on the table is the first of our 2-Card Royals. 2-Card Royals have their own classification and we cannot count the number of high cards in the same way we can do for 3 and 4-Card Flushes and Straights.

Version 3 (or V3) is a 2-Card Royal with no 10 or Ace (i.e. JQ, JK, QK). We subtract 1 from the 'Version' if the 2-Card Royal contains an Ace, and subtract 2 if it contains a 10. Thus a QA is a V2, a Q10 is a V1 and a A10 is V0.

In this version of video poker, A10 (orV0) you will observe soon that actually it is not playable. It is important to understand and remember how to calculate the version number of a 2-Card Royal and how the expected value can be compared to other hands, because the hands in this part of the strategy table are related seriously with 2-Card Royals, and playing them erroneous can cost you a lot.

A 2-Card Royal V3 has a higher expected value than a 4-Card Inside Straight with 4 High Cards. This hand can happen only 1 way (J-Q-K-A-X). Therefore if the JQ, JK, or QK are of the same suit, you throw away the 4-card straight and go for the 2-Card Royal. On the other hand, if the JA, QA or KA is the 2 suited cards then we carry on with the 4-card Straight.

In the same way, we keep these V2 2-Card Royals over a 4-Card Inside Straight with 3 High Cards (i.e. 10-J-Q-A-X). If 3 or more of these cards are suited, it would be a 3-Card Royal and a 4-Card Royal and then we would unquestionably go for the Royal.

The rest of the hands on this section of the table are just the anticipated 3-Card Straight Flush variations that were explained last week.

The final 6 rows of our strategy table:

Expected Value

3 High Cards

2 High Cards

2-Card Royal (Version 1)

1 High Card

3-Card Double Inside Straight Flush with 0 High Cards


Now, in the last part of the strategy table we will talk about the two most common hands played in video poker. These hands are '2 High Cards' and '1 High Card' and because they appear at the bottom of your table, I must tell you that it doesn’t mean anything good. These two hands account for about 30% of all your hands.

Far less common but related in terms of play is the '3 High Cards'. The 3 High Cards MUST BE J-Q-K. They must be unsuited, or we would play them as a 2-Card Royal (V3). If the 3 High Cards contain an Ace, then we play it as 2 High Cards, UNLESS the Ace is a suit match to one of the other high cards, in which case it is a 2-Card Royal (V2).

Another important factor to bear in mind is the 4-Card inside Straight with 2 High
Cards. So, in case you are dealt the cards 9-10-Q-K-X, you should NOT go for the straight, but rather hold only the cards Q-K. The lowest playable 4-Card inside Straight must contain at least 3 High Cards. So, a 9-J-Q-K is played unless a 2-Card Royal exists within it.

Snuck in between the 2 High Cards and the 1 High Card is the last playable
2-Card Royal for this version of video poker. If you are dealt 1 High Card and
a 10 of the same suit, we hold this 2-Card Royal instead of the single High

In case of a second High Card we play it as 2 High Cards. If you are dealt the cards 10-J-Q, with the 10 and Queen of the same suit, we still hold the J-Q for 2 High Cards.

Below 1 High Card is the final 3-Card Straight Flush version. This is the worse in terms of a Straight Flush.

You can't get any worse than this in terms of a Straight Flush. It is Double Inside and has NO High Cards. The knowledge we get from this is that every 3-Card Straight Flush is playable. Of course, it is true that we throw variations in favor of a better hand, but at no time do we throw away a 3 Card Straight Flush and draw 5 new cards.

That is how we get to meet the wicked 'Razgu' ('garbage hand'). When all else fails, we draw 5 new cards. The expected value is a rather low 0.36, but it is still better than drawing to a 4-Card inside Straight with no High Cards, or holding a 2-Card Straight Flush or 1 medium card. These other hands are far, far worse than the infamous ‘Razgu’.

That's the complete strategy table and a lot of insight into how to use
it to help you on your way towards learning the best strategy. Remember that EVERY change to a video poker pay table can affect the strategy.

The next step and advice I can offer you in the process is to practice, practice and practice. You can use a deck of cards at home, but to really learn the game, I would strongly recommend you buy a good version of video poker software for your PC.

For example, the developers for Masque Video Poker Strategy Pro, plays 61 versions of Video Poker, but there are other good ones out there as well.

Good luck and Big Winnings!
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

 532 articles (Aston Villa in League with...)  |   articles home  |   (Great Online Casino Gambling)

TopCasinoOffers.com is an independent information website, not affiliated with any casino.
Copyright © 2003-2009 TopCasinoOffers.com - All Rights Reserved

Casino Articles //  Video Poker //  Understanding a Strategy Table – Lesson3


Asian Games (2)
Baccarat (10)
Blackjack (79)
Bonus & Keno Games (15)
Craps (14)
Gambling/General (278)
Progressive Jackpots (2)
Roulette (22)
Slots (23)
Table Games (74)
Video Poker (13)


Rank Name
1. WinPalace Casino
2. Slots Plus Casino
3. Rome Casino
4. Cherry Red Casino
5. Rushmore Casino


Playtech Games Microgaming Games RTG Games


Learn Blackjack Learn Slots Learn Roulette Learn Craps Learn Video Poker Learn Baccarat


Casino Articles Casino News Casino Winners Beginer's Guide World Casinos Directory Casino Jokes Tournaments


Online Scratch Cards


 |  Register

We noticed that you are visiting us from USA and we would like to recommend this casino where you can play for fun or real money: