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Best Video Poker Strategies Guide

Video poker stands out as a popular and engaging casino game that bears some resemblance to slot machines.

It is accessible both in online platforms and traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. Various versions of video poker, such as Jokers Poker, Deuces Wild, and Jacks or Better, offer diverse gaming experiences.

What sets video poker apart is its favorable odds in the realm of casino games. Unlike traditional poker formats, video poker pits you against a computerized opponent.

Nevertheless, honing your skills and employing effective strategies remains essential to enhance your chances of winning.

In this guide tailored for 2023, we delve into comprehensive video poker strategies, meticulously crafted to elevate your online gaming experience.

Whether you prefer Jokers Poker, Deuces Wild, or Jacks or Better, our strategies are designed to give you the upper hand. Dive in to gain valuable insights and enhance your gaming prowess!

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Why Use a Video Poker Strategy?

Video poker boasts some of the most favorable odds available in the market, although these odds can vary based on the specific variant you’re playing.

While luck undeniably plays a role, there are strategies you can employ to enhance your winning prospects. Implementing effective strategies enables you to make well-informed decisions and elevate your gameplay.

Before delving into video poker strategies, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the game’s rules, understand card rankings, and grasp the value associated with each hand.

A strategic approach involves comprehending the distinct paytables for each variant, understanding the Return to Player (RTP) rates, and discerning which cards to keep, discard, or swap.

Armed with this knowledge, you can adopt a more strategic stance, thereby improving your chances of success.

It’s important to note that the game’s outcome is entirely random, determined by a Random Number Generator (RNG), leaving you with no control over the results.

Video Poker Strategies in 2023

Similar to many casino games, employing strategies is essential to play smarter and enhance your chances of winning.

Each video poker variant comes with its unique strategy. In this section, we will outline the optimal strategy for each specific variant. Let’s delve into them for a closer examination.

Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better stands out as the most widely played version of video poker, boasting an impressive Return to Player (RTP) rate of 99.54%, making it particularly advantageous for players.

The game follows simple rules: you need a hand containing a minimum of two jacks to receive a payout, with the best hands comprising Jacks or Better, Four of a Kind, Straight Flush, or Royal Flush.

In Jacks or Better, the initial step is to consult the paytable. Optimal gameplay is ensured with a 9/6 payout structure, signifying 9 coins for a Full House and 6 coins for a Flush, as illustrated in the table below:

Hand Payout
Royal Flush 800
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind 25
Full House 9
Flush 6
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pairs 2
One Pair (Jacks or Better) 1

Various Jacks or Better machines come with distinct paytables, underscoring the importance of thoroughly checking the paytable before proceeding. It is crucial to identify machines featuring a 9/6 paytable, akin to the one depicted above.

To enhance your winning prospects, diligently adhere to the following strategy list in the specified order:

  • Keep a Full house
  • Keep a four to a Royal Flush
  • Keep a Straight Hand
  • Keep a four to a Straight Flush
  • Keep two pair
  • Keep a high pair
  • Keep a three to a Royal Flush
  • Keep a four to a Flush
  • Keep a low pair
  • Keep a four to an outside Straight
  • Keep two suited 10JQKA
  • Keep a three to a Straight Flush
  • Keep two unsuited 10JQKA
  • Keep suited 10JQK
  • Keep a single high card
  • Last resort: discard all cards

We recommend that you make an effort to memorize this strategy list, enabling you to apply it effectively in your upcoming video poker games.

Deuces Wild

Deuces Wild represents another popular variation of video poker, offering players highly favorable odds with an impressive Return to Player (RTP) rate of 100.762%. The rules of Deuces Wild are straightforward: at the beginning of each hand, you receive five cards.

It’s up to you to choose which cards to retain, discard, or substitute. Notably, every deuce dealt in Deuces Wild functions as a wild card, enhancing your chances of winning.

To maximize your gains in Deuces Wild, careful attention to the paytable is essential. Below is the paytable indicating the payouts with a one-chip bet:

Hand Payout
Natural Royal Flush 800
Four Deuces 200
Wild Royal Flush 25
Five of a Kind 15
Straight Flush 9
Four of a Kind 5
Full House 3
Flush 2
Straight 2
Three of a Kind 1

Upon reviewing the table, you’ll observe that certain hands hold lesser value compared to others. This brings us to our subsequent section, where we’ll provide guidance on which cards to retain or discard while playing Deuces Wild video poker.

Holding 4 Deuces

  • Keep them

Holding 3 Deuces, keep the following:

  • Wild Royal Flush
  • 3 Deuces, Discard 2 non-paired cards
  • 3 Deuces, Discard pair of 9s or lower
  • Five of a Kind
  • Four to a Royal Flush
  • Straight flush or lower

Holding 2 Deuces, keep the following:

  • Wild Royal Flush
  • Five of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • 2 Deuces and consecutive cards (6 and 7 or lower)
  • 2 Deuces

Holding 1 Deuce, keep the following:

  • Wild Royal Flush
  • Five of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Four to a Royal Flush
  • Full House
  • 1 Deuce and three cards to a Straight Flush (5, 6, 7 or higher)
  • Three of a kind
  • A Straight
  • A Flush
  • Four to any Straight Flush
  • Three to a Royal Flush having K as the highest card
  • 1 Deuce and two cards to a Straight Flush (6 and 7 or higher)
  • Three cards to a Royal Flush having A as the highest card
  • 1 Deuce

Holding no deuce, keep the following:

  • Natural Royal Flush
  • Four to a Royal Flush
  • Straight flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight or a Flush
  • Four to an open-ended Straight Flush
  • Suited Q-J-T
  • Four to an inside Straight Flush
  • Three to a Royal Flush
  • One pair
  • Four to a Flush
  • Four to an open-ended Straight
  • Two to a Royal Flush having J as the highest card
  • Four to an inside Straight
  • Two to a Royal Flush having Q as the highest card
  • Two to a Royal Flush having K as the highest card
  • Discard all cards

Remember, it may require playing numerous hands to fully grasp your equity. We strongly recommend adhering to this strategy for optimal results.

Bonus Poker

Bonus Poker offers a slightly lower Return to Player (RTP) rate, typically around 99.17% or lower, depending on the specific version. In Bonus Poker, varying hands yield different bonus payouts. Below is the 8/5 paytable, indicating the payouts with a one-chip bet:

Hand Payout
Royal Flush 200
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind (Aces) 80
Four of a Kind (2s, 3s, or 4s) 40
Four of a Kind (any other) 25
Full House 8
Flush 5
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pair 2
Jacks or Better 1

Different versions of Bonus Poker video poker come with distinct paytables and Return to Player (RTP) rates. For instance:

  • The 6/5 Bonus Poker paytable has an RTP of 96.87%
  • The 7/5 Bonus Poker paytable has an RTP of 98.01%

Now, let’s delve into the strategy list, detailing the cards you should prioritize holding, ranked from top to bottom:

  • Straight Flush, Royal Flush, Four of a Kind
  • Four to Royal Flush
  • Straight, Full House, Flush
  • Three of a Kind
  • Four to a Straight Flush
  • Two Pairs
  • A pair of J, Q, K, or A
  • Three to a Royal Flush
  • Four to a Flush
  • Unsuited KQJT
  • Low Pair
  • Four to an outside Straight
  • Three to a Straight Flush
  • Unsuited AKQJ
  • Two suited high cards
  • Three to a Straight Flush
  • Four to an inside Straight with 3 high cards
  • Unsuited JQK
  • Unsuited JQ
  • Three to a Straight Flush
  • Unsuited KJ, KQ
  • Suited JT
  • Unsuited AK, AJ, AQ
  • Ace
  • Three to a Straight Flush
  • Suited QT, KT suited
  • Jack, King, or Queen
  • 3 to a Straight Flush
  • Discard all cards

Tens or Better

Tens or Better video poker stands out as one of the simplest casino games, rewarding players with payouts starting from a pair of tens. It boasts a decent Return to Player (RTP) rate of 97.96%.

Tens or Better closely resembles Jacks or Better, with the primary distinction lying in its less lucrative paytable. In Tens or Better video poker, payouts for hands like Royal Flush, Full House, and Flush are notably lower when compared to Jacks or Better.

Below is the paytable, outlining the payouts with a one-chip bet:

Hand Payout
Royal Flush 250
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind 25
Full House 6
Flush 5
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pair 2
Tens or Better 1

Now, let’s move on to the list of strategic cards you should prioritize, ranked from top to bottom:

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Four to a Royal Flush
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a Kind
  • Four to a Straight Flush
  • Two pairs
  • High pair (Tens to Aces)
  • Three to a Royal Flush
  • Four to a Flush
  • Tens paired with JQK
  • One pair
  • Four to a Straight with 3 high cards
  • Three to a Straight Flush
  • Three to a Straight with 3 high Cards
  • Two suited high cards
  • Four to an open-ended Straight
  • JQK
  • KQ, KJ
  • Two to a Royal Flush
  • Suited 10J, 10Q
  • Two high cards
  • One high card
  • Discard all cards

Remember, despite the lower payouts and RTP, adhering to this strategy list can still enhance your chances of winning.

Aces and Faces

Aces and Faces video poker distinguishes itself through the bonus payout offered on Four of a Kind, without the inclusion of wild cards.

Several versions of this video poker exist, with the optimal choice being the 8/5 Aces and Faces, boasting an impressive Return to Player (RTP) rate of 99.26%. Other versions include:

  • 7/6 Aces & Faces with an RTP of 99.2%
  • 7/5 Aces & Faces with an RTP of 98.1%
  • 6/5 Aces & Faces with an RTP of 97%

For the context of this discussion, our focus is solely on the 8/5 version, renowned for its superior payouts, making it the primary target for players. Refer to the paytable below for a one-chip bet:

Hand Payout
Royal Flush 500
Straight Flush 50
Four Aces 80
Four Face Cards 40
Four of a Kind 25
Full House 8
Flush 5
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pairs 2
Pairs of Jacks 1

The strategy for Aces and Faces is straightforward. Here’s the list of cards you should prioritize, ranked from top to bottom:

  • Royal Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Four cards to a Royal Flush
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a Kind
  • Four cards to a Straight Flush
  • Two pairs
  • One pair of Jacks or Better
  • Four cards to a Royal Flush
  • Four cards to a Flush
  • Unsuited 10JQK
  • Any low pair
  • Four cards to a Straight draw
  • Three cards to a Straight Flush
  • AKQJ unsuited
  • Two cards to a Royal Flush
  • Three cards to a Straight draw
  • KQJ, QJ, KQ, or KJ, unsuited
  • Three cards to a Straight Flush
  • JT or QT, suited
  • Unsuited high cards
  • One high card
  • Discard all cards

Aces & Eights

Aces and Eights, akin to Aces and Faces, features bonus payouts for Aces and Four of a Kind, though their other bonus prizes differ.

Various versions of Aces and Eights come with distinct paytables and Return to Player (RTP) rates. The optimal choice is the 8/5 Aces and Eights, boasting an impressive RTP of 99.78%. Other versions include:

  • 70/70/20/8/5 Aces and Eights with an RTP of 98.72%
  • 7/5 Aces and Eights with an RTP of 98.63%
  • 20/7/5 Aces and Eights with an RTP of 97.72%
  • 6/5 Aces and Eights with an RTP of 97.49%

In this discussion, our focus will be on the 8/5 paytable.

Hand Payout
Royal Flush 250
Straight Flush 50
Four Aces or Eights 80
Four of a Kind Sevens 50
Four of a Kind 25
Full House 8
Flush 5
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pair 2
Jacks or Better 1

The probability of obtaining each hand is as follows:

  • Royal flush: 0.0025%
  • Straight flush: 0.011%
  • 4 aces or eights: 0.037%
  • 4 sevens: 0.018%
  • 4 of a kind: 0.18%
  • Full house: 1.15%
  • Flush: 1.08%
  • Straight: 1.12%
  • 3 of a kind: 7.45%
  • 2 pair: 12.93%
  • Jacks or better: 21.53%

Now, let’s delve into the strategy list:

  • Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind
  • Four cards to a Royal Flush
  • Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a kind
  • Four cards to a Straight Flush
  • Two pairs
  • High pair (Jacks or Better)
  • Three cards to a Royal Flush
  • Four cards to a Flush
  • Low pair (10s or lower)
  • Four cards to an open-ended Straight
  • Two suited high cards
  • Three cards to a Straight Flush
  • Two unsuited high cards
  • Suited JK, JQ, or J10
  • High card
  • Discard all cards

Joker Poker

Joker Poker, also known as Joker Wild, shares similarities with Jacks or Better, with the key distinction being the incorporation of a wild card, the joker. In Joker Poker, players engage with a virtual 53-card deck instead of the standard 52-card deck.

The prevalent version is the 7/5 Joker Poker, offering an impressive Return to Player (RTP) rate of 100.64%. Refer to the paytable below for a one-chip bet:

Hand Payout
Natural Royal Flush 800
Five of a Kind 200
Wild Royal Flush 100
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind 20
Full House 7
Flush 5
Straight 3
Three of a Kind 2
Two Pair 1
One Pair (Kings or Better) 1

Below is the strategy list for Joker Poker:

Playing with a Joker

  • Pat Royal Flush
  • Five of a Kind
  • Four of a Kind
  • Four to a Wild Royal Flush with King
  • Full House
  • Four to a Wild Royal Flush with an Ace
  • Four to a Straight Flush with no gap
  • Flush
  • Four to a Straight Flush with up to two gaps
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Four to a Flush with one or two Kings or Better
  • Four to a Straight Flush with no gaps or one or two Kings or Better
  • Three to a Straight Flush with no gap
  • Joker and any unsuited 10JK or 10QK or 10JQK
  • Jokers plus A or K
  • Three to a Straight Flush with two gaps
  • Four to an outside Straight
  • Four to a Flush with no high card
  • Joker

Player without a Joker

  • Pat Royal Flush
  • Four to a Natural Royal Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Four to a Straight Flush
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Three to a Natural Royal Flush with a king or queen
  • Two pair
  • Three to a Natural Royal Flush with ace high
  • AA or KK
  • Four to a Flush
  • Three to a Straight Flush with no gap
  • Any pair
  • Unsuited 10JQK
  • Three to a Straight Flush with a high card up to two cards
  • Suited KA
  • Four to an outside Straight
  • Three to a Straight Flush with two gaps
  • Suited 10K or JK or QK
  • Suited 10A or JA or QA
  • Ace or King
  • Suited 10J or JQ or Q
  • Discard all cards

Tips to Play Video Poker

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Terminology: Understanding the specific terms in video poker is as crucial as grasping the game rules. Video poker comes with its own set of terms, which you should acquaint yourself with before diving into the gameplay.
  • Practice for Free: Utilize free video poker platforms to practice and gain a comprehensive understanding of the game dynamics.
  • Utilize Bonuses: Online casinos provide various bonuses and promotions to players. Make the most of these offers to enjoy extended gameplay in video poker.
  • Choose the Right Casino: When selecting an online casino, ensure it holds approval from reputable gambling authorities. Additionally, assess the casino’s games selection, payout percentages, available payment methods, as well as bonuses and promotions.
  • Opt for the Appropriate Paytable: Understanding the paytable for each video poker version is crucial. Select the one with the highest payout to maximize your potential winnings.
  • Grasp the Odds: Gain a deep understanding of the odds in video poker, enabling you to implement the correct strategies. Refer to the provided table for further insights.
Hand Odds
Royal Flush (First dealt) 1/650,000
Royal Flush (Created by players) 1/40,000
Four Aces with a Kicker 1/16,236
Straight Flush 1/9,150
2s to 4s with a Kicker 1/6,984
Four Aces 1/5,761
Four Deuces 1/4,909
2s to 4s 1/2,601
Four of a Kind 1/423
Full House 1/90
Flush 1/85
Straight 1/80
  • Enroll in a Player’s Club: Becoming a member of the casino’s VIP club enhances your chances of winning as you earn loyalty points and boost your bankroll, providing added advantages.
  • Bet Max Coins: Embrace the max bet option while playing video poker, like Jacks or Better, as it ensures substantial payouts, enhancing your potential winnings.
  • Explore Progressive Jackpot Video Poker Machines: Progressive jackpots offer the chance to win significant sums with a modest bet. Seize this opportunity for a shot at substantial rewards.

Things to Avoid in Video Poker

  • Refrain from holding a kicker
  • Avoid retaining three cards when pursuing a Flush or Straight

Final Thoughts – What is the Best Strategy for Video Poker?

If you’re aiming for significant wins at the casino, we suggest opting for games with favorable odds, and video poker is undoubtedly one of them.

Now that you’re acquainted with the most effective video poker strategies for online success, take the time to thoroughly understand each one and choose the strategy that best suits your style of play.

For beginners, it’s highly beneficial to practice these strategies on free video poker sites. By consistently playing the correct cards and employing the appropriate strategies, you significantly enhance your chances of emerging victorious in the game.

FAQ

How Can I Increase My Chances of Winning Video Poker?

Boost your winning potential by employing the correct strategy and capitalizing on bonuses and promotions.

Is Video Poker Skill or Luck?

Video poker blends skill and luck.

What Video Poker Has the Best Odds?

The video poker variants with the best odds are Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Jokers Wild, and Deuces Wild.

Are Video Poker Games Rigged?

No, video poker games are not rigged at reputable casinos.

Is Video Poker Truly Random?

Video poker machines are crafted with RNG (Random Number Generator) technology, guaranteeing genuinely random outcomes.

Can I Play Video Poker for Free?

Certainly, you have the option to enjoy free video poker on various online platforms dedicated to free video poker games.

I play in casinos myself and evaluate each of them from the user's point of view, from the player's point of view. I dive deep into each casino, research the nuances and write honest reviews and reviews.