gamer playing video poker on his laptop

What are the Strategies I Should Know for Video Poker Variations?

Here at Jackpot Capital online casino have found that our gamers overwhelmingly love to play slots.  We think that’s great!  However, we would also like to interest our players in the many other great games we offer.  So, in this article, we will turn our attention as a jackpot casino to a few variations of the fantastic video poker game we offer.

Basic Video Poker Strategy

Jackpot Capital casino runs a very helpful blog. We have blogged recently about the best strategy for Jacks or Better video poker.  As a review, here are the main highlights of strategy in that game:

  • There is an extra bonus for getting a Royal Flush.  You need to bet the maximum to be eligible for the extra bonus. So, always bet the maximum in video poker.
  • The highest ranking hands pay a lot more than a simple winning pair.  So, as a rule, if your hand is close to a very high ranking hand, you should play to reach that hand even if it means discarding a pair.
  • As in regular poker, drawing to an inside straight is almost always a poor strategy decision.
  • Drawing to an outside straight can be a good strategy decision.
  • Even if you are shooting for a very high ranked hand, if you can keep two or three high cards in the process, you can still win by pairing one of the high cards even if you miss out on the really strong hand.
  • Some video poker strategy is truly counter-intuitive so we strongly recommend that you use a strategy card when you play.  You can actually achieve nearly 100% return to player rates by using top strategy.

These are the basic video poker strategy elements.  Now we will look at a couple of variations that have slightly different strategies.

Aces and Eights

This game gets its name from the hand Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot in Deadwood, South Dakota 150 years ago.  Even though so much time has passed since that tragic shooting, this hand is still called the dead man’s hand! 

We guarantee that this game will give you tons of fun with zero threat!

The biggest difference between Aces and Eights and regular Jacks or Better is that there are extra payouts for some four of a kind hands. 

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Four of a Kind

In straight Jacks or Better video poker, a straight flush always pays more than four of a kind.  However, in Aces and Eights, four aces and four eights pay 30 units more in the lowest betting bracket which means 150 units more for those players who bet the maximum.  This gives us a great incentive to go for four aces or four eights.

One of the biggest mistakes players who are playing Aces and Eights make is they go for the four of a kind hand even when they hold only two aces or two eights.  Now, two aces is a winning hand and keeping the pair may be the best strategy.  However, if you have four to a Royal Flush or to a straight flush, you should discard one of the aces!

In contrast, four eights is not a winning hand.  It might be best to keep the pair but not because you hope to get another pair making it a high paying four of a kind.  If you have a pair of eights, the best you can reasonably hope for is another eight making it three of a kind.  A lot of video poker hands end up as low paying winning hands.

Four sevens pay the same as a straight flush.  This entices many players to go for the four of a kind with just two sevens.  Just as with a pair of eights, a pair of sevens is not a winning hand.  There are many instances where breaking up the pair is the best strategy.

Aces and Eights is a great variation of video poker and many gamers like it as their go to version of video poker.  just keep all the nuances in mind as they do differe from straight Jacks or Better.

All American Poker

This variation follows the same rules for Jacks or Better.  The big strategy difference comes about because the payouts differ for many final hands.  Here are the differences in the lowest payout column for players who are betting the minimum.

  • A straight flush pays 200 units in contrast to Aces and Eights where it pays 50 units.
  • To balance the payment scale, all four of a kind hands pay 34 units.
  • A full house, flush, and straight all pay 8 units.
  • Three of a kind pays 3 units and two pair and a single winning pair each pay a single unit.

Strategy Changes in All American Poker

The higher payouts for a straight flush and for a flush and straight make going for these hands more financially worthwhile than in other video poker variations.  This change is especially relevant when it comes to flushes and straights which are a lot easier to hit than the higher hands.

The extra coin for three of a kind means that it is usually best to keep any three of a kind.  Since you already have a winning hand, if you have any three of a kind and one or two high cards, it is bets to discard the high cards and go for four of a kind.  In this scenario, keeping a high card would be going for a full house.  You would get a full house even if you kept a lowly deuce so don’t be misled by the high card.  In this situation, it is a lot better in the long run to go for the four of a kind.

Some players are also confused by the low payout for two pair.  Two pair is a winning hand albeit a very low paying winning hand.  Many gamers will give up one pair hoping to get three or four of a kind.  This is a mistake.  If you have two pair, it means that there are eight cards out of the remaining 47 cards that can give you a full house.  So, best strategy in this case is to hold the two pair and accept the small payout if the full house fails to come up.

One Last Word

We would like to hear from you to see if we should turn this single blog into a series on the many variations of video poker we carry.  If you are a long term gamer here at Jackpot Capital, you probably play slots more than video poker.  Perhaps a full series on video poker could convince you to try out our other great games!

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