What are the Strategic Basics in Jackpot Capital's Video Poker?

What is the Intrinsic Logic Behind Video Poker Strategy?

When gamers think about a jackpot casino, they usually think about big progressive jackpots and many other smaller jackpots.  One of those smaller jackpots is the extra payout for getting a Royal Flush in video poker!

There is sound statistical strategy for every hand in video poker.  Some of the strategy is decidedly counter-intuitive which brings us to the idea for this blog article.

How Often Can a Gamer Get a Royal Flush?

Not very often!

Still, if you are playing video poker there are good reasons to try for a Royal Flush even if it means giving up a winning hand!

How Does Giving up a Winning Hand Make Sense?

It is strategy like this that makes video poker seem illogical to some gamers.  Given that the return to player rate in video poker is almost 100% when the player employs top strategy on every hand, it stands to reason to understand the logic behind the most confusing strategy moves.

Keep in mind that in order to qualify for the big extra payout for a Royal Flush, the gamer has to bet the maximum on every hand.  For some players, this makes video poker a bit over the top but gamers can also choose not to bet the maximum.

More often, a gamer who is playing with a limited budget, will play single-hand video poker instead of playing multi-hand.  This keeps their bankroll intact and also gives them a chance for the big Royal Flush win!

Strategy, then, is based on whether the gamer bet the max or not.  Since basic strategy is a lot easier to grasp when the player does not bet the max−since the player is a lot less likely to give up a winning hand in pursuit of the Royal Flush−we confine ourselves here to situations where he or she does bet the max.

Games of Chance Have No Winning Strategy

The most important thing gamers have to think about when they play a game of chance is to stay within a pre-set and reasonable financial budget.  In craps and roulette, which are also games of chance, players have to be careful not to make contradictory bets since these games give players a lot of betting options.

Players of games of skill need to follow sound strategy on every hand.

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How Do We Know What the Best Play is on Every Hand?

Computers, baby!

It is true that before the age of the powerful computer, we could only assume the best play on some hands.  The most astute players could “feel” the right move but most players had to just wing it.  Since then, computers have analyzed millions of hands and have come up with the best strategy for every hand.

There are some hands where the difference between the “correct” play and the “obvious” play is very small in terms of statistical outcomes.  Still, the best play is the best play!

Let’s Get Down to Brass Tacks

On any deal, there are 2,598,960 possible combinations of cards taking into account the 13 card ranks and the four suits.  Most players will first look to see if they have a winning pair and, if they do, most players will keep the winning pair and go one from there.

This is often the correct strategy but not always!

In video poker, the highest ranking hands pay out much more than a simple pair so the more experienced video poker players will look to see if they have a reasonable chance at a higher paying hand before settling on the winning pair.

This is almost always the best strategy.

Sometimes, the best strategy is to discard a winning pair fro the chance to get a much better and higher paying hand.

Can You Explain this to Me?


Let’s say that you have four to a Royal Flush and a pair of aces.  The best strategy is to discard the unsuited ace and try for the very high paying Royal Flush.  Even if you don’t get the one card that will give you the Royal Flush, you might get another card in that suit for a simple flush, you might get a suited nine that might give you a straight flush, you might get an unsuited card for a simple straight, or you might pair one of the high cards and win that way.

Here are three simple takeaways from this simple example:

  1. Play slowly and carefully.
  2. Pay attention to the less obvious possibilities in every hand.
  3. Even though a high pair is a winning hand, it often pays to discard the pair in pursuit of a better paying hand.

Isn’t a Royal Flush Rare?

Yes, it is!  A Royal Flush happens in about one of every 40,000 hands.  So, if you already have four to a Royal Flush after the deal, you should go for it!  As we said, there are still many ways to win on the draw even if you don’t get the Royal Flush.

The same thinking applies the four to a straight flush.

There are many dealt hands that you don’t break.  Four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair, a straight, flush, and full house are all hands that you keep.

What if I Have Four to a Straight or Flush?

Four to a flush depends on whether you already have a winning pair as well.  If you do, you need to see how many high cards there are in the dealt hand that you might pair even if you don’t get the flush by breaking up the pair.

If the four to a flush are all low cards that won’t win if paired, you should keep the winning pair.  If there are at least two high cards that can pair, you should go for the flush.

With regard to four to a straight, it depends also on the possibility of getting a pair that would win even if you break up an existing winning pair and also if the missing card for the straight is inside or outside the four.

It is rare that going for an inside straight is the best strategy.  However, if there are high cards and the missing card is to the outside of the straight, you should go for the straight.

Most Dealt Hands are Losers

It is fact of poker in general that most of the hands you’ll get are just no good at all and you’ll discard all five cards.  If you have a high card, you can keep the one high card.  Do not keep two disconnected high cards.  The chances of getting a winning combination are better with just one high card.

Thus is the benefit of computer analysis!

Similarly, on the 40% of hands with a pair, most of the pairs are not winners.  In many cases, it is better to get rid of the low pair and try again.

Video poker returns about 99.5% of money wagered so proper strategy and a smidgen of good luck will put you in the black.

Jackpot Capital Offers Several Variations of Video Poker

One of the top advantages of online casino gaming is that you can go from game to game at will.  At land-based casinos, this is not possible.  So, even if video poker is not your go to game, you can play it for a short period of time and then to go to a different game.

Gaming flexibility is one of the many reasons you should JOIN JACKPOT CAPITAL ONLINE CASINO!

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