What are the Basic Elements in Video Poker Strategy?

How Can Gamers Simplify Video Poker Strategy?

Video poker, along with blackjack, is a wildly popular game of skill played by gamers here at Jackpot Capital online casino.  When gamers use their Jackpot Casino login, they have access to hundreds of excellent games from SpinLogic our exclusive game provider.

Chance or Skill?

Many Jackpot Capital gamers go straight to games of chance such as roulette and the ever-popular slots.  Some go to the games of skill.  In the games of skill, gamers can enjoy a return to player rate of almost 100% if they use the best strategy on every hand.  The trick, of course, is to learn the best strategy for the variation they are playing and to use said strategy on every hand.

In video poker, the best strategy can be pretty complex.  It also sometimes seems to be counter-intuitive.  Here we have to encourage gamers to rely on the statistical findings of millions of hands analyzed by powerful computers to determine the overall best strategy for every hand.

But that’s not all!

Play Maximum for Maximum Returns

In video poker, there is an extra payout for a Royal Flush.  This hand comes rarely but it is considered best strategy to play for a Royal Flush.  To do so, the gamer has to bet the maximum on every hand.  Only by betting the maximum can the gamer qualify for the extra payout for the rare Royal Flush.

In video poker, the bets strategy can be presented as a long chart that the gamer looks at before deciding on which cards to hold and which cards to discard.  Here is one of the areas where strategy may seem odd.

Let’s say that the gamer holds four cards to a very big paying hand, a straight flush or a Royal Flush.  If the player also has a pair that would be a winner if he or she keeps it and doesn’t improve it on the draw, the inclination of players would be to keep the winning pair.

Best strategy, however, says to give up the pair in pursuit of the much better paying straight flush or Royal Flush!

The logic behind this strategy is that the pair pays 1-1 while the better hand pays much more!  And the Royal Flush brings with it the big extra payment.  So, statistics bears out that the best strategy is to break a winning pair to go for a better hand!

How Can we Simplify the Best Strategy for Video Poker?

The way we do so is to break down the long strategy chart into more intellectually accessible parts.

First we will look at what are called “made hands”.  These are hands that are winners on the deal and can’t be improved upon.  The strategy chart lists them in descending order of the payout for having such a hand but in our simplification of video poker strategy, we can list them together.  We rely on the gamer to understand that there is no conflict between these hands so there also doesn’t have to be a hierarchy of hands in this category.

The made hands that we keep are:

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight flush
  3. Four of a kind
  4. Full house

Sign Up Now!

When Do I Go for the Royal Flush?

On most strategy charts the hand four to a Royal Flush appears above the full house but a quick look at a full house will reveal that it cannot contain four to a Royal Flush!  So, if you are dealt a full house, keep it and score the win!

There are, however, many hands where you might have four to a Royal Flush or a straight flush or a flush or a straight.  The trick in understanding and following the best video poker strategy is to learn how to handle these incomplete hands.

We go for a Royal Flush with four cards on all deals where this occurs.  This is in keeping with the example we gave above about breaking a winning pair to go for the Royal Flush.  The key element here is that if the four to the Royal Flush are all royals and an ace, you have excellent chances to pair one of the cards and winning that way even if the Royal Flush doesn’t come in.

What Should I Do with Other Winning Hands?

The next category on our simplified chart is comprised of winning hands.  We keep a flush, a straight, three of a kind, two pairs, and a winning pair except in the case of four to a Royal Flush or four to a straight flush.  Four to a Royal Flush is a better hand than all of the other winning hands.  Four to a straight flush is better than two pair or one winning pair but less valuable statistically than a dealt flush, straight, or three of a kind.

So, the trick is to learn where the four to a straight flush belongs in the hierarchy of dealt hands.

We also see that two pair and one pair are relatively lowly hands!  Still, there are many other hands that are even lower!  In fact, most dealt hands will be low paying winning hands or hands that you have to improve to win.

How Do I Learn Which Hands to Improve?

We have to try to improve all hands that are not already high paying winning hands.  If you have a winning pair and three unconnected lower cards, you discard the low cards and keep the winning pair.  But if the winning pair intrudes on your making a much better hand, you discard the pair!

The Logic behind the Lesser Hands

Let’s take these hands in order and see if we can grasp their internal logic.

  1. Three to a Royal Flush: Here you keep the three cards and discard the less valuable cards.  Three to a Royal Flush has at least two and possibly three cards that you might pair and win with.
  2. Four to a flush and four to an open ended straight: these hands have almost equal value.  A flushing hand may have one or more cards that can be paired for a win and the flush pays 9 coins so it is best to chase the flush.  We can also see that a closed straight has little value but an open ended straight does.
  3. A pair of tens or lower: this is a losing pair but it can be improved to a set so that is the best course of action.

Here is the final list of low value hands in their statistical order:

  1. Two cards jack or better suited.  The chance to pair, to get a flush, or a straight flush.
  2. Any three cards to a straight flush.
  3. Two cards not suited jack or better.
  4. A face card and a ten suited.  The chance for a Royal Flush is slim.  The chance for a flush is better. A straight is also a possibility. Finally, the high card might be paired.
  5. One lonely high card.  Keep it and hope it gets paired. in this example, a jack has the same value as a quenn, king, or ace.
  6. Five cards that have no relation to each other.  Discard all of them and try again!

Jackpot Capital Says that Video Poker is Under-rated

We urge all gamers to play video poker.  It gives the excitement of gaming in general, of poker, of following a logical course of action, and it has a very high return to player rate that is not artificial in any way.

To play video poker at Jackpot Capital, all you need do is use your casino login and if you aren’t a registered player here yet, JOIN JACKPOT CAPITAL NOW!

Share this with your friends via…