When Video Poker machines broke onto the scene in the 1980s, they quickly became one of the most popular casino games. Up until then, slot machines only gave players the option of how many credits to bet, and sometimes how many lines to play. They didn’t offer any real strategy decisions. But with Video Poker machines, the player has the option of making strategy decisions that will make a difference in the amount of money they can win! We do not claim that our strategies will guarantee you profits (no one can say that), but our site can ABSOLUTELY make you a better video poker player! And most importantly, you’ll have fun learning and playing the game!
The most common Video Poker game is known as Jacks or Better, meaning that the lowest qualifying (paying) hand is a pair of jacks. Players are dealt 5 cards, and just like in 5 card draw, they are then able to choose which cards they’d like to hold and which they would like to discard for new cards. Cards wishing to be kept are marked “hold”, pressing deal replaces each non-held card with a new one. After the draw if the player holds a pair of jacks or higher, they win credits.
Video Poker Pay Tables
Here is what a typical Jacks or Better payout structure table looks like:
Jacks or Better (Standard 9/6 Pay Table) –
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Four of a kind
Three of a kind
Jacks or Better
As with nearly all slot machines, Jacks or Better gives a heavy incentive for playing the maximum number of credits (5) in order to get the bonus payout of a Royal Flush. If the payout structure was consistent across credits, then we would see a 5 credit Royal Flush win pay 5 times the regular 250 credits for a total of 1250 credits. But instead, the 5 credit play is awarded extra, and the payout is a much larger 4000 credits. It is critical to play the max credits on these games to maximize your earning potential. You can find out more information on the Jacks or Better pay tables on our Jacks or Better page. In fact, we have pay tables available on each of our games pages, such as Loose Deuces, Double Jackpot Poker, and any of the other games listed.
Other than playing the max number of credits, it is also very important to compare pay tables for like games on different casinos. For instance, using the Jacks or Better page and the tables provided there, we can see that some casinos will pay out less than others. It is important, especially if you are going to play for any length of time, to choose the casino with the most generous pay table. This will ensure that you are earning the maximum amount of money long term.
Other Forms of Video Poker
There are many other variations of video poker, such as the always popular Deuces Wild. These variations change hand values slightly, which also changes optimum strategy, but only very slightly from the Jacks or Better game. There is never a time to throw away a wild card, and most times if you have two pair or better it is best to keep them intact. The only time to draw to a big hand is if you have 4 cards to a Royal Flush, or a straight and flush draw.
Another variation of Video Poker games is when there is a progressive jackpot for the Royal Flush. In these games it is theoretically possible for the Royal Flush jackpot to be so large, that it is correct to throw away a qualifying pair even if you only have 3 out of the 5 royal flush cards in your hand.
For example, if we look at Qd Jd Td Js 2d using the standard payout, keeping the JJ gives us 7.68 credits, while drawing to the 3 card royal/straight flush draw, netted just 7.16 credits. However, if the Royal Flush jackpot was larger (approximately 5300 credits or more), then the correct play would be to keep the three royal flush cards!
Read this page to learn more about Expected Value – https://www.videopokertrainer.org/strategy/video-poker-expected-value/
Be sure to play the Video Poker Trainer for yourself to help analyze other situations to help you win the most from each hand you are dealt.