Video Poker Strategy - Starting out right
If you want to get into playing video poker, and dedicating
some time to it, it's essential that you have a working
strategy. It's fine to go and play to learn how things work,
but if you want to win, a good video poker strategy is in
order, and all of them work off of the same basic principle:
make the best decisions for every opportunity.
To get the most out of a video poker machine, you need to be
able to do three simple things. These are: read the pay
table to choose a machine that offers the highest payback -
know the best strategies for the specific machine you're
playing - understand the volatility of a machine, so you can
have an idea of how much your bankroll will fluctuate.
Playing video poker is extremely simple; playing it well is
slightly more complex. Like blackjack, Video poker is a game
where the house edge is a variable affected by the skill
level of the player. One main skill is proper machine
selection; the other is knowing the proper strategy for the
machine your playing. Since there are a million varieties of
Video Poker, there are a million strategies, and people
quickly become overwhelmed at what they seem to need to
know. Don't fret though, you can start with a single
machine, and what you need to know for a single machine
isn't overwhelming at all.
In the broadest terms, there are non-wild card video poker
games like Jacks or Better, and there are wild card games
like Deuces wild. In these two categories there are many
different varieties, some good, some bad. Payout schedule
return rates vary from under 90% to over 100%.
One of the most common varieties of non-wild games is the
Jacks or Better game. Jacks or better is very popular
classic game and considered the 'standard' video poker box
by many patrons. It also acts as a great place to start, as
it's easy to understand the strategy you use. Of course, Fat
Tony wouldn't recommend it if it wasn't also a decent bet.
The best version of Jacks or Better has a 99.5% payback
percentage when you get the strategy perfect. This means
that over the long run you're only expected to lose half a
dollar on every hundred dollars spent in the machine.
To use this strategy you simply look at the hand you've been
dealt, then compare it the list. The highest hand on the
list that it matches are the cards you should keep. So start
at the top of the jacks or better strategy card list and
work down until you've found a match. Keep the combination
of cards that matches the listing and discard the rest.
If you're a poker player you may have to alter your lingo a
bit. What poker players call an 'inside straight', video
poker players often call a straight with a 'gap'. So if you
have four cards of a five card straight, and the missing
card is in the middle of the run (meaning the straight can
only be completed with one card, as opposed to on either
side of a straight) the straight is said to have one gap. If
you have the makings of a straight with two missing cards,
it's called a straight with two gaps.
Jacks or Better Strategy Card
Four of a kind
Four-card royal flush
Three of a kind
Four-card straight flush
Pair of jacks or better (high pair)
Three-card royal flush
Pair of 10s or less (low pair)
Four-card straight, open, no high cards
Three-card straight flush, two gaps, two high cards
Three-card straight flush, one gap, one high card
Three-card straight flush, open, no high cards
Two-card royal flush, two high cards
Four-card straight, one gap, three high cards
Three-card straight flush, two gaps, one high card
Three-card straight flush, one gap, no high cards
Two high cards: unsuited (when you have three don't keep the
Two-card royal flush with 10 and no ace
One high card
Three-card straight flush, two gaps, no high cards
Nothing (draw five cards)
There are 52 cards in the deck of the 7's Wild
machine. Four of them are Wild cards, all four of them 7's.
Hence the name, 7's Wild.
The Payout Table:
No pair is worthy of a payout, neither are any two pairs.
The payouts begin with 3-of-a-kind and better. A straight
and a flush both pay double the bet, and a full house wins 3
times the bet.
The paytable reflects the
wild cards in the deck, and pays for 5-of-a-kind. It also
pays differently for 4 Wild cards (7's in this case), and
all other 4-of-a-kinds.
The Double Joker Poker machine uses a 54 card deck. The
deck contains 2 jokers, which are wild cards.
The Payout Table:
The payout table does not reward the player for any one
pair. Two pairs returns the bet. Three-of-a-kind doubles the
bet, and a straight returns triple.
The full house/flush ration on the machine is 5/4.
Four-of-a kind pays 8-to-1. Because the machine has wild
cards, you can hit a five-of-a-kind. There is also a
different set of payouts for hitting a natural Royal Flush,
or a Royal Flush with the aid of a wild card in the hand.
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