Rules and Strategy

Video Poker: Switching your strategy by game type

When playing poker it’s a given that you need to have a good strategy. It is also important to play the variant you are best at. There are often players who are very good at a certain kind of poker game but who never vary their playing style. Why is this? It’s because they know that there are numerous usable strategies although these strategies change according to the type of poker game being played at the time.

It is always advisable to employ a particular strategy even when you’re not playing against other players. You must remember that in video poker, the computer represents the house and that you will never be able to lower its rating due to the simple fact that the machine is based on a computer programme which draws cards by chance using advanced algorithms. Therefore when playing video poker your only course of action is your ability to use effective strategies.

Choosing the variant to study

There are a number of different video poker machines available to you. That’s the reason why it’s important to know at least one type of machine inside out before you start playing. You could start learning by using ‘Five Card Draw’ which is one of the most widely available video poker machines on the market. Next you need to learn how payment tables work for the game, ensuring you win the largest amount of cash possible when you land that winning hand. This step is important because payment tables differ from one casino to the next. Some are valid for only one set of cards while others are valid for multiple sets. In a nutshell, it is vital for you to know the characteristics of different machines thoroughly.

Always choose the best offer

Once you know a little more about all the variants of video poker, you’ll be able to decide which to play. Most players choose ‘Jacks or Better’ when starting out in order to maximise their chance of winning. Sometimes a simple pair is enough to win the jackpot for the game. However, the variants which require two pairs or three of a kind will make things more difficult for you. Manipulating the offer in order to ensure you win as often as possible will benefit you greatly. If you notice that you keep losing on a certain machine just leave it and choose another.

Verifying different machine options

‘Jacks or Better’ and ‘Five Card Draw’ are the best video poker games for beginners. It’s important to be able to take a look at the different options available while aiming to make as much profit as possible. Before starting, you must choose a machine that allows you to bet as much as you want or can afford to. In other words it’s no use betting $1 when all you have is 50 cents. There are low stakes games as well as high stakes games and both are equally accessible. Their principles are always the same, the more money you bet over time the greater your chances of winning. This is the way the winning table works and it’s necessary to bet the required sum in order to win a large jackpot.

When to keep or throw cards

It is important to know what cards are worth keeping and those which aren’t. Keeping the right cards means knowing if they can win you money or not. For example, if you have an Ace, King, Jack, 10 and a 5, you should throw the 5 and keep the other four. Why? Because you have the potential to make a Straight or if they’re suited even a Royal Flush. On the other hand, if you have a 3, 3, 10, Jack and a 5 you would keep the 3’s in order to form three of a kind, four of a kind or even 2 pair.

Some simple strategies for video poker

We will now take a closer look at some basic play strategies for ‘Jacks or Better’ and ‘Deuces Wild’. They are the two most popular and widely used variants of all video poker machines. They are also the most convenient since they are known for yielding the biggest jackpots.

‘Jacks or Better’: Basic Strategy

  • Keep your hand in the event of a royal flush, straight flush, 4 of a kind or full house.
  • If you have four cards leading to a royal flush, exchange a card to obtain the one you wish to have.
  • If you have four cards for a straight flush, replace those which are of no use to you.
  • If you already have three of a kind, exchange the remaining cards.
  • If you have two pairs, throw the last card.
  • If you have a pair or two valuable cards such as a King, Queen, Jack or an Ace, throw your three remaining cards.

‘Deuces Wild’: Basic Strategy

  • Be sure to always keep any potential winning hands you might have.
  • In the case of 4 of a kind or a straight flush, throw the card.
  • Throw two cards if you have three cards for a royal flush.
  • If you have two pairs, throw the weaker pair or exchange three cards.
  • Be sure to keep any potential winning hands and a Deuce if you have them.
  • If you have three Deuces, be sure to exchange the two other cards.
  • If all you have are Deuces exchange the weakest and keep the strongest.
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