In video poker, only 21% of the hands dealt
are winning hands of Jacks or better and 79% are downright
dogs. Herein lies the difference between the winning and losing
player: what you do with those 79% of the hands that need
to be groomed into winning greyhounds. The best way to give
yourself the greatest chance of victory at video is to read,
absorb, embrace and pledge allegiance to these playing tips.
1. Seek out Jacks or better machines that pay
9 coins for a full house and six coins for a flush.
2. If you decide to play a progressive video
poker machine that pays 8 coins for a full house and 5 for
a flush, play on a progressive where the jackpot is over $250
on a nickel machine, $2,500 on a quarter, and $10,000 for
3. Always bet the maximum amount of coins on
a progressive machine to get the bonus for royal flushes.
4. If you are a novice player, play on the lowest
denomination machine until your level of expertise rises.
5. If your casino offers it, use a casino slot
card to get credit for your play. You might as well get a
return as a comp benefit for your play on their video poker
machines. Be sure to ask how many points you will receive
per dollar played, and then find out what those points are
worth in comps. This will help you shop for better value on
6. Take your time to study every hand. Because
you are playing against a machine, no one will intimidate
you if your play is too slow.
7. All hail the Jack! Some players don't realize
the ace is not the most important card in the deck, but the
Jack is. Holding the Jack over the ace gives you more opportunities
of making more lucrative hands than an ace would.
8. There are more than a hundred different video
poker machines to choose from. Games like Joker Poker, Louisiana
Jacks, Gator Poker, etc. offer you a supermarket selection,
but all have different pay-tables needing distinct playing
strategies. I recommend learning and limiting your play to
two, such as Deuces Wild and Jacks-or-Better.
9. Acquire video poker skills using either
a computer or a hand-held video poker game. The major benefit
of this type of training is the ability to test you skills
with no financial risk or ruin. You can gather data later
review, enabling you to nix trends that would be costly on
a video poker machine. This information would take you years
to accumulate under normal casino conditions. And again, the
key here is that any knowledge obtained without a casino outlay
lets you net out better down the road.
And now, some playing strategies.
1. First, Never keep a kicker with any pair.
Holding a kicker to any pair reduces your return by 5%.
2. Never draw four cards if you can draw three
to a royal flush.
3. Always keep five-card winning pat hands with
on exception: if you can, draw one card to a royal.
4. Don't break a flush even if you can draw
one to a straight flush, but
5. Always break a flush to draw to a royal.
6. Never break a straight to draw to a straight
7. Never draw five if you have a jack or better,
8. Don't keep a ten for a four-card draw.