Video poker is a lot like slot machines. You are playing the computer dealer rather than other players. This means traditional poker strategies like bluffing are not going to work. You should also know that the video poker machines are largely based on draw poker, usually five card draw. Five card draw is a game in which you are dealt five cards then you can hold or trade any of those cards that you would like to. The cards you hold or trade should be based on the poker hands. If you are unfamiliar with poker hands then see the table we have included at the end of this article. Knowing these hands will help you to win.
The Royal Flush is the best hand you could have on a video poker machine. It is also the hardest hand to obtain. In a royal flush you need to have the ten through ace of a specific suit. So you would need the Ten of diamonds, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of diamonds in a royal flush. As long as the hand has all the same suit and is the ten through ace you have the royal flush. The royal flush payouts the best, but again the odds are against you, even when you have the four cards to the royal flush. There are certain times you need to break the hand up even when you have four of the cards to the royal flush. Most rules say never break up this hand just trade in the fifth card. However, if you have a winning hand in the five cards don't try for the royal flush. As we mentioned that is the hardest hand to get, even if you have the four cards. For example say you are playing Jacks or Better Video poker. The lowest hand that pays out is the pair of jacks. This is even money. Meaning if you put in 5 dollars for the machine you get five in winnings. It is better to take a sure thing than a hand that could lose.
For example say you have the ace, king, queen, and ten in the same suit and you have the five in the same suit. This is where you would trade the five out to try for the jack of that suit. You could lose, but on the other hand you don't have anything in that hand that will allow you to win without drawing again. You are opening the chance for at least a pair that will win.
So know the hands you are playing and then play your options. Always think about the winning hand that you have over the potential hand you might get if you sacrifice something else. If you have a non winning pair you can either scrap it or keep it to try for the three of a kind. Most strategist will tell you to keep the higher card and get rid of the low pair you have.
High to Low:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- 4 of a Kind
- Full house
- 3 of a kind
- Two pair
- Jacks or better