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Video Poker Strategy

Video Poker Strategy
by Marilee of Predictem.com

There are dozens of video poker games available. This is a list of some of the favorite styles of video poker.

Deuces Wild: This is one of the most popular games for beginners and a favorite of regular players alike. The biggest reason is because you get a little more play time for your buck. Four deuces is worth $250 on a quarter machine with max coins bet. The royal is less common because there are four deuces in the deck as well. A royal with deuces is known as a “dirty royal” and is worth significantly less. Always play a machine that pays 125 coins for a wild royal on a max bet. You will see machines reduced to a 100 coin payout. Avoid them. Look for machines that pay 20 on a four of a kind or a full house. Again, many machines will reduce the paytable so that a full house is only 15. Avoid those machines. Do not play machines where a five-of-a kind pays less than 75 with max coins bet. Throw away hands that contain nothing of significance. This will be the case on most of the hands you are dealt.

Variations of Deuces Wild: There are many. Check the paytables to see how each one is different from the standard variety. Some machines will have increased payouts for 5 of a kinds, such as 3s through 5s are 200 credits for max coins bet or 100 for everything but aces. Five aces are usually at 400 for max coins bet. In these games you generally get 1000 for deuces like the original but a bonus for four deuces with an ace, which will be double the deuces without an ace. The paytables of a full house and flush are most likely reduced on these variations with higher payouts at the top. It is your choice – decide how lucky you feel.

Deuces Wild

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Basic Rules for Draw Poker Games:

If the machine pays more at the top, there is most likely a reduced paytable on lower paying hands. Weigh the pros and cons when making your choice.

Always keep two pair. Draw Poker and Jacks or Better and maybe Bonus Deluxe will have a payout at twice your bet for two pair. In other words, you play 5 coins and receive 10 coins back on two pair. Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker and variations on those games will only pay one to one on two pair. In other words, you play 5 coins and receive 5 coins back on two pair. It is still more likely to deal into a full house than it is to deal into four-of-a-kind. The exception here is when aces have a higher payout. On Double Bonus you get 800 coins on max coins bet for four aces rather than 400 for 2s, 3s, and 4’s or 250 for 5s through Ks. On Double Double Bonus you get the same 800 or a whopping 2000 on aces with a 2, 3, or 4. This is called a “kicker.”

Let’s talk about “kickers.” Anytime a jackpot hand is doubled by the addition of another designated card, we call that extra card a “kicker.” Your play should be modified to take this into account. However, don't let the kicker mislead you into poor paying habits. Some people have an urge to keep a kicker card with a pair… I mean after all, there are just so many aces in the deck and isn't it better to keep it when you have it? The answer is probably not. For example, you are playing Double Double Bonus Poker, you are dealt three twos and an ace and a king. Will you keep the twos only? Four twos is worth 400 coins on max coins bet, four twos with a kicker (the ace) is worth 800 coins on max coins bet. It is more likely to get the fourth two if you have two chances rather than one. Keep the three twos and throw out both the king and the ace. Better to have twice the chance at 400 than half the chance at 800. Over time, this is a better playing habit. NEVER throw away a full house in an attempt to get four-of-a-kind. If you have three aces and two kings, do not throw away those kings in an attempt to get four aces. Over time, you will recognize the value of taking all the full houses you can get. If you do succumb to the temptation, don't beat yourself up, you still have three aces.

Always keep three to the royal unless you have a payable hand. In other words, you are dealt the J, Q, K of hearts with a two and a three. Always keep the three royal hearts. If you are dealt the J, Q, K of hearts with a jack of spades and a queen of clubs, keep the two pair.

The exact same rule will apply to a straight flush. It is common for occasional players to forget about the straight flush and not even recognize it when it comes around. This is the weird hand in the casino. It is nearly as rare as a royal flush, but where the royal pays 4000 on max coins bet, a straight flush only pays 250 (the same as a low four-of-a-kind). Still, watch for three to a straight flush and NEVER let a draw containing FOUR of a straight flush go unnoticed. They are a thrill when they appear however they are a heartbreaker when you hold the 10, J, Q, and K of hearts and draw in the 9 of hearts.

Machines do not have tendencies but people do. All the machines are basically the same and random. If you believe your machine doesn't do flushes or four-of-a-kinds, you are probably being impatient or having a losing streak yourself. To satisfy you, see if the machine next door deals something better. You should only switch machines if you feel like it. Sounds simple? Many people will give you some sort of superstition on this subject. If it sounds right to you, go for it.

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