Video Poker Strategy

So, you love playing video poker? Well, we are completely with you on that one as this an exciting and entertaining game – based on traditional five-card draw poker – which offers one of the smallest house edges in the casino, meaning players have the opportunity to win even more! However, how can you play poker to win big?

Although there is nothing wrong with relying on your sheer luck, you can definitely increase your chances of winning by employing proven video poker strategies. Video poker – whether in brick-and-mortar or online casinos – is one of the few games that you can actually beat for a very small investment.

You have more control in video poker as your decisions on how to play your hands (i.e. by holding or folding your cards) will ultimately determine the amount of winnings you are going to take home. These strategies, though, are actually quite complex and it takes some good memorization skills to benefit from them. Here is a closer look at each:

Jacks or Better Strategy

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details about this strategy, it is a good idea to know what is the average payout scale for various hands on a Jacks or Better machine:

  • Jacks or Better: 1
  • Royal Flush: 800
  • Two Pair: 2
  • Straight Flush: 50
  • Three of a Kind: 3
  • Flush: 6
  • Four of a Kind: 25
  • Straight: 4
  • Full House: 9

Of course, you would want to obtain a hand with the highest value. After all, that is where the big money can be made. However, let’s face it - aiming to construct the best possible hand for yourself isn’t always easy!

The Jacks or Better Strategy revolves around a simple decision: keeping up to five of your cards, or discarding them to receive new ones. At times, though, your choice is made easy - for instance, if you were dealt ‘four of a kind’, you really would not want to swap any of those cards, with the exception of the fifth.

However, things may not always be so straightforward. Let’s suppose, for instance, that your five-card hand has a face card, such as a King, and includes a pair of 3s. While holding onto that pair will ensure a payout, keeping the King and discarding your other four cards would actually give you a higher average payout.

In the end, it’s the decisions you make that will get you close to even odds with the machine, and give yourself the best possible chance to win in video poker.

Deuces Wild Strategy

The strategy for Deuces Wild is pretty much the same as Jacks of Better. However, the fact that all the deuces (the 2s) are wild cards adds an extra layer to the game. If you aren’t dealt any 2s, the game fundamentally remains the same. However, once you bring a 2 into the mix, things may end up getting a little crazy.

If you are dealt five 2s, you would obviously want to keep them all as this creates a payout for a five of a kind. If you get three 2s, on the other hand, you are generally better off keeping them, if you are not dealt a royal flush. Things tend to get more complicated, though, when you are dealt either one or two 2s.

The following are the cards you should hold when you have deuces in your hand:

One Deuce:

Joker Wild Strategy

The strategy for Joker Wild and Deuces Wild Poker are quite similar. The only key difference is that there are four deuces and just two Jokers in a standard deck of cards. As you can probably guess, this means that your ROI isn’t going to be as strong as in Deuces Wild. However, the infrequency at which the Jokers turn up does make the game more interesting.

If a Joker doesn’t show up in your five-card hand, however, you should refer to the table above for Deuces Wild, and follow that to the letter. This is because when you aren’t dealt a Joker, it’s as if you are playing a regular game of Jacks or Better.

Double Bonus Strategy

The Double Bonus Strategy is quite similar to Jacks or Better, but there’s a little twist: A, 2, 3 and 4 cards have a slight extra value. You can get real specific with your hand preferences, but if you already have the Jacks or Better table memorized or table handy, you would be better off giving hands that feature multiple A, 2, 3, or 4 cards a bump up.

Final Word

And that’s about it! If you are looking to win good money by playing video poker, then you should try the aforementioned strategies.

In video poker, it all really comes down to making the right decisions, and if you are able to do that successfully, the house advantage becomes considerably low. In some cases, it can even end up being in the player’s favor.

Therefore, once you have a good understanding of these strategies and apply them in the correct manner, your chances of going home with a big win will increase considerably!

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