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Video Poker Strategy 2020

How to win in Video Poker

Welcome back to captaingambling. Are you a fan of Video Poker machines? Or are you exploring new opportunities and options to have a good time playing online? Either way, you definitely should check out this piece, and also our article on online casino strategies (Are there Online Casino Strategies and can they help?) You'll end up refreshing some of the basics if you're one of our professional readers or trainers, or learning a lot of tips to increase your chances of winning from the very start.

There are many versions of Video Poker machines rolling out there in online casinos, and these are the most popular

  • Jacks or Better, also known as "Draw Poker"
  • Joker Poker, commonly referred to as "Jokers Wild"
  • Aces and Eights, the "Dead Man's Hand"
  • Deuces Wild, a popular variant.

Choose any of these games and apply the correspondent strategy to see for yourself how your earnings increase just by not making basic mistakes, like the ones we point out in other articles such as Blackjack Strategy: How to win in Blackjack, and Craps Strategy: How to win in Craps!

Video Poker Strategies: The Top 3 Strategies explained

Video Poker machines enthusiasts often refer to the fact that they're better than slots. They claim that slots are based entirely on luck when Video Poker allows for statistical management and decision-making. We have proven in our article Online Slot Strategy: How to win in Online Slots (Online Slot Strategy: How to win in Online Slots) that there are strategies when it comes to designing your betting options and other considerations, but the truth remains that Video Poker is largely more flexible when it comes to players' involvement. There are several charts and odds calculators available online. Join us in having a look at the most popular video poker strategies.

Jacks or Better: The best option for beginners

This is one you'll find in almost every US casino. The game's strategy we're addressing here is for the 9/6 Jacks or Better variation of the game, which means the payout chart establishes that the machine pays Fulls 9 to 1 and 6 to 1 on a flush. This option is infrequent at brick and mortar casinos but can be found rather frequently online.

The following strategy chart is designed to keep the house's advantage at 0.79%. There are other strategies in different games that might even reduce that percentage, but when learning how to win in video poker this is an excellent way to start. Not many casino games offer this desirable advantage. These are the actions you're supposed to take to improve your chances at Jacks or Better 9/6, in this particular order:

  • Hold on to any 2 pairs or better combination
  • The only exception is aiming for a Royal Flush with 4 cards
  • Hold on to 4 cards straight flush
  • Hold on to any pair of JQKA
  • Hold on to any 3 cards for a royal flush, if they're not a winning combination
  • Hold on to any 4 cards when you're one short from a flush
  • Hold on to any pair lower than JQKA
  • Hold on to any 4-cards straight draw
  • Hold on to any unsuited AKQJ
  • Hold on to any 2 suited 10JQKA
  • Hold on to any 3 cards aiming for a straight flush
  • Hold on to any unsuited JQK
  • Hold on to any 2 unsuited 10JQKA
  • Hold on to any JQK if there's a suited 10
  • Hold on to any 10JQKA
  • Last resort: draw an entirely new hand

Joker Poker

You should know that some Video Poker machines have a built-in feature called "Auto-hold" that automatically selects the best cards for you. Now, if you're starting in this business that would be an excellent feature for you to consider. Let's have a look at one of our staff's favorite at captaingambling: The Joker Poker. Try to find the 7/5 version, since it offers better odds for players.

As the name suggests, there's going to be a Wild Card. That means that if you get 4, 7, 8, Q, Joker, you have a pair of Queens. Anticipating the appearance of the wilds is a lot of fun, and this is the main reason this game's become so popular. Let's visit the top 13 actions to take when holding a Joker:

  • Keep any pat royal flush
  • Keep 5 of a kind
  • Keep 4 of a kind and lose the fifth card
  • Keep 4 to a wild royal flush (with the king)
  • Keep a full house
  • Keep 4 to a wild royal flush (with the ace)
  • Keep 4 to a straight flush with no gaps (don't include A23 or 234)
  • Keep flush
  • Keep 4 when aiming for a straight flush without gaps
  • Keep 3 of a kind
  • Keep a straight
  • Keep 4 when aiming for a flush
  • Keep 4 when aiming for a straight flush without gaps

Now, when you're not holding a Joker, these would be the top eight decisions:

  • Keep any pat royal flush
  • Keep 4 to a natural royal flush
  • Keep 4 of a kind
  • Keep a full house
  • Keep flush
  • Keep 4 to a straight flush
  • Keep 3 of a kind
  • Keep a straight
  • Keep 3 when aiming for a natural royal flush (including K or Q)
  • Keep 2 pairs
  • Keep 3 when aiming for a natural royal flush to Ace High
  • Keep a pair of A's or K's
  • Keep 4 when aiming for a flush

Did you notice the slight and significant differences? You're going to have to memorize a few more lines on each scenario to lower the house's edge if you're hitting the casino floor, or you can play from home and follow our advice. Playing remotely is something great when you're practicing on how to win in video poker, don't you think?

Entering the realm of a Dead Man's Hand: Aces & Eights

Playing the full pay version of this game has slightly better odds for you than the Jacks or Better strategy, an outstanding 99.78%. 4 of a kind will pay 25:1, as long as is not AAAA, 8888, or 7777; a Full House pays 8:1; and the Flush pays 5:1. Go with the following strategy, always betting five coins as usual.

  • Retain 4 of a kind, royal or straight flush
  • Retain 4 cards to a royal flush
  • Retain 3 of a kind, to a straight, flush, or full house
  • Retain 4 cards to a straight flush
  • Retain two pairs
  • Retain high pair when is Jacks or Better
  • Retain 3 cards aiming for a royal flush
  • Retain 4 cards to a flush
  • Retain low pair
  • Retain 4 cards to a straight
  • Retain high suited card(s)
  • Retain 3 cards aiming for a straight flush
  • Retain 2 unsuited high cards
  • Retain suited high cards 10K, 10Q or 10J
  • Retain J, Q, K, or Ace
  • Get rid of the 5 cards

Also, keep in mind that you shouldn't break a winning hand. The only case for doing that is holding four cards aiming for a Royal Flush.

If only there was a place to practice...

Register now at one of our featured casinos to enjoy your training sessions! You would have a chance to play for free and see for yourself how these techniques work before risking your money. As much as these strategies are a little bit more complicated than in other games, like Roulette (Roulette Strategy: How to win in Roulette), or Baccarat (Baccarat Strategy: How to win in Baccarat), it is compensated by the fact that their RTP is significantly higher than other games. We'll be happy to help you become a human video poker calculator if that's what you're after!

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Video Poker machines: a fascinating game to explore
Only a genius could memorize more than two and a half million outcomes of cards and know exactly what to do when receiving them, according to the variation of the game. Having certain training in how to win in video poker and by applying specific strategies, one can master the decision-making process when it comes to asking or retaining cards before the last deal. Have these strategy instructions at hand and begin your journey in captaingambling for free, and surrounded by experts. Let's get it on!

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