Video Poker Rules and Strategy

Video poker Glass
Video Poker is considered the best option for players because a large number of Poker machines retain only a small part of the money wagered. This basically means that with the correct strategy, the player has an opportunity of beating the machine.

The Video Poker machine is based around the game of Five-Card Draw, which is based on dealing five cards at random. A player is permitted to hold between all five and none of those cards. They are also given the opportunity to replace the ones they discard with new random cards.

Here is the universal value of Poker hands a player may get:

  • Royal Flush – It consists of five cards of the same suit in consecutive order from ace to 10

  • Straight Flush – This hand consists of five cards of the same suit in consecutive order

  • Four-of-a-Kind – Four cards that have the save value

  • Full House – It consists of Three-of-a-Kind plus a Pair

  • Flush – Five cards of the same suit

  • Straight – The hand is consistent of five cards of different suits but in consecutive order

  • Three-of-a-Kind – Three cards that have the same value

  • Two Pairs – The hand consists of two pairs

  • Pair – Includes one pair only (8 8 6 5 4)

The Machine

VideoPokerMachinePlaying Video Poker means that you will have to look at the machine’s screen, which must normally show the payout schedule, the number of the player’s credits available, the cards that have been dealt and the win that has been paid, if any.

The machines are normally placed in groups, or banks or carousels. They are usually group together in the same denomination of stake, and in groups of similar game variations.

Contemporary Video Poker machines feature touch-screen control for almost all functions, while some have buttons or both. Buttons are usually used by players to choose the number of coins they wish to bet per play, as well as to select the cards they want to hold. There is also a button, which is used to instruct the machine to deal or draw cards.

Most Video Poker machines also feature a slot where a player can insert your Slots Club card or loyalty card. The latter are used by the casino to calculate the number of benefits and bonuses that it can offer to premium and loyal players.

The standard machine is also equipped with a coin slots and not acceptors, which are situated on the front of the machine, usually to the right of the screen. The number of credits appears after the player inserts their coins or notes.

There is a variety of different types of Video Poker offered to play. There are also several denominations of the machine, including some variations according to the player’s location.

Video Poker Machine Strategy

All successful strategies should gravitate around the idea that the player’s real goal is to hit a Royal Flush, because this is the best hand a player may get, and brings the largest price, respectively.

A moderately ambitious strategy of play can bring you an extended playing time when backed up with some good sense. There are three golden rules that can apply to all Video Poker machines and can be helpful when it comes to increasing the chance of success.

  • Select a Video Poker Machine Carefully
    Choosing a Video Poker machine wisely can really make a difference when it comes to the outcome of your play. Make sure you check the entire casino atmosphere and the machines provided before coming out with individual strategy notes.
  • Play Maximum Coins
    This is a general rule, which has almost no exceptions. As a rule, the payout given by most machines is calculated by simply multiplying the number of coins played. A player should be also aware of the fact that the payout for the Royal Flush is different and gives the player a major advantage.
  • Bankroll Management
    Wise bankroll management is essential for a player who wants to generate profits. That is why you should start with making a decisions on the amount of bankroll for a session. It usually amounts to between 50 and 100 times your stake.

Remember not to add more money to your bankroll under any circumstances. Carefully consider whether to continue your play in case of losing your session bankroll. In case of a win, always make sure you set aside at least 50% of the profit. You can also try video poker on your phone.

You should also be ready to close your gaming session early in order to protect your bankroll in the best possible way. Ending the session early when generated a profit also provides the player with the opportunity to prepare for the next session.

Basic Strategy

Always hold a Royal Flush, a Full House, Four-of-a-Kind, Three-of-a-Kind, Straight Flush or two Pair and do not discard them. When holding Three-of-a-Kind, make sure you dispose of the two remaining cards.

When holding four cards to a Royal flush, break up a Flush or a Straight. Discard of the lowest card and take a chance for a better hand. Disposing the lowest card also gives you the chance to strike a Flush, a Straight, or a pair.

When holding a pair of Jacks, break it up in the cases when you hold four cards to a royal flush or four cards to a lower straight flush. Also, bear in mind that you should keep a low pair instead of holding only one high card.

Outs You Hold Hope to Make
2 A Pair Three of a Kind
4 Twoo Pairs Full House
4 Inside Straight Straight
8 Open-ended Straight Straight
9 Four Flush Flush
15 Straight & Flush Draw Straight / Flush +

Picking the Best Value Poker Machine

video-poker-machinesThe standard Video Poker machines that are most used in the industry are from the Jack or Better type. Such a machine holds no wild cards and deals cards from a new virtual 52-card deck for every hand.

Usually, a wild card is a card that can come as a substitution for any card required to make a winning hand and is usually a joker or a 2. When in Poker machines, the wild card is automatically used to make the most beneficial hand for the player.

Jacks or Better machine:

  • Jacks or Better (9/6)
    The jackpot for the Royal Flush does not occur in order, and the more coins are played, the larger the player’s win is. This is a great advantage for players and is also one of the main reasons why you should almost always play maximum coins at Video Poker.

    The so-called 9/6 machines offer to pay 9 coins for a Full House and 6 coins for a Flush, which has actually given them their name. This is also the maximum payment a player could hope for when it comes to these combinations.

  • Jacks or Better (8/5)
    These Poker Machines offer a less generous scale of prices. This is the reason why their payout is called Short Payback. The payout schedule has been reduced from nine and six coins respectively, to eight and five coins. This could be an important factor when choosing a machine, because the 8/5 machines give poorer prospects for the player than the 9/6 ones.

The machines also provide a Progressive Jackpot, which if higher, makes the lower wins for the Flush and the Full House acceptable. It is exactly the size of the Progressive Jackpot that you should check for when making a decision whether to invest money in such machines.

Also, always have in mind that even finding a really profitable-looking machine is not a sufficient condition for you to generate a win. Progressive Jackpots are not the only varieties of Jacks or Better Video Poker Machines. Some of these variations feature specific big hands like, for example, Four-of-a-Kind.

  • Bonus Poker Deluxe Jacks or Better (8/5)
    The large bonus in these types of machines is for any Four-of-a-Kind. The big bonus, however, is neutralized by the lower 8/5 payout. The payout schedule is attractive in case of hitting Four-of-a-Kind hand.
  • Double Bonus Jacks or Better (9/6)
    When it comes to generating a win from such machines, a player must hit a hand of Three-of-a-Kind or better. Such machines usually offer great payouts in case of Four-of-a-Kind, by raising to over six times the usual payout.
  • Double Bonus Jacks or Better (10/7)
    This type of machine offers relatively good payouts, especially considering the fact that a Straight is normally paid five coins, a Flush – seven coins and a Full House – ten coins.

What Is the Best Strategy for Jacks or Better Types of Machines

Every player needs to make a suitable strategy in order to improve their changes against the house. Here are a few tips that will make it easier for you, especially in case you are a beginner.

High rollers should take some time and learn different strategies
and make research to improve the odds in their favour, especially considering the fact they are usually playing at $5 machines or higher.

Choosing a machine that offers the best payout schedule for the game you want to play must be of paramount priority. Then, following a simple strategy will provide you with the best opportunity to make a winning hand.

Basic Strategy for Jacks or Better

Here is the order of priorities about holding and discarding cards:

  • If you hold a hand of Four of a Kind, a Straight Flush or a Royal Flush, you should hold these cards carefully. Do not get over excited, because you could make a mistake that costs you the entire hand. The same applies in case of a Three of a Kind, a Straight, a Flush or a Full House.
  • In case of a 4 to a Royal Flush, the player should discard the fifth card, even in the cases when it provides them with a paying combination. The same applies to the cases when the player holds 4 to a Straight Flush.
  • Remember to hold the following combinations: Two Pair, Pair – Jacks or better, 3 to a Royal Flush, 3 to a Straight Flush, 4 to a Flush, Low Pair – tens or lower, Two suited cards – Jacks or better, suited J10, Q10, K10, as well as one card, Jack or better.
  • If the player holds a hand of any two cards, Jack or higher and more than two cards are Jack or higher, they should hold the two lower cards.
  • In case of no winning hand, discard all five cards.

Hands with Rank 1:

Four of a Kind

Straight Flush

Royal Flush

Hands with Rank 2:

Four to a Royal Flush

Hands with Rank 3:

Three of a kind



Full House

Hands with Rank 4:

Four to a Straight Flush

Hands with Rank 5:

Two Pairs

Hands with Rank 6:

High Pair

Hands with Rank 7:

Three to a Royal Flush

Hands with Rank 8:

Four to a Flush

Hands with Rank 9:

Low Pair

Hands with Rank 10:

Four to an Outside Straight

Hands with Rank 11:

Four to an Outside Straight

Hands with Rank 12:

Three to a Straight Flush

Hands with Rank 13:

Two unsuited high cards (if more than tow, pick two lowest)

Hands with Rank 14:

Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K

Hands with Rank 15:

One high card

Hands with Rank 16:

Discard everything

Deuces Wild – Full Pay Machines

This type of machines normally provide an excellent chance for the player, who usually holds a long-term edge over the machine of 0.7%.

  • Deuces Wild (Full Pay)
    Some specialists say that players are normally paid the largest prices choosing this kind of machines. However, you must play the full five coins for each spins in order to get the largest benefit from an increased jackpot.

    Relatively low prices are given when a player strikes a Royal Flush or Five of a Kind with at least one wild card. When a total of four wild cards are added to the stack, rare hands such as Straight Flushes, Full Houses and Four-of-a-Kind usually start to occur more often.

  • Deuces Wild with Progressive Jackpot
    Deuces Wild can also be found with a Progressive Jackpot. Such machines also offer a great edge for the player, especially considering the fact that these machines are reset to the standard 4,000 coins after a jackpot.

    When it comes to Deuces with Progressive Jackpot (Full Pay), the payout for Four-of-a-Kind declines. On the other hand, the payouts for Full House and Flush normally increase. A second jackpot is usually paid by Four Deuces, but there is no bonus pay for maximum coins.

    In addition, the cases when no less than one wild card is included in Royal Flushes and Five-of-a-Kind, players are paid relatively low prices. Some of the more rare hands such as Straight Flushes, Four-of-a-Kind and Full Houses are more frequently hit in Four Deuces thanks to the addition of four wild cards into the stack.

  • The size of the Progressive Jackpot is the best reason for the player to consider whether to invest in a play at a certain machine, or not.

Deuces Wild Basic Strategy

Here is a simple strategy that will help you generate a profit:

  • When you hold four 2s (Deuces), dispose of your fifth card, which is irrelevant to the hand. In case you hold a Royal Flush with Deuces, hold all your cards but pay some extra attention. When holding a hand of three Deuces, make sure you discard your fourth and fifth cards. If you have a pair with your two deuces (Four-of-a-Kind), hold all cards.
  • You should also hold all cards in the cases when you hold two cards for Royal Flush, plus your two Deuces. The same applies to the cases when the player has two consecutive suited cards, plus your two Deuces. Do not discard your cards when holding a Full House.
  • When holding Trips, plus your Deuce, dispose of your fifth card. Make sure you do the same when holding three Royal Flush cards, plus the Deuce.
  • If the player holds three consecutive suited cards, plus two deuces, they should hold their cards. You should do the same also when holding any Paid plus a Deuce.
  • On the other hand, make sure you discard your 4th and 5th cards when holding two Royal Flush cards and a Deuce. Do not dispose of your cards when holding a Deuce only.
Cards Discard Strategy
4 Deuces Keep deuces
3 Deuces Keep deuces and discard remaining cards
(unless you have Fice of a Kind or a Royal Flush)
2 Deuces Keep deuces and discard remaining cards unless you have:
Royal Flush
Five of a Kind
Four of a Kind
Four cards to Royal Flush
Open-ended Stright Flush draw
1 Deuce Keep deuce and discard remaining cards unless you have:
Royal Flush
Five of a Kind
Four of a Kind
Full House
Open-ended Straight Flush draw
Three of a Kind
3 cards toward Royal Flush
3 consecutive cards toward Straight Flush
No Deuces Discard all cards unless you have:
Royal FLush
4 cards toward Royal Flush
Four of a Kind
Three of a Kind
Full House
Open-ended Straight FLush draw
3 cards toward Royal Flush
4 cards toward Flush
Open-ended Straight draw
3 consecutive cards toward Straight Flush
Any two suited card 10 or higher

Joker Wild (Full Pay)

There are different variations of Joker Wild, which is dealt from a single pack consistent of 52 cards. The 53rd card is a joker, which is considered as a wild card. This means that the card can be linked up with other cards in order to help the player form the best possible hand.

The payouts for Full House and Flush are relatively high. They, together with the Joker card (the Wild Card), aim to prolong your playing experience making it the most pleasurable as possible.

The mid-range hands are usually hit quite often, which combined with the fact that they are also relatively well-paid, will help players make benefit from their play. The largest bonus is given when the Royal Flush (without the Wild Card) is hit.

Joker Wild Basic Strategy

There are great variety of combinations available, based on the original-style Poker machine.

Here is a short guide that aims at helping players play their hand the best possible way:

  • In case the player holds Five-of-a-Kind, a Royal Flush, a Straight Flush, a Full House, or a Flush, they should keep their cards.
  • Make sure you discard your fifth card when holding a Three-of-a-Kind, plus joker or Three cards to Royal Flush, plus joker.

The following hands should be played in this order of priorities:

  • Three cards to Straight Flush, plus the Wild card
  • A Straight
  • A Pair plus the Wild Card
  • Two suited high cards, plus joker
  • Two suited cards, plus joker
  • Tree suited cards, plus joker
  • Four consecutive unsuited cards, which include the Wild Card
  • If the player holds a joker only, then they should discard the four remaining cards

Multi-Line Machines

acesandfacesvideopokerMulti-line Machines are developed as a great temptation for the players, who are supposed to make larger bets than the ones they might have initially planned. Such type of machines provide players with the opportunity to bet on multiple lines of action simultaneously.

The main advantage of these machines, which is found pretty attractive by most players, is that the base stake seems quite low, while the changes to win look relatively big. However, in fact, the chances of winning and losing are exactly the same as in the cases when you play a standard Online Poker game.

There is a great variety of Multi-line Poker machines. The difference between most of them is that the player is provided with the opportunity to choose multiple lines based on their original hold or draw decision.

The worst part of choosing such a machine is that you may suffer a large multiple line loss in case you cannot hold a winning hand. Always make sure you check the payout schedule in advance and consider the pros and cons.

Tips for Beginners

Here are several tips that will make it easier for you to get familiar with the Video Poker, especially if you are a beginner:

  • Play the maximum coins as often as you can. Video Poker machines always offer a bonus for the highest hand for five coins wagered.
  • Always bear in mind that the cards are randomly chosen when dealt and there is no way for the machine to be trying to trick you.
  • A Royal Flush hand does not depend on certain factors. It can come along at any time with equal probability.
  • Always check which machine is the most generous.
  • When using a slot club card, make sure you check on the connection regularly. Do not forget to check if the machine can read the card. When possible, always use a slot club card.
  • Make sure you check if a double-up feature is offered by a certain machine. This is considered one of the best bets for the players because they can be made with no house edge.
  • How to get started with Video Poker? It’s not that hard, actually. First, pick a game. The variation Jacks or Better are usually found easier by beginners. Then, try to make a strategy and practice.
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