Top Tips for Improving Your Video Poker Game
Here you'll learn everything you need to improve all aspects of your video poker game. Our experts have put this guide together to help you boost your bankroll, bet smarter and use all the resources available to you. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced player, there’s always more to learn about beating the video poker machine!
How You Can Beat Video Poker Machines
Beating a video poker machine is no easy task, but it can be done. Make sure you’re in with the best chance by following these four crucial video poker tips.
Video poker machines are all different, and they don’t pay out the same amounts for scoring hands. Take the time to look at paytables before you begin.
Bag the bonuses
Join online loyalty schemes or in-house slots clubs and claim bonuses wherever you can. This will add crucial funds to your bankroll and give you a better chance of winning.
Practice makes perfect
Use video poker trainers, video guides, and learn from cheat sheets and strategy charts. The more you know, the better your chances of success.
Learn about video poker strategy
Knowing what to moves to make and when to make them could see you rise to the top of the progressive jackpot records. So it’s important to read up on video poker strategy.
Video Poker Strategy
There are many different variations of video poker, online and off, so to say that one basic strategy guide applies to all games wouldn’t be fair. Depending on which cards are wild and the minimum hand you need to get paid out, what you need to hold and what you need to drop can vary.
For this basic strategy guide, let’s assume that you want to play Jacks or Better.
In this variation you’ll automatically win holding a pair of Jacks or anything better. Remember, you’ve got the opportunity to toss away cards that you don’t like. But knowing exactly what to keep and what to get rid of isn’t always easy.
There are some guaranteed winners that you’ll always hold onto. These are: royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind, or two pair. If you find that you’re close to making a royal flush, it’s worth dropping a card and going for it.
How to Use Strategy Charts
Video poker enthusiasts have created a range of strategy charts which quickly show you which moves to make in any given situation. Using them is easy. Find the hand you’ve been dealt in the left column and then the column on the right shows you how many cards you should keep or discard in that instance. For example, if you get four to a straight, you’ll want to keep four cards and discard one.
Of course, using a strategy chart is frowned upon at land-based casinos, so you’d need to memorize it before you head to the table. If you’re playing online though you’re free to refer to the chart whenever you wish.
|Hand you've been dealt||Cards to keep||Cards to drop|
|Hand you've been dealt Royal Flush||Cards to keep 5||Cards to drop 0|
|Hand you've been dealt Straight Flush||Cards to keep 5||Cards to drop 0|
|Hand you've been dealt Four of a Kind||Cards to keep 5||Cards to drop 0|
|Hand you've been dealt Full House||Cards to keep 5||Cards to drop 0|
|Hand you've been dealt Four to a Royal Flush||Cards to keep 4||Cards to drop 1|
|Hand you've been dealt Flush||Cards to keep 5||Cards to drop 0|
|Hand you've been dealt Three of a Kind||Cards to keep 3||Cards to drop 2|
|Hand you've been dealt Straight||Cards to keep 5||Cards to drop 0|
|Hand you've been dealt Four to a Straight Flush||Cards to keep 4||Cards to drop 1|
|Hand you've been dealt Two Pair||Cards to keep 4||Cards to drop 1|
|Hand you've been dealt High Pair||Cards to keep 2||Cards to drop 3|
|Hand you've been dealt Three to a Royal Flush||Cards to keep 3||Cards to drop 2|
|Hand you've been dealt Four to a Flush||Cards to keep 4||Cards to drop 1|
|Hand you've been dealt Low Pair||Cards to keep 2||Cards to drop 3|
|Hand you've been dealt Four to a Straight||Cards to keep 4||Cards to drop 1|
|Hand you've been dealt Three to a Straight Flush||Cards to keep 3||Cards to drop 2|
|Hand you've been dealt Two to a Royal Flush||Cards to keep 2||Cards to drop 3|
|Hand you've been dealt Two High Cards||Cards to keep 2||Cards to drop 3|
|Hand you've been dealt One High Card||Cards to keep 1||Cards to drop 4|
|Hand you've been dealt Nothing||Cards to keep 0||Cards to drop 5|
Hand calculators are known to give players the edge when taking on a video poker machine. These handy online tools take any guesswork out of video poker strategy. All you need to do is enter the hand you’ve been dealt into the calculator and it will tell you exactly which cards to keep and which to discard. It couldn’t be easier.
Study Cheat Sheets
Like strategy charts, video poker cheat sheets are there to tell you what moves to make in any given situation. The simple chart will show you how to play your next move no matter what hand you’ve been dealt. Look at the cheat sheet to find your hand and it’ll tell you what you should do with your cards. Remember, you won’t win any friends using these at a land-based casino, but no one can see you when you’re playing online, so you’re free to consult a cheat sheet as much as you like!
Understanding How to Bet in Video Poker
Understanding how to bet means you get better entertainment out of your video poker game and the best return on your buck. You'll beat the video poker machines by thinking clearly about the best way to bet, and the best times to do so. Here are a few of tips to think about.
If we could offer you one piece of advice that’s absolutely crucial when you play video poker, or any other online game for that matter, it’s this one. Never bet money you cannot afford to lose. If in doubt, consider a figure you could feasibly lose before you start playing and if you spend that amount stop playing immediately. Don’t chase losses in gambling.
Knowing When to Bet
If you’re chasing after progressive jackpots there’s an optimum time to bet, and it’s best to be aware of this. Progressive jackpots accumulate over time until a winner takes the pot. This means if you win shortly after someone else you won’t get a massive amount of money. It’s best to bide your time and wait until the jackpot reaches a considerable sum before you go for it.
Use Max Bet
It’s always worth using the max bet option when playing video poker. If you win, you’ll get a massive payout in comparison to what you would’ve won if you weren’t betting the max. If you can’t afford the max bet on one machine, switch to a lower cost machine where you can comfortably play the max bet.
Make Your Bankroll Last
Video poker is really entertaining and fun to play. If you want to keep the enjoyment coming for hours on end, just switch to a lower denomination game. That way your funds will stretch way further, and you won’t feel under pressure to stop playing because you’ve overspent.
Know Your House Edge
Video poker machines have a relatively low house edge, though this does tend to vary according to which casino you choose to play at. It’s well worth taking a look at the house edge of your chosen casino’s video poker games before you start playing. If you’re playing online, this information will be available on the website.
There is no one set house edge for all video poker games. Instead, you’ll find that different games have a different payout percentage. Look out for games with the highest payout percentage to give yourself the best chances of winning.
Tips for Maximizing Your Strategy
To perfect the use of your chosen strategy, you’ll need to invest plenty of time, and really make sure you know your numbers inside and out. Follow our tips on how to make the most of your strategy.
Try Free Games
Free games are a brilliant resource for those looking to hone their skills and see how a strategy works in real life. Almost all online casinos offer great free versions of video poker games, enabling players to play for fun or practice their craft as much as they wish.
See Which Strategy Works for You
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to video poker strategy. Some strategies work for some players, whilst others might prefer different options. Test out different strategies and find out which one works for you. Even if you find one strategy you like, you still might need to be flexible and switch between a few of your favorite strategies during a game.
Watch Strategy Videos
The internet has a wealth of great strategy resources which you can tap into. Video poker strategy videos are incredibly useful tools for those looking to learn more about how to beat the video poker machines. Watch a few videos and take notes on the best way to maximize your chances when you next play for real money online.
Use a Video Poker Trainer
Video poker trainers are online tools which will enable you to learn how to play video poker. You can opt to download a video poker trainer app, or you might choose to use a web browser version. In each case, the trainer will enable you to learn which moves to make and when, putting you in good stead for your next game.
Trustworthy Software Providers
There are a few big name software providers responsible for the absolute best video poker machines that you can play online. We always recommend that you stick to reputable, trustworthy software providers to ensure that your video poker experience is a great one.
Top software providers to look out for include Microgaming, PlayTech, and RTG
If you opt for the best software providers in the industry, you’ll be assured of excellent graphics, with slick, speedy gameplay. Alongside getting a fun, exciting game, you’ll know that what you’re playing is fair and completely random.
Video Poker at Land-Based Casinos
Land-based casinos offer a huge range of video poker machines with varying denominations. Whether you’re a big spender or you like to spend more moderate sums of money at the casino, you’ll be able to find a video poker machine that suits your budget. Here are a few factors you’ll need to be aware of when you play video poker at a casino.
Slot Player Clubs
When you play at a land-based casino, you’ll likely have the option of joining something called a ‘slot player club’. Like a loyalty scheme, these clubs reward loyal customers and big spenders with various special deals and promotions.
If you can, it’s definitely worth joining a slot player club to get some return for the money you spend playing video poker. Club members receive a plastic card which can be inserted into the machine when you play to track your spending. This will tell the casino roughly how much you wager per hour. It will not affect your chances of winning in any way.
Know Your Machine
Video poker machines are simple to use, and very like online video poker in their gameplay. The game begins when you insert a coin/coins. You’ll then need to tell the machine how much you want to bet. We recommend you stick to max bet, and hit the max bet button. Then hit deal next and the machine will give you five cards.
Once you’ve looked at your cards, you’ll decide which ones you want to keep and which you want to discard. Beneath each card you’ll see a ‘hold’ button. Hit that for all the cards you want to keep. Then click on draw to discard your unwanted cards and take a look at the replacements. At this point, you’ll be paid according to how much you wagered initially, and what the paytable of your chosen game is. Different machines pay out different amounts for scoring poker hands.
Familiarity is Key
When you bet real money at a land-based casino, it’s best to stick with what you know. Don’t be tempted to spend money playing games you’re not familiar with, and always choose a video poker machine that offers a variation of the game that you know well.
Think About Returns
Before you play, always take a look at the video poker machine’s paytable. Video poker machines all pay out different amounts for different scoring hands, so it’s worth taking the time to check the paytable of a machine and ensuring you’re at a high-paying one before you get started.
Ready to Play?
Now you’ve heard from the experts you understand how to beat video poker machines. You’ve also got a head full of unstoppable video poker strategies. It must be time to put this newfound knowledge to the test. Check out our top rated video poker games right now!