Video Poker Strategy
Imagine playing Jacks or Better with the goal of getting 10s or
worse. Any video poker machine will oblige you to play this wacky
game. Of course it won't pay on the "winning hand”, just
"losing" ones. And you will occasionally "lose."
You could even "lose" holding a royal flush. Our 10s-or-worse
game is an extreme example of how a strategy affects the probability
of seeing any particular hand. The royal flush becomes less likely
but is not impossible.
The best video poker strategies balance potential profits from
every hand with the probability of winning any particular hand.
In some cases pat hands are sacrificed for possible better ones.
In other situations it's the reverse. The resulting strategies are
sometimes bizarre and run counter to everything a person learns
playing traditional poker. Yet they work. Unfortunately every change
in a pay table requires a change in strategy, so every game has
a unique system of optimal play. A classic Jacks-or-Better approach
used on a Deuces Wild Machine, Joker Poker, or even another Jacks-or-Better
game with a different pay table can result in poorly played hands
and fewer wins. Some strategies are nearly identical. Some are radically
different. That's something to keep in mind if you choose to play
an unfamiliar game. Don't risk too much of your bankroll.
Here you'll find links to strategy charts we feature here on Video
Poker Play. We've included the strategy charts for Jacks or Better
9/6 strategy, Double Bonus Poker (Jacks or Better) strategy and
Joker Poker Strategy.
Hunches and Winning:
Most video poker hands are losers. It is unfortunate, but strategy
doesn't change this. The machine regularly wins nearly 60 percent
of the time. Add in the hands that are a push and you're only ahead
about 1 in 4 contests. High pay machines can be even stingers. You'll
lose a lot before you win more.
Some players become frustrated with all the losing, so they abandon
strategy and begin playing hunches. This is absolutely wrong from
a mathematical point of view (but I disagree with people who say
it should never be done). Playing a hunch is perfectly ok. Just
realize that you are paying for the pleasure of making a guess.
You might win, but on average, you are more likely to lose. If you
can live with that then by all means do what you "feel".
Remember it's absolutely possible to throw away all five cards and
still get a royal flush.