Video Poker Strategy

Video poker is hugely popular on online casinos. In this article, we’ll help you understand how you can play better thanks to a helpful video poker strategy, and how you can beat video poker machines.

Learn the Rules of Video Poker

Playing video poker is very straightforward.

There are many variants of video poker to be found, yet they all have one thing in common: they’re all based on the simple mechanics of the classic five-card draw poker.

Video poker uses the standard 52-card deck.

After you have made your wager and press the “Deal” button, the machine randomly gives you five cards.

It would be best if you chose which cards to keep and which ones to throw away. To keep them, tap on your chosen cards on the screen.

Once you have made your decision on your hand, press the “Draw” button for the machine to replace the discarded cards randomly.

Your winning is based on finishing with a great poker hand such as a straight, flush, two pairs, or if you are lucky enough – a royal flush.

Bear in mind that the amount that you win on every hand depends on the poker value of your current hand and the posted pay table of the machine you are playing at.

One of the vital things to know on how to beat video poker is that you must make wise decisions on which of your dealt five cards to keep and which to get rid of.

Video Poker Strategy

The severest mistake that you can make in your quest to beat the video poker machine is to attempt to play by just guessing.

You will lose a lot of money very quickly on a simple game that will give you a great shot at winning.

Remember that having the right skills on top of using the optimum video poker strategy will not only give you a better chance of winning at the machine, but you will also reap the benefits that come with winning, such as comps that are set aside for the casino’s best players.

Remember that you should also thoroughly practice on your computer before risking real money on a real video poker machine.

Choosing the Right Pay Table

When playing video poker, the machine shows you the expected return you can expect before you begin to play.

Therefore, you must do your research to find the best video poker machines that offer good pay tables.

To find the most profitable machine, you should understand that the return on a video poker machine is entirely based on the specific machine’s pay table.

For instance, online casinos average a profit of around 3% on each play of a video poker game. This is known as the house edge.

If the Casinos get 3%, you as the player will get a return of 97%, which will vary depending on the machine’s pay table.

That is why you need to check out multiple machines and their pay tables before playing video poker.

For example, you massively increase your chances of beating a video poker machine if you choose a machine with a pay table that offers a 99.5% return than if you pick a video poker machine that provides a 97.5% return.

In other words, the 99.5% machine only keeps 0.5% house edge while the 97.5% machine keeps 2.5%.

Choosing 99.5% is the better option as it offers close to full pay-out.

On the contrary, you will lose your bankroll almost six times faster if you play on the 97.5% machine.

No doubt, looking for a better machine will pay out better.

Slow Down The Play

Like all casino games, you should remember that video poker is designed for one primary purpose – to make a profit for the casino.

Either way, the more you play video poker, the more you will typically lose.

Therefore, it is advisable to apply what we call the “slow-down strategy” when you are playing Jacks or Better.

Other players will chase you, and nobody will call the timer if you take time to decide what cards to keep. On top of that, you can play and have a break anytime you want.

The key is not to rush and not to play for quantity. Video poker is a gambling game where the higher the number of your hands, the higher the chances of losing your money.

If you play poker regularly, you know that the key to being a winning player is “to play fewer hands”. Video poker is different.

In video poker, you do not need to play fewer hands – you need to play hands slower instead.

This will help you in lowering your hourly losses, hence allowing you to play at the machine longer and increase your chances to land a royal flush or put together a sizeable bankroll.

Even though this is common sense, many video poker players often ignore this basic gambling principle and lose a lot of money within a brief period.

Things That You Need To Avoid

And now, a few simple tips you need to follow to win at video poker online.

  • The Kicker: When you are playing Jacks or Better video poker online, you should always avoid the blunder of retaining a kicker. Many gamblers mistakenly think that keeping a kicker will give them a higher chance to win, but it doesn’t.
  • The Straight or Flush. It would help if you never attempted to keep three cards to chase a flush or a straight. Keeping three cards with the expectation of grabbing a straight or a flush will only leave you in a losing place.

The only time that you keep all the three cards is when you can potentially pull off the valuable straight flush in an attempt at going after the big pay-out.


Playing video poker games, mainly Jacks or Better video poker, is one of the best choices you could make when you log in to an online casino.

Video poker games come with a variety of options and features that not only make them a quality alternative to traditional slot machines but also give gamblers a real shot at winning big.

About Kris

Kris Hunt is a content editor with over 7 years experience. Kris is an expert on all matters iGaming & sports in the USA. Kris is an Arsenal & Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow Kris on Twitter or on LinkedIn.