VIDEO POKER STRATEGY

It is not enough to just know the payback of a video poker machine. In order to achieve the maximum return you must play the game using a set mathematical strategy. The key is to discard in a manner that gives you the highest expectation of winning. Using such a strategy will give you the best chances of winning in the long run.

It is very important that you learn the strategy for each game and play them correctly. Making a few mistakes in strategy when playing can increase the house edge against you. Each video poker game has its own strategy. For example you can not use the strategy for Jacks or Better when playing Deuces Wild.

The game that you should learn first is Jacks or Better. Most of the other games are variations of this one.
...Please relax! You don't have to read a whole library..

You should learn just how to use video poker strategy cards. The process is fairly simple, but may not be obvious at first. Remember, the following video poker strategy cards are based on Full-pay versions of the machine that they reference.

The strategy card will list a number of poker hands from top to bottom. To use video poker strategy cards, fire up your game and take a look at the hand you've been dealt. Start comparing this hand to the hands on the strategy card, starting from the top, working your way down. The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep. Keep the combination of cards that match the strategy card listing, discard the rest, and you've just used your professional video poker strategy!

Now, practice makes perfect, so you can learn to make each decision without referencing your strategy card.

The perfect game to start practicing your first proper video poker strategy is full-pay Jacks or Better. It has a very straightforward strategy and shouldn't leave you with many questions.

Below you will find abbreviated playing strategies for the most common types of video poker machines found in casinos today.

 
VIDEO POKER STRATEGY CARDS



9/6 Jacks or Better                     Double Double Bonus Poker

8/5 Jacks or Better                     Joker Poker Kings or Better

7/5 Jacks or better                     Joker Poker Two Pairs or Better

6/5 Jacks or Better                     Deuces Wild Poker

Double Bonus Poker

9/6 JACKS OR BETTER STRATEGY CARD

Below is a proper basic strategy chart for a video poker machine with a minimum payout for a pair of Jacks or Better which pays 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush.

Remember.The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep.

Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Royal
5 0 Full House
5 0 Flush
3 2 3 of a Kind
5 0 Straight
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
4 1 Two Pairs
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
2 3 Pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces
3 2 3 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Flush
4 1 Ten, Jack, Queen and King any suit
2 3 Low Pair - Two through Ten
4 1 4 Card Straight - sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - sequential order
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - non sequential order
2 3 2 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential - 3 high cards
3 2 3 High Cards - Ten through Ace
2 3 2 High Cards - Ten through Ace
1 4 1 High Card - Ten through Ace
0 5 Nothing

8/5 JACKS OR BETTER STRATEGY CARD

Below is a proper basic strategy chart for a video poker machine with a minimum payout for a pair of Jacks or Better which pays 8 coins for a full house and 5 coins for a flush.

Remember.The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep.

Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Royal
5 0 Full House
5 0 Flush
3 2 3 of a Kind
5 0 Straight
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
4 1 Two Pairs
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
2 3 Pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces
3 2 3 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Flush
4 1 Ten, Jack, Queen and King any suit
2 3 Low Pair - Two through Ten
4 1 4 Card Straight - sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - sequential order
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - non sequential order
2 3 2 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential - 3 high cards
3 2 3 High Cards - Ten through Ace
2 3 2 High Cards - Ten through Ace
1 4 1 High Card - Ten through Ace
0 5 Nothing

7/5 JACKS OR BETTER STRATEGY CARD

Below is a proper basic strategy chart for a video poker machine with a minimum payout for a pair of Jacks or Better which pays 7 coins for a full house and 5 coins for a flush.

Remember.The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep.

Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Royal
5 0 Full House
5 0 Flush
3 2 3 of a Kind
5 0 Straight
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
4 1 Two Pairs
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
2 3 Pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces
3 2 3 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Flush
4 1 Ten, Jack, Queen and King any suit
2 3 Low Pair - Two through Ten
4 1 4 Card Straight - sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - sequential order
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - non sequential order
2 3 2 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential - 3 high cards
3 2 3 High Cards - Ten through Ace
2 3 2 High Cards - Ten through Ace
1 4 1 High Card - Ten through Ace
0 5 Nothing

6/5 JACKS OR BETTER STRATEGY CARD

Below is a proper basic strategy chart for a video poker machine with a minimum payout for a pair of Jacks or Better which pays 6 coins for a full house and 5 coins for a flush.

Remember.The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep.

Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Royal
5 0 Full House
5 0 Flush
3 2 3 of a Kind
5 0 Straight
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
4 1 Two Pairs
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
2 3 Pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces
3 2 3 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Flush
4 1 Ten, Jack, Queen and King any suit
2 3 Low Pair - Two through Ten
4 1 4 Card Straight - sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - sequential order
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - non sequential order
2 3 2 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential - 3 high cards
3 2 3 High Cards - Ten through Ace
2 3 2 High Cards - Ten through Ace
1 4 1 High Card - Ten through Ace
0 5 Nothing

DOUBLE BONUS POKER STRATEGY CARD

Below is a proper basic strategy chart for a video poker machine with a minimum payout for a pair of Jacks or Better which pays 10 coins for a full house and 7 coins for a flush plus bonus payouts for four 2's, 3's or 4's and Aces

Remember.The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep.

Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
4 1 Four Aces
4 1 Four 2's, 3's or 4's
4 1 Four 5's through Kings
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 Card Royal
3 2 Three Aces
5 0 Full House
5 0 Flush
3 2 Three 2's, 3's or 4's
3 2 Three 5's through Kings
5 0 Straight
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
4 1 Two Pair
2 3 Pair of Aces
3 2 3 Card Royal
2 3 Pair of Jacks, Queens or Kings
4 1 4 Card Flush
4 1 Ten, Jack, Queen and King any suit
2 3 Pair of 2's, 3's or 4's
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - sequential order
2 3 Pair of 5's through 10's
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - non sequential order
2 3 2 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential - 3 high cards
3 2 3 High Cards - Jack through King
2 3 2 High Cards - Jack through King
1 4 1 High Card - Ten through Ace
0 5 Nothing

DOUBLE DOUBLE BONUS POKER STRATEGY CARD

Below is a proper basic strategy chart for a video poker machine with a minimum payout for a pair of Jacks or Better which pays 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush plus bonus payouts for four 2's, 3's or 4's and Aces as well as four Aces with a 2, 3 or 4 and four 2's, 3's or 4's with an Ace

Remember.The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep.

Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
5 0 Four Aces with 2, 3 or 4
4 1 Four Aces
5 0 Four 2's, 3's or 4's with Ace
4 1 Four 2's, 3's or 4's
4 1 Four 5's through Kings
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 Card Royal
3 2 Three Aces
5 0 Full House
3 2 Three 2's, 3's or 4's
5 0 Flush
3 2 Three 5's through Kings
5 0 Straight
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
2 3 Pair of Aces
4 1 Two Pair
3 2 3 Card Royal
2 3 Pair of Jacks, Queens or Kings
4 1 4 Card Flush
4 1 Ten, Jack, Queen and King any suit
2 3 Pair of 2's, 3's or 4's
2 3 Pair of 5's through 10's
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - non sequential order
2 3 2 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential - 3 high cards
3 2 3 High Cards - Jack through King
2 3 2 High Cards - Jack through King
1 4 1 High Card - Ten through Ace
0 5 Nothing

JOKER'S WILD - KINGS OR BETTER STRATEGY CARD

Below is a proper basic strategy chart for a video poker machine with a minimum payout for a pair of Kings or Better which pays 7 coins for a full house and 5 coins for a flush with a Joker wild card.

Remember.The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep.

No Joker Strategy  
Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Royal
5 0 Full House
5 0 Flush
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
3 2 3 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
5 0 Straight
4 1 Two Pairs
3 2 3 Card Royal
2 3 Pair of Aces or Kings
4 1 4 Card Flush
2 3 Low Pair - Two through Ten
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
4 1 Ten, Jack, Queen and King any suit
2 3 Ace and King of same suit
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential order
2 3 2 Card Royal
1 4 Ace or King
0 5 Nothing
Strategy with Joker  
Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Five of a Kind
5 0 Royal Flush with Joker
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
5 0 Full House
4 1 4 Card Royal with Joker
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
5 0 Flush
3 2 3 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
5 0 Straight
3 2 2 Card Royal Flush with Joker
4 1 4 Card Flush - high cards
3 2 King-9 of same suit with Joker
3 2 Ace-2, Ace-3, Ace-4, Ace-5 same suit with Joker
2 3 Ace with Joker
2 3 Ace with Joker
4 1 4 Card Flush - no high cards
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential order with Joker
2 3 Six, Seven or Eight with Joker
2 3 Ten with Joker
2 3 Five with Joker
2 3 Nine with Joker
1 4 Joker Only

JOKER POKER (JOKER'S WILD) - 2 PAIRS OR BETTER STRATEGY CARD

Below is a proper basic strategy chart for a video poker machine with a minimum payout for a Two Pairs or Better which pays 8 coins for a full house and 7 coins for a flush with a Joker wild card. .

Remember.The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep.

No Joker Strategy  
Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Royal
5 0 Full House
5 0 Flush
5 0 Straight
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
3 2 3 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
4 1 Two Pairs
3 2 3 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Flush
4 1 4 Card Straight - open both ends
2 3 One Pair
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential order
3 2 3 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
3 2 3 Card Flush
2 3 2 Card Royal
1 4 Five through Ten
1 4 Jack
1 4 Four
0 5 Nothing
Strategy with Joker  
Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Five of a Kind
5 0 Royal Flush with Joker
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
5 0 Full House
5 0 Flush
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
4 1 Queen, Jack and Ten of same suit with Joker
4 1 King, Queen, Jack of same suit with Joker
4 1 King, Queen, Ten of same suit with Joker
4 1 King, Jack, Ten of same suit with Joker
5 0 Straight
4 1 4 Card Royal with Ace and Joker
3 2 3 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Straight - open both ends
3 2 2 Card Royal Flush with Joker
4 1 4 Card Flush
4 1 4 Card Straight - non sequential order with Joker
3 2 King-Queen of same suit with Joker
3 2 King-Jack of same suit with Joker
3 2 King-Ten of same suit with Joker
3 2 Ace-King of same suit with Joker
3 2 Ace-Queen of same suit with Joker
3 2 Ace-Jack of same suit with Joker
3 2 Ace-Ten of same suit with Joker
2 3 Five through Ten with Joker
2 3 Jack with Joker
2 3 Four with Joker
1 4 Joker Only

DEUCES WILD STRATEGY CARD

Below is a proper basic strategy chart for a video poker machine with a minimum payout for three of a kind which pays 3 coins for a full house and 2 coins for a flush with Two's as wild cards.

Remember.The highest hand on the list that matches the hand that you have, are the cards you should keep.

No Deuce Strategy  
Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
4 1 4 Card Royal
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
5 0 Full House
3 2 3 of a Kind
5 0 Flush
5 0 Straight
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - inside draw
3 2 3 Card Royal
2 3 One Pair
4 1 4 Card Flush
4 1 4 Card Straight - open both ends
3 2 2 Card Straight Flush - open
3 2 Four, Five and Six of same suit
3 2 Three, Four and Five of same suit
2 3 2 Card Royal
3 2 Three, Four and Six of same suit
3 2 Three, Five and Six of same suit
4 1 Three, Four, Five and Six of same suit
4 1 4 Card Straight - inside draw
0 5 Nothing
One Deuce Strategy  
Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush with Deuce
5 0 Five of a Kind
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Royal with Deuce
5 0 Full House
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
3 2 3 of a Kind
5 0 Flush
5 0 Straight
4 1 Three, Four and Five of same suit with Deuce
4 1 Four, Five and Six of same suit with Deuce
4 1 Ace, Three and Four of same suit with Deuce
4 1 Ace, Three and Five of same suit with Deuce
4 1 Ace, Four and Five of same suit with Deuce
4 1 Four, Five and Six of same suit with Deuce
3 2 2 Card Royal Flush with Deuce
3 2 Ace-King, Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack, Ace-Ten same suit with Deuce
1 4 Deuce Only
Two Deuce Strategy  
Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
5 0 Five of a Kind
5 0 Straight Flush
4 1 4 of a Kind
4 1 4 Card Royal
4 1 4 Card Straight Flush - open both ends
2 3 Two Deuces Only
Three Deuce Strategy  
Cards Held Discard Hand
5 0 Royal Flush
5 0 Five of a Kind - Tens through Aces
3 2 Three Deuces Only
Four Deuce Strategy  
Cards Held Discard Hand
4 1 Four Deuces

 

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