Strategy for video poker

There are many different versions of video poker that you can play at both land-based casinos and online. It is important that you learn video poker strategy to get the maximum return.

Video poker is actually a generic name for card games on gaming machines where you try to form as decent a poker hand as possible, by discarding or keeping your cards once they are dealt. Because there are many different variations of video poker, the rules and payouts differ.

Important to use strategy.

Since your decisions as a player greatly affect the payout percentage you receive in video poker, it is important that you learn optimal video poker strategy for each particular game.

In most casino games it is entirely chance that determines the outcome of games. In video poker however, the player has a crucial influence over how the game pans out. By using video poker strategy correctly, a player can greatly increase their chances of winning.

Strategy in video poker means to increase the player’s chance of a good pay out. With the help of game rules, the pay table and the knowledge of how likely certain card combinations are likely to occur, this will create an overall playing strategy.

Using different video poker strategies

It is important that you use different game strategies for different variants, and you also know when the pay table for a specific game is different to another.

In video poker you have to bet on hands that give the best chance of profit in relation to the likelihood that a specific poker hand will occur. Therefore, it is not always a high priority to form a hand with a pair of jacks, even if it yields a profit for ‘jacks or better’, if there’s a decent chance of obtaining a better hand.

Payout percentage

For all forms of online casino gambling, all games have what is known as a ‘payout percentage’. This is the ratio of money spent in relation to the amount of money you can expect to get in return.

With roulette that’s played with a roulette wheel containing a single zero, the house edge is 2.7 percent, which results in a payout percentage of 97.3 percent. This means that in the long run the casino will only earn 2.7 percent on all bets at the roulette table. The same goes for slot machines which can have a payout percentage of 98 percent, which gives back two percent of all monies paid into them to the casino. You should therefore logically play casino games that have the highest payout percentage.

Simplified or optimum playing strategy

If you start reading about video poker strategy, then you will soon understand the concept of optimal playing strategy. This is just as it sounds – the best way of playing. You can also find simplified gaming strategies that are not as hard to keep in mind as optimum strategies.

If you want to receive the best odds possible and therefore reduce the house advantage as much as you can then you should of course use the optimal variant. However, if you cannot find an optimum strategy for a particular game then you should use simplified video poker strategy as opposed to no strategy whatsoever. Just remember that with optimum strategy it is possible to obtain payout percentages over one hundred percent.

If you absolutely do not wish to use any strategy then video poker is unfortunately perhaps not the best game for you, and you should stick to slot machines with high payout percentages. In slots the payout percentage is fixed, whereas with video poker it can rise or fall depending upon the actions of the player.

Using video poker strategy

Game strategies in video poker are formulated as lists. The list is in a hierarchical order of which hands to play. Top of the list is the royal straight flush – you will of course meet this at the top if that is the hand that you are holding. If you have not received a royal straight flush, then you move down the list and so on until you encounter the hand you are actually holding. You will then play your hand according to the instructions.

Obviously, playing optimum strategy does not guarantee that you will win every hand, but in the long run you will see positive results. How many hands you have to play for you to find yourself in profit is of course in the lap of the gods.