Recently we’ve payed a lot of attention blackjack here at Jaxcasinos.com, and with good reason: a player well versed in blackjack strategy can be a winning player. The conversation about winning at online casinos, however, wouldn’t be complete without mentioning online video poker. The video poker games you find online will be very much like their offline counterparts, with a few exceptions and game variants across the various different casino software companies.
How can I win at Video Poker? Much like Blackjack, online video poker goes by a certain set of rules for each game variant, that govern how the player should play his or her hand. First, however, we’ll mention a few basic ground rules:
- Play the maximum amount possible per hand. When studying a video poker payout chart, you’ll see that playing 5 coins, for example, pays the best in comparison to smaller bets.
- According to the Wizard of Odds (Wizard of Odds on Video Poker - Click Here), the probability of getting a Royal Flush is equal each time you start a new hand. Unlike slot machines, there are no “loose video poker machines” or “tight video poker machines” because the mathematics and probability odds rule this game.
- The Wizard also mentions that some Video Poker machines offer a “Double Up” feature. This bet is similar to an odds bet in Craps, and if you’re out to win money, we highly suggest you place these bets. You may experience a lot of variance in your game, but overall, “doubling up” on video poker offers some of the most favorable odds in the house to the player.
What strategy should I use? The strategy you use depends on which type of Video Poker you are playing. You’ll find most all the classics online in one form or another: Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Pickem’ Poker, Double Pay Poker, and Chase the Royal. The video poker hand strategy you employ therefore depends on which type of game you play. Strategies for one game may not work for others, so read up on each game variety. The following is a Jacks or Better video poker strategy chart. You can find this and other various Video Poker strategies at the Wizard of Odds Video Poker Strategy page.
Jacks or Better Simple Strategy
“High Card” = Jack or Better
- Four of a kind, straight flush, royal flush
- 4 to a royal flush
- Three of a kind, straight, flush, full house
- 4 to a straight flush
- Two pair
- High pair
- 3 to a royal flush
- 4 to a flush
- Low pair
- 4 to an outside straight
- 2 suited high cards
- 3 to a straight flush
- 2 unsuited high cards (if more than 2 then pick the lowest 2)
- Suited 10/J, 10/Q, or 10/K
- One high card
- Discard everything
How does this work? After you’ve been dealt your initial cards, you need to make a decision about how you can attain the highest paying result. Using the list above, find the best possible hand you can make out of your initial cards after discarding any garbage cards that will not be helpful. Here are a few examples:
Dealt: 8 of clubs, 8 of spades, 4 of hearts, 2 of diamonds, 5 of spades
Play: In this hand, you have the “low pair” (pair of 8’s), therefore keep these cards and discard the rest.
Dealt: 10 of diamonds, Jack of diamonds, Queen of hearts, King of spades, 3 of clubs
Play: In this hand, you have the “4 to an outside straight” option as the highest possible payout by discarding the 3 of clubs. Note also, this hand also avails the player to “2 unsuited high cards”, “Suited 10/Jack”, and “One high card”. The “4 to an outside straight” is the highest out of all these hands, so go after that one.
Dealt: Jack of Hearts, Jack of Spades, 7 of Clubs, 7 of Diamonds, 5 of Clubs
Play: In this hand, you have the “two pair” as the highest paying option. Note also, this hand also avails the player to “high pair”, “low pair”, “2 unsuited High cards”, and “one high card” option. The “two pair” is the highest paying out of all these hands, so you should hold the Jacks and 7’s, and discard the 5 of Clubs.
For more Video Poker Strategies for other game variants, see the Wizard of Odds - Click Here. At the bottom of this page, you’ll find links to several different strategies, including Jacks or Better Intermediate Strategy and Jacks or Better Optimal strategy. Each of these strategies offers a different payout given your tolerance for risk.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief look at Video Poker. Compared to slots, Video Poker is literally a gold mine. If you play your cards right and do so consistently, you can enjoy a relatively low house edge and collect some decent sized jackpots. One final hint: ALWAYS read the payout table and rules of an online casino’s video poker game FIRST before you play, so that you can use the correct strategy. The wrong strategy on the wrong machine will backfire, and you’ll end up working against your self.
Great Online Casinos for Video Poker:
- Club Vegas USA - Rival Gaming - USA and International Players Welcome
- Lucky Nugget Casino - MicroGaming - International Players Only
- Diceland Casino (NEW) - TopGame - USA and International Players Welcome
- Rushmore Casino - Real Time Gaming - USA and International Players Welcome
Have Fun and Good Luck from Jaxcasinos.com!