Video Poker Strategy

Thursday, Nov 15, 2007 | by CasinoGuide

Though there are literally hundreds of online systems that can be used to plot your strategy when playing Video Poker, there is no one sure-fire method for ensuring Video Poker success.

Despite this, there are two ways to go about your strategy:

a. Either pick one strategy and stick with it through all hands no matter what, or

b. Use probability to determine one of two strategies you will go with.

Either of these ways of playing has varying degrees of success; it mostly depends on what strategy you pick.

For example, there is many a Video Poker junkie that will play to hit a Royal Flush always, no matter what. What this means is they will break up pairs or even full houses (which has a fairly nice payout to it) in order to achieve the Royal Flush, because that has the highest payout, and maybe even a huge Progressive Jackpot. The setback to this strategy is that a Royal Flush is pretty hard to get, statistically speaking. And so you give up a lot of smaller wins to go after a big win that could take months or years to get, if ever. I am not saying this is a bad strategy, but it sure can be frustrating over the long haul, and you must expect to win a while lot of money before you (possibly) hit the big jackpot.

The second way of going about things requires you to have a little knowledge of statistics and some quick thinking and intuition. Basically, you will play each set of cards with a slightly different strategy, based on the probability of hitting a particular hand.

For example, if you get a pair of aces, that is an automatic payout, although a small one. But based on the other cards you were dealt, you may have a chance to improve that hand to make a bigger payout. Let's say you have those aces, but also a K, J and 10 of the same suit. All you would need is the Q of the same suit to make yourself a Royal Flush, or any Q to make a straight. Either way, that would make you a much better hand than a simple pair, and therefore a bigger win. In this case, you should take the calculated risk that you will get a Q if you break up that pair of aces.

However, let's say the rest of your hand is smaller numbers such as a 10, 9 and 8. Sure, you could send both aces back and hope you get the rest of the numbers needed for a straight. But the probability of getting two cards in sequential order back is small. Therefore, you would be better off keeping the aces, discarding the number cards and seeing if you can maybe get two pair or a set of aces.

Of course, there are more complicated hands for you to have to figure out, should you go with this 'hand-by-hand' strategy. But with practice, you will find that your recognition of such hands, along with your ability to play them wisely, will increase. And you don't even have to spend money to get that practice- many online casinos offer free games you play without real money. Take advantage of these, as they are a great tool for not only increasing your playing time, but helping you decide on what strategy you want to use.

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