Video Poker is a skill game that can be beaten using a combination of playing skill and mathematical knowledge. It is important to pay attention to the “pay schedule” presented on the front of each machine. The smart video poker player realizes that the important information to look for is how much a machine pays for a Full-House versus a Flush. Advanced video poker players realize that a “Jacks-or-Better” machine that pays out 9 coins to 1 for every Full House and 6 to 1 for every Flush (classified as a 9/6 machine) can be beaten using perfect Basic Video Poker Strategy. The other machine that offers the advanced online video poker player an edge is the 10/6 Deuces Wild machine. This has been proven based on computer modeling. While other machines are fun to play, even if you use Perfect Video Poker Strategy you will not win the progressive jackpot.
Similar to the Basic Strategy for Blackjack, there are hard and fast rules that define the Basic Video Poker Strategy whether you are playing video poker online or in a casino. This strategy for the Jacks-or-Better game is as follows:
Jacks-or-Better Video Poker Strategy
- In any hand containing a Jack discard everything and keep the Jack (unless the hand is already a winner, four to an open-ended Straight, four to a Flush or three to a Straight Flush or Royal Flush)
In any hand containing only one card Jack or above, keep the lone high card and redraw.
In any hand containing a pair lower than Jacks, keep the pair and discard everything else (unless the hand is four to a Straight or four to a Flush)
In any hand containing two-pair, keep both pair and discard the odd-card.
- In any hand containing three-of-a-kind keep the three-of-a-kind and discard the other two cards.
In any hand containing four to a Straight, keep all four Straight cards and draw (unless the Straight draw is NOT open-ended and your hand contains a Jack)
In any hand containing four to a Flush, keep the four Flush (unless the hand contains three to the Royal in which case you would draw to the Royal Flush)
In any hand containing four-of-a-kind just hold everything since a one-card draw can’t improve you.
In any hand containing three to a Royal Flush discard everything else and go for the Royal (unless the hand is already a Straight Flush)
It is a good idea to print this page out and refer to the Basic Video Poker strategies presented above while you are playing online video poker to have more chances to win the progressive jackpot.