Video Poker Gambling Information by CRP

Basics of Video Poker

Video poker brings together the excitement of the graphics and sound effects of the machine and the enjoyment of a game requiring skill as well as luck.

Video Poker - How To Win

Video poker is thought to be a game of luck, maybe because of its resemblance to slot machines in some aspects. However, this is far from being the case. Playing video poker requires skill too.

The video poker machines are programmed to pay-out up to 100% when players play at the expert level, the reason the casinos can do this is because most, or one can say almost all of the players don't play anywhere near the expert play level required.

The following tips can bring your playing closer to an expert level and improve your chances of winning.

1. Only machines that offer full payback are the ones you should play. Meaning, they will, in theory, payback all of the monies played. If the machine payback is not posted then look at the chart on the machine and pick out one that pays the most for a full house and a flush. The greater the return then the higher that machine pays-out. For instance on a jacks or better machine:

Machine Return Machine Payback
9 for a full house / 6 for a flush 99.5%
8 for a full house / 5 for a flush 97.4%
7 for a full house / 5 for a flush 96.3%
6 for a full house / 5 for a flush 95.2%

2. Remember, in video poker you are playing a machine. The machine is programmed to only payoff when a player holds one of the posted hands. Don't use regular poker strategies like holding a high value card to be used along with a pair, the machine doesn't care and you have lost the opportunity to draw a better card.

3. Always play the maximum number of coins shown on the machine so you will be entitled to receive the bonus payout for a royal flush. Also make sure to check that the machine has accepted all of your coins before playing. If you do get a big win you want to be completely sure the five coins were played. The payouts for every machine are attached to the machine.

4. Play progressive machines, they can pay large amounts for a royal flush and make the payout more in line with the difficulty of obtaining a royal flush (about once in every 40,000 hands). Play progressive machines that are showing about 80% of the payoff amount (example $2,000 on a machine that has a payoff of $2,500), and make sure you are playing the required number of coins to be entitled to get the payoff.

5. If you have four cards and need one in the middle to fill a straight don't count on a draw. On the other hand if you have four consecutive cards and only need one at either end to fill a straight then take a shot at making the straight.

6. Prefer any pair over holding a high card. Many players would discard a pair of two's and keep one or more high cards, this is not a good strategy, you have better odds trying for three of a kind.

7. Always prefer a high pair over a four-card open straight, a four-card flush or a three-card royal. Try for three of a kind knowing that at least you have recovered your bet.

8. Always prefer a low pair over a four-card open end straight. The low pair has more value than going for the straight and should be kept.

9. A three-card royal should be preferred over a low pair, a four-card flush and a four card open end straight. The bonus for the royal flush makes it a better play.

10. If your first five cards doesn't have at least one high card don't be afraid to draw five new ones.

Basic Playing Strategy Summary
Cards in your hand Draw
4 of a kind or better 0 cards (keep all your cards)
4 cards to a royal 1 card
Full house or flush 0 cards (keep all your cards)
3 of a kind 2 cards
4 card straight flush 1 card
Straight 0 cards (keep all your cards)
2 pair 1 card
High pair 3 cards
3 cards to the royal 2 cards
4 card flush 1 card
Low pair 3 cards
4 card straight 1 card
3 card straight flush 2 cards
2 high cards 3 cards
1 high card 4 cards
Garbage 5 cards

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