Chapter 5. Video Poker Strategy
So far in this guide, you've learnt how to play video poker, the different types of video poker and how to know which video poker games you should play. This is the part of the guide that begins to get into the nitty gritty of the game. Don't let that put you off. If you can learn good video poker strategy, then the chances are you're going to do a lot better when you play.
5.1 Why Use A Strategy
Here, you're going to learn what video poker strategy is all about, how it developed and why you should use it. The best way to know why you should use a strategy is to compare video poker to slot machines. With a slot machine, all you need to do is put your money in, and start playing. Simply, the entire game is based on luck, and your chances of winning are going to be quite small. With video poker however, the game isn't solely based on luck.
So, think about a slot machine. You're playing, you're spinning and you're winning, but that doesn't mean that you're going to be winning as often, or as much as you would like. That's because you cannot influence the way a slot machine is played and the results it can generate. With video poker, you can completely influence the outcome of the game - by knowing a strategy.
As you read earlier, video poker machines also have random number generators within them, meaning you are going to be dealt a random hand, and if you decide to give any of these away, the replacement cards will also be completely randomised.
Therefore, knowing how to use a strategy is exceptionally helpful, because you will know what to do with the hand that you have been given, to ultimately reduce the house edge and have a better chance of winning!
The only downside to video poker strategy, is that it's not quite as simple as it might seem. Read on to find out more!
5.2 Types Of Video Poker Strategy Charts
No matter what non-wild card game you decide to play, you will discover that the strategy charts are always the same. The hand with the highest return will be right at the top, and the hand with the lowest will be at the bottom. With video poker, the royal flush will be at the top.
The process of video poker strategy charts is simple, you continue to list hands with the lower average returns one after the other, and then you glance down the chart to find the hand, or part of your hand, that you have, in order to help you to make the decision on what to do with your hand. If you get to the point of the strategy chart that says ‘Redraw', then you will know that you should get rid of all of your cards, and start again, if you want to be in with a chance of having a higher return.
Now you know how video poker strategy charts work, we're taking a closer look at the differences between them with our video poker strategy guide.
Video Poker Strategy Type 1
In order to help provide a little more content, the strategy charts that we will be showing you below relate to the game ‘Jacks Or Better'.
While the process and the way they're laid out might seem simple, unfortunately video poker strategy is a little bit more complex than you might first think.
There are a huge number of different combinations a hand can provide you with, which means some strategy charts can have anywhere around 70 different lines for you to memorize before you begin playing!
Video Poker Strategy Type 2
Now, you can see that the strategy chart has been halved, which can help to make reading the chart a little bit more manageable. One thing to keep in mind however, is that some smaller video poker can strategy charts will have multiple lines of strategy on one row in order to keep things more compact.
To play these strategies from our video poker strategy guide, you're going to need to make sure that you've read through your strategy chart properly, and understood everything it's saying. If you don't, then you'll need to read it again!
5.3 The Basics of Video Poker Strategy
Video poker strategy revolves around the idea of memorising a list of possible hands. Once this list is memorised, when a hand is dealt on the video poker game, you can rack your brain to match your given cards to a combination of hands on your memorised list. Once you get a hand that you want, then you keep the cards that you have been dealt.
You've already taken a look at the types of video poker strategy charts that are available, and the process is simple – like blackjack, just memorise the strategy chart and know what to do with every hand that you have been given. Once you know this, you will be well on your way to being a winner.
Interestingly, as discussed previously, video poker can be an exception to the rule of ‘the house always has an advantage', because you can find the most liberal pay tables and influence the house edge by learning basic video poker strategy.
When playing conventional video poker, like Jacks Or Better, there are a number of strategies that you can implement. Here, we're taking a look at the simplest:
When you are faced with a hand, there are three things that you can do:
5.4 Advanced Video Poker Strategy
Our advanced video poker strategy will help you to better manage your bankroll and increase your chances of winning when playing this exciting game. We'll even go into detail about how to play certain hands and deal with certain situations. This type of video poker strategy is generally useful for experienced video poker players.
Most games will have their own individual strategies on how to play, and the same can be said for video poker. However, a lot of this strategy will generally need to be picked up as you play.
However, there is one way around this, and this relates to the situation concept which we're discussing below. The idea behind an advanced video poker strategy is the fact that you can memorise things to do when you're playing and our video poker strategy guide below can show you exactly how to do that. This is where the video poker strategy charts come in, which we discussed in the chapters above!
There are a huge number of different situations that you can find yourself in when it comes to playing video poker, and while this number isn't endless, we're not looking to bore you with a huge list. What we have done however, is provide you with some common situations that people can find a little confusing about knowing what to do. While some of these situations might seem obvious to the advanced player when it comes to making the right decisions, you never know, we might surprise you.