Video Poker Strategy Guide

Video poker strategy guide

Once a player knows the basic rules of Poker the strategy is fairly easy to master. There is a 52 card deck in play with the exception of game variations that include the Joker increasing the deck to 53 or in some cases 54 cards.

Due to player popularity there is a large variety of Video Poker variations available to choose from. Wagering amounts vary greatly depending on the game type. In Jacks or Better most basic form for instance, it’s 5 coins/credits in. Other variations that include special features like Multipliers, Bonus games and multiple hands per game require more coins to activate these features.

Paytables vary greatly depending on which Video Poker game is selected. Below is a comparison of Jacks or Better and Double Double Bonus Poker payouts and available winning hands for each.

Basic Video Poker Strategy

Dealt Hand Hold Tips
Royal Flush All cards Jackpot hand
Straight Flush All cards If dealt 4 cards to the Royal Flush consider discarding 5th card
Four of a Kind 4 cards discard 1 If a kicker A, 2, 3 or 4 hand is an available payout hold
Full House All cards If dealt 3 Aces consider discarding 2 cards
Flush All cards If dealt 4 to a Straight Flush consider discarding 1 card
Straight All cards If dealt 4 to a Flush consider discarding 1 card
Three of a kind Hold 3 cards  
Two Pair Hold 4 cards If dealt a pair Jacks or better considering discarding 3 cards
One Pair Hold 2 cards  
High Card Hold 1 card If dealt one Jack or better hold - otherwise discard all

Because there is no fool-proof way to win at gambling, it is important to learn a few of the strategies in order to minimize the chances of losing. Playing any game for free is one way to become familiar with any game, and there are many sites that offer free video poker.

Due to the fact that there are so many versions of video poker available, these are only 2 examples of video poker variations strategies. These strategies can be adapted to all other versions of video poker.

Jacks or Better & Double Double Bonus Video Poker Strategy

Hand Card Combination Jacks or Better Payout* Double Double Bonus Payout*
Royal Flush A-K-Q-J-10 Same suit any order 4,000 4,000
Straight Flush 5 cards in sequence - same suit 250 250
Four Aces with kicker 4 aces with any 2,3 or 4 not available 2,000
Four Aces 4 of a kind Aces not available 800
Four - twos, threes or fours with kicker 4 of kind with A, 2, 3 or 4 not available 800
Four - twos, threes or fours 4 2s, 3s or 4s not available 400
Four of a kind 4 of kind any card ranking 125 125
Four of a a kind 5 thru K 4 of a kind ranking 5 thru King not available 250
Full House Any 3 of a kind and 2 of a kind 45 35
Flush 5 cards any sequence same suit 30 25
Straight 5 cards in sequence any suit 20 20
Three of a kind 3 cards of the same rank 15 15
Two Pair 2 sets of cards same rank 10 5
One Pair Jacks or better 2 cards ranked Js or better 5 5

*Based on max bet and IGT Game King Paytable.


Here is how you should use these strategies. Match your hand to the highest in the list and play that strategy.

These strategies are abbreviated for ease of use. A more complete strategy would provide additional options. For instance, you have a 3 card royal with a pair of kings. A complete strategy would need to differentiate that from a 3 card royal with no pairs.


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