Learn Video Poker Strategy
Unlike most online casino games, video poker is a game where the players’ decisions matter. Appropriate strategy on a video poker machine will actually improve a player’s expectation, and on certain online video poker games a player can actually achieve a positive expectation. ( These are usually called full pay games, although not all full pay video poker games have a positive expectation. )
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Discarding Decisions in Video Poker
The single critical element in video poker strategy is discarding the cards that will give each particular hand the highest possible expected return. The rules and the payout table will affect which discard decisions are correct for each hand. There are 32 different ways you can play each hand, but usually there is only one optimal strategy for a particular hand.
Different writers outline strategies in different ways, but the most typical methodology is to provide a list of possible hands to work your way down, and as soon as you reach a hand on the list that applies, you stop and play it the way the strategy card says to play it. Online video poker strategy is the same so that’s good news that you don’t have to learn new strategies in order to win at video poker in cyberspace. On gRock you can learn about playing VP online for real money.
Strategies that Apply to all Video Poker Games
Some rules of thumb apply to all video poker games, and should be part of anyone’s overall tactical approach:
Become a member of the slot club ( the casino’s player loyalty rewards program ) . Even if the slot club offers rebates in the 0.2% range, that can make a significant difference in the overall payback percentage of the machine.
You should understand the pay tables for the most common VP games and only play at full pay games. (9/6 Jacks or Better is an example of a full pay video poker game.)
Take full advantage of comped cocktails, at least to the point where it doesn’t affect your decision making ability. Comped drinks have value, increasing your overall expectation. But always drink responsibly. Getting drunk brings bad decisions and big losses.
Have a sufficient bankroll to withstand a lot of ups and downs. Most of the time spent on a video poker game will be spent losing; you’re counting on the eventual jackpot to bring your expectation positive.
You should never keep a kicker or try to bluff; those are tactics for traditional poker that don’t work in video poker.
If you can find a progressive video poker game with a big enough jackpot, you can find a positive expectation situation. It’s not just a question of knowing how to play video poker; it’s a question of knowing how to play correctly and gain every possible edge.
These are really more video poker tips more than they are strategy. To really learn and understand video poker strategy you will need to learn about winning poker hands, the odds and probabilities of winning based on your cards in your hand. I will be posting additional articles with information on winning hands and the different payouts of video poker games.
Video Poker Strategy Books
Some excellent books about proper video poker strategies include:
- Professional Video Poker by Stanford Wong
- Video Poker – Optimum Play by Dan Paymar
- The Frugal Gambler by Jean Scott (more about taking advantage of comps and slot clubs as they relate to video poker, but still, part of an overall strategy.)
- Winning Strategies for Video Poker Players by Lenny Frome
- All of Bob Dancer’s “Winner’s Guides” are worth reading.
You might also be interested in our articles:
- Easy to remember Deuces Wild video poker strategy
- Easy to remember Jacks or Better video poker strategy
- Complete Jacks or Better strategy chart
- Complete Deuces Wild strategy chart
Other Casino Games Strategies
- Blackjack Strategy and Beyond
- Craps Strategy
- Roulette Systems
- Slots Strategy
You can practice strategy by playing free video poker or no download video poker on Gamble Rock.
For the best free game I recommend Video Poker Offline Free by Super Lucky Casino on Google Play.