You can play winning video poker, but it’s not easy. This sets video poker apart from other games that are available in casinos.
Of course, most video poker games don’t give you a realistic chance to win, but there are a few that do if you learn how to find and play them.
That’s what you’re going to learn in this article about winning at video poker games. You’re going to learn how to find the best video poker options and what you need to do when you play the game in order to produce the best results.
1 – Choose Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better
I’m only going to talk about two types of video poker games in this article. This doesn’t mean that these are the only two video poker games that offer good machines. However, there are a couple of good reasons why these are the two that I chose to use in this article about winning video poker play.
The first reason is because both of these games are popular. This means that it’s easier to find these games than most other versions. If you can’t find the right video poker machine, nothing else matters. So, I’m sticking with games you can likely find at your local casino.
The second reason is because both of these video poker games are commonly available with good pay tables, and the correct strategy for these pay tables is readily available. You’re going to learn more about why video poker pay tables and correct strategy are so important in the next two sections.
You can find these two video poker variations in most land-based casinos that offer video poker games and in almost every online and mobile casino that has video poker. If you want to focus on other video poker variations, that’s fine, just make sure that you have access to machines with the game you choose.
2 – Find the Best Pay Table
Now that you know which machines to focus on, it’s time to learn what to look for when you find these machines. The only thing that sets one Deuces Wild game apart from another Deuces Wild game is the pay table. The same thing is true for Jacks or Better and every other video poker game.
The pay table the video poker game uses sets the minimum and maximum return that you can get from playing the game. The maximum return is the important thing to consider because you have control over how you play.
The way you play each game changes the return. You’re going to learn more about how to get the best return from each video poker game once you find the best pay table in the next section.
How do you know what the return is for each pay table? You can quickly look up the maximum returns for each video poker pay table online. You can check out a good pay table for Jacks or Better here.
Once you learn about good pay tables for the machine you want to play, you simply look for the right pay table when you play in a land-based casino or play online. The right pay tables provide a return of 99.5% and higher with proper strategy.
3 – Implement the Right Strategy
The second key to playing winning video poker is using the right strategy when you play. Playing video poker without using the right strategy is no better than playing a slot machine. Slot machines have low returns and are often the worst games available.
But playing video poker with the right strategy and playing on a machine with a bad pay table is also as bad as playing slots. You have to utilize both advantages here (the best pay table and the right strategy) if you want to win at video poker online.
The first thing is finding the right strategy to use. Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better strategy cards and charts are widely available. The strategy is different for both games, so pick one game to focus on and start practicing the strategy you need to use.
When you have a strategy chart for your video poker game, it lists hands in order. You simply read the hands starting at the top and keep the first hand listed that matches your hand. This is all you have to do to play perfect video poker every time.
4 – Use Video Poker Bonuses to Chase Big Wins
Winning in real money video poker is about doing everything you can to receive a high return. A big part of a high return is hitting the top-paying hand from time to time. This is often a natural royal flush, but this isn’t the case on every video poker machine.
The main reason why hitting the top hand is so important is because you get a bonus. But you only get the bonus if you bet the maximum of five coins.
To hit the top paying hand as often as possible, you have to use the right strategy, which you just learned about. The only other factor is the number of hands you play. The more hands you can play, the better your chances of hitting a top hand.
This is where using a bonus when you play video poker online or in mobile casinos comes in. Most video poker bonuses aren’t designed so you can clear them with bonus money left, but they do give you a larger bankroll.
A larger bankroll gives you the opportunity to play more hands. Don’t look at video poker bonuses as a way to win more on a regular basis. Look at these bonuses as a chance to get more hands played and start chasing a big hand.
5 – Get Comps to Improve Return
Comps are a big part of winning video poker play. Video poker comps don’t offer huge returns, but remember that you’re going to be playing with a return of close to 100% so even a small return is a big deal.
Here’s how the math works: If you’re getting .1% of the amount you bet back in comps and are playing a machine that returns 99.75%, you’re basically getting a return of 99.85%. If you can get .15% in comps, you’re up to 99.9%. You’re not going to find a better return in an in-person casino.
The problem is that the casino doesn’t tell you how much they give in comps. This shouldn’t stop you from asking around and finding out though. Ask the most well-informed casino employees that you see and keep looking for anyone else who might know the ins and outs every time you visit.
I work with the thought that I get around .1% in comps, but I don’t have proof that this is accurate. And different casino rewards clubs operate in different ways. Pay attention to how often you earn comps when you play video poker and how much you get when they are awarded to see if you can get an idea of the award levels.
6 – Don’t Get Fancy
Playing winning video poker is fairly straightforward. You already know what games to play and what pay tables to look for. You also know how to use the right strategy. The only other thing you really need to stick with is making a five-coin bet when you play.
If you do anything else than stick with these basics you’re not going to maximize your returns. Don’t look for shady systems to use because they don’t work as well as what you’ve learned in this article.
I’ve seen video poker players make bets smaller than five coins at times, and this is a terrible strategy. If your bankroll isn’t big enough to play using five coins on the machine, you need to find a machine with a smaller wager size.
I play video poker online quite a bit because I can find .25 Jacks or Better machines that have the 9/6 pay table. This is only $1.25 at a five-coin wager, which helps my bankroll last longer so that I have the best chance to hit a royal flush.
You can play other versions of video poker, but Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better are both common variations, and they both still have good pay tables. Choosing the right pay table is the first key to unlocking winning video poker play.
You can also quickly find the best strategy to use for these two games. And once you find the right strategy, it’s easy to use. All you have to do is read down the list until you find the right play for the hand.
Video poker comps and bonuses can be profitable and are important tools that smart gamblers use. Just don’t get fancy, because you might end up making mistakes that cost you money.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …