To date there are as wide a variety of Video Poker as you could imagine. Jacks or Better is possibly the most recognized, with Deuces Wild coming in a close second. It seems that there’s not much to do other than hit deal and draw, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You can play an optimal strategy on most Video Poker games and come out way ahead.
First we’ll discuss the rules of the game of Jacks or Better since many of the other games are based roughly on this one with only slight differences. You’re dealt 5 cards with which you are to select which ones to keep and which ones to discard. You can keep them all if you’ve got a great hand and if you’re hand is really bad, get rid of them all and get fresh cards. It’s advised not to do the later though, instead, keep a high card to give yourself a better chance at making a winning hand. Once you’ve selected what to keep and what to discard, you’ll draw replacement cards. You can then look at the paytable to see if you’ve won. In Video Poker, your win will automatically be ‘lit’ up on the screen.
The object in any Video Poker game is to play as close to a perfect game as possible. In order to do this you’ll have to play each and every hand optimally, which basically means to not make any mistakes when you decide what to keep or discard. This may seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s really pretty simple with the guide we’ll give you to follow.
The following scenarios are a guide to optimal strategy for Jacks or Better, keep these in mind every time you play and you’re outcome will be much improved.
- If you draw four cards to a Straight Flush, hold these four and draw one.
- If you draw three cards to a Royal Flush, hold these three and draw two.
- If you draw four cards to a Flush, hold these four and draw one.
- If you draw a low pair (tens or lower), hold this pair and draw three.
- If you draw four-card consecutive Straight, hold these four and draw one.
- If you draw two high cards of the same suit, hold these two and draw three.
- If you draw any three cards to a Straight Flush, hold these three and draw two.
- If you draw J, Q, and K of different suites, hold these three and draw two.
- If you draw any two high cards of different suites, hold these two and draw three.
- If you draw J, Q or K with a Ten of the same suit, hold these four and draw one.
- If you draw any single high card, hold this card and draw four.
- If you didn’t receive any of the hands above on the initial deal, draw five new cards.
Jacks or Better Hand Ranking:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- 4 of a kind
- Full House
- 3 of a kind
- 2 pair
- Jacks or better pair