Best Video Poker Strategy Guide – How to Win More at Video Poker

Are you looking to up your poker game with a solid video poker strategy? Look no more – this video poker guide is packed with different tips and tricks to help you win more and have a great time playing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, you can try the strategies listed here on many US online casino websites.

Getting Started: Choosing the Right Video Poker Strategy

Before jumping into play, it’s important to find the video poker strategy that works best for you.

Tip of the day: Consider a few things, like your gaming style and budget, because these can impact your success. Think about the types of video poker games you enjoy and how much risk you’re comfortable with. And, of course, pick a reliable online casino to make sure you’ll have a fun and safe time playing.

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Understanding Video Poker Rules

Take some time to understand the basic rules of video poker. Each game you play follows a standard poker hand ranking system, but different video poker variants, like Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild, have a unique twist to them. Knowing these basics will boost your confidence and maximize potential winnings.

Mastering Pay Tables

Pay tables are the roadmap to big bucks in video poker. They show information about payouts for different poker hands and vary between the games. Understanding how to read and compare these tables is crucial for identifying the poker variants with the largest potential earnings. Go for the games with more favorable pay tables – they’re your ticket to bigger wins.

Importance of Playing Max Coins

Playing max coins unlocks the best payouts in video poker, especially for higher hand rankings, such as the Royal Flush. Betting the maximum amount of coins qualifies you for the game’s top jackpot and offers the best return for your investment. If your budget allows it, always aim for betting max coins.

Understanding Poker Hand Rankings

Knowing the hierarchy of different poker hands helps you choose which cards to hold onto and which to discard. Always keep in mind the order of hands from highest (such as Royal Flush or Straight Flush) to lowest (such as Pair).

Using a Video Poker Strategy Chart

A video poker strategy chart is a clear guide to the best moves for any hand you’re dealt. Think of it as a cheat sheet based on mathematical probabilities that helps you make smart choices to improve your chances of winning. Whenever possible, keep one handy while playing video poker at online casinos for better outcomes.

Different Video Poker Strategies for Different Variations

Once you have taken the time to learn how to play video poker and understand video poker odds, finding the right strategy becomes crucial, especially if you’re aiming to increase your profit.

Since players are at different skill levels and have their own goals, many strategies are designed to help those who want to know how to win at video poker.

Below, we introduce the best methods to match your skill level and goals.

Jacks or Better Video Poker Strategy

In Jacks or Better, your main goal is to build a strong winning hand starting with a pair of Jacks or higher. Always keep any high cards – Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces – since they can form winning pairs or better hands.

video poker strategy

Aim for flushes and straights by holding onto the cards of the same suit or sequential cards. Avoid discarding potential winning hands in the hope of a higher payout. Regular and smaller wins can add up over time. Consulting video poker betting strategy charts can help you make decisions in Jacks or Better.

Deuces Wild Video Poker Strategy

Deuces Wild introduces so-called wild cards, giving you a better shot at winning hands. Always keep any deuces you get, as they can replace any other card to complete a winning hand.

video poker strategy

Your focus should be on high-paying hands like Natural Royal Flushes (a Royal Flush completed without wild cards), Four Deuces, and Five of a Kind.

The number of deuces you hold can really change your playing options. For example, if you have one deuce and a Jack, you’re only a card away from Three of a Kind. Sticking to these strategies can improve your poker game and increase your winnings.

Ultimate X Poker Strategy

Ultimate X Poker is a video poker variant that brings multipliers into the game, thus significantly boosting potential payouts. When you play Ultimate X Poker, any winning hand you get can trigger a multiplier for the next hand. The range of these multipliers is from 2x to 12x, depending on the type of hand – the higher the hand, the bigger the multiplier.

Since Ultimate X Poker is known for its high volatility, you’ll need a larger bankroll to handle the big swings that come with it. If possible, always play max coins to activate the multipliers and get the most out of the bonus rounds.

Another important thing – time your bets. Activate the Ultimate X feature only when you have a promising hand. If you earn a multiplier, keep it for a hand where you can get bigger payouts.

Double Double Bonus Video Poker Strategy

Double Double Bonus Poker is another popular poker variant that gives bigger payouts for certain four-of-a-kind hands. For example, four Aces with a Two, Three, or Four will offer you the best payout when betting maximum coins.

Familiarize yourself with the Double Double Bonus pay table and focus on strategies that aim for the high-paying hands, even if it means passing up on potential flushes or straights. Always hold onto pairs of Aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks, and aim for the four-of-a-kind hands that pay the most.

video poker strategy

If you find a variation of Double Double Bonus with a progressive jackpot, go for it, you may earn even bigger rewards. If possible, keep a video poker strategy chart open to up your game and maximize your chances of hitting the juicy hands.

Aces and Faces Video Poker Strategy

In Aces and Faces, you will want to land hands with Aces or face cards for the best payouts. Always hold onto these cards and try to build stronger hands like Four Aces or Four Face Cards, since these combinations offer the largest payouts.

video poker strategy

Avoid breaking up Full Houses or flushes unless you have a four-card Royal Flush. If you have cards of a different suit (for example, King♣, Queen♠️, Jack♥️), consider discarding them. The chances of improving are low, and you may lose a potentially good hand.

Joker Poker Video Poker Strategy

Joker Poker adds the Joker as a wild card to the mix, giving you more chances to create winning hands. Always hold onto the Joker when it appears, as it can replace any other card to complete a hand.

video poker strategy

Next, stick to the basics: if dealt high pairs like Jacks or better or two pairs, keep them. Also, keep three-of-a-kind cards and discard the other two to maximize your chances of forming even stronger hands, like a Full House.

Balancing the strategy between chasing these big wins and securing smaller, consistent payouts is crucial.

Tens or Better Video Poker Strategy

Tens or Better is similar to Jacks or Better but in it, you need a pair of Tens or higher to win. Always hold onto high cards, like Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces, and aim to form pairs of them. Don’t overreach – if you have high cards, don’t discard them just for a chance at a bigger payout.

Avoid breaking flushes and straights unless you’re close to a Royal Flush. If you have one high card, discard the other four. Draw only one card with high hands like Four of a Kind, as such hands already offer big payouts.

Wizard of Odds Video Poker Strategy

Wizard of Odds offers different analyses and a variety of tools to help both beginners and seasoned players master the mechanics of video poker. It’s a comprehensive website that players can refer to if stuck with a certain video poker variant.

For example, their Video Poker Strategy Calculator provides personalized strategy recommendations based on specific game variants and players’ preferences. The Video Poker Analyzer they offer allows the players to analyze and compare various video poker games, and later choose the best options. Finally, the Video Poker Hand Analyzer helps with understanding the odds and potential outcomes of a current hand.

Cheat Sheet for Video Poker Payouts

Using a cheat sheet for video poker payouts is a great way to maximize the potential winnings. It removes the uncertainty from a video poker game while making sure you play each hand in the best possible way.

It doesn’t matter what video poker strategies you apply, a cheat sheet always comes in handy. Just make sure to choose one that has a game variant you want to play. The table below provides payouts for multiple poker games when betting a single coin:

Game Variant Royal Flush Straight Flush Four-of-a-Kind Full House Flush Straight Three-of-a-Kind Two Pair Jacks or Better House Edge
Jacks or Better 800 50 25 9 6 4 3 2 1 0.5% – 1.5%
Tens or Better 800 50 25 9 6 4 3 2 1 Varies
Joker Poker 800 50 100 9 6 5 3 2 1 Varies
Aces and Faces 800 50 80 8 5 4 3 2 1 Varies
Double Double Bonus 800 50 160 9 6 4 3 1 1 Varies
Ultimate X Poker Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Deuces Wild Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies

Video Poker Glossary

If you’re a beginner video poker player, some of the terms might confuse you. We’ve compiled a short glossary of the most frequently used video poker terms:

  • Bankroll: The total amount of money you’re willing to gable with – your poker budget.
  • Bet Max: The maximum number of coins you can bet on a single hand.
  • Draw: The act of replacing discarded cards to complete your hand.
  • Discard: The cards you choose to get rid of after the initial deal.
  • Flush: A hand consisting of five cards of the same suit, not in sequence.
  • Full House: A hand containing three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank.
  • Hand: The set of cards dealt to a player.
  • Hold: The cards you decide to keep during the draw phase.
  • House Edge: The advantage the casino has over players.
  • Jacks or Better: Video poker variant where you need at least a pair of Jacks to win.
  • Kicker: The highest unpaired card in a hand.
  • Pay Table: A chart that shows the payouts for different winning hands.
  • Progressive Jackpot: A huge prize that increases with each player’s contribution.
  • RNG (Random Number Generator): The technology used in a video poker machine to ensure that all deals are random and fair.
  • Royal Flush: The highest possible hand in video poker, consisting of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit.
  • Straight: A hand with five cards in a row, not all of the same suit.
  • Wild Card: A card that can replace any other card to complete a winning hand.

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Understanding Video Poker Odds

Understanding video poker odds is essential if you want to become a pro at playing video poker. This will help you implement the best video poker strategy and increase your chances of hitting the big wins.

In the table below, you’ll find a full list of odds for the most common video poker hands after the initial deal:

Poker Hand Odds Percentage
Royal Flush (initial deal) 1 in 649,740 0.00015%
Royal Flush (after draw/discard) 1 in 40,000 0.00025%
Straight Flush 1 in 72,193 0.0014%
Four-of-a-Kind 1 in 4,165 0.024%
Full House 1 in 694 0.14%
Flush 1 in 508 0.20%
Straight 1 in 254 0.39%
Three-of-a-Kind 1 in 47 2.11%
Two Pair 1 in 21 4.75%
Jacks or Better 1 in 6 21.46%

Top 7 Video Poker Betting Strategy Tips

Winning at video poker isn’t just about luck. It’s about picking the right strategy for video poker variants you want to play and taking the time to make decisions. Here are some key tips to help you maximize your earnings and enjoy the game to the fullest:

Low Pairs Over a Single High Card

When you get a low pair and a high card, it’s often better to keep the low pair. It gives you a higher chance of improving your hand to a three-of-a-kind or something even better. While high or face cards are tempting, a pair offers more combinations and chances for a higher payout.

Straights and Flushes: When to Break Up

Breaking a potential straight or flush sounds scary, but sometimes it’s worth the risk. If you’re one card away from a Royal Flush, it’s usually worth it to break a straight or a flush and get a chance for a higher payout. However, for regular straights or flushes, the best strategy is to keep them together.

Plan Your Budget When Playing

Setting a budget is important before indulging in playing any casino game. It helps you manage your bankroll and avoid spending too much. Decide on an amount you’re willing to spend and stick to it. By doing this you’ll play responsibly and enjoy video poker machines without stressing over money.

Know When to Quit

Like with any other online casino game, knowing when to quit in video poker is a valuable skill. Set a goal and a limit on your budget before you start playing. If you win or reach the limit, it’s time to stop. This approach will help you keep what you’ve earned and minimize losses.

Choose the Right Video Poker Game

Different video poker games offer different odds and payouts. Study the pay tables and the odds and choose games that provide the best RTP (Return to Player) rates. Popular variants like Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild often have good odds.

Practice with Free Online Video Poker Games

Before playing at a real money video poker casino, find a free game and practice, practice, practice. These free versions will help you learn the rules, understand how pay tables work, and develop your own video poker strategies. You won’t lose any money, but will definitely boost your confidence and build your skills.

Play at the Right Casino Site

Choosing the right online casino is crucial for a great video poker experience. Look for websites that offer generous casino bonuses or those with high payout percentages. Another important thing is to find a reputable online casino with strong security measures, so you can play without fear.

What to Avoid in Video Poker

To improve your gameplay and maximize the odds of winning while playing video poker, you should steer clear of certain things:

  • Discard the kickers (unmatched high cards) in Jacks or Better. Instead, stick to pairs or better.
  • Don’t chase straights or flushes with three cards – while it does look tempting, it often leads to losses.
  • Never break a winning hand (like a pair or two pairs) just to go for the potentially higher payouts. The only exception to this would be the case when you’re aiming for the Straight Flush.

Looking for More Guides?

Want to play more casino games like a true pro? Check out our other guides:

What is the Best Strategy for Video Poker?

The best video poker strategy is a mixture of knowledge, skill, and a bit of luck. Knowing which cards to hold and which to discard, reading the pay tables, and understanding the odds are the key to success.

However, strategy or no strategy, you have to remember the randomness of the game and the house’s edge. Casinos have their rules and limits, so you’re not always playing on an even field.

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Since video poker includes many variants, choosing the best strategy depends on choosing your favorite game. Let’s take the Jacks or Better strategy and see what its pros and cons are:


  • Easy to understand, perfect for beginners
  • Offers decent odds, giving players a fair shot
  • If you stick to it, you might see steady wins rolling in


  • Can become repetitive over time for professional players
  • Not as lucrative as more complex video poker bells


Is there a strategy for playing video poker?

Are poker and video poker rules the same?

What is the best video poker variant to play?

What is the best online casino for playing video poker?

Is it possible to win by playing video poker?

Are there any free online video poker games?

Responsible Gambling

Remember, video poker and other forms of gambling should be fun and entertaining. Set limits and never chase losses. Responsible gambling is one of the best practices to ensure a positive gaming experience.

If you or any person you know are struggling, seek help or reach out to organizations below:

You can also call 1-800-GAMBLER for help with gambling problems at any time.


About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Djordje Todorovic
Casino Expert

Djordje is a seasoned casino writer and a game reviewer at ReadWrite, who closely follows news in the iGaming sphere. He loves to cover industry-shaping developments and reveals during events like Las Vegas (G2E) Global Gaming Expo. He aims to provide unbiased and insightful evaluation of online/mobile slots, table games, and mini-games along with some beginner tips for the same.

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