Video Poker Strategy

When video poker burst on to the scene in the late 1970s, it took casino players a few years to welcome this form of gaming. It was not until computer technology and home gaming became popular in the 1980s that this form of game really took off. Nowadays, video poker is one of the most popular games you will find in a casino and unsurprisingly, it has transferred to the online casino market very well.

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Just like poker itself, there are strategies that players can use when playing video poker. While there is no guarantee of 100% success when using a video poker strategy, choosing the right strategy and sticking with it can help a player to minimise their losses and improve their chances of being a winner. The simplest strategy with most casino games, including video poker, is based around money management.

Think about your bankroll

Your first step should be to break your bankroll down into smaller units and one unit should be equal to one credit on the machine. If $0.25 is the minimum bet on the video poker machine, this should be the level of one unit in your bankroll. A player that has $100 to play with and is playing a video poker machine which has a minimum bet of $0.25 will find that they have 400 units to bet with.

A player should set up loss and win limits. The loss limit will be the most amount of units you are prepared to lose in your video poker session and the win limit will be the profit amount you are happy with and will walk away with when you achieve it. A modest profit level to aim for is 20% and this equates to 40 units.

You should begin playing the video poker game by wagering 1 unit. If you win, return to 1 unit for your next wager. If you lose, you should double the wager amount. After one loss at $0.25, the next bet should be $0.50 and if this is lost, it will rise to $1.00. This system is commonly referred to as the Martingale system and while it is not 100% fool proof, it can provide a good parameter for players to walk away from the video games. For many people, the most important factor is to know your limits for both profit and loss.

Know what cards to keep

Another playing strategy for video poker is to aim to play the highest possible poker hand at all times. This means that if the chance arises, you should always look to hold onto:

A Royal Flush
A Straight Flush
A Four of a Kind or
A Full house

You should even consider holding a three of a kind or when holding two pairs but there are other things to consider. With the three of a kind, you should ditch the two remaining cards to leave the chances of a four of a kind or full house available. With the two pair option, you should look to discard your fifth card in order to aim for a full house.

If you have a straight or a flush, you should only consider breaking them up when you have four cards that represent a chance of a royal flush. For example, if you held the A, K, Q, J and a 9, all in club cards, you should look to discard your 9 and play in hope of picking up a 10 of clubs. As a backup, you will find you can aim for a straight with any 10 card or the chance to grab a minimum of a jacks or better.

Luck will play a big part in the final outcome when playing video poker, but using proper video poker strategy can make all the difference.