Mastering Video Poker: Essential Strategies for Boosting Your Odds

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Winning at video poker takes skill and strategy. Unlike slots which rely purely on chance, video poker introduces an element of skill where knowledgeable play can boost your odds and payouts dramatically. Follow these essential tips to start winning more often.

Learn Optimal Play for Each Machine

There are many popular video poker variants at Ricky Casino Australia, and each has its own optimal strategy based on the machine’s pay table. Take the time to learn basic guides for the machines you play regularly. Understand the right plays for every starting hand based on long-term mathematical probabilities. Some key strategic tips per variant:

Jacks or Better

  • Always hold Royal Flushes, Straight Flushes and Four-of-a-Kind
  • Break up Two Pair hands if you have a low pair
  • Don’t hold a Kicker with One Pair hands

Deuces Wild

  • Always hold 4 cards to a Royal Flush
  • Break up Full Houses if you have 3 cards to a Royal Flush

Double Bonus

  • Always hold Three-of-a-Kind or better
  • Break up Two Pair hands with a low pair

Print out a basic strategy guide for the machine you play and keep it handy as you learn optimal play.

Choose Machines with Good Pay Tables

All video poker games may look similar on the surface, but pay tables can vary widely across machines. Seek out full pay or “9/6” machines that payout 9 coins for Full House and 6 coins for Flush. These machines offer returns of over 99% with perfect play. Avoid machines with lower payouts like 8/5 or lose your advantage.

Local casinos often mix good pay tables with lower paying machines on the floor. Check the payouts listed on the machine before sitting down, and move to find good pay tables. This simple step boosts your payouts more than any other.

Play with Max Coins

Most video poker machines offer increased payouts if you play with maximum coins. The increase is usually substantial – for example, the Royal Flush bonus jumps from 800 coins to 4000 coins. Make sure you check the machine’s pay table and play max coins every hand. The extra investment more than pays for itself long-term through higher bonuses.

Slow Down Your Play

Some video poker machines allow up to 500 hands per hour. But take your time and aim for 100-150 hands per hour instead. Video poker rewards thoughtful strategy, not frenzied gambling. Analyze each hand and make sure you’re holding or discarding decisions to follow basic strategic guidelines. Don’t rush your play as quicker hands reduce your odds.

Join a Players Club

If you play regularly at local casinos, make sure to join the player’s club or loyalty program. Most programs provide cashback on losses that can boost your bankroll over time. You may also receive mailers for free play credits allowing you to test machines for free. Use these perks to offset the standard casino advantage.

Take Breaks and Watch for Tilt

It’s easy to fall into “tilt” and make poor strategy decisions after a bad losing streak. When you feel frustration building, walk away and take a break to clear your head. Go for a short walk, get some fresh air, then return to the machine with a fresh perspective. Remember the mathematical edge favors the knowledgeable player, so stick to the guidelines.

With these tips, you can boost your odds, payouts and enjoyment of video poker machines. Learn optimal strategy guides, seek out good pay tables, slow down your play, and use casino loyalty programs. Mastering video poker takes time, but follow this advice to start winning more.

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