How to Use a Video Poker in Mines Games Easy Win Strategy Card
Video poker machines come in many different varieties, and most games have multiple pay charts. This creates a large number of combinations, and it’s often confusing to determine which game and pay table combination offers the best odds.
You can quickly find details about different video poker games and their pay tables online or in books about the game. But what do you need to do in order to have the best chance to win when you find a good game?
Each decision you make while playing video poker with real money changes the house edge. This means you can use strategy when you play to lower the house edge and improve your odds of winning. The easiest way is to use a strategy card.
Here’s a page that explains exactly how to use a video poker strategy card.
Reading a Strategy Card or Chart
Before I get started, you need to have a strategy card or chart in front of you to get a complete understanding of this section. The good news is you don’t have to go out and buy one, or even leave your computer or phone.
Strategy charts or cards are super easy to find online. A strategy chart is the same thing as a strategy card.
Below is an example of a video poker strategy card:
Sometimes, you’ll run into two different strategy charts on one page. There’s usually a simple strategy chart that produces a 99.46% payback and an advanced chart that produces a 99.54% return.
If you want the fastest way to memorize a good Jacks or Better strategy, you can start with the simple strategy. But you’re going to be using a strategy card or chart while you play, so there’s no reason to avoid using the advanced strategy chart.
Using Video Poker Strategy:
It’s easy once you know how to do it. You simply look at the cards you have and start reading down the strategy chart from top to bottom. As soon as you find a hand that matches yours you stop.
Keep the cards listed on the strategy chart and discard the rest of your cards. Read the example below.
You receive the queen of spades, queen of clubs, seven of spades, five of spades, and four of spades. You start reading down from the top of the strategy chart and the first hand that matches yours is a high pair, because you have a pair of queens. You discard the seven, five, and four and draw three new cards.
Your hand also appears two other places on the chart, but you ignore them because the only result you’re interested in is the highest listed one that matches your hand. Your hand also has four to a flush and three cards to a straight flush.
If you didn’t have a high pair, like if the queen of clubs was a jack of hearts, you’d keep the four spades and discard the jack.
Why Strategy Cards Work in Video Poker
Every possible five-card hand combination you can receive while playing video poker has a single best way to be played. The exact math is complicated, but the best play can be proven mathematically. The great news is that you don’t have to do any of the math.
The reason why the best play can be proven mathematically is because every video poker machine uses a specific set of cards that produce a limited number of possibilities. When the five cards you’re dealt are removed from the set of cards, there are a limited number of possible replacement cards available.
Let’s look at Jacks or Better so you can see what I mean.
If you look back at the example in the last section with the pair of queens and four to a flush, you know that there are only two queens left in the deck after you receive your first five cards. Jacks or Better uses a standard 52-card deck, and there are only four queens in the deck. You were dealt two queens, so the remaining two are still available.
You also know that there are 13 cards of each suit, and you have four of the spades. This means there are nine remaining spades in the deck.
Another thing you know is that there are 47 cards remaining in the deck after you receive your starting five-card hand.
Using all of this information in conjunction with the pay table, it’s possible to determine how often you’re going to finish with a paying hand and how much the paying hand is worth.
When you compile all of this information, you find out the best way to play each particular hand. This has been done using a computer model, and the result is a card or chart used to provide you with good video poker strategy.
Continuing with the example, you know that a pair of queens returns five coins on your five-coin wager, and this is the worst hand you can complete by keeping the two queens and drawing three new cards. You also know that two of the remaining 47 cards are queens, so you’re going to get another one of them for three of a kind.
You even have a small chance to receive both of the remaining queens to complete a four of a kind.
You will also get another pair sometimes, and complete a full house a few times if you play the same situation enough times.
The reason why keeping your pair of queens is listed above keeping the four to a flush is because the average win or return is higher for the queens than it is for drawing to a flush.
Sample Video Poker Hands
Here are some sample hands going off a Jacks or Better strategy chart. You should find a strategy chart for every video poker game you play. You can use your card or chart when you play online, and you can take them with you when you play in a live casino.
I’ve listed five Jacks or Better hands below. Read each hand and look to a chart to find the best play.
- King of spades, queen of spades, jack of spades, 10 of spades, king of hearts.
- Ace of diamonds, ace of hearts, three of spades, three of clubs, jack of diamonds.
- Six of hearts, six of clubs, jack of spades, queen of spades, five of clubs.
- Jack of hearts, queen of clubs, king of diamonds, seven of spades, six of spades.
- Three of clubs, five of clubs, seven of hearts, nine of spades, 10 of spades.
- You have a pair of kings and four cards to a royal flush. The best hand is the four to a royal flush, so you discard the king of hearts.
- You have two pair, which is listed just above one high pair, so you keep the two pair and discard the jack of diamonds.
- You have a low pair and a suited queen jack, which are both on the strategy chart. You keep the pair of sixes and discard the other three cards because a low pair is listed higher than a suited queen jack.
- This isn’t a very good starting hand, but an unsuited king, queen, jack is on the list, so you discard the seven and six of spades.
- This hand doesn’t have any cards listed on your strategy chart, so you discard all five cards.
If you want to practice some more, either sign up for a free account at one of the online casinos we recommend on this site and play their free video poker games, or get a deck of cards and deal five-card hands and check the chart for the best play.
Using a video poker strategy card is easy and the best way to keep the house edge as low as you possibly can. It only takes a second or two to check your card to make sure you’re making the most profitable play.
Once you start using a strategy card, it won’t take long before you know the best play for most hands. Eventually, you’re going to have the entire strategy memorized and you won’t have to use your card again.
Of course, there’s no shame in using your card for as long as you want. It’s the smartest way to play video poker, so never feel bad about checking for the best way to play.