Video Poker Strategy Charts

Video poker strategy charts are designed to help you make the best play on every hand. When you make the best play it gives you the best chance to win while keeping the house edge as low as possible.

Once you learn how to read video poker strategy charts it’s easy to use them. Most are written in a format where the best hands are at the top and the worst ones are at the bottom. You look at your hand and start reading down the chart until you find a hand that matches what you hold.

You can find a sample strategy chart in the next section. It’s a little more detailed than most charts you find, but it’s important for you to understand what each line means.

Most video poker strategy charts just list what you should hold and don’t specifically say hold these cards. If you use a chart that just lists the hands, it means you hold what’s listed and discard everything else.

Video Poker Strategy Charts

Video poker strategy charts are designed to help you make the best play on every hand. When you make the best play it gives you the best chance to win while keeping the house edge as low as possible.

Once you learn how to read video poker strategy charts it’s easy to use them. Most are written in a format where the best hands are at the top and the worst ones are at the bottom. You look at your hand and start reading down the chart until you find a hand that matches what you hold.

You can find a sample strategy chart in the next section. It’s a little more detailed than most charts you find, but it’s important for you to understand what each line means.

Most video poker strategy charts just list what you should hold and don’t specifically say hold these cards. If you use a chart that just lists the hands, it means you hold what’s listed and discard everything else.

Sample Video Poker Strategy Chart

Here’s a simple strategy chart for 9 / 6 Jacks or Better video poker.

  • Royal flush – Hold all five cards
  • Straight flush – Hold all five cards
  • Four of a kind – Hold four of a kind
  • Four to a royal flush – Hold four to a royal flush
  • Full house – Hold all five cards
  • Flush – Hold all five cards
  • Straight – Hold all five cards
  • Three of a kind – Hold three of a kind
  • Four to a straight flush – Hold four to a straight flush
  • Two pair – Hold two pair
  • Pair of jacks or better – Hold pair
  • Three to a royal flush – Hold three to a royal flush
  • Four to a flush – Hold four to a flush
  • Pair of tens or lower – Hold pair
  • Four to an open ended straight – Hold four to the straight
  • Two suited cards jack and higher – Hold two suited high cards
  • Three to a straight flush – Hold three to straight flush
  • Two cards jack and higher – Hold two high cards
  • Suited king 10, queen 10, or jack 10 – Hold suited king, queen, or jack 10
  • One high card – Hold one high card
  • Otherwise, discard everything

Video Poker Strategy Chart Quiz

Here’s a quiz so you can see how well you do with what you just learned. Use the sample chart listed above to decide how to play each hand below. Write your answers down before scrolling down the page to see how you do.

Remember to start at the top of the chart and use the first line you come to that matches your hand.

Hands

Hand 1: Queen of diamonds, eight of spades, seven of diamonds, four of clubs, three of clubs

Hand 2: Eight of spades, eight of hearts, seven of diamonds, seven of hearts, king of spades

Hand 3: Nine of diamonds, nine of spades, ace of spades, six of clubs, five of clubs

Hand 4: Five of hearts, five of diamonds, five of clubs, five of spades, ace of hearts

Hand 5: Queen of spades, 10 of spades, eight of diamonds, seven of hearts, three of clubs

Hand 6: Jack of spades, eight of hearts, seven of spades, five of diamonds, four of hearts

Hand 7: 10 of hearts, eight of spades, six of spades, four of diamonds, two of clubs

Hand 8: Jack of hearts, 10 of spades, nine of clubs, eight of hearts, jack of diamonds

Hand 9: Ace of hearts, king of hearts, queen of hearts, 10 of hearts, nine of hearts

Hand 10: Jack or clubs, jack of spades, four of clubs, seven of clubs, eight of clubs

Answers

Hand 1: The queen of diamonds is your only high card and you don’t have any other possible hands so you hold the queen of diamonds and discard the other four cards.

Hand 2: You hold two pair and discard the king.

Hand 3: You have a pair of nines and a high card. The pair below jacks is listed higher than the one high card so hold the nines and discard the other three cards.

Hand 4: Hold the four fives. In this case it doesn’t matter if you hold or discard the ace because you can’t improve on a four of a kind.

Hand 5: You have a suited queen 10, so hold those two cards. It’s easy to forget about a 10 suited to a high card when you get used to discarding everything except a high card in a poor hand.

Hand 6: You have a high card and an inside straight draw. Notice that an inside straight draw isn’t listed on the chart, so you should keep the jack.

Hand 7: Discard all five cards.

Hand 8: You have a pair of jacks and four to an open end straight. A pair of jacks or better is listed above the open end straight so you hold the two jacks and discard the other three cards.

Hand 9: You have a flush, but four to a royal flush is listed higher so you discard the nine of hearts and draw to a royal flush.

Hand 10: You have a pair of jacks or better but you also have four to a flush. Four to a flush is listed higher than a pair of jacks or better, so you should discard the jack or spades and keep the four clubs.

Now that you know how to use a video poker strategy chart, look on the page on this site for the video poker game you want to play. Each page includes a strategy chart you can print or write down for use the next time you play.

Always make sure you have your strategy chart with you whether you play online or in your local casino. It’s the only way to make sure you always make the most profitable play.