Video Poker Tips

Video poker is easy to play, but if you know how to do it a certain way you can improve your chances to win. Here are some quick video poker tips and tricks to help you maximize your chances to win and play longer.

1 – Always Bet Maximum Coins

In order to be eligible for the bonus paid on the top payout line for most video poker machines you have to bet maximum coins. This is usually five coins per hand. If you bet less than maximum coins it increases the house edge.

Here’s an example:

If you only bet one coin on a 9 / 6 Jacks or Better machine and hit a royal flush you only win 250. But if you bet five coins you win 4,000. This is a bonus of 2,750.


2 – Sign up for the Player’s Club

It’s free to sign up for the player’s club and you can earn comps for your play. If you’re going to play video poker anyway you might as well earn a free meal or cash back.

Look for the player’s club desk in land based casinos or the link to the club in an online casino. It only takes a couple minutes to join and you can start earning rewards as soon as you start playing.


3 – Use a Strategy Card

The only way to get the maximum payback % when you play video poker is to use the best strategy for the game you’re playing. The easiest way to do this is use a strategy card when you play.

Strategy cards designed for the game and pay table you’re playing list all of the proper strategy plays. Once you play one game with a strategy card long enough you can start remembering the best strategy for most hands. But until you have all of the correct plays memorized you should use a strategy card.


4 – Play Full Pay Deuces Wild or Jacks or Better

The two games that are commonly available and give you the best chance to find good pay tables are Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. They also both have strategy cards available in most casino gift shops and online.

The full pay Jacks or Better machine is called a 9 / 6, which means the full house pays nine coins and the flush pays six. The best Deuces Wild pay table available in most casinos is the NSUD version. That stands for not so ugly ducks and the pay table you’re looking for pays 800 per coin for a natural royal flush, 200 for four deuces, 25 for a wild royal flush, 16 for five of a kind, 10 for a straight flush, four for four of a kind, four for a full house, three for a flush, two for a straight, and one for a three of a kind.


5 – Slow Down

If you want to play video poker longer on the same bankroll the best thing you can do is slow down. A fast video poker player can play 300 of more hands per hour. Unless you get lucky the machine slowly drains your bankroll, so the faster you play the faster your bankroll disappears.

If you lose an average of $10 an hour playing 300 hands per hour, if you play only 150 hands per hour it reduces your loss per hour to $5. This lets you play twice as long on the same size bankroll.

When you pay slower it also helps you avoid making costly mistakes. Take an extra second to study your strategy card before making a playing decision and you can pay longer and have a better chance to win.


6 – Get a Bonus

When you play video poker online you should try to play where you can get a deposit bonus. This helps extend your bankroll and playing time and gives you more hands to hit the top payouts.

Not every online casino bonus can be used for video poker so make sure you read the terms and conditions before you make a deposit. This also lets you know what you have to do before you can make a withdrawal request.


7 – Don’t Try New Games Until You Know the Best Strategy

Casinos introduce new games because players are always looking for something new. But you should avoid new video poker machines until you learn the best strategy.

In order to get the maximum return from a VP machine you have to try to play perfect strategy. Every time you make a mistake it costs you money in the long run. When you play a new machine and don’t know the best strategy you’re likely to make mistakes.


8 – Try a Video Poker Tournament

Video poker tournaments offer a good way to play quite a bit for a set fee. Once you pay your entry fee you play for a set time and try to win as much as possible. If you get lucky you can place high enough to win a prize.

Take a few minutes to read the rules before you enter so you understand the play and prize structure. When you play in a tournament you want to play more for high payout hands than proper strategy suggests because it’s hard to win a tournament without hitting at least one big hand.


9 – Be Careful of Progressive Video Poker Machines

Progressive video poker machines aren’t as popular as progressive slots, but you can find a few in land based casinos and online. The problem is that many progressive video poker machines have a worse pay chart than you can find on machine not offering a progressive.

This means the jackpot has to climb quite a bit before you can get the same expected return as on a machine with a better pay chart.

Use these 9 video poker tips and tricks to win more and play longer. Each one is quick and easy to learn, and you’re going to benefit from using them every time you play. Take a few minutes to learn each of these tips and your bankroll will be better off for as long as you play.