video poker strategy

We have covered many excellent tips for making video poker more profitable in many articles so we have decided to bring as many of these tips together in one review article.

Play for Free

Very few gamers spend all their time playing online casino games for free; the main reason people play our games is that they like having some money riding on the outcome.  Video poker is one of the best games to play because the standard return to player rate is about 99.5%.  That means that the game has very low volatility.

Benefits of Low Volatility

High rollers need not be concerned about managing their bankroll bit most of us do.  A low volatility game means that you’ll have modest highs and moderate lows.  It leads video poker players to play the game for the fun of it as a great pastime rather than as a get rich quick scheme.

Learn Variations for Free

Returning to the tip about unlimited free play, when you decide to learn a different variation of video poker, it’s a very good idea to practice it in free play.  That way you learn the game at absolutely no cost to you.

You can practice at home for free using a strategy card and improve your hand immensely.

When you play using the Springbok Casino no deposit bonus, it is almost like playing for free.

Always Bet the Maximum

The only real volatility in video poker is all on the player’s side: it comes when you hit a Royal Flush.  This is a rare event to be sure but it is not nearly as rare as winning the state lottery.  So, it is a true shame to hit a Royal Flush and not qualify for the big bonus payout.  The big bonus payout goes only if you have bet the maximum.

So bankroll management and the desire to bet the maximum will usually determine which video poker game you’ll play.

Play Slowly

This tip really means play at the speed at which you won’t make the mistake of overlooking a good hand.  A common error is to see only a pair of high cards and hold just those when hidden between the pair is another low pair.

A corollary error is made almost exclusively by beginners who mistake a click on a card to hold it as a click on the card to discard it.

So, always play at the speed that is most comfortable for you.  Video poker is much different than slots.  In slots, you can play as fast as you like because you have no decisions to make.  In video poker, you have a decision to make on every hand so you have to find your playing equilibrium and stick to it.

Never Keep a Kicker

In regular poker, if you have a pair and a high card, you might keep the high card as a kicker.  Kickers have no value at all in video poker.  In fact, they have negative value because they prevent you from getting another card which might put you higher up on the pay scale.

Play 9-6 Video Poker

This is a pay scale that pays 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush.  This piece of advice applies only to straight Jacks or Better video poker.  If you play deuces wild or double bonus video poker, the pay scale will be different.  Always be aware of what the best pay scale is for the variation you want to play.

This is one big advantage of playing online at Springbok.  You can always find the variation with the pay scale you want at Springbok online casino whilst at a land based casino, that video poker machine might be occupied.

Use a Strategy Card

Each video poker variation has its own unique strategy and there are strategy cards available for each game.  We advise you to have it handy at all times because even if you think you know it well there often are hands that stump even the most professional player.

A pianist playing a piece that he or she knows perfectly will still use the musical score because you never know when something will distract you and set your concentration off.

A corollary of the strategy card advice is that the best strategy for video poker is often counter-intuitive.  You might give up a pair to go for a flush.  When you learn that it is advisable to sometimes give up a high pair to go for a flush, you might think that it is always advisable to do so.  Unfortunately, it is not.  So learn the strategy card for the variation you’re playing and keep it with you at all times as a handy reference.

The strategy card for each variation is pretty long.  It does take some time to learn it.  We advise players to learn the strategy not to memorize it.  By learning the strategy, you also learn the logic behind the strategies that are counter-intuitive.

Stop Playing when You’re Tired

The difference between winning and losing may be a small number of decisions.  When you’re tired, your concentration and reasoning skills will be impaired.

This tip points to another advantage of playing online.  When you’re tired at a land-based casino, you’ll go to eat or drink or sleep.  People at land based casinos hate to sleep; they have invested in travel, hotel and so on in order to play at the casino so they want to play as much as possible.  People at a land-based casino also love to drink and often drink too much alcohol whilst they’re playing.

When you play online, you can keep your gaming separate from your everyday responsibilities.  The alcohol you drink may not be free but the free alcohol at a land-based casino impairs players’ judgment.  So, play at home and have a drink after you’ve finished playing.

Have a Sufficient Bankroll

We said earlier that video poker is a low volatility game.  This is the case in the long run.  In the short run, you’ll have some frustrating losing streaks.  So, you need enough money to keep you going when you’ve hit a losing streak.

Avoid Tilt

This is the last tip for this article.  When a player is losing, he or she has a tendency to slog on hoping to win back the losses.   This is tilt and it is very damaging emotionally and psychologically.  Instead of giving in to tilt, close the session and do something else you enjoy.  You will quickly recover psychologically from the losing session and will be able to see the losses in perspective: you win some and you lose some.

An American football coach approached his family after his team had lost the championship game.  His young daughter was crying.  He leaned down and said to her, “Dear, you can’t win them all.”

In video poker, you can win a lot of them especially if you follow the best tips.