Understand Video Poker Strategy

Sometimes, because we concentrate so much of our energy on learning strategy, we forget that irrespective of strategy, there are many behaviors that might be construed as tactical mistakes.  In terms of online casino gaming, this is true primarily in the games that require analysis and careful decision-making.  So, the mistakes we are here warning you against are not exclusive to video poker but they certainly do apply to video poker.

Using Our No Deposit Bonus Properly

Springbok is considered the no deposit casino for South Africa because of the large no deposit bonus we offer new players.  The mistake we are talking about is using the no deposit bonus on games of chance like slots.  We think that, if you intend to play games like blackjack and video poker, it’s much better to use the no deposit bonus on these games where excellent strategy can almost bring you even with the house.  That means that you’ll win almost as much as you’ll lose and you’ll get to learn our fine set of video poker games firsthand and at no cost at all.

Pay Attention to Pay Tables

This advice is specific to video poker and we have spoken about this before.  The mistake we’re talking about here is that for some reason players play at video poker games with less than 9-6 pay scale.  When we say that you can win back about 99.6% of the money you bet, it’s because you were playing at a 9-6 video poker game.

Go for a Royal Flush

It is true that a Royal Flush comes along fairly rarely.  Nevertheless, it does come up every day somewhere in the Real Time Gaming universe and, if we’re talking about many thousands of video poker hands, it actually comes up many times every day.  In video poker, there are many hands where the best strategy is to go for the Royal Flush.  Many players make the mistake of saying, “A Royal Flush never happens”.  It’s rare but not nearly as rare as you might think.

When you go for the Royal Flush and you have bet the maximum at that game, you’ll win far more than you “lost” by going for the Royal Flush all those times and not getting it.

Thinking that You Can’t Learn Strategy

There are so many video poker strategy tutorials out there that almost anyone can learn beyond the absolutely most basic strategy.  Some players play only true games of chance like slots and roulette because they don’t want to think about strategy in blackjack or video poker.  This is a big mistake. 

You don’t have to memorize anything in order to get a strong grasp of video poker strategy.  You do need some patience until you become familiar with most situations and you know automatically how to proceed.

Video poker strategy is in a way like learning to drive.  When you first start driving, you see everything in great detail.  You probably worried about every car jumping in ahead of you.  This is quite normal.  Then you learned to relax and drive.

In video poker, the list of strategic options is long but it’s not excessively long.  Having confidence in your ability to learn the list goes a long way to making video poker one of your favourite games.

Playing When You’re Tired

Most mistakes come about because the player played when he or she was tired.  If you’re tired and want to play online games at Springbok, we suggest you play slots.  You can go from game to game easily.  We have over 100 slots so even the most dedicated slots player takes a long time to experience each one.

Video poker requires decisions and when you’re tired, your decision making ability is less than when you’re wide awake.

When you’re tired, you might not even see that you have a great start to an even better hand such as three to a straight flush and you might throw that chance away.  When you’re tired you might get confused and click on cards you want to discard instead of on cards you want to hold.   When you’re tired you might hit on the wrong card even though you were looking directly at the right card to click.  And when you’re tired, you might click on deal instead of on a different key.

All of the above applies as well to when you have had a little too much to drink but most gamers understand the folly that drinking can be whilst playing.  If you’re tired, play in our free play mode.

Allow the Logic of Video Poker to Influence Your Decisions

There is a certain logic to every video poker hand and, to illustrate this point, let’s look at a few interesting hands with a logical twist.

  • If you have an open ended straight draw and a low pair, the best strategy is to keep the pair.  You might get a third card or you might get another pair.  The extra payout for a straight does not justify going for the straight.  The logical twist is when the open-ended straight draw is for a nine or an ace.  Then you go for the straight because if you pair a high card, you also win on the hand.
  • It’s totally different if you have four to a flush and a low pair.  Here, the extra money you might win with the flush justifies going for it rather than hoping for three of a kind or two pair.
  • There is a huge difference between holding cards to a Royal Flush and cards to a straight flush.  The bonus payment for a Royal Flush makes up for the lost money if you discard a low pair or even a winning pair.  However, there is no such bonus payment for a straight flush so it’s better in these cases to hold a pair, even if it’s a low pair when you have three to a straight flush.

These three examples are illustrative and there are many more such examples.  The gist of the dilemma video poker players have is when they have a hand with some value and want to improve the hand for a better payout.  Sometimes you discard good cards in pursuit of better cards and sometimes you don’t.

The bottom line is that you have to see more deeply into every hand in order to know which way to proceed.  We’ll go into more depth on this subject next time.