How to Win at Video Poker — Essential Strategy Tips

Video poker blends the chance of slots with the strategy of poker. This makes for a thrilling game where you can use many tactical moves to boost your odds. These strategies are equally useful, whether you play in a physical casino or opt for crypto video poker.

Jacks or Better

Video Poker Strategies

Most video poker machines are based on five-card draw poker rules. Players start with five cards and decide which to hold and which to exchange. You can keep all your cards, swap all, or just some. The right choice might not always be obvious. That's when video poker strategies come in handy.

Learn Poker Hands

To discover how to win at video poker, begin by learning the poker hands. This can be easily done during the game while playing at low stakes or even for free.

Broadly, the order of poker combinations from lowest to highest goes like this:

  1. High card (not used in video poker)
  2. Pair
  3. Two Pair
  4. Three of a Kind
  5. Straight (five cards of sequential rank)
  6. Flush (five cards of the same suit)
  7. Full House (three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank)
  8. Four of a Kind
  9. Straight Flush (one-suit straight)
  10. Royal Flush (straight flush from 10 to Ace)

Effective play requires understanding the hands, as it helps you evaluate your odds and use the video poker strategy guide properly. It’s essential to recognize specific situations, like being one card short of a straight, and make your moves accordingly.

Understand the Paytable

But there's more to it. Video poker isn't just one game; it's a whole category. Although the gameplay is usually the same, the payouts for certain combinations vary. For instance, in All American Poker, a pair of jacks wins, while in Joker Poker, you need at least two kings.

To find out which combinations win and how much, refer to the paytable. It's similar to those in ETH slots. The paytable is key to video poker strategy because it determines the minimum combination needed to win and the payout amounts, which should guide your decisions in the game.

Game Selection

The best video poker games for players, especially beginners, are ones that allow winnings from simple hands. In this regard, Jacks or Better outperforms more advanced variations because it makes winning easier. While other games might give higher payouts for combinations like straight flushes, these hands are rare, reducing your overall odds.

Moreover, payouts can vary even within the same game type. For instance, the best Jacks or Better variant pays 6x for a flush and 9x for a full house. Other versions might offer decreased payouts for these combinations, resulting in a lower overall RTP.

In the most profitable version of Jacks or Better, expect the payout table to look like this:

Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a Kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full House 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15s
Two Pair 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or Better 1 2 3 4 5

How Many Coins to Bet

Video poker games feature variable payouts depending on your coin count. Take Double Bonus Poker from Habanero: a royal flush pays 250x with one coin and 4000x with five coins. The payout jumps 16x, though you're only betting five times more. So, one of the most important video poker tips is to always bet max coins.

Besides choosing the number of coins, you can also set the coin value. This way, you can maintain comfortable bet sizing, even when playing with the maximum coins.

Many games feature a "BET MAX" button. It lets you bet the maximum coins with one click, without changing the coin value.

Double Bonus Poker

Video Poker Chart

The video poker chart is essential for smart play. Like the optimal blackjack strategy, it shows you the mathematically right move for each scenario.

Keep in mind that each video poker variation has a specific strategy card. Choose the one that fits your game and stick with it. It might not guarantee a win, but you'll know you played your best.

A Weak Hand is Better Than Nothing

But what if you don't have the chart? No problem, just make sure to hold onto the minimum winning combination.

For instance, if you have a pair of jacks from the start, don't break them trying to chase a straight. The potential payout isn't worth the low chance of getting the right combination.

If you have no winning hand, follow these rules:

  • Keep three cards if they can lead to a straight flush.
  • Keep four cards if they're close to a straight or flush.
  • Keep three cards if they're part of a potential royal flush.
  • Keep any card that could make a winning pair.
  • If you don't have any of these, swap all five cards.

This is the essence of the basic video poker strategy, which allows for immediate play without extra learning.

Chasing a Royal Flush

The only time you should break the rule above is if you're just one card away from a royal flush. Given that this combo is like hitting the jackpot, especially with a five-coin bet, the higher payout makes the risk worthwhile. In this scenario, it's smart to sacrifice a completed straight or flush because the payouts can differ by 100 times or more, depending on the game variation.

However, the size of your bet is important. If you're betting big and your bankroll is dwindling, you might want to keep a straight or flush since the chances of hitting a royal flush are still small.


Video poker is special because it's one of the few casino games where players can directly affect the outcome. Another game with a similar level of control is Crash. Despite its different gameplay, many players enjoy both. Interested? We've got some great Crash game tricks for you! Just remember, always play smart, no matter the game.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best video poker game?

Jacks or Better by Platipus, available at ETH Casino, has the highest player odds with a 99.54% RTP. For something different, check out Video Poker by Evolution at Ethereum live dealer casinos. It offers a distinctive twist with five rule variations and a shared hand for all players.

Which cards are best to keep in video poker?

Generally, you should hold any cards that make or could lead to a winning hand.

How can you win at video poker every time?

As video poker is a game of chance, there are no sure wins. But, keeping winning hands instead of trading them for possible better ones can significantly enhance your odds.

Can you play video poker with crypto?

Yes, many players choose to play poker with Ethereum because it's widely available and offers fast transactions.

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