6 Step Recipe for Video Poker Success

Closeup of a Video Poker Screen

Video poker games can be both good and bad. If you don’t know the right strategy to use and/or get stuck playing a bad paytable, you have little chance to win. But with the right game, paytable, and strategy you can get a high return.

The good news is that the recipe for success playing video poker is simple. Once you learn the 6 step recipe in this article you’re not going to have any trouble being a successful video poker gambler. Just follow the exact recipe and don’t leave out any of the ingredients.

5 Coins Is the Only Realistic Option in Video Poker

Almost 100% of the time when you gamble the best strategy is to bet the smallest amount that you’re allowed to risk. Video poker is 1 of the rare exceptions to this strategy. In fact, if you don’t bet 5 coins when you play video poker you’re actually increasing the house edge.

The reason why this is true can be found in the paytable. When you compare how much the paytable pays for a 5 coin bet and the pay for any other coin bet, you can see that on the top pay line you get extra money for 5 coins.

For example, you might win 250 coins for a 1 coin bet on the top line and 1,000 coins for a 4 coin bet. But you win 4,000 coins on the top line when you bet 5 coins. If the top line followed the normal payment without the bonus amount you would only win 1,250 coins.

The truth is that you don’t win the top line hand very often. But you hit it often enough to make a big difference in your overall return and the house edge. This is why you have to bet 5 coins.

What Video Poker Variation Is the Best?

This isn’t an easy question to answer because most video poker machines have multiple available pay tables. The answer is the best video poker machine is the machine with the best paytable that you know the exact strategy to use on.

The problem with this is that there are too many different video poker variations to memorize the best paytable for every machine. This is why I recommend choosing a couple of different variations to focus on.

When you only have to learn about the best pay tables and strategies for 2 video poker variations you can remember what you need to know.

Video Poker Screen Displaying Royal Flush

You can pick any 2 video poker variations that you want. But I can give you another recommendation if you don’t know which 2 games to choose.

I focus on Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better. These are both popular variations, I’ve learned what the right strategy is for each game, and I can always find good pay tables for these machines in online casinos.

These are also the 2 video poker variations that you’re most likely to be able to find in land-based casinos, but good paytables are getting harder to find in these locations.

Understanding Video Poker Card Odds

Everything you do when you play any video poker game is based on the card odds. The cards you get when you start playing are based on odds and the decisions you make about which cards to keep and which cards to replace also need to be based on the odds.

If you play enough video poker hands you’re going to get an equal number of each possible card in the deck on your first hand. The number of aces of clubs is the same number of 3 of diamonds that you get overtime.

You don’t have any control over the cards you start each hand with. But you do have control over which cards you decide to keep. And you can make these decisions based on the odds of getting cards that can improve your hand.

For example, if you have 3 of a kind, you know there’s only 1 more card in the remaining cards that can give you a 4 of a kind. And if you have 4 cards of the same suit you know that there are 9 cards left in the deck that completes a flush.

The good news is that you don’t have to figure all of the odds out. You can use a strategy tool, which you’re going to see more about in section 5 below.

Control the Speed of Your Video Poker Play

No matter how you play video poker, the odds are stacked against you winning in the long run. You can get close to winning with everything listed in this article, but you’re likely still going to be playing with a small disadvantage.

When you’re playing video poker at a disadvantage, even a small edge for the casino, it means that the more you play the more you’re losing.

The nice thing about video poker whether you play in land-based casinos or in online or mobile casinos is that you have complete control over how many hands you play. While you can play 100’s of hands every hour, you don’t have to play this fast.

Video Poker Jacks or Better Game Displaying on iPhone

The other danger of playing video poker too fast is that you’re more likely to make a mistake. If you make a mistake it costs you money. If you don’t play every single video poker hand the right way you lose too much cash.

Why You Must Use Video Poker Strategy

You’ve learned a little bit about this in some of the other sections in this article, but you have to understand why it’s so important to always make the right play when you play video poker.

Every hand you can start within video poker has many different ways you can play it. But there’s only 1 way to play each hand that gives you the highest return and creates the lowest house edge. The secret is knowing what the single right play is for every hand.

The problem is that the right way to play is different for every variation of video poker. The best play for a Deuces Wild game isn’t the best play in a Jacks or Better game. But there are simple tools you can use to help you make the best play on every hand.

What this is really talking about is video poker strategy. The best play is determined by using the right strategy. And the right strategy for every video poker variation is included on a chart or card. Just make sure you’re using a chart or card for the particular video poker game that you’re playing.

Exploit Bonus Offers and Casino Comps

When you use the other 5 ingredients listed in this article when you play video poker you’re gambling with a low house edge, which means you’re probably getting a higher return percentage than when you play any other casino game.

But you still aren’t quite getting a return of 100%. A 100% return means that you’re breaking even. A return over 100% means that you’re making a profit.

Smart video poker gamblers know they can boost their return a small amount by exploiting good video poker bonuses in mobile and online casinos and by using compensation schemes offered by some casinos.

Compensation schemes are also called player’s clubs and slots clubs.

Casino Video Poker Machine

Not every video poker bonus is designed in a way that can help you improve your return. But a few are. You have to read all of the information about each available bonus to figure out if it helps your return or not.

On the other hand, any compensation program or scheme that gives you any type of compensation is worth signing up for. It’s the same as getting free perks for gambling, which you’re going to do anyway.

Try to keep track of how much you play video poker and compare it to how much you receive in casino comps to get an idea of how much it helps offset your losses.

Our Final Thoughts on Playing Video Poker

It’s not too difficult to be a successful video poker gambler. But you need to know how to play these machines the right way or you’re going to lose too much money.

When you follow the exact steps listed in this article you’re always going to play video poker with the lowest possible house edge. And when you add a good bonus or the right compensation scheme you’re gambling as close to break-even as you can get.

Never play a video poker machine if you don’t know the perfect strategy. This is the 1 thing that can kill your profit on any video poker game.