6 Steps – The Gambler’s Guide to Video Poker

Video Poker Screen on Left Thinking Man on Right

The best skill you can build for video poker is refining your knowledge. Everything that you need to achieve the highest return when you play video poker involves the way you think.

The good news is that this doesn’t mean that you have to be a genius. You already have all of the thinking ability that you need. You just need to learn how to use your mind in the best way.

In this article, you’re going to learn six ways you can change your thinking in order to improve your results when you play video poker.

1 – Video Poker Can Offer High Returns

Video poker is often the game in the casino that offers the highest return. The only other casino game that beats video poker’s return is blackjack.

When the return to player percentage is somewhere around 99.5% or more, I’d consider that a great casino game with “high” returns.

The thing that you need to understand is that not all video poker games offer a high return. In fact, you have to find the right video poker machine to get a return this high. I’m going to teach you how to do this in the next section.

But finding the best video poker machine isn’t the only thing that you must do. You also have to play the video poker machine in the best way possible. Not to worry, though, I cover this in the third section of this article.

In the fourth section, I let you in on a secret that can make your video poker return even higher. While it’s possible to use everything you learn about video poker to make a profit, the truth is that even the best video poker players end up closer to breaking even than making a profit.

But this is still better than almost every other game offered in the casino.

2 – Pay Table Expertise

The ideal way to find the video poker machines that offer the highest return is by learning the best pay tables for each type of video poker machine that you’re willing to play.

I recommend learning everything you can about more than one type of video poker machine, but not so many that it’s hard to keep everything straight.

At most, I focus on two types of video poker machines, which I cover at the end of this article. But I’ve played many different types to find the best two for me. The ones that I focus on now are the two that I enjoy playing the most and that are available in most online casinos that offer video poker games.

Every pay table on a video poker machine creates a range of possible returns. When you use the information in the next section, the only part of this range you need to worry about is the top number. The top number of the range is the maximum return percentage that you can get.

Video Poker Jacks or Better Game Displaying on iPhone

For this reason, you only need to memorize the pay tables that offer a return over 99.5%. If a machine doesn’t have one of these pay tables, you can skip it and look for a better machine.

3 – Thinking About Video Poker Strategy

The way to get the maximum return percentage from a pay table is by using the right strategy for the type of video poker machine that you’re playing.

Here’s what video poker strategy is all about. When you get your starting hand, you get to decide which cards to take and which cards to exchange. Based on what you do in this situation, that determines your return on the hand.

When you make the right plays, you get the highest possible return. This is why it’s so important to learn video poker strategy.

To learn the best strategy for each type of video poker, you should use a card that has the best plays listed in order. You can pick up these charts in stores that sell casino merchandise or online.

You can’t afford to ever play video poker of any type without using the perfect strategy. Every time you do it costs you money and makes the return lower than it needs to be. Get a chart for each of the types of video poker that you want to lay and keep them with you every time you plan to gamble.

4 – Video Poker Comps and Perks

The only other thing you can do when you play video poker that can change the return is get perks and/or comps when you play. Perks and comps don’t directly change the return percentage, but they do help change the total amount of your losses.

For example, if you get a voucher for $25 worth of free video poker play, it’s not exactly the same as getting $25 in cash. But if you use the voucher and have $22 left from the $25, that’s an extra $22 that you get to continue playing video poker.

Another example is if you get a free meal from the comps program for your video poker play. If the meal is worth $20, it’s basically the same as saving you $20. This isn’t cash in your pocket, but it keeps you from having to spend $20, which is about the same.

Jacks Or Better Video Poker Strategy

You still have to find machines with the best pay tables and always use strategy, but comps and perks are a good way to get better overall returns when you play video poker. This is why it’s worth the time to look for perks and sign up for comps.

5 – Jacks or Better Primer

I told you in an earlier section that I’m going to share the two video poker types that I focus on now. The first video poker type is Jacks or Better.

The reason why I focus on Jacks or Better is because the machines are easy to find and it’s easy to play. I also enjoy playing this game more than any other type of video poker. Here’s what you need to know about Jacks or Better video poker.

This game doesn’t use any wild cards. The lowest poker hand that you can get that pays is a pair of jacks. The best hand you can get is a royal flush.

Like most video poker games, you can bet one coin, two coins, three coins, four coins, or five coins on every hand. Because you get extra when you complete a royal flush when you bet five coins, you should bet five coins on every hand.

I only play on Jacks or Better machines that pay 30 coins for a flush and pay 45 coins for a full house and at least 4,000 coins for a royal flush. These machines provide a return to player percentage of 99.54%.

6 – Deuces Wild Primer

Deuces Wild is the second type of video poker that I focus on. I don’t like it quite as well as Jacks or Better, but it can provide a slightly higher return percentage.

Like the name suggests, all of the deuces or twos in the deck are wild cards. This makes it easier to complete poker hands, but the trade-off is that you have to have a better hand at the bottom of the pay table than when you play Jacks or Better video poker machines.

The lowest-paying hand on a Deuces Wild machine is three of a kind. You can also bet one to five coins per hand like on Jacks or Better, and you should always bet five coins because you get a bonus for the top hand.

Deuces Wild also has more available pay tables than Jacks or Better. A few Deuces Wild pay tables supposedly exist that can pay 100% or more return, but I’ve personally never found one.

The most common good Deuces Wild pay table is a NSUD table. You can look at a NSUD pay table here.


Video poker can offer high returns if you know how to get them. In fact, video poker can offer the highest returns in the casino. And all you have to do to get these high returns is use your knowledge to the best of your ability and put the information in this article into practice.

You have to become an expert on pay tables, but this won’t take you long to figure out. You also have to become an expert on video poker strategy, but this is easy to do as well. It just takes time to memorize a strategy chart.

But when you have that down and add in video poker perks and comps, you’re not going to find many better opportunities in the casino.