Video Poker Draws And Strengths For Risking In The Right Spots

Video poker is an entertaining gaming option provided by most online casinos. It is fairly easy to play and those that already have some experience with playing poker will certainly get the hang of things right away.

The key aspect that makes this game so popular among casino players is that it is one of the few titles where the player has the power to change the outcome of the game after placing the bet. This means that strategies can be used to improve the results and thus make it more than your regular casino game. However, it is always a risk when changing cards so one must consider the possibilities very carefully in order to get the best wins in the long run.

Quick Guide to Video Poker

If you are not familiar with video poker, it is a casino game played on a computerized console. It is based on five-card draw poker and is actually a version of the popular game that is not played against other players. Instead, the wins are determined by the strength of the hand and the prizes are allocated according to the table. Five cards are dealt at the start and each or all of them can be exchanged for new cards from the deck.

There are different variants of video poker available at online casinos and they offer slightly different rules. To keep things simple, we will focus mostly on Jacks or Better throughout this article. As the name would suggest this variant of video poker pays for pairs of Jacks and higher valued hands.

Playing a Made Hand

Made hands are very straightforward in video poker so unless there are options for getting one of the top ranking hands, the strategy here is to keep the forming cards and just exchange the rest for the chance to improve.

Of course, the actual made hand is very important since a pair of Jacks or better will leave three more cards to exchange. Here is where the most common decision in video poker comes in: do you exchange all three cards or keep one in the hopes of getting two pair. The standard paytable offers 2:1 for two pairs and 3:1 for three of a kind and the odds tell us that there are 47 cards left in the deck, with one of two required to make three of a kind and one of three for two pairs. As a result, it is better to go for the third card to match the initial pair rather than play for two pairs.
The same can be said about getting three of a kind from the first hand. It is recommended to exchange both remaining cards rather than keep one for the chance to make a full house. Four of a kind will pay 25:1, in comparison to 9:1 if the hand becomes a full house.

Playing Draws

Draws are really where the action is at in video poker. There are plenty of things to consider in every scenario but there are some easy rules to keep in mind that will help you get the most out of the cards in the long run.
In some scenarios, it can even be better to break a high-valued made hand in order to play a draw for an even better hand. This is the case for a straight or a flush that can become a royal flush with the perfect card exchange. Four-card royal draw is the best hand to have after a straight flush and a royal flush due to the significant increase in the payout between a royal flush and a straight or a flush.

Four of a kind does remain higher on the list than four to a royal flush because there is no scenario where breaking it by one or even two cards can result in the top prize.
It is important to keep in mind that a royal flush can pay anywhere from 800:1 to 1,000:1, depending on the version of the game, and any chance at getting this rare hand should not be missed.

That one card needed to complete the combination has a ton of value and losing some weaker hands in an attempt to get it will be worth it if you are playing the odds over a longer period of time.

Also, it is important to not overlook that fact that playing four to a royal flush actually has its fair share of outs for lower prizes. There are at least three high cards in the hand that can become a pair with any of the 9 or 12 right cards for a 1:1 payout.

Video Poker Draws And Strengths For Risking In The Right Spots