Mastering video poker strategy is essential for any player looking to maximize their chances of winning. 

With a variety of games like Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild, understanding the nuances of each can significantly enhance your gameplay.

Key Takeaways on How to Win at Video Poker:

  • Understand the Variants: Each video poker game has its own set of rules and strategies. Familiarizing yourself with the popular variants can provide a competitive edge​​​​.
  • Basic Strategy is Crucial: Knowing which cards to hold and which to discard forms the foundation of video poker success. This varies significantly across different game types​​.
  • Advanced Strategies Enhance Winning Odds: For seasoned players, diving into advanced strategies such as game variance, bankroll management, and strategic use of bonuses can further improve win rates​​.
  • Practice with Free Games: Utilizing free video poker games to test out strategies without risking real money is a beneficial practice​​.
  • Pay Tables Matter: Selecting machines with favorable pay tables is a key strategy that impacts your potential winnings​​.
  • Bonuses Can Be Game-Changers: Effectively leveraging video poker bonuses offered by casinos can boost your bankroll and playing time​​.
  • Statistical Analysis Helps: Utilizing tools and software for hand analysis and strategy development can offer insights into optimizing play​

Best Video Poker Strategies (Our Top Picks)

Based on insights from several video poker players, here are the best strategies that actually help:

Understand Pay Tables

Understanding pay tables is crucial in video poker because they directly impact your potential earnings. Different games and machines offer different pay tables. 

A favorable pay table can significantly increase your return to player (RTP) percentage. Look for video poker machines that offer higher payouts for flushes and full houses, as these are common hands you’ll aim for. 

Recognizing the best pay tables means you’re starting your game on the right foot, setting yourself up for better potential winnings.

Learn Poker Hand Rankings

A fundamental strategy for any video poker player is to know poker hand rankings inside and out. 

Each variant of video poker may prioritize hands slightly differently, but the core rankings usually remain consistent. 

Understanding which hands offer the highest payouts, and which combinations you’re more likely to draw, can guide your decisions on which cards to hold and which to discard.

Use a Video Poker Strategy Chart

Strategy charts are your roadmap to making the best possible decisions in video poker. They suggest which cards to keep and which to discard based on the hand you’re dealt. 

These charts vary for different video poker games due to differences in pay tables and rules.

Using a strategy chart tailored to the specific video poker variation you’re playing can significantly improve your odds of winning.

Play the Maximum Coins

Most video poker machines offer a bonus for hitting a royal flush when playing the maximum number of coins. 

Although playing the max can be more expensive, the potential payout increase for hitting a royal flush or other high-paying hands justifies the risk. 

This approach ensures you’re not missing out on the full jackpot potential, which can dramatically affect your overall return.

Practice with Free Games

Practicing with free video poker games is an invaluable strategy. 

These games allow you to apply different strategies without risking real money, providing a risk-free environment to learn, make mistakes, and improve. Practicing also helps you get familiar with the game’s pace, the betting process, and the use of strategy charts in real-time.

Set a Budget

Setting a budget and sticking to it is a fundamental strategy for all forms of gambling, including video poker. In fact, it’s one of the top recommendations by players in our Video Poker FAQs section.

Determine the amount of money you can afford to lose before you start playing and ensure you don’t exceed this limit. 

Effective bankroll management prevents you from chasing losses and ensures that your video poker playing experience is enjoyable and sustainable.

Pick the Right Game

Selecting the right video poker game is essential for maximizing your winning potential. 

Games like Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild are popular due to their favorable pay tables and strategic depth.

Each game variant has different rules and strategies, so choose one that aligns with your playing style and which you understand well.

Know When to Break a High Pair

While holding onto a high pair might seem like a safe bet, there are situations where breaking it up can lead to a higher payout. 

This decision depends on the potential hands you could achieve with the remaining cards. For example, if you’re one card away from a royal flush or straight flush, it might be worth discarding a high pair in pursuit of a more lucrative hand.

Implementing these strategies will not guarantee wins but will enhance your gameplay and increase your chances of making profitable decisions. 

Remember: video poker combines elements of luck and skill, and while these strategies can improve your game, they cannot alter the randomness of the cards you’re dealt.

How to Win at Video Poker by Leveraging the Best Strategies

Winning at video poker involves more than just luck; it requires a strategic approach and the ability to make informed decisions based on the game variant you’re playing. 

By taking advantage of the best strategies, you can significantly increase your chances of winning. 

Below are some tips and tricks designed to maximize your wins in video poker.

Video Poker Odds 

The odds of hitting various hands in video poker depend on the game variant, but here’s a generic table for a standard Jacks or Better game. The odds can vary slightly based on specific game rules and the number of cards drawn.

HandOdds of Hitting
Natural Royal Flush (First Draw)1 in 650,000
Royal Flush1 in 40,000
Four of a Kind with a Kicker1 in 16,236
Straight Flush1 in 9,000
Four of a Kind1 in 423
Full House1 in 86
Flush1 in 90
Straight1 in 89
Three of a Kind1 in 13
Two Pair1 in 8
Jacks or Better1 in 4.5

These odds are based on playing the maximum coins and can be influenced by the strategy you use. 

Note that the actual probability can vary, and the above are approximate values meant to give you a general idea.

Video Poker Strategy Chart Cheat Sheet

Below is a simplified strategy chart for Jacks or Better, one of the most common and foundational video poker variants. 

This cheat sheet assumes you’re holding a hand that doesn’t already pay out and guides you on which cards to keep.

Your HandCard to Hold
4 to a Royal FlushHold the 4 cards to the Royal Flush
3 to a Royal FlushHold the 3 cards to the Royal Flush
4 to a Straight FlushHold the 4 cards to the Straight Flush
Pair of Jacks or Higher (Q, K, A)Hold the pair
3 to a Straight FlushHold the 3 cards to the Straight Flush
4 to a FlushHold the 4 cards to the Flush
Low Pair (10s or lower)Hold the pair
4 to an Outside StraightHold the 4 cards to the Outside Straight
2 High Cards (Jacks or better)Hold the 2 high cards
3 to a FlushHold the 3 cards to the Flush
2 to a Royal FlushHold the 2 cards to the Royal Flush
Discard EverythingIf none of the above applies

“Outside Straight” refers to a situation where you can complete the straight with a card on either end, and “Inside Straight” requires a specific card to complete the straight.

These tables are meant as a general guide.

 For the best results, always refer to the specific strategy chart for the video poker variant you are playing, as strategies can vary significantly between games. 

Remember: practicing with a strategy in mind is key to improving your video poker play.

Maximizing Your Wins: Top 9 Tips and Tricks

  1. Master the Basics: Before diving into complex strategies, ensure you have a solid understanding of the game’s basics, including hand rankings, terminology and how payouts work for different hands.
  2. Choose Machines with the Best Paytables: Payouts can vary significantly from one machine to another. Spend time finding machines that offer the best paytables, particularly those that provide 9/6 payouts for full houses and flushes in Jacks or Better.
  3. Always Bet Maximum Coins: Betting the maximum amount of coins allows you to be eligible for the bonus payout on a royal flush, which significantly impacts the overall RTP of the game.
  4. Use Strategy Cards: Strategy cards or charts provide a handy reference for deciding which cards to hold based on your initial hand. Using these can help you make the statistically best decisions for each game type.
  5. Practice with Free or Low-Stake Games: Before playing with significant amounts of money, practice your strategy on free or low-stake games. This approach helps you gain experience without risking too much.
  6. Focus on Games You Understand Well: Stick to playing video poker variants you’re most familiar with. Each variant has its own strategy, and playing games you understand well will likely lead to better outcomes.
  7. Manage Your Bankroll Wisely: Determine a budget for your gaming session and stick to it. Effective bankroll management is crucial to ensure you don’t spend more than you can afford to lose.
  8. Learn from Your Mistakes: Use each gaming session as a learning experience. Analyze your plays to understand what you could do differently to improve your chances of winning next time.
  9. Stay Disciplined: Avoid chasing losses or deviating from your strategy, especially when you’re on a losing streak. Discipline is key to successful video poker play.


Knowing how to win at video poker isn’t just about the luck of the draw; it’s about making smart, informed decisions that maximize your chances of winning.

 By understanding the game, choosing the right machines, using video poker strategies, practicing, and managing your bankroll effectively, you can significantly improve your odds. 

Keep in mind: consistent application of these strategies over time is what leads to success in video poker. Stay disciplined, keep learning, and may your next session be a winning one!


  • Thomas Cooper

    Thomas Cooper (Online Gambling Writer and Specialist), a distinguished name in the online gambling writing community, brings a wealth of hands-on experience and expertise to CasinoBonusWise. As a specialist writer, his deep-seated knowledge in the online casino sphere is a treasure trove for both novices and seasoned players. Thomas's writing is not just informative; it's a roadmap for navigating the online gambling landscape, offering expert advice on game selection, bonus maximization, and strategic play. His comprehensive guides and reviews are tailored to enhance your online gambling experience, ensuring you make informed decisions every step of the way. Thomas's unwavering commitment to transparency and fairness is in perfect harmony with CasinoBonusWise's mission, providing you with information that is not just accurate but also deeply trustworthy. With Thomas, you are in expert hands, ensuring your gaming journey is both rewarding and enjoyable.

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