Video Poker Tips and Tricks

Joe A.
30th May, 2022

In this article, you can find all the top video poker playing tips and tricks which will help you improve your game. Although video poker machines might not have the same allure as blackjack or roulette, they are actually some of the most popular games you can find in a casino. Both in land-based and online casinos video poker remains highly popular.

The reason why video poker is popular is quite clear. The game of poker has always been among the most popular card games in the world. Compared to other casino games, video poker normally has a low house advantage. However, just like blackjack (another game with a low house edge) it is important that you follow basic strategies if you want to achieve the best possible winning chances. Making a mistake can cause you to have big losses, so it’s important that you follow a video poker strategy.

In this article we take a look at video poker strategies, tips and tricks. If you want to improve your video poker results, you should definitely read on!

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Video poker playing tips

When it comes to playing video poker, there are a couple of things you should take in mind. Our video poker tips and tricks have as much to do with selecting the right video poker machine and placing the right bet as they have with in-game strategies and choices. Indeed, the biggest mistake gamblers make is choosing the first available video poker machine they encounter in a land-based casino! The same counts for the online casino where there can also be a big difference between games.

It’s not surprising that casinos know this and why sometimes they strategically place the video poker machines with the lowest house edge and the best odds the furthest away in a land-based casino, or all the way down the list of games on an online casino page.

Let’s take a look at some of our other – more specific – video poker tips!

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Bet size

Most traditional video poker machines let you choose how much money you want to bet on each hand. This is often showed by the metric ‘coins’. If the coin value of a video poker machine is set to $1, a 5-coin-bet simply means that you play with a total bet size of $5. When it comes to pay-outs, there is however often a discrepancy. There are quite some video poker games where you can win much more than 5 times the normal pay-out if you bet 5 coins instead of just 1.

Let’s take a look at the example below, which shows the paytable of a Jacks or Better video poker slot machine.

video poker tips

A pay-out table for 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker, with on the left side the different hands shown vertically and on the top horizontally the bet size.

As you can see from the table above, all pay-outs are linear – except for the pay-out for a Royal Flush. You may expect a pay-out here of 1,250 if you bet 5 coins, but instead the pay-out is a whopping 4,000 times your bet here! Of course, the chances of getting a Royal Flush are low (about 1 out of every 40,000 hands played) but as you can see it does pay off playing with 5 coins instead of 1. If you play with a 5-coin bet, your odds will certainly better.

As you can see, there is an extra 2,750 coin bonus if you manage to get a Royal Flush when you play with 5 coins as your bet. This is the main reason why the house edge of video poker games like 9/6 Jacks or Better is less than half a percent if you bet with 5 coins.

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Coin value

Playing with a 5-coin bet size will certainly not be a problem for high rollers in the casino. However, there are a lot of options as well for low-limit players. In the case you have a small playing budget, you simply need to find a video poker machine where you can select a low coin value. If you can adjust the coin value of a video poker game to $0.02 for example, your total bet will be just $0.10 per hand if you play with 5 coins.

As you can see it’s as much about placing the right bet as it is about selecting the right video poker game!

Use a video poker strategy

It’s important that you follow a basic strategy in poker. This basically works in the same way like people follow the basic blackjack strategy when playing that popular casino card game. It’s easy to find strategy cards online. If you play in a land-based casino you might even find such cards being sold in the casino gift shop!

The basic video poker strategy basically tells you what you should do with each hand you receive based on the communal cards. The strategy simply follows basic mathematics as it has calculated the odds and therefore can tell you what the best possible decision is. It’s therefore important that you make the right decision on which cards you keep and which ones you discard. If you make a wrong decision, the casino house advantage will increase. It’s recommended that you use a strategy each time you play as this is the best way to familiarise yourself with it. After a while, you will no longer need one!

Remember that different video poker games have completely different strategy cards. Depending on how complicated a game is and how many choices you can make, it can be difficult or easy to learn. If you want to start with some easy video poker variants it’s recommended you choose 9/6 Jacks or Better. This video poker variant is known for its low house advantage and for having a relatively easy-to-understand strategy. After this, you could for example move on to Deuces Wild as it has a lower house edge but a more difficult-to-follow strategy.

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Counting cards

When you play video poker, it’s a great idea you take into account how many cards there are in a deck to calculate your odds. This way, you can determine the probability of winning with a certain hand. It’s easiest to explain this using an example.

Let’s again say that we are playing Jacks or Better. The hand you receive has a 2 of hearts, while you have a 10, Jack, Queen as well as a King of diamonds. In Jacks or Better, a 52-card deck is used. We can exchange the 2 of hearts for a new card. As you can see, there are many different ways how we can get a winning hand!

– A diamond Ace will get us a Royal Flush.
– A 9 of diamonds will get us a Straight Flush.
– Any other ace or nine will give us a Straight.
– Any of the 7 other diamond cards will give us a Flush.
– If we receive one of the three remaining Jacks, Queens or Kings, we have a qualifying pair.

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Doing the maths

So let’s do the maths! If we add up all the outcomes, we can see that there are 24 cards in total that can give us a winning hand. There are only 47 cards left in the deck, so that means that 24 out of 47 cards will be winning cards. That leaves us with 23 cards which will not give a winning hand. The chances we have a winning hand are therefore higher than 50%!

Of course, this is a relatively simple example. There are also video poker games where a Wild card is available or where jokers are used. However, no matter the game you play, it is relatively easy to calculate or guess the number of cards in a deck. That’s vital information to have in order to make a calculated decision.

Again, you should remember that it is important as well to select the video poker machine with the best pay-outs. Therefore you should always compare paytables and game rules.

video poker tips

A game of Deuces Wild video poker.

Controlling your bankroll

Just like with any other casino game, you should not forget the cardinal rule that in the long run the house always wins. Even though video poker is one of the games with the lowest house advantage in the casino, it doesn’t mean you will always win. On the contrary, even with video poker more players will lose money than those who will win. Although it’s certainly possible to win money on a short-term basis, it’s not possible if you play on a long-term basis because of the casino house edge. Simply put, in the long run you will always lose more money than you are going to win.

Therefore it is important that you control your bankroll as well as your own urges. You should see a video poker win as a pleasant surprise. The money you win should be considered as a nice extra bit of cash. You should certainly never expect a win and budget this in. Although you can influence the outcome a bit in a game of video poker, it’s all down to luck in the end. That means that even when you follow the basic strategy and all the provided tips, you will still require a healthy doses of luck in order to win.

It’s important that you realise when to stop playing. It’s great if you win something, but if you keep on losing you shouldn’t keep on playing expecting that you will finally get lucky soon. Sometimes you just have to accept that it’s just not your day and that you cannot break a bad streak!

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Video poker tips for limiting losses

Pro gamblers know that gambling isn’t just about winning money and that it’s as much about limiting your losses. If you have a lucky day and win some money that’s great! But if luck is not on your side you should be careful and do everything to limit your losses. Always remain calm and make sure you don’t lose your head. Gamblers who can’t control their emotions – behaviour known as “tilting” – will often lose sight of the basic strategy and all other valuable tips. If you start to solely rely on your gut feeling and emotions chances are big that your play will significantly deteriorate and that the house edge will rise quickly!

A good way to limit losses is to set yourself a budget before you start playing video poker. You should only deposit money to your online casino account that you can afford to lose. Make sure you don’t spend money in a casino which you need to pay for your rent, utilities and other living costs. Never gamble because you need to make some more money. As we have already seen, the chances are much bigger that you will actually lose more money than you will win.

You should therefore only play in an online casino because you think it’s a fun and exciting activity. Of course, we all hope to win some big amount of money one day in a casino. Having such hopes is perfectly fine! However, it should never be a must.

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Be careful with new video poker variants

One of the biggest advantages of video poker is that you can use a strategy during play to reduce the house edge to a minimum. Of course, you must follow the strategy precisely and know what you are doing. Being familiar with both the strategy and the video poker game you play is therefore hugely important.

If you decide to play a different video poker variant you need to be careful. Strategies differ between video poker versions so don’t assume that the strategy you know works as well with other game variants. If you don’t know a certain video poker variant, it’s best you start to familiarise yourself with it first. Of course, that means you have to start reading the rules. Carefully checking out the paytable is another important next step. Make sure you also research if there are any basic strategies for the video poker variant you want to play.

It’s often possible to test games for free at an online casino. Even if you consider yourself to be a seasoned casino player you should make use of this option if you want to play a totally new video poker variant. This way, you can easily practice and learn the nuances of the new game variant. It can make the difference between winning or losing or between losing only a limited amount of money or a big sum of cash!

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Top online casinos to play video poker

Here at Highrollers Casino you can find an overview of the most popular online casinos in Canada. These online casinos give you access to some of the best selection of video poker machines in all of Canada! If you are a Canadian video poker fan you should definitely check out these online casinos. We have written a full review of each casino, so if you are not familiar with one of the casinos in this overview you can quickly learn more about them. As we list the pros and cons of each online casino, you are in charge when it comes to picking the casino which is the best fit for your needs.

All of the online casinos recommended on our website are fully licenced. You can therefore rest assured that they are reliable, safe and secure. All video poker games and other slots and table games are certified by independent test labs. The honesty, fairness and independent outcomes of these games are therefore guaranteed. All video poker slots are made by the world’s top software studios. You will only play on the best quality games and won’t have to deal with third-rate software.

If you live in Canada and want to play video poker, don’t look further than these online casinos! As a new player you are even eligible for a great welcome bonus which can easily reach heights of C$1,500.

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Video poker tips conclusion

In this article, we have outlined several video poker tips, tricks and strategies. It’s important that you follow a basic strategy and count cards if you want to make the best in-game decisions. However, video poker is about much more than this! It already starts by selecting the right video poker game. Pay-outs can differ between video poker machines and variants and you should always search for the best odds. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the rules of the video poker variant you choose.

If you play video poker according to the right strategy and follow these main tips, it has one of the lowest house advantages of all casino games. However, even if you do all of this, the casino will still have a house edge. You therefore need some luck in order to win money and you should realise that there will be more losing players than there will be players who win. It’s therefore equally important to control your own instincts and to follow responsible gambling practices. Good luck!

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