Video poker is a different beast to playing poker in a casino – the game is played solo against the computer; for one thing, meaning that you’re playing with the pressure of your own choices and not those of the other people around the table. A lot of people prefer this style of play.
There are some basic rules to play by, to safeguard your bet and improve your chances of winning at video poker.
Simply, there are hands that you should immediately fold, there are hands that are worth a punt, and there are some hands you should always play.
Hands that you should hold on to and play with as they come are……. royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind and two pair.
If you get a three of a kind it’s probably worth discarding the other two cards and hoping to make it four of a kind – if you get two pair you ought to discard the fifth card to give you the chance of a full house.
If you’re deciding between keeping a low pair or a high single card, always keep the pair. Don’t chase the ace! Don’t hope one high card is strong enough to base your entire game around – a pair is always going to beat one card, whatever that card might be.
Another simple strategy is knowing when to break up a hand. With a flush or a straight, only break them up if you think there’s a good chance of a royal flush. By this I mean if you have Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Nine then discard your nine and go for the ten – the ten is going to give you the royal flush and there’s still a good chance of making a good hand from making this decision – and it’s always worth trying for the royal flush as it’s going to get you the biggest payout.
The most important aspect of playing poker, be it in a casino, online or video poker is knowing when to fold – and it’s so tempting after a winning streak to chase a poor hand but don’t fall for it, particularly not in a progressive game.