this section we examine the concept of video poker strategy, and what
it means in the real world. Included in our video poker strategy section
are examples of perfect-strategy 'cards' that have been developed for
particular game variations over the past few years. Both are fairly well
accepted strategies, as the games we're looking at are essentially classics.
Video poker strategy is similar to blackjack strategy, in that there
is a right one, and a wrong one, dependent upon the circumstances of the
game. In blackjack the circumstances vary according to things like the
number of decks in the shoe. In video poker, the circumstances vary according
to the pay table. A machine's pay table defines it's quality from a players
perspective. Take a specific machine type, say, Jacks or Better; in any
given casino you will fine a number of Jacks or Better machines, some
sharing the same pay table, some sharing a different pay table. Some of
these machines are good, some are bad.
The starting point of any good video poker strategy is choosing your
machine. A good machine is defined by its pay table. The pay-table itself,
however, doesn't let us in on the secret. We have to know what to look
for. In the Jacks or Better example, a good pay table is one that pays
9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush. This is commonly referred
to as a 9/6 machine.
You'll quite easily come across Jacks or Better machines that offer 8
coins for a full house, and 6 or 5 coins for a flush. These are the bad
machines that should be avoided. You're being short-changed on the smaller
wins, and therefore stand to lose more money, by not winning what you
deserve, in the long run. What we mean by 'what you deserve' is what you
could be winning by playing the 'full-pay' machine just down the isle.
A 9/6 machine will give you everything you deserve while on your way,
hopefully, towards the royal.
A game specific video poker strategy looks more like a chart than anything
else. It gives explicit instructions for what's best to hold and what's
best to discard for any given opening hand scenario. Have a look for yourself
at our Jacks or Better strategy,
and our Deuces Wild strategy.