Video Poker Strategy for Beginners: From Novice to Pro

Last Updated on November 22, 2023
Video Poker Strategy for Beginners: From Novice to Pro

Table of Contents

In the electrifying world of casino gaming, video poker stands out as a beacon, captivating players with its unique blend of skill, strategy, and chance. This game, a blend of traditional poker and slots, has surged in popularity, offering a thrilling experience that appeals to both seasoned players and those new to the casino floor.

Our journey in this article is tailored specifically for beginners, guiding you through the foundational strategies of video poker, designed to elevate your gameplay from the basics to a more advanced level.

As you go ahead on this adventure, remember that video poker isn’t just about the luck of the draw; it’s a game where strategic decisions significantly impact your chances of success. With the right guidance and tactics, which we’ll explore in the following sections, the potential to evolve from a novice player to a proficient strategist is well within your grasp.

So, whether you’re looking to refine your skills or just starting out, this article is your first step towards mastering the art of video poker.

Understanding Video Poker: Basics and Variations

Video poker, at its core, is an accessible yet intricate game that combines elements of traditional poker with the solitary play of slot machines. The fundamental objective is to build the best possible hand from the cards you’re dealt. Here’s a basic breakdown of how a typical game unfolds:

  • Initial Deal: You’re dealt five cards.
  • Decision Time: Choose which cards to keep and which to discard.
  • The Draw: Discarded cards are replaced with new ones, finalizing your hand.
Knowing Your Pay Tables
Knowing Your Pay Tables

The resulting hand is then evaluated for any winning combinations, with payouts based on the strength of your hand and the paytable of the specific game you’re playing.

Different variations of video poker add layers of complexity and excitement to this basic structure. For example:

Jacks or Better:

The quintessential video poker variant where payouts begin at a pair of jacks.

Deuces Wild:

In this popular twist, all twos (‘deuces’) are wild, capable of substituting for any other card to form a winning hand.

Bonus Poker:

Offers higher payouts for specific four-of-a-kind hands.

Double Bonus Poker:

Similar to Bonus Poker but offers even larger bonuses for four-of-a-kind hands, particularly four aces.

Each variation comes with its unique paytable and strategic nuances. For instance, the strategy in Deuces Wild centers around the optimal use of wild cards, which is different from the strategy you would employ in Jacks or Better.

Understanding these variations is crucial for developing effective strategies. A tactic that works in one variant might not be as effective in another. Therefore, familiarizing yourself with the rules and strategies of each variation not only enhances your overall gaming experience but also significantly improves your chances of winning.

Basic Video Poker Strategies for Beginners

Video poker mastery begins with grasping some essential strategies. A critical starting point for any beginner is understanding pay tables. Each video poker machine has its unique pay table, displaying the payouts for various hands. Familiarizing yourself with these tables is crucial as they directly impact your potential winnings. Pay attention to ‘full pay’ games, which offer the highest payouts for particular hands, like ‘9/6’ Jacks or Better, where a full house pays 9 times your bet and a flush pays 6 times.

Another fundamental aspect to consider is the house edge – a term that denotes the casino’s statistical advantage over players. While each video poker variant has its house edge, playing with optimal strategy can significantly reduce this edge, enhancing your chances of winning. Remember, the house edge is a long-term expectation, so short-term results can vary.

Finally, the importance of practice cannot be overstated. Leverage free or demo modes available in most online casinos. These modes allow you to play without real money, providing a risk-free environment to apply your strategies, understand pay tables, and get comfortable with the game’s mechanics. This hands-on experience is invaluable, building your skills and confidence before you dive into real money play.

Advanced Techniques to Enhance Your Gameplay

As you progress in your video poker journey, mastering advanced techniques becomes crucial for elevating your gameplay. These strategies, while more complex, can significantly boost your odds of success.

Specific Hand Strategies for Different Variations:

Each video poker variant has its nuances. For example, in ‘Jacks or Better’, focusing on high pairs (Jacks or better) is key, whereas in ‘Deuces Wild’, the deuces are wild cards, which changes the strategy.

Tip: Always hold onto deuces in ‘Deuces Wild’ and prioritize four-card flushes in ‘Jacks or Better’.

Bankroll Management:

Essential for sustained play and maximizing your chances.

  • Set a Budget: Decide on a loss limit and a win goal for each session.
  • Game Selection: Choose games with better pay tables to extend your bankroll.
  • Stake Management: Play with a small percentage of your bankroll to mitigate losses.

Choosing the Right Machine:

  • Pay Table Analysis: Look for machines with the best pay tables. For instance, a 9/6 pay table in ‘Jacks or Better’ offers a higher return.
  • Game Variance: Games with higher variance (like ‘Double Bonus Poker’) offer bigger wins but more risk.

Using Video Poker Training Software or Apps:

  • Practice and Simulation: These tools offer practice hands and feedback on your decisions.
  • Strategy Charts and Analysis: Use them to understand the best moves for different hands.
  • Recommended Apps: Look for highly-rated training apps that offer a variety of games and scenarios.


Quick Tip: Keep a strategy card or app handy while playing to make the best decisions for every hand.

Incorporating these advanced strategies into your gameplay will not only enhance your skills but also offer a deeper understanding of the intricacies of video poker.

Transitioning from Novice to Pro: Tips and Resources

As you progress in your video poker journey, transitioning from a novice to a pro requires more than just understanding the game; it demands continuous learning and adaptation. A key strategy in this evolution is immersing yourself in the rich community of video poker enthusiasts. Online forums are treasure troves of insights, where you can exchange tips, discuss strategies, and learn from the experiences of seasoned players.

Equally vital is leveraging the wealth of knowledge available through tutorials, both written and video. These resources can offer nuanced strategies and tips, often illustrated through real-game scenarios. Platforms like YouTube or dedicated casino gaming sites host a plethora of such tutorials, providing you with a practical, visual learning experience.

Additionally, learning from the pros can dramatically elevate your game. Many professional players share their expertise through online courses, webinars, or even one-on-one coaching sessions. Engaging with these resources not only sharpens your skills but also provides perspective on various playing styles and tactics.

However, it’s crucial to pair your enthusiasm for improvement with a responsible gaming mindset. Recognize the importance of setting limits, both in terms of time and finances, and understand when to take a step back. Regular breaks are not just good for your well-being; they also help maintain a clear, strategic mind, which is vital in the world of video poker. Remember, the journey from novice to pro is not just about winning games, but also about developing a sustainable, enjoyable approach to video poker.

Best Video Poker Forums:

Why Choose for Online Video Poker?

When it comes to mastering the art of online video poker, stands as a premier destination. Here, players are not just engaging in a game; they are immersing themselves in an experience tailored for success. offers an expansive selection of video poker games, each with its unique twist, ensuring variety and excitement. The platform stands out with its generous bonuses, enhancing your chances of winning right from the start. 

Coupled with responsive customer support ready to assist at any moment, your gaming journey is smooth and enjoyable. Dive into the world of video poker at, where your gaming skills can reach new heights. Visit us today and see if fortune favors your play!


As we draw this guide to a close, it’s clear that video poker is more than just a game of chance; it’s an opportunity to sharpen your mind, apply strategies, and enjoy the thrill of each decision leading to potential victory. From understanding the basics to mastering advanced techniques, your journey in video poker promises both challenge and reward. Remember, the transition from novice to pro is a path paved with patience, practice, and perseverance.

Thank you for taking this journey with us through the exciting world of video poker. We hope the strategies and insights shared have illuminated your path towards becoming a more skilled and confident player. As you continue to refine your skills and apply the techniques discussed, consider as your go-to platform for an unparalleled video poker experience. With its vast array of games, generous bonuses, and top-notch customer support, stands ready to enhance your gaming adventure.

So, whether you’re just starting out or looking to elevate your game, remember that is where your video poker skills can truly flourish. We invite you to join us at, where the excitement of video poker awaits. Play with strategy, play with confidence, and let be your gateway to the world of online video poker. See you at the tables!

Author of This Article:

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

With a rich tapestry of experience spanning several years, Andrew has transformed the way enthusiasts approach and understand the merger of blockchain technology with online casinos. His insightful articles, featured on prominent websites, shed light on the nuances, challenges, and opportunities within crypto gambling.
Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

With a rich tapestry of experience spanning several years, Andrew has transformed the way enthusiasts approach and understand the merger of blockchain technology with online casinos. His insightful articles, featured on prominent websites, shed light on the nuances, challenges, and opportunities within crypto gambling.

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