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Video Poker Rules and Strategies


Video Poker is basically five-card draw poker, but instead of playing against other players, you're playing against a computer. It uses the same ranking of poker hands and is based on traditional poker rules.

You are dealt five cards, and given the option to discard as many cards as you wish. Any cards that are discarded are replaced with new random ones (the draw). If this second hand achieves a winning poker hand, you get paid.

The specifics of what hands win and what they pay changes from game to game. For instance, Jacks or Better games pay back what you put into the machine if your hand has at least a pair of jacks.

General Playing Tips

  • Play Carefully - Take your time and make wise decisions. It's you against the machine and there is no need to rush things.
  • Know the Payoffs - This is one of, if not the most important keys to success in video poker. You need to understand what hands will win and how each machine pays.
  • Play each hand 'New' - Since you are playing a machine try and forget about the last hand played. Don't worry over what happened last hand - focus on the next hand.
  • Practice makes perfect - The more you play the better you will be. Learning which cards to keep and which cards to discard will help you win long term.

General Strategies

  • Never hold a kicker with any pair.
  • Never draw four cards if you can draw three to a royal flush.
  • Always hold five-card winning pat hands Except: if you can, draw one card to a royal.
  • Don't break a flush even if you can draw one to a straight flush, but always break a flush to draw to a royal.
  • Never break a straight to draw to a straight flush.
  • Never draw five cards if you have a jack or better.
  • Don't hold a ten for a four card draw.

Deuces Wild Strategies

  • Always hold any 5 of a kind or royal flush. (duh.)
  • If you are dealt four 2's: hold them.
  • If you've got three 2's keep them.
  • If you are dealt two 2's
    • Hold any made straight, five of a kind or royal flush.
    • Hold any 4 of a kind.
    • Hold any 4 of a royal flush.
    • Otherwise, keep the 2's and discard the rest.
  • If you've only been dealt a single 2, keep any made hand as follows ...
    • Hold four card royal flushes over made straights, flushes and straight flushes.
    • Hold four card straight flushes of all types.
    • Hold three card royal flushes .
    • With two pair, keep one, but not both.
    • Hold four card flushes.
    • Hold four card straights.
    • Hold three card straight flushes, including gaps.
    • Hold four card inside straights.
    • Hold two card Q or J high straight flushes.
    • Discard two card royal flushes.

Jacks or Better Strategies

  • Hold all initially dealt hands that pay - potential exemptions may include:
    • Hold four card royal flushes to make straights or flushes.
    • Four card straight flushes, inside or outside.
    • High card pairs rank here.
    • Three card royal flushes.
    • Four card flushes.
    • Low pairs, trying to build three of a kind.
    • Four card flushes.
    • Four card straights. Hold inside straights only if you've got three or more high cards.

If you were not dealt a paying hand:

  • Hold any two suited high cards. Discard unsuited high cards.
  • Four mixed-suit high cards - hold any three suited, toss the unsuited - otherwise, hold them all.
  • Three unsuited high cards - hold all three of K-Q-J - with A-K-J or A-Q-J, discard the A.
  • Hold any two unsuited high cards.
  • Hold any single high card.


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Disclaimer: The information contained on this web site is for informational and entertainment purposes only.
While the tips, tactics and strategies contained herein have been researched thoroughly,
Zymgo is not responsible for any gambling losses or debts incurred by visitors using this information.