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Video Poker
The Strategic Approach to Video Poker Strategy 101

When it comes to playing sound video poker (and playing perfect strategy at that), the foremost important element is the discard. While in some cases, you may only discard a single card, the majority of the time you will be discarding more cards then those you hold. I suppose then, you could say that the hold is just as important as the discard. And in truth, they are indeed one and the same in regards to affecting the final hand.

There are actually thirty-two different ways in which you can play a video poker hand. Certainly, once you become familiar with the ranking poker hands, the potential ways to optimally play your hand are going to be narrowed down quite a bit. But the fact still remains that every hand is going to be different, and there will be many occasions when the pressure of going for the high ranking hand or settling for something lower will be there. Actually, using the perfect mathematical strategy will call for you to act in ways that will sometimes go against what appears to be the logical thing to do.

The typical way to follow a "strategy chart" per say is to regurgitate what it tells you to do. It's pretty much the same thing as using a Blackjack strategy card. You find your hand on the chart and you play it exactly how you're told. In other words, you discard and hold onto the cards that are going to give you the greatest chance of winning over the long haul.

Like we've said before in our blackjack strategy tips, there is a danger in strictly relying on a strategy chart. When you learn why it is you are discarding or holding every card of every hand, you will have more confidence in your decisions, which says a lot! With great confidence in your playing ability, you won't be inclined to second guess your next wager or be prone to believe the strategy is ineffective after incurring a losing streak.

That said, remember to have a well-padded bankroll (comparable to the stakes your are playing, of course). $20 bucks will certainly give you some fun and entertainment playing video poker. You might even get lucky early on and walk away with more than you started off with. But if you want to stay in the game for the long haul and get that Casinos Edge down as low as possible, you will have to get through some low times. Hopefully, you will end on a high! And if you're playing with perfect strategy, which in some cases can give you the advantage over the casino, there's a great chance this will be the case.

Oh, and just one more thing - Make sure you are playing at a full-pay video poker game. For Jacks or Better, this is a 9/6 table (9 coins for a Full House and 6 for a Flush) For Deuces Wild, this amounts to a 15/9/5 table. While you will find 9/6 Jacks or Better at online casinos, it's rare to find a 15/9/5 Deuces Wild (you'll have better chances at the brick 'n mortar casino). On the internet, you will often see 15/9/4 and 16/13/4 Deuces Wild pay tables, which have a lower expected return than 15/9/5. Still, at 96.76% expected return (for 16/13/4 games), those aren't bad odds at all in the casino.

Additional Video Poker Tips

- The Strategic Approach to Video Poker Strategy 101
- Quick Tips to Improve Your Odds at Jacks or Better Video Poker

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