Video Poker Strategies and How to Win
Video poker is the online equivalent of the hugely popular casino game. Like other gambling games, it relies on some luck to be successful. However, unlike games of pure chance, video poker also requires skill from the player to maximise his or her chances of winning. Indeed, some of the most successful players around the world make a decent living from playing the game. Of course, poker relies on the ability to bluff well as well as knowing how to put together a winning hand. Therefore, video poker tends to favour players who are not very good at hiding their emotions.
Gamblers will often refer to a player’s tell which is usually an involuntary movement or tic that reveals either when they have a potentially winning hand or, conversely, when they are bluffing with their bets. If you fall into that category or are simply not very good at spotting other people’s tells, then video poker is for you. By playing online, your persona is not revealed because you are playing against a machine. This means the game becomes less about the psychology of the action and more about the cards. Therefore, one of the best strategies you can utilise if you have a tell is to play video poker rather than in a real gaming house. The same is equally as true if you are a newcomer to the game and need to look up the various winning hands each time to see which is better – something which would be a dead giveaway if you did it in person, of course.
What are some of the best strategies to put into your gameplay when enjoying a hand or two of video poker?
Go For a Royal Flush to Win Big
When you are dealt your hand in video poker, you are offered the opportunity to hold your cards or draw some more to improve it. By far the best result you could end up with in poker is a royal flush. With the online version, a royal flush will offer you the best pay out. Always refer to the pay table of the particular version of video poker you are playing since this will indicate how generous – or not – the game happens to be. Although it is statistically less likely for you to get a royal flush than other potentially winning hands when drawing more, you are always going to win big with this hand. In video poker, it is more important to try and maximise your winnings than to win regularly which is why you should aim high.
One of the big advantages of the majority of video poker games is that the complex mathematics behind working out how likely or not your hoped-for result will be is worked out for you. When you use this, the longer shot of going for the higher possible hand often makes more sense than, for example, going for a three of a kind. Of course, this only works out if the pay table is generous enough to outweigh the odds against you coming up with a winning hand.
Look Out for Video Poker Bonuses
The options available to video poker players are numerous and you should never forget that online gaming establishments are operating in a competitive marketplace. Therefore, be on the lookout for any bonuses or promotions that might be available to take advantage of. Some might offer to double your credit so long as you spend it at the casino concerned, for example. This is a great idea if you are going to be playing for some time as a form of entertainment. Many casinos have a chat system you can use to ask if there are any video promotions on offer that might suit you once you are logged in. Some are for established players only but it is always worth asking about them nevertheless.
Avoid Straights Flushes
Players often retain three of the cards in their hands in order to try and obtain either a straight or a flush when their two new cards are drawn. This is something that many novice players do and it is easy to understand why they would since this approach does result in winning hands. That said, retaining three cards with the hope of getting a straight or a flush leaves you with a losing hand more often than not. The only exception to this rule – when you should keep all three of the three connected cards and draw two more – is when you are trying to pull off a highly desirable straight flush or, even better, royal flush. This is because the expected big payout will outweigh the unlikelihood of the result, making the strategy worthwhile.
Play for the Maximum Credit You Can Afford
With video poker, you are not upping the ante with other players to try and win big when you have a good hand. The idea is to get one of the statistically least likely hands and win a large amount in one go rather than a middling hand which doesn’t pay out a great deal even if you are successful. Think of this as the video poker equivalent of hitting the jackpot on a slot machine. Therefore, the entire stratagem is to win with as much stake down as possible. Although you may have to lose many times in order to get a great winning result, betting with a lower amount of credit will be a regret if you do happen to get a top winning hand. Bear in mind that a royal flush will often pay at a rate of 4000 to one at a good online casino. A four of a kind winning hand could net you a prize of as much as 125 times your stake and a straight flush twice this amount! That said, you should still set a limit that you will stick to before you stop playing so that you don’t overspend.