Video Poker Strategy Charts
Video poker is one of the few casino games where the player's input has a major effect on the outcome of the game. Every time you push Deal you receive five new cards and have a total of thirty-two ways to play the hand. To be a successful video poker player, you have to make the best choice out of those thirty-two options as often as possible.
Since computers can mathematically analyze all thirty-two ways to play any given hand, it is possible to figure out the absolutely correct decision for every hand you receive. However, most players don't carry around high powered computers when they are in the casino, so how is this useful?
Well, fortunately for us, some video poker experts have taken it upon themselves to analyze every single hand that can come off the deck, and assemble their findings into easy to read charts that teach players how to play. Below we have strategy charts for the most common video poker games:
Most of our pages above list just an expert-level strategy chart that will get you to within 0.1% of the maximum payout percentage for the respective game. Some of the pages also list a beginner-level strategy chart that isn't as accurate, but is easier to follow. If you want to play video poker on your PC check out our guide here. Alternatively, you can also have a look at this site's list of ipad video poker app for real money.
How to Use a Video Poker Strategy Chart
The strategy charts on our site are actually very simple to understand, but to a beginner they may be a bit overwhelming at the start. To use a chart you follow these steps:
- Analyze your hand. Make sure you look at all five of your cards before looking at the chart.
- Start at the top of the chart and work down. You are looking for any spots on the chart where your hand matches up. For example, if you had four hearts in your hand as well as a pair of Kings, it would match up with "Four to a Flush" as well as "High Pair".
- Once you find a couple matches for your hand, observe which one is highest on the chart. Hold the cards indicated by the highest match.
If you still are a little confused, check out the below example to clear things up:
An Example Hand Analysis
Imagine you are playing a normal Deuces Wild video poker machine. You push "Draw", and are dealt the hand below:
Ok, so what do we have here as far as options? Well, first of all, we have a Pat Straight, Seven to Jack - a made hand. We also have four clubs, so we have Four to a Flush. If we look at the chart below (a condensed strategy chart for Deuces Wild), we can see that a Pat Straight is just above Four to a Flush, so the Pat Straight is the better hand of the two.
|Pat Royal Flush||800.0000||Th-Jh-Qh-Kh-Ah|
|Royal Flush Draw||19.5957||Th-Jh-Qh-Kh-4h|
|Pat Straight Flush||10.0000||6h-7h-8h-9h-Th|
|Four of a Kind||6.2128||Ac-Ad-As-Ah-5c|
|Pat Full House||4.0000||Ac-Ad-As-Js-Jc|
|Three of a Kind||2.0176||Ac-Ad-As-Js-Tc|
|Four to a Straight Flush||1.5745||4c-5c-6c-7c-Js|
|Three to a Royal||1.3053||Ks-Qs-Js-9c-4c|
|Four to a Flush||0.7660||Ac-Jc-6c-5c-4h|
But wait! Since all we need for a straight flush is the nine of clubs, we also have Four to a Straight Flush. Because Four to a Straight Flush is higher on the chart than both a Pat Straight and Four to a Flush, the correct play here is to hold the four clubs and discard the nine of spades in hopes of hitting the Straight Flush.
See - it really isn't bad at all, as long as you pay attention to all the cards in your hand.
How Accurate are Strategy Charts?
Another intelligent question to ask is how accurate are these charts? If you find a game that returns 100.5%, but your chart has 0.6% error in it, then you are actually only playing at a 99.9% return - also known as a losing gamble.
Well, the charts on our site are on roughly accurate to within 0.1% of perfect play. So, if you find that game that returns 100.5%, you would be actually earning about 100.4% with our charts - not too bad. Not many charts get much closer than 0.1% because they would have to be extremely long and complicated to explain the subtle differences in rare hands.
Video Poker Strategy Software
There are quite a few programs out there than can develop custom strategy charts for all kinds of games with various pay tables. We have reviewed quite a few of these programs, here are links to our reviews: