video poker has the highest return to player rate at Intertops Casino

How to Choose the Best Strategy for Video Poker

Intertops Casino features over 300 great casino games.  Most of them—about two thirds—are slots.  Gamers—especially online gamers—love slots.  Still, we also carry a full line of table games, video poker, and casual games.  Fish Catch and Banana Jones are our most popular casual games and gamers love to play them as a break from the other games they have been playing.

In this article, we will return to video poker, of which we do publish numerous articles.  Although this article is directed at new video poker players, experienced players can get a lot of benefit from it as well.

You Don’t Have to be a Poker Expert to Play and Win at Video Poker

This is one of the things that keep some gamers from even trying out video poker.  Video poker is in all its variations a type of five card draw poker.   There are a few rules that benefit the players and bring the return to player rate to about 99.5%.

Still, the overwhelming advantage of video poker over real poker with real opponents is that there is no bluffing at all!  Bluffing is the great bugaboo of real poker with real opponents.  A lot of people who really like playing poker with their friends of a weekend evening, find that when they play real poker with people they don’t know, even at low stakes, they are behind the average player for many reasons, the most significant of which is that they are not skilled at the art of the bluff, either performing a bluff or reading a bluff.

Instead of concerning yourself with bluffing, in video poker all you have to concentrate on is hand evaluation.  The best strategy in video poker does have a few anomalies that are based on hand evaluation and the pay table.  So, hand evaluation is of paramount importance in video poker.

We will return to hand evaluation shortly.  At this point, it is also important to realize that all of the complex aspects of real poker such as position, poker math, ranges, and every other aspect of poker that makes it so challenging are of no importance at all in video poker!

Will You Bet the Maximum or Less than the Maximum

One of the rules in video poker that greatly benefit the player is that there is a big extra payout for a Royal Flush.  In order to qualify for this extra payout, gamers have to bet the maximum on the hand.  Here it is very important to be aware of your monetary gaming limit.  If you can reasonably bet the maximum on a video poker hand, we absolutely urge you to do so.  If, however, you feel that you should bet less, we salute you for your good money management decision.   We also want you to know that the best strategy in a video poker game where you bet less than the maximum is different than the best strategy when you do bet the maximum.

Since the best strategy in video poker is sometimes counter-intuitive, many gamers benefit from playing in free play mode until they develop the fullest appreciation of the best strategy for that variation.  Free play is also available when a gamer goes from one video poker game they know well to one they have never played before.

PLAY NOW

Breaking up a Winning Pair

This is a separate area of strategy that all video poker players need to understand fully.  If you have a high pair, you will automatically have a winning hand.  However, if you also have four to a straight flush, a simple flush, or a Royal Flush, the best strategy is go for the higher paying hand and to break up the high pair.

This is the way the top video poker players handle such hands: give up an immediate winning hand for the reasonable chance at a much better paying hand.

This strategy move is the same whether you have bet the maximum or less than the maximum.

The Dealer Has Only One Role—to Deal the Cards

In video poker, even at a land-based casino, the dealer is a software phenomenon.  There is no actual dealer!  However, the software acts as if there were a dealer.  You need to know that the dealer cannot beat you in video poker.

In contrast, in blackjack on the other hand, you might get a very high point count and still get beat by the dealer who plays according to very specific rules but still has the ability to win the hand.

When you play video poker, you play against the pay table which, together with hand evaluation, governs your strategy entirely.

Hand Evaluation in Video Poker

There are about 2.6 million different hands of five cards that you can be dealt.  Most of these hands—slightly more than half— have no pair at all.  The next highest number of dealt hands is a hand with one pair.  In hand evaluation, we have to start here, with hands that have no pair and hands that have one pair.

Hands with No Pair

Some hands will have no pairs and no high cards.  That means that in the overwhelming number of hands, if you keep one card and draw four cards, you will not get even a modest winning high card pair.  So, the best play in these “nothing” hands is to discard all five cards!

Now, you may say that in the weekend games with your friends, you can never discard all five cards and you have to show an ace to get rid of even four cards.  That is true in these home brewed five card draw games.  In video poker, you can discard from one to five cards on all hands and you can stand pat if you have a dealt straight, flush, or full house.

Sometimes you’ll get a hand with one or more high cards but no pair.  In these hands, it is better statistically to keep one of the high cards but not both.  Even more interesting is a hand with four cards to a flush or a straight.  Even if you have to discard the one high card you were dealt to keep the four cards that could turn into better hands, the statistics dictate that you do so.

Hands with a Pair

A pair can be a strong hand or a weak hand.  If you have a high pair and the other cards don’t give you the chance to make your hand better, you should hold onto the pair.  The same applies if you have a low pair but the other cards are not helpful.

What happens if you have a winning pair and four ti a straight or a flush.  Ibn this case, you should hold onto the four cards even it means breaking up the pair.  You might get a flush, a straight, or another card to pair up with the high card.

In other words, it is generally better to try to improve your hand but not to try to do so without thought towards the odds of improving the hand.

Intertops Casino Invites You to Join NOW

Obviously, there is a lot more to Intertops Casino Red than slots and video poker.  In fact, we publish articles every week that talk about a range of gaming elements that we think should be of interest to all gamers.  We also sometimes publish articles that talk about subjects not immediately connected to online casino gaming.

Join Intertops Casino NOW and you’ll quickly find out what a great gaming environment is!

PLAY NOW