Video Poker Strategy - Starting out right

If you want to get into playing video poker, and dedicating some time to it, it's essential that you have a working strategy. It's fine to go and play to learn how things work, but if you want to win, a good video poker strategy is in order, and all of them work off of the same basic principle: make the best decisions for every opportunity.

To get the most out of a video poker machine, you need to be able to do three simple things. These are: read the pay table to choose a machine that offers the highest payback - know the best strategies for the specific machine you're playing - understand the volatility of a machine, so you can have an idea of how much your bankroll will fluctuate.

Playing video poker is extremely simple; playing it well is slightly more complex. Like blackjack, Video poker is a game where the house edge is a variable affected by the skill level of the player. One main skill is proper machine selection; the other is knowing the proper strategy for the machine your playing. Since there are a million varieties of Video Poker, there are a million strategies, and people quickly become overwhelmed at what they seem to need to know. Don't fret though, you can start with a single machine, and what you need to know for a single machine isn't overwhelming at all.

In the broadest terms, there are non-wild card video poker games like Jacks or Better, and there are wild card games like Deuces wild. In these two categories there are many different varieties, some good, some bad. Payout schedule return rates vary from under 90% to over 100%.

One of the most common varieties of non-wild games is the Jacks or Better game. Jacks or better is very popular classic game and considered the 'standard' video poker box by many patrons. It also acts as a great place to start, as it's easy to understand the strategy you use. Of course, Fat Tony wouldn't recommend it if it wasn't also a decent bet. The best version of Jacks or Better has a 99.5% payback percentage when you get the strategy perfect. This means that over the long run you're only expected to lose half a dollar on every hundred dollars spent in the machine.


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