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How To Use a Video Poker Strategy Card

Home » How To Use a Video Poker Strategy Card

How To Use a Video Poker Strategy Card

a very happy man with his thumbs up is sitting at a poker table with a laptop open and poker chips stacked in front of him

Do you love online poker and video poker, in particular? If you’re ready to revolutionize your approach to video poker and outsmart the machines, learn the secret to the ultimate weapon for success: the video poker strategy card or chart.

Prepare to delve into a world where calculated moves and strategic decisions can turn the odds in your favor. Read on to discover how to use one of these cards like a pro and level up your game in a flash.

What Is a Video Poker Strategy Chart or Card?

Video poker has been around for a long time, but only since the relatively recent online gambling boom have strategy charts and cards become so easily accessible. These charts and cards are powerful tools (and technically, legal “cheat sheets”) that provide you with a concise reference guide for making optimal decisions when you’re playing poker online. Ultimately, each strategy chart or card displays a comprehensive table of potential poker hands, along with the recommended actions to take based on the hand you’re dealt.

A strategy chart considers the specific rules and pay tables of the video poker machine you’re playing, ensuring that, mathematically, you make the best possible choices in each situation. It guides you on which cards to hold, discard or draw in order to maximize your chances of landing winning combinations and increasing your overall payout.

The great news is that you can find and use these charts and cards online. It can be helpful to print and laminate them for easy reference, especially if you prefer playing video poker in a traditional casino setting.

How To Read a Video Poker Strategy Card

a computer screen on a white surface with a brick wall background, on the screen is a man who is holding up two ace playing cards and throwing poker chips forward through the screen in a 3D effect

Reading a video poker strategy card may seem daunting at first, but with a little guidance, you’ll be deciphering it like a pro in no time. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown.

1. Understand the Layout

A strategy card is usually divided into rows and columns. The rows represent the different possible starting hands you can be dealt, while the columns represent the possible actions you can take, such as “hold,” “discard” or “draw.”

2. Locate Your Hand

Look for the row that corresponds to your current hand on the chart. The hands are generally listed in descending order of strength, with the strongest hands at the top.

3. Analyze the Columns

Once you’ve identified your hand, examine the columns across the chart. Each column represents a potential card to discard. The values in the cells of the chart indicate the recommended action to take based on your hand and the corresponding card.

4. Interpret the Chart

The values in the cells of the chart can vary but often use abbreviations such as “H” for “hold,” “D” for “discard” and “D/A” for “discard/draw another.” These abbreviations guide you on the best course of action for each potential card you may want to discard.

5. Follow the Recommendations

In order to make the most advantageous move, simply locate the cell that corresponds to your hand and the card you’re thinking about getting rid of. The recommended action in that cell will tell you what to do.

Here’s an example of how a strategy chart may guide you when playing Jacks or Better video poker.

Say you’re dealt the 10 of spades, jack of clubs, queen of spades, 2 of diamonds and 5 of hearts.

You consult your Jacks or Better strategy chart and see that, according to the chart, in this particular scenario, the best strategy would be to discard everything but the jack of clubs in the hope of landing a pair of jacks or three of a kind.

Remember, the strategy chart is designed to optimize your long-term odds of winning — it’s not a guarantee. As with all forms of poker, strategy is just one element of the game. Luck also comes into play. In short, make sure you continue playing responsibly even when you have a strategy chart to back you up!

More Strategy Tips for Video Poker

a top view shot of a man winning an online poker game, he is sitting at a green felt poker table with his thumbs up, an open laptop in front of him that says “YOU WIN”, poker chips stacked on either side of the laptop and two ace playing cards on the laptop keyboard

If you’re still learning how to play poker, a video poker strategy card or chart will be your trusted guide — but try not to rely too heavily on this secret weapon because it’s important to improve your own strategy based on your playing style.

Here are a few other helpful strategy tips for video poker.

Play the Maximum Coins

In most video poker games, the royal flush payout is significantly higher when betting the maximum number of coins — just keep a close eye on your bankroll!

Hold Onto Your High Cards

If in doubt, it’s almost always a good idea to hold onto your high cards. High cards (jack, queen, king and ace) give you a chance to form a high pair or a potential straight or flush.

Avoid Holding Kicker Cards

Kicker cards are additional high cards in a hand that don’t contribute to a winning combination. Holding onto kicker cards without a potential winning hand often reduces your chances of improving your hand. It’s generally better to prioritize potential winning combinations over kicker cards.

Take Advantage of Promos and Bonuses

Some video poker machines and online poker sites offer promotions, bonuses or loyalty programs that provide additional benefits or increased payouts. Take advantage of these offers to maximize your potential winnings.

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Are you looking to improve your win rate in online video poker? Discover how to use a video poker strategy card or chart to your advantage.