SPECIFIC GAME INFORMATION & PLAYING STRATEGIES
Prior to this chapter you have learned everything you need to know about video poker in order to begin live casino or online play. You now know how the various different video poker games work. You learned about bankroll sizes. You learned about strategy charts; how they are developed and how they are used for live casino and online play. You now have all the tools you need to become a successful player of live casino video poker or online video poker for that matter, as all of the information in the guide applies to either.
GAME INFORMATION AND PLAYING STRATEGIES
By way of introduction to the next several chapters and using a dinner party analogy, consider what you have learned so far as tasting a wide variety of appetizers. Having completed that part of the dinner, you are now ready for the main course.
The meat of this Ultimate Guide to Video Poker is the specific information for 34 selected video poker games that is presented in chapters 10 through 15. There may be information about one or more different pay tables included for each of the 34 games that are covered depending on the popularity and / or return of that specific game and pay table combination. The information included for each variation of video poker game includes:
The actual pay table for the selected version of the video poker game.
A complete, accurate fully functional strategy chart for the game and pay table.
As you will see as you progress through the next several chapters, even though games may look very similar (or even be the exact same game with different pay tables) the playing strategy can be very different. For this reason, it is an excellent idea to make sure you practice the strategy for the exact live casino or online video poker game that you will be playing. Why give the online or live casino any more of your hard earned money than you have to? Here is a list of the type(s) of video poker games that are included in chapters 10 thru 15.
Chapter 15 – Pick ‘Em / Pick a Pair Video poker games
Chapters 10 thru 15 only present very basic information about the games that are covered because each of the video poker games shown has already been described in some detail in the previous chapters. If you have any questions about the details of playing any of the games presented, please refer back to those chapters.
Please note that all of the strategy charts presented in this guide have been simplified by combining separate lines in the original strategy when the results of the combined lines are the same or make virtually no difference in the overall return. This makes learning the strategy quicker and playing the strategy simpler and less error prone.
Also, please note that only the most common and recommended pay tables are included. It is this author’s strong opinion that no one should play a video poker game (either in a live casino or online casino) that returns less than about 99 percent. While it is true that some of the games and pay tables that are included in the following chapters return less than 99 percent, they are either very close to that amount or have other “redeeming” qualities.
HOW TO USE A STRATEGY CHART
You are about to start studying strategy charts for many different video poker games. Even though this topic has been explored in a previous chapter, it is appropriate to once again discuss how to use a strategy chart.
The strategy chart is a list of hands or partial hands that are initially dealt for each hand you play. The chart is sequenced with the most favorable (returns the most) hold at the top. Each subsequent line in the strategy has an equal or lower return than the preceding strategy line.
With this in mind it is fairly obvious how the strategy chart should be used. Specifically:
Start at the top of the strategy chart.
Compare your dealt hand to this line.
If your dealt hand includes the cards specified in the strategy line, hold those cards and hit the “Deal / Draw” button.
If your dealt hand does not contain the cards specified in this line of the strategy chart, move to the next lower line and check if your dealt hand contains these cards.
Continue doing this until your hand contains the cards shown in the strategy chart line.
If you reach the end of the strategy chart, do not hold any of the cards in your dealt hand and simply hit the “Deal / Draw” button to get a completely new hand.
As you can see, using the strategy chart is quite simple in theory. In practice, however, it can be somewhat daunting making sure you have not missed any of the possible holds. It can be very easy to miss a small pair or three card straight flush that contains an ace. To make sure you are properly applying the playing strategy, it is an excellent idea to purchase a video poker computer program or smartphone / tablet app. These programs / apps allow you to tailor the games played on it to match almost any game you might play in a live casino or online. Once the proper game and pay table is set up, you can play that game and the video poker program / app will let you know each time you make a mistake in strategy.
Let me tell you for a fact, having a large red “ERROR” pops up on the screen while you playing is quite a jolting experience. It really helps you remember the proper play the next time that same situation presents itself. Using the video poker program or app is a great way to make sure you are playing the strategy absolutely perfectly. The $25 to $50 or so is a small price to pay for the knowledge that you are playing perfect strategy and giving yourself the best chance to beat the live or online casino.
And now with no additional fanfare, let us move on to chapter 10 and begin looking at the actual play strategies for many of the most popular live casino and online video poker games.
Everything presented so far in this guide has been in preparation for the next several chapters which include the actual pay tables and playing strategies for many live casino and online video poker games.
While different video poker games may look similar (and in some cases even be identical except for the pay tables) the playing strategies can be quite different.
Only the most popular live casino and online video poker games and those with a decent return have been included in the following chapters.
It is extremely helpful to buy a video poker playing program or app in order to practice playing the proper strategy.
This chapter was an introduction to the “meat” of this video poker guide. That meat is the actual playing strategies of dozens of live casino and online video poker games. Each of the next several chapters has specific information on a select class of games such as Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild and so forth. In order to make learning and playing each strategy simpler, faster, and more accurate, the strategy charts (which are specific to each game and pay table variant of those games) have been simplified by combining lines of the originally created strategy where the combination of those lines will not impact the player’s return from that game and pay table.
While the details concerning how to play the games are not included in the next several chapters, this information was presented in previous chapters and the reader should refer to those chapters should they have any questions.
Written by Jerry "Stickman" Stich