Video Poker Strategies: Tips for Choosing the Right Machine and Maximizing Returns

Video poker is a popular casino game that is easy to learn but difficult to master. With the right strategy, players can minimize their losses and maximize their returns.

Choosing the Right Machine

The first step to winning at video poker is to choose the right machine. Not all video poker machines are created equal. Some machines have better paytables than others.

A paytable is a table that shows how much money you will win for different hands. The higher the paytable, the more money you will win.

When choosing a video poker machine, look for a paytable that pays at least 9/6 for a full house and a flush. This means you will win 9 times your bet for a full house and 6 times for a flush.

You should also avoid machines that have progressive jackpots. Progressive jackpots are large jackpots that grow over time as more people play the machine. However, progressive jackpots have a lower return to player (RTP) than non-progressive machines.

In addition to paytable and jackpot type, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing a video poker machine:

  • Variant: There are many different variants of video poker, such as Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and Bonus Poker. Choose a variant that you enjoy playing and that has a good paytable.
  • Number of hands: Some video poker machines allow you to play multiple hands simultaneously. This can be a good way to increase your chances of winning but also increases the risk of losing money. Playing one hand at a time is best if you are new to video poker.
  • Denomination: Video poker machines come in a variety of denominations. Choose a denomination that is appropriate for your budget.

Maximizing Returns

Once you have chosen a machine with a good paytable, you must learn the basic video poker strategy. The basic strategy is a set of rules that tell you which cards to hold and which cards to discard.

The basic strategy can be found online or in video poker strategy books. It is important to learn the basic strategy before you start playing video poker. Otherwise, you will be making mistakes that will cost you money.

In addition to learning the basic strategy, there are a few other things you can do to maximize your returns at video poker:

  • Play the maximum number of coins. The more coins you play, the more money you will win if you hit a winning hand.
  • Take advantage of casino bonuses. Many casinos offer bonuses for playing video poker. These bonuses can be a great way to boost your bankroll.
  • Manage your bankroll carefully. Don’t bet more money than you can afford to lose.

Advanced Strategies

You can learn more advanced strategies once you have mastered the basic strategy and bankroll management.

One advanced strategy is to learn how to “count cards.” Card counting is a technique that can be used to track the cards that have been played and to predict what cards are likely to be dealt next.

Card counting is not easy to learn, but it can give you a significant advantage over the casino.

Another advanced strategy is learning to play “cluster pay” games. Cluster pay games are video poker games that pay for clusters of matching symbols instead of traditional poker hands.

Cluster pay games can be more volatile than traditional video poker games, but they also have the potential to pay out more money.


Video poker is a fun and exciting game that can be profitable for players who know the right strategy. By following the tips above, you can maximize your returns and increase your chances of winning.

Additional Tips

Here are a few additional tips for playing video poker:

  • Take breaks. It is important to take breaks when playing video poker. This will help you to stay focused and to avoid making mistakes.
  • Don’t chase your losses. If you are losing money, don’t try to win it back by betting more. This can lead to a downward spiral of losses.
  • Quit while you’re ahead. If you win money, don’t keep playing until you lose it all. Set a winning limit and stick to it.

Remember, gambling is risky, and there is always the chance of losing money. If you are concerned about gambling addiction, please seek help.