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Video Poker Strategy Charts

by Guide Bill Burton

One of the reasons for the popularity of Video Pokers is the fact that some of the games return over 100 percent and other "full pay" games offer close to 100 percent over the long run when you play correct strategy. Unfortunately a few mistakes when playing can wipe out the little advantage that you have. It is very important that you lean the strategy for each game and play them correctly. Each video poker game has its own strategy. For example you can not use the strategy for Jacks or Better when playing Deuces Wild.

Learning a new game or playing correctly at the casino is really quite easy when you use a video poker strategy card. A strategy card will show you the correct way to play each hand that you are dealt. By following the cards advice you will keep the hand that offers the highest possible return. To learn a new game it is best if you practice at home using video poker tutorial software along with a strategy card to show you the proper play. I recommend using Zamzow's BDPWinpoker software and strategy cards generated from Tomski's VPSM Video Poker Strategy Master. The software will let you know when you made a mistake and you can check the strategy chart to see the reason for your error.

When you are ready to head for the casino to play you can take your strategy chart along with you. When you are dealt a hand that you are unsure of, you can look up the proper play on your strategy chart.

VPSM generates a basic strategy and an advanced strategy for most video poker  games. The recreational or beginner player will find the basic strategy easier to use because it does not involve remembering a lot of penalty card situations. The advance strategy will add a few hundredths of one percent to the total return. The gain is very slight and the basic strategy should be more than adequate for most players.

Tomski has given me permission to post the basic version of the strategies for three of the most popular games generated by his VPSM program. I want to publicly thank him for his generosity in allowing me to share these with you. The games are:

Jack or Better
Deuces Wild
Double Bonus Poker

To use the charts all you have to do is look at the hand that you are dealt. Starting at the top of the chart you will look down until you come to that hand. The hand closet to the top of the chart is the correct play. VPSM color-codes the hands to make it easier to see the correct play. I have tried to duplicate the colors as closely as possible. The colors and abbreviations are as follows:
Red for Royal Flush (RF)
Blue for Straight Flush (STFL)
Pink for Flushes
Green for Pairs, Full House (FH), 4-of-a-kind and 3-of-a-kind
Brown for Straight (ST)

When you see the small letter (s) that means the cards is the same suit. Example, QJs would be the Queen and Jack of the same suit.

Lets look at an example of the Jacks or Better strategy. You are dealt the following hand: 3 of hearts, 9 of hearts, 3 of clubs, and 6 of hearts and Queen of hearts. You have a low pair but you also have a four-card flush. Looking at the chart you see that the four-card flush is closer to the top of the chart than the low pair. The four-card flush is your correct play.

Strategy charts are a valuable tool you can use to improve your game because they will help you play every hand correctly. Don't hesitate to bring them along with you to the casino. If you find a hand that you are unsure of how to play, take a second to look at the chart.

Until next time, remember:
"Luck comes and goes...Knowledge stays forever."

Related features.
Video Poker Pay Tables
Video Poker Hand Frequency

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