How to Play Video Poker Better – Part 1

How to Play Video Poker - Part 1

Our First Big Step

Hey everyone! Over here at Jackpot Gifts, We’ve decided to take a big step on the Journey towards getting better at playing video poker. This is the beginning of our 8 part series where we get into the pit and start learning more about how to play video poker better.

Much of my information will be coming from books and online resources, and portions coming from Linda Boyd’s book “The Video Poker Edge.” This is truly a great book that teaches all of us how to start playing smarter.

Why Video Poker is so Great!

So let’s get started! First we should discuss the benefits of playing video poker over other games. There are so many reasons why video poker is an amazing game:

  • Video poker is fast-paced and fun to play
  • Your card skills in poker can have a huge impact on the outcome of your game
  • It gives players the opportunity to make their own decisions
  • It offers the potential for big winnings
  • Video poker is a game that in some situations offers a player advantage; giving you an edge

Playing Smart

The reality is that many players play their games based on hunches or guesswork, rather than learning how to execute proven strategies. We all do it, but the goal of this blog series is to start learning how to play smarter. Linda Boyd calls this strategy “Smart Play” which involves these principles:

  • The only way to win is to play according to the laws of mathematics. Don’t bet on hunches or you’ll quickly lose your bankroll
  • An understanding of the video poker machine is essential in order to play wisely.

As Boyd puts it “Even a player-advantage game such as video poker requires perfect, or near-perfect play in order to win.” This is what we aim to do.

“Don’t bet on hunches or you will quickly lose your bankroll.”

Linda Boyd

Video Poker Formats

Video poker game makers have added new format options over the years to give players the choice of betting extra coins for a better win. For our first step into learning more about the game, we’ll briefly discuss the format options available.

  1. Multi Strike – In this format, you play 20 coins instead of 5 for a max bet. There are 4 levels and you have to win at each in order to advance. Each level is worth twice as much, so the potential to win big is great.
  2. Super Times Pay – For one extra coin, you get a random multiplier on your win, on average this happens every 15 hands, and can multiply your winnings between 2 and 10 times.
  3. Quick Quads – For one extra coin you receive the payout for Four of a Kind, whenever you have Three of a Kind, and the remaining cards add up to Three of a Kind rank. You are also paid for another Four of a Kind
  4. Spin Poker – After choosing a game you’re dealt 3 hands. The main hand appears in the center and is the only hand you select cards to hold from. Whatever cards you hold in the main hand affect the other two. After making your chose the machine deals from three decks, and you can be paid for nine possible pay configurations, so the winning can be amazing!

Advanced Strategies

There is so much to learn about Video poker, but it’s important to learn strategies that rely on mathematics and not bet on hunches. Our next entry will focus on some advanced strategies we’ve learned to help us pick the best machine and video poker game.

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