The decisions you make when playing video poker at a casino or 안전놀이터 can increase your bankroll 100-fold or send you slinking away from the machine with nothing at all to show for your efforts.

In video poker, you play against the ideal poker hand. Each time you play a hand, you get five cards. You can select which cards to keep and which to discard. Each game has its own list of what are considered winning hands, but most will pay off a single coin with a pair of jacks or better. The elusive Holy Grail of video poker is the Royal Flush, a ten, jack, queen, king, and ace all of one suit.

So, what can you do to improve your odds of winning? The first step is selecting your machine carefully. Look for a Jacks or Better game that offers a payout of nine coins for a full house and six for a flush. If you can’t find a machine with this payout, look for a progressive machine that pays eight coins for a full house and five for a flush. (A progressive machine is linked to several other machines in the casino. The jackpot keeps going higher and higher until somebody wins it. Progressive machines only pay off if you have wagered the maximum bet.)

Therefore, the next rule of thumb is to always play the maximum wager. It’s better to pay five coins on a nickel machine than to play one coin on a quarter machine. Even if you’re not playing on a progressive machine, the difference between a minimum wager Royal Flush (250 coins) and a maximum wager Royal Flush (4000 coins) is quite significant.

Other tips for success? Never discard a “pat” (winning cards received on the first draw) hand to try to make it better, unless you have a one-card shot at a Royal Flush. For instance, say you were dealt a jack, queen, king, ace, and nine of hearts. That’s a flush, a pat hand, but if just one card were different (if the nine of hearts were a ten of hearts), you’d have the Royal Flush. In that case, it makes perfect sense to draw for the Royal.

However, say you drew the four, five, seven, eight, and ten of spades, giving you a pat flush. Although it’s true that you’re just one card away from a straight flush, the odds just aren’t good enough, nor is the potential payout big enough for you to abandon your already winning hand.

Another mistake made by many amateur players is keeping a “kicker” with a winning pair. Say for instance that you were dealt the Jack of hearts, the Jack of diamonds, a three of hearts, six of clubs, and ace of spades. You already have a winning pair – the two Jacks. Keeping the ace of spades as a “kicker” will do you no good and will statistically pare down your chances of winning. You’ll have a greater chance of hitting three of a kind or two pair if you discard all three “junk” cards.

Video poker takes some getting used to, but it can be lots of fun. If you aren’t sure about your skills, start at the nickel or even the penny machines and work your way up. If you’re having a hard time figuring out which cards to hold and which to discard, most casino gift shops offer a small, laminated card with prompts on the best way to play each hand. Happy gaming!


Claire Bennett is a self-taught poker player and is looking for different ways through which she can share her experience and poker tips with other enthusiasts.