By entering the casinos around forty years ago, the Video Poker's inventors were wise.

A huge client base quickly enjoyed this game, thanks to 4 main reasons:

-Whereas the slot machines, players’ competencies are important. Mathematical and real proven strategies can be used (further in the article).
-The house edge of the casino is low.
-There is an opportunity of high gain through a Jackpot with a royal straight flush.
-We can play it alone, with our own bet, without thinking about the others.

Among numerous alternatives, two are the most popular among players: the “Jack’s or better” and the “Deuces wild”.

We will be talking about the first one in this article. Doubtlessly, it is the most seen, we even call it “the original”, the one you will find in almost all casinos proposing Video Poker.

The game’s functionality

--> After betting, you obtain 5 cards, which represents your first draw.

--> Among those 5 cards, you select those to keep or exchange according to what you wish to obtain (value’s table to follow).

--> After the selection is done, your second and last draw appears. It is at this right moment, you know if you won or not.

As its name suggests with its jack’s notion, you will win with a pair of jack’s minimum. A simple pair of 3,4,5...10 won’t be enough. However, in case of double pairs, you will be able to combine 2/2 and 4/4 for example.

Patterned on the general hands poker values, here the combinations in order, with potentials gain’s amount and probabilities based on 9/6 Jack's or Better:

Hands Potential winnings Probabilities
Royal Straight Flush 800 0,0025%
Straight Flush 50 0,011%
Quads 25 0,24%
Full House 9 1,12%
Flush 6 1,11%
Straight 4 1,06%
THree of a Kind 3 7,45%
Two Pairs 2 12,96%
Jack's or Better 1 21,44%
Nothing 0 54,57%

For a Royal Straight Flush, hope 1 chance out of 40,000.

In order to give you an overview of all the work to be done, by counting 600 hands played per hour during 8 hours, it will take you lightly more than 8 days to get it, in average. Good Luck!

For all the skeptical and followers of cheat’s theories, know that the cards are chosen randomly thanks to a generator. At the very moment you press on the “bet” or “play” button, the result is immediately determined.

If you do it more or less earlier or later, your result will be different.

There is nothing else that could influence the machine to make you win or lose. This mechanism is well calculated, regulated and controlled. As an example, two royal straight flush may come in the same day, as it may not be during weeks!

Choose THE right machine

Very important, before playing randomly, you have to select carefully your Video Poker machine!

Take as an example the following two pictures below. The left one redistribute 9 times your bet for the Full House as well as 6 for the Flush whereas the right one respectively 8 and 5.

On the left one, by using the basic detailed strategy explained below that will you obtain 99,46% of payback, the casino keeps 0,54%. While the one on the right, with this payment at 8 and 5, by applying the same strategy, the payback rate falls to 97,29%. The casino keeps then 2, 5 times more!

So, without any luck, you could lose your money 5 times faster… on the long term of course. You won’t notice any differences during 1 or 2 hours of play but it would be a shame to not start the game with optimal conditions.

In Vegas, there are some casinos off-Strip that have machines with 100% payback rate. It is rare bit it exists!

Surely, you ask yourself what is the casino’s interest and you imagine that being a winner at the Video Poker is then very easy. But, you also know that casinos are smart and nothing is really “free”.

You are right; it is more a commercial strategy than another thing.

When that is the case, the information is displayed a large letters inside the venues: “Poker video up to 100% payback here”. It is, most of the time, machines operating with nickels meaning that the casino’s loss is low and the players will have to stand some days to earn a decent amount of money.

On the other hand, this would be very cool for a beginner player who will spend more time on the machine, while dreaming a bit about a jackpot.

If you travel in North America and you are a real fan of Poker Video, we advice you to visit the following website VIPfree2.

After selecting the casino where you wish to play, it will show you the exact location in the venue (for example: in the corner, near the cafeteria) where the machines have the best payback rate.

Always play max

Indeed, this is the main trick of Poker video and you will quickly understand why.

Example on this classic Jack’s or Better:

By playing the minimal bet at 25 cents, you will win 250 times your bet by obtaining a royal straight flush (column n°1). At the contrary, by playing the maximal bet at 1,25 (5X more, column n°5), you will win 4000 times your bet!

It is this gap that really makes the difference and justify that you should play this way.

If playing max is off budget for you, try to find a machine more affordable that permit you to do it!

Basic strategy or “simplified”

You will find on the Internet plenty of websites that will try to explain you hard strategies to understand.

The base for all comprehension is to well know the combination order and their values, in order to know which cards you have to draw in every situation.

That is why, we present you the simplified strategy of the Wizard of Odds website, that we will make in practice in the following examples.

The table’s objective is to help you take decisions after the first draw. Make priority to the cards to keep or to draw according those situations (up and down) in which you are:

Combinations Cards to keep Cards to draw
#1 - Full House or better 5 0
#2 - 4 cards with a Royal Straight Flush draw 4 1
#3 - Straight, Three of a Kind or Flush 5 0
#4 - 4 cards with a Straight Flush draw 4 1
#5 - Two Pairs 4 1
#6 - Pair of Jack's or better 2 3
#7 - 3 cards with a Royal Straight Flush draw 3 2
#8 - 4 cards with a Flush draw 4 1
#9 - Pair of 10's or lower 2 3
#10 - 4 cards with an open handed Straight draw (never draw a gutshot!) 4 1
#11 - 2 suited cards higher than a 10 2 3
#12 - 3 cards with a Straight Flush draw 3 2
#13 - 2 cards higher than 10 (if more, take the two lower) 2 3
#14 - Suited cards, 10/J or better 2 3
#15 - A high card 1 4
#16 - Nothing 0 5

Specific cases and explanation

Case n°1:

To win here, you will need at minimum a pair of Jacks. For the moment, no pairs and no draws. We keep here the higher cards, the Jack, (#15 on the table) in hope to have minimum a second to have a pair that will make you win. It will be also possible to obtain two pairs, three of a kind, a quads and even a full house.

Case n°2:

Here, still no draw but two high cards. We keep then the #13. Objective: make at least one pair with the jack or the queen, even more!

Case n°3:

Three high cards this time. But as notified in the #13, we take the high cards lowest two, so the queen and the jack.

Case n°4:

Still three high cards, but the difference this time is that we obtain two cards of the same colors. Thanks to the jack and the king of club, we can make a straight, a flush and eventually a royal straight flush! So #11.

Case n°5:

We have a small pair but that pays nothing (lower than jack). Only, according to our table, this situation is placed at the #9. We will keep then the small pairs and try to obtain two pairs, three of a kind, a quads or a full.

Case n°6:

It’s an open handed straight draw. We keep then the 4 cards and hope an ace or a 6. #10.

Case n°7:

Contrary to the last case, we have here a gutshot draw. As said at the #10, we NEVER draw a gutshot. It is not worth taking the risk. Result: #16 and 5 new cards!

Case n°8:

A flush draw appears. #8, we keep the 4 spades and try the flush.

Case n°9:

The draw looks pretty low at first sight. However, we have straight flush draw. We refer to the list and conclude that it is #12. This could turn in straight, flush, three of a kind…it have to be tried!

Case n°10:

We could be skeptical by the fact that having a straight draw open handed but also a pair. Let’s check the list. The pair #9 wins over the draw #10. The choice is to keep the pair.

Unusual case: When you obtain a good combination, at the payment moment, some machines ask you to double your gains through a random game. One card flips (example a 7) and you have to select randomly another among the last 4 another card. If it is higher than the 7, you win, otherwise you lose your bet.

If you want to gamble, you can accept the challenge. If your aim is to play seriously and accordingly to the strategy, refuse it!


You are now perfectly armed to face you virtual opponent.

You have to know that if you apply perfectly this strategy without mistakes, you will have a 99,46% payback on your machine.

Not bad right? Something that will you allow to play long enough and why not, wining a royal straight flush.

This guide is now over! You will find in few times others articles on the "Deuces Wild" and "Joker Bonus" strategy.

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