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One of the best things a gambler can do to succeed at video poker is to learn the rules of the game inside out. Whereas the structure of video poker is quite simple to learn, the real work lies in learning the odds of the various poker hands. A vital understanding of poker hands and rank is necessary to fully comprehend the reasons for making certain actions as dictated by a video poker strategy.
Jacks or Better video poker is probably the most popular form of online video poker machines. Deuces Wild is another game worth playing that can be optimized with the appropriate strategy. Not only does this version of the game give a very low Casino Edge, it has some very generous jackpots as well.
To play the game is quite simple. Begin by placing your bet. This can be done by selecting the appropriate buttons that refer to the bet size. If you accidentally make your bet too high, keep selecting the increase button and it will eventually reset to the minimum bet. Pay close attention to the highlighted payout table, for this corresponds to the bet size you have selected.
When the appropriate bet is selected, press the Deal button, which will commence the dealing of five upturned cards. You will then have the option of shaping your hand, which is done by placing Holds on the cards that you want to keep. This is where strategy comes into play. Keep in mind that even if you have a pat hand (meaning it is a winner), and there are dead cards that can be dealt out to potentially make the hand even better, you will still need to put Holds on the cards that make up the pat hand. In other words, the machine is not going to automatically hold any of your cards - even if it recognizes them as making up a winning hand. Always double-check to insure you have selected all the cards that you want to keep.
The last step is to click the Deal button again and wait for the cards not being held to be discarded and replaced. Your final hand will then be compared to standard poker hand rankings and paid out according to the payout scale for which your bet stake corresponds to.
As for strategy, we recommend that you consult a video poker strategy table, which will guide you in what cards to draw, depending on your hand. These can be obtained through any gambling book or at an authoritative gambling resource. In the meantime, the following strategy tips will help improve your odds when playing Jacks or Better video poker:
1) Always hold a hand that already pays (only replace cards that are not making up the paying hand)
2) Always hold four cards of a Straight (inside with 3 or more high cards), Straight Flush (inside and outside) Flush and Royal Flush
3) Always hold three cards of a Royal Flush
4) Hold Pairs
If you have nothing at all, you may have something. Follow these tips in this case:
1) Hold two or more suited high cards
2) Hold three or more high cards of different suits (Discard the Ace if it is the third high card)
3) Hold two high cards of different suits
4) Hold a lone high card