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Advice for Consistently Winning When you Play Video Poker

| June 8, 2022 10:05 am PDT
Video poker imagery

Never had the pleasure of explaining how to win at video poker at the dinner table? There are worse ways to, quite literally, chew the fat over the holidays.

There are also far worse subjects to discuss with family and friends, it must be said. Religion and politics, for a start. But money? Whoever included that in the trifecta of undiscussable topics clearly didn’t anticipate beating poker machines. So don’t be afraid to harp on about that humongous $16 win at Tom’s bachelor party in Las Vegas until your trachea packs in.

Today, I’m going to be looking at one of the most popular questions floating around the ether of the gambling industry, which is how to beat video poker machines.

Let it be known that when I say beat these machines, I’m not talking about kicking the crap out of them. Nor testing out your favorite nine-iron on the next Deuces Wild machine that looks at your partner the wrong way. I mean playing to gain something for your troubles. No violence is necessary!

Want to know how to win at video poker slots? Strap in, and I’ll share a few things that have worked for me over the years.

How to Win in Video Poker and Never Lose

Video poker cards

What is the best way to always win at video poker? Answer: a great imagination.

That’s not what you wanted to hear now, is it? Well, regardless of whether you are clicking for wins at the top online casinos — or have been handed a peer-reviewed paper on the greatest advice for video poker of all time — an integral part of gambling is losing.

Can’t win ’em all? Obviously.

It’s super important to manage your expectations before playing any casino game.

You might have a little book of euphemisms that helps you think you’re not gambling. Good for you. But if you’re staking money to win or even lose, I have news for you!

Once we understand that I’m not here to tell you how to win at video poker without fail, we can proceed. Remember, I’ll be providing you with some nuggets of information that I have accrued over the years rather than giving you a foolproof method of beating video poker machines. And I wouldn’t want you to think otherwise. 

With that out of the way, let’s examine some nice tricks to increase your chances of winning at video poker.

Beat Video Poker Slots by Learning the Game

If you’re still wondering how to win at online video poker, you are likely a flat novice. It’s nailed on that you’re below expert level, at least!

Now, before we advance into my own suggested pointers for playing this casino classic, it’s worth briefly mentioning a few things. These will give you the heads up you need to avoid the same mistakes that almost any video poker neophyte makes when they first play the game.   

Video poker machine
  • Set Your Bankroll and Stick to It – If the sound of your face crashing into your keyboard hasn’t woken you, there’s no hope. Whether I come across as a boring parent or not, learning how to manage your casino bankroll is paramount when planning to win at video poker.
  • Put the Cocktails Down – Alcohol has its perks. It can loosen us up in social settings, but the downside of that is too much can make us lose all control. Don’t play drunk. Ever. Don’t overlook this one if you’re compiling a list of the best tips for winning at video poker slots.
  • Look for Games with High Packback Percentages – Did you know that there are many different types of video poker games you can win on? More importantly, these variants all come with different expected returns. Make sure to target those with the best payback percentages. 
  • Find the Best Video Poker Strategy for Any Game – As paytables differ, it’s no wonder that video poker strategies vary from game to game. If you want to get to the heart of how to win at online video poker or any title at a land-based casino, you should really be doing your homework!

Don’t ever feel ashamed to cover the brass tacks before you start. Rather than being a potential source of embarrassment, it’s the smarter and more admirable way to start your journey.

Before you begin to work at developing more refined methods or get to a stage where you are passing on your own tips for how to win at online video poker, remember one thing — you must learn the rules before you can break them!

Now, that shouldn’t stop you from testing your luck if you believe you’re ready to go. Just start small and, if possible, use any free online video poker games to enhance your skillset. 

There is still much more to cover when answering how to beat video poker machines. Let’s look at some of the more advanced stuff I’ve learned along the way. 

Know What Strategies Can Help You Win at Video Poker

Call attendant for video poker

Video poker strategy is immensely popular for a reason, primarily because it can help you become a better player.

The logic is this: if you’re a better player, the greater your chances of making money playing video poker. It’s that simple. But people tend to overcomplicate things when looking for advice for making a profit on this game. And that can lead them down the road of shunning what works. 

Sometimes, those who are out there asking how to win at video poker expect there to be some esoteric, ancient knowledge that must be cracked before they win. And they will hunt for it at all costs.

First, if you’re running around like the video poker version of Tom Cruise’s character in Eyes Wide Shut, you’re just asking for trouble. Second, embracing such a mindset might lead one to palm off solid, basic knowledge as useless tripe. Only, the opposite is often the resting place of truth where video poker is concerned.

There are tons of excellent video poker games available to be played on US online casinos. But plenty of people would have you believe that you can exchange good money for tips to manipulate these games for profit. 

I’d be here all day if I were to share some of the worst subscription-based betting techniques I’ve come across in my life. I’m talking laughable, outrageously horrible “methods” and “systems” for soccer bets, slots wins, etc. But one thing has always tied these modes, as well as the charlatans behind them, together.

Money. They want your money!

Never Pay for “How to Win in Video Poker” Systems

When some hear the words “Basic video poker strategies,” it might invoke the image of some benighted, simple fool wandering from machine to machine with an empty cup. Or someone who has walked into a casino blindfolded and clueless about the environment around them. But again, simple is more often than not best. 

The nebulous nature of the information used by these hacks allows them to hide behind it. In other words, they’re making up a load of crap, intentionally confusing the hell out of you and relying on your laziness and lack of experience to fleece you. 

Top Tip
The bottom line is this — avoid paying for video poker systems. There is nothing that these people can tell you that isn’t already in the public domain and free of charge.

Do I have evidence for that? Keep reading, and I’ll fill you in. 

Learn When to Play the Maximum Bet on Video Poker 

Should you always bet max on video poker? The short answer is no. And I’m going to explain why.

Whether you’re playing in your local GAA club or one of the best casinos in Las Vegas, many experienced video poker enthusiasts will suggest that you up to your stake to the maximum number of coins available. This is usually five coins per bet. 

The logic behind this is pretty easy to understand. Where machines with strong pay tables are concerned, video poker has a very appealing house edge. For example, 9/6 Jacks or Better, when played with perfect strategy, comes in around the 0.46% mark. Now, that’s awesome. And a pretty good reason to play with max bet. 

Let’s say I’m providing tips for how to win at Deuces Wild video poker to a friend. There is also a very low house edge, which comes out at less than 1%, so I won’t be too concerned about them hitting max up on the coins. 

Video poker paytable

But other games aren’t as impressive. Now, don’t get me wrong here. Most video poker games have a much smaller house strategy than your average slot machine. They come in at over 10% in some instances, with the lowest house edge slot somewhere in the region of 2%.

Other games, especially some of the more recent titles to hit the market, are not as attractive. Hence, I’m not going to be as keen to go all-in on max bet. I been there; I lost the t-shirt. 

As you might now understand, there is a different approach warranted. Therefore, methods for how to win at Double Double Bonus video poker should look different from any hints and tricks better suited to playing 9/6 Jacks or Better.

This should answer whether to play maximum coins or not in video poker. It simply depends on the variant you are targeting.

Tips for Finding the Best Video Poker Games Online

There are a plethora of excellent video poker games out there. But you’re doing yourself a disservice from the start if you don’t know how to find them.

As covered earlier, not all video poker games are the same. For the most part, the house edge will be lower than table games like roulette or most slots, but I don’t see that as an excuse to have a blast at any old title. 

Serious video poker players that prefer the land-based experience have sites like vpFREE2 that they can use to their advantage. How? Well, they search for the best video poker games at over 515 casinos in the United States and Canada. That’s a good resource for anyone looking for an in-person experience, but how do we do something similar online?

Here are two simple nuggets of advice for winning at video poker. Just by choosing the right games!

  • Only Play with Legit Sites – Playing at the best video poker sites online means that you’re safe, secure, and trustworthy. The software is legit, and the games are tested by a third party to ensure that you’re getting a fair shake when playing. More than this, you will have better access to more variants, especially if you sign up with more than one site.
  • Learn How to Read Paytables – A 9/6 Jacks or Better paytable pays 99.54% with optimal strategy. However, a 6/5 Jacks or Better game only pays 95% even with the same methods applied. Did you know that? If the answer is no, you must learn how to read video poker pay tables.

If you are playing with dodgy sites and have no idea how to read payables, it will not end well for you.

That is if you don’t consider losing your money as fun. You don’t have to go crazy with cramming information into your head when playing video poker. That would certainly help, especially in the long run. But whatever you do, make some effort to cover the fundamentals of the game!

Define Your Definition of Winning at Video Poker

Video poker jackpot

We’ve touched on how to win at video poker. We’ve looked at how to beat video poker machines. So, what’s the conclusion you’ve drawn from the information above?

I believe you will likely understand how to win in video poker. But what does that actually mean? Whether you are going in with a small bankroll or a large one, what would you regard as a victory? Maybe winning video poker jackpots is your aim, and that’s cool.

Like many other games, the allure for many is the fun. For people in this camp, whether playing video poker or real money slots on some of the most reputable gambling apps, breaking even is good enough.


Admittedly, it is tough to win big at video poker in the long run. But the advice above should help you get there.

Of course, if you are really serious about learning the finer complexities of one of the world’s most popular casino games, I can point you in the right direction. Just remember to start by playing Jacks or Better games and build from there.

The following guide is packed with lots of information on this classic variant. Good luck!

Jacks or Better Video Poker Guide
Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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