Video Poker Strategy: Maximizing Your Payouts

Video poker is a popular casino game that combines the thrill of poker with the simplicity of slot machines. Unlike traditional poker, where you play against other players, video poker involves playing against the computer. This makes it a game of strategy and skill, where your decisions have a direct impact on your chances of winning.

Understanding the Basics

Before delving into strategies, it’s important to have a good understanding of the basics of video poker. The objective is to create the best possible hand by selecting and discarding cards from the initial hand dealt to you. The payouts are determined by the strength of your final hand according to the paytable.

Video poker machines come in various variations, such as Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and Joker Poker. Each variation has its own unique rules and paytable, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the game you are playing.

Choosing the Right Machine

Not all video poker machines are created equal. The paytables and payout percentages can vary from one machine to another. To maximize your winnings, it’s crucial to select a machine with a favorable paytable and high RTP (Return to Player).

Paytables are usually displayed on the machine itself or in the game’s information section. Look for machines that offer generous payouts for strong hands like a Royal Flush, Straight Flush, or Four of a Kind. Avoid machines with low payouts for these winning combinations, as they will significantly decrease your overall expected returns.

RTP is the percentage of every dollar wagered that the machine is programmed to return to the player over the long run. Generally, machines with higher RTPs offer better odds. Look for machines with an RTP of 99% or above for optimal results.

Implementing a Strategy

Developing and implementing a sound strategy is key to maximizing your payouts in video poker. There are various strategies available, depending on the specific game you are playing. However, here are a few general tips to help you get started:

1. Play with Max Coins

Most video poker machines offer a bonus payout for hitting the Royal Flush with the maximum number of coins wagered. To take full advantage of this bonus, always play with the maximum number of coins allowed by the machine. Failure to do so means you’re essentially throwing away free money.

2. Understand Hand Rankings

Having a strong understanding of hand rankings is essential for making wise decisions during the game. Familiarize yourself with the hierarchy of poker hands and their relative strengths. This knowledge will help you determine which cards to hold and which ones to discard in order to optimize your chances of making winning combinations.

3. Use a Strategy Chart

Strategy charts provide a handy reference for the optimal moves to make for every possible hand you can be dealt in video poker. These charts vary depending on the specific game you play, as each game has unique rules and payout structures. By using a strategy chart, you can significantly improve your decisions and minimize costly mistakes.

4. Practice Smart Bankroll Management

It’s crucial to manage your bankroll wisely to ensure you can withstand the inevitable fluctuations that come with gambling. Set a budget for your video poker sessions and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses or increasing your bets in an attempt to recoup previous losses. Stick to a consistent bet size that aligns with your bankroll and allows for long-term play.


Video poker offers an excellent opportunity to maximize your payouts when played with the right strategy. By understanding the basics, choosing the right machine, and implementing a solid strategy, you can increase your chances of winning and potentially walk away with sizable profits. Remember to always play responsibly and enjoy the game responsibly. Good luck!