When I first started playing video poker, I was a little intimidated.  I knew how to play poker, and I knew how to play the slots, but video poker was still a mystery to me.

Does video poker have a good payout or am I going to be taken to the cleaners?  What do I do in those situations where I could throw away a decent hand for a chance at a huge win?

After years of practice and many ups and downs at the video poker machines, I have come up with these basic tips for video poker success.

Basic Video Poker Strategy

  • Always play maximum coins. As you can see from the sample video poker pay table below, if you play 5 coins instead of 4, the payout for a royal flush jumps from 1000 coins to a spectacular 4000.  Having this advantage in the royal flush payout increases the odds of the video poker machine by a significant margin, making it a smart move to always play maximum coins.

  • Understand the video poker pay table. If you know the basic order of poker hands, the pay table above will probably look fairly straightforward.  However, there are some video poker machines that feature pay tables that may look like a foreign language (example below).  Before you start putting your money into the video poker machine, make sure you know what the pay table means and how you should be paid for each win.

  • Choose a couple of video poker machines and master them. Have you ever heard the expression a jack of all trades but a master of none?  When it come to video poker, it pays to be the master of a couple and ignore the rest.  As you play more video poker, you will find that the games are easy to learn but hard to master to the point of being extremely profitable.  Try some different games, find your favorites, and then master them to achieve the biggest profits.  (See this list of the best video poker odds for help choosing a few games to try.)
  • Take your time while playing video poker. Video poker is a machine.  It won’t get angry at you if you take your time.  Since some of the more difficult decisions require some time to mull over (or possibly time to reference a video poker strategy card), don’t feel like you’re in a rush.  Have fun while you’re playing and you will always win more money.

Final Thoughts

Follow these basic tips and you will be well on your way to video poker success!  Make sure to follow Silver Oak Casino on Twitter for more money making video poker tips and full strategies to the most popular video poker games.

What are your favorite video poker games?  Tell me in the comment section below!

Jeff White

Jeff has been an active gambler from the age of 18 when he won a small local poker tournament in San Jose, CA. He moved on to playing other casino games shortly thereafter, with a great interest in the statistics and mathematics involved. He has studied the historical gambling systems of nearly every popular casino game played today, and has written strategy books for several of them including blackjack, slot machines, craps, and roulette. Jeff has been a daily contributor to the Silver Oak Casino blog since the beginning of 2009.