Skip to main content

Video Poker Advanced Strategy

A. Antonova (editor) |

Play Optimally with Advanced Video Poker Strategy

Mastering advanced video poker strategy is the surest way to take your game to the next level, improve your edge, and boost your profits. Simply put, advanced strategy is your key to becoming a successful video poker player in the long term. The moves recommended on this page are not as simple to master and commit to memory, especially when compared to the basic and intermediate strategies. Some plays are even counter-intuitive but this does not prevent them from being mathematically optimal.

Before we proceed, we should warn you that advanced strategy is mostly suitable for proficient video poker players with sufficient experience and a good understanding of the game. If you are new to video poker, we recommend you take a step back and learn the basic and intermediate strategies for the game. Another thing to note is that advanced strategy is optimal on condition you always bet the maximum number of coins per round, preferably in fullpay games.

Advanced strategy is also available in chart format whereby the hands that yield the highest expected return on average are positioned at the top. You can download one such chart for free and refer to it while playing video poker online. Most online casinos offer demo versions of their video poker games, an ideal solution for players looking to hone their strategy skills without losing money. With this out of the way, let’s examine the advanced strategy for video poker together.

Video Poker Advanced Strategy

Video Poker Quad AcesAs already mentioned, this advanced strategy is suitable for highly experienced players who want to take their video poker game to the next level. Complex strategies of this type require more time and effort to master but are worth it due to their higher efficiency.

Advanced strategies considerably decrease the house edge and improve your average hourly win rates. Like all other video poker strategies, this one shows you the best possible moves based on the five cards initially dealt to your hand. It is worth mentioning advanced strategy may require adjustments when used in video poker variations with wild cards or bonus payouts for specific hands. With this in mind, here are the moves recommended by the strategy.

If players have a hand that includes a high card and three cards to a Straight Flush, they should hold the high card. The reasoning behind this move is that the odds of completing the Straight Flush are considerably lower than those of forming a winning hand with the high card. If players have a Queen and King or Queen and Jack along with three other cards, then they should hold the face cards. The same applies in situations when they get dealt a Queen, Jack, and Ace, in which case they should again keep the face cards. Respectively, if you obtain a Flush or four cards to a Royal Flush after the initial deal, you should go for the Royal Flush. However, if more cards are required to complete the Royal Flush, you should settle for the Flush.

Another advanced strategy move stipulates that if you have two low-value cards and three cards to a Straight Flush, you should go for the Straight Flush and replace the two low-value cards. Also, when you find yourself in a situation where you must choose whether to go for a Straight or a Straight Flush, you should pick the Straight. In case you have a low pair and three cards to a Straight, hold the low pair. If you have four cards to a Flush but three cards to a Royal Flush, it is wiser to keep the three cards and try to complete the Royal. Finally, assuming you have a low pair and four cards to a Straight Flush, you should opt for keeping the four cards..

Anyone can read a guide and follow simple instructions, but it takes proper understanding and lots of discipline to fully master a casino game that requires skill.

What It Takes to Master the Advanced Strategy

Video Poker Jackpot WinnerTo truly master a game, players must not only research it extensively and read specialized literature, but also build enough hands-on experience. It is recommended to play video poker regularly to improve your skills and knowledge of the game. Some clueless players argue that skill has nothing to do with video poker and it all comes down to luck, but this could not be further from the truth. This game is all about mathematical probabilities. You can become a consistent winner only if you take the time to properly understand how video poker odds work.

One very important aspect when it comes to mastering advanced strategy is memorization – recalling the right move at the right time is crucial for your success. If you want to become a consistent winner and profit in the long run, you should know your strategy inside and out. It is recommended to memorize the paytable of your chosen game and learn the main differences between the most common video poker variations. If you are unfamiliar with the specifics of the video poker variant you intend to play, you will be unable to successfully apply the advanced strategy. The more you practice, the easier it gets to remember the recommended moves. If you play regularly, you will master the advanced strategy and remember the suggested moves without even trying. But to reach this stage, you should spare a few minutes every day and revise the strategy thoroughly.

We recommend you memorize the paytable below as it is used in Deuces Wild. Even though the paytables differ from one variation to another, the hand ranking generally overlaps across most games meaning that the Royal Flush is always the best hand, followed by Straight Flush, Four of a Kind and so on. Of course, there are certain variations (especially those that use wild cards) that have slightly different paytables. It is essential to familiarize yourself with them before you play.

The Importance of the Pay Table

When you play video poker at a new casino, you should always pay attention to the payouts. This is one of the most important aspects to consider because it has a direct impact on your average expected return. Even if your learn the advanced strategy inside and out, you will not profit when playing a game with a subpar payout percentage.

Video Poker Pay Table
Royal Flush25050075010004000
4 Deuces2004006008001000
Wild Royal Flush255075100125
Five of a Kind1632486480
Straight Flush1020304050
Four of a Kind48121620
Full House48121620
Three of a Kind12345

The paytable above is for Deuces Wild, but there are many other different paytables. It is best to check the payouts before playing. Usually, most casinos that offer good (fullpay) paytables advertise this fact, which makes it easier for video poker players to identify the most beneficial games. To find the game with the best payout percentage, you should look up the payouts for a Full House and a Flush. Fullpay Jacks or Better pays 9 to 1 and 6 to 1 (9/6) for these two hands.


Now that you have enough knowledge of advanced video poker strategy, you can put your skills to the test by playing the game for free or for real money. Many online casinos offer free-play mode, allowing players to practice in a risk-free manner. Video poker is broadly available so lacking options is the last thing you can complain of. With sufficient knowledge and a reliable strategy, you can become a consistent winner in video poker and make a profit in the long term.