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Video Poker Intermediate Strategy

A. Antonova (editor) |

Gain a Greater Edge with Intermediate Video Poker Strategy

Assuming you have already mastered basic video poker strategy, you can build up from there and hone your skills by learning intermediate strategy. While more complicated, intermediate strategy is well worth memorizing and practicing as it results in higher edges for the player. It yields better results as it allows you to maximize your value and win more over the long haul. On a side note, it is worth mentioning that adjustments to the intermediate strategy are necessary when you play certain video poker variations.

Implementing intermediate strategy in fullpay games will boost your long-term expected return and improve your winning odds. Its greater complexity may sometimes lead to costly playing errors. We suggest you practice in demo mode until you fully master all recommended plays. Feel free to do so at one of the online casinos featured below – all of them offer free versions of video poker you can play with virtual credits.

Keep in mind that intermediate strategy is considerably easier to learn when players have already grasped the fundamentals of basic video poker strategy. If this is not the case, we advise you to go back and revisit our detailed article on basic video poker strategy.


Video Poker Follow Strategy and Win BigThe intermediate strategy is a bit more complicated compared to basic video poker strategy. Nevertheless, it has proven to be more efficient and accurate, which definitely makes it worth a try. Despite its higher complexity, many players find it easier to learn provided they are already familiar with basic strategy and its fundamental principles. The intermediate strategy functions similarly to all effective gambling strategies as it shows you all optimal playing decisions based on your starting hand. It is the perfect option for more seasoned players looking to take their video poker skills to the next level and improve their game.

Deciding whether to keep or replace certain cards becomes considerably easier with intermediate strategy. With that said, we should warn you that using this strategy does not necessarily guarantee you will win every single hand as a certain level of chance is also involved. What it does, though, is give you the best shot at becoming a winning video poker player. It achieves this by effectively decreasing the house edge and improving your chances of forming winning combinations. Intermediate strategy is used by gamblers who wish to make the most of every betting session. Another reason for this strategy’s popularity results from the fact it enables players to generate more profits in the long term.

How the Intermediate Strategy Works

As already mentioned, the intermediate strategy gives you the best move, depending on the cards in your initial hand. What makes it different from other video poker strategies is that it is relatively easy to learn. The following chart takes into account the cards in your starting hand and recommends the best moves based on them. It illustrates the most common situations that will inevitably occur at some point during the game, which makes it extremely useful and reliable.

For instance, if players are dealt three cards to a Royal Flush, it is best to break up an open-ended Straight and draw two cards. If four of the cards in their hand are high cards (Ace, Jack, King and Queen) players should break the hand only on condition the Jack and Queen are suited. If they have three offsuit high cards and one of them is an Ace, it would be best to discard the Ace. The reasoning behind this last move is that it improves your chances of forming Three of a Kind or Four of a Kind.

Video Poker Intermediate Strategy
Players’ HandBest Move
Four-Card RoyalAKQJ5Draw 1
Three of a KindKKK72Draw 2
Four-Card Straight Flush6789KDraw 1
Two PairsJJ33KDraw 1
High PairJJ267Draw 3
Three-Card RoyalAKQ27Draw 2
Four-Card FlushA3795Draw 1
Small Pair77285Draw 3
Open-Ended Straight5678QDraw 1
Three to a Straight Flush89102ADraw 2
Two-Card Royal – No TenAK278Draw 3
Inside Straight – Three High Cards810JQ3Draw 1
Three High Cards – No AceAJ1027Draw 2
Three-Card Straight Flush89102ADraw 2
Two High CardsKQ258Draw 3
One High CardA5279Draw 4
Mixed Low Cards25789Draw 5

When applied correctly, this intermediate strategy can be a great guide for all players as it boosts their winning chances. Armed with it, players will be able to easily decide which cards are worth keeping and which ones should be replaced. Even though you can find different variations of this intermediate strategy chart, all versions are based on the same principle.

Using it is easy as all you must do is look up your combination of cards in the chart. Take your time to consider every possible winning combination you can form and act accordingly. Once you commit the chart to memory, following this intermediate strategy will become easy as pie.

Important Considerations

Video Poker Big WinOnline gambling is now legal in many countries worldwide, which makes video poker more accessible than ever before. Playing from the comfort of your surroundings can be extremely beneficial as it allows you to conveniently look up your strategy chart when hesitant. With some practice, you will be able to memorize all moves and implement them when needed.

Online casinos offer many advantages their landbased counterparts lack, hence the massive appeal they hold with players worldwide. Online gambling sites typically offer demo versions of the available video poker games, allowing players to practice their strategies with zero risk for their bankrolls. This way you can get the hang of any video poker variation and get used to its rules without losing any of your hard-earned cash.

Another alternative way to remember the chart is to keep it in a visible place at home as this way, you will be able to memorize the moves without investing too much effort and time. People who don’t play video poker regularly can use some of the available strategy cards. It is also really important to pay special attention to card combinations that are similar to make sure you can tell them apart.

Players should also keep in mind that whenever they want to try a new exciting variation of video poker, they must consider the additional rules beforehand and alter their strategy accordingly. This doesn’t mean that a totally new strategy is required for every single video poker variant as only certain plays should be reviewed. For instance, some moves may become irrelevant if a variation does not include certain hands like the high pair, for example. It is always best to adapt your strategy to the respective video poker variant so that you can hold the best cards and form a winning combination.

In general, players should stick to intermediate strategy throughout their sessions and play according to it. This is the best way to ensure the desired result and decrease the house edge.


Video poker is undoubtedly one of the most exciting casino games of all time, one that is played by millions worldwide. It is a game of both skill and luck and this makes it possible to impact the outcomes by using an appropriate strategy. The intermediate strategy featured on this page gives players the opportunity to reduce the house edge significantly and increase their chances of winning in the long term. The chart illustrates which card combinations are worth keeping in particular situations. It provides players with valuable information about when and what to discard.