Before you wager money to play video poker, you need to know the basics of the strategy for the game. Otherwise, you reduce the chances of you getting your money back or making additional money from your ventures. It can be confusing at first to understand the various types of hands which could be dealt to you during this type of game.

Understanding the basic strategy of video poker will help you to feel more confident when it comes to deciding which cards to keep and which to discard. It does take skill, correct information, and consistency to get the odds in your favor. As you learn about each type of hand you can understand ways to make it work for you. With sharper video poker skills you will have more fun and win more money.

Inside Straight

An inside straight refers to a hand where you have 4 cards of a straight but you are missing one of the necessary cards to make it flow. If that is the case, you are better off holding onto any pairs you may have and discarding the rest. The chances of you being dealt the one card you need to finish that straight is very low.

Open Ended Straight

An open ended straight means you have a hand with 4 cards but you are missing the final card to make it work. The difference here is you have room for a card on either end to complete the sequence. For example you have 7,8,9,10. You can get a straight with either the J or a 6. However, if you have a pair you are still better off in terms of odds to keep the pair and discard the rest.

Four to a Flush

If you have a hand with 4 cards of the same suit it could be a good start. However, it is really only going to be highly effective if you are playing hearts for example.

Straight Flush

When you have 4 cards that are the same suit and in order that is something to hold onto. However, it may be best to hold onto 2 or 3 of a kind if you have them because you already know that is going to be a sure bet. It depends on the payouts offered.

Jacks or Better

With Jacks or Better you may often find yourself pushing and pushing to get those higher paying combinations. Yet they are going to come up less frequently than you realize. It is best to go for the sure thing and to get the pairs when you can and take those winnings. They may pay less but they do add up.

Royal Flush

A Royal Flush is a big deal in video poker (A,K,Q,J,10). It doesn’t matter if they are all different suits. However, keep in mind you typically have less than 2% chance of this occurring. You may get close and only need one number. It can be tempting to discard your other cards in the hopes it will come up. Yet it is best not to do this and try for a combination of cards that gives you a higher percentage rate of winning.

Full House

Should you go for 4 of a kind when you have a Full House? Always go for the Full House unless you are playing a video poker game that offers a substantial payout for certain hands of 4 of a kind.

Practice the Games

Try to spend time focusing on one type of video poker game at first. As you learn the strategy for it, then you can add another one. There are online gaming sites where you can play such games for free. You can get tutorials too so you start to learn the ins and outs of the game. Don’t wager any money on video poker until you are confident you understand the game and the best practices.