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Video Poker Tips

The odds of winning at Video Poker differ from hand to hand and from game to game. For the experienced player, the house edge on Video Poker is fairly small, and in some cases the odds are even.  Each variant of Video Poker will have its own strategy, though each may follow a basic strategy of playing. Below you will find general Video Poker tips & basic Video Poker strategies. If you're serious about Video Poker, you should make an effort to learn as much as possible about the strategies so that you can substantially increase your odds of winning.

Video Poker is nothing like table poker games - I've played both for many, many years and they're nothing like each other.  You can make plays in Video Poker that would never work in a five card draw game with a real deck of cards!

Always play max coins - As simple as this sounds, it still needs to be stated.

Play Carefully - Take your time to make the best decisions. It's you against the machine and there's no need to rush things.

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Know the Payout Schedule - This is one of the keys to success in Video Poker. You need to understand the payout schedule for each game so that you can adjust your strategy and maximize your winnings.  With the endless introduction of new variations of Video Poker, this is critical, but it's also one of the most fun challenges of playing Video Poker!

Don't play tired - When playing long periods of fast Video Poker, it's easy to fall into a trance-like state of mind and become tired, which will affect the decisions you're making.  When this happens, stop and take a break to keep your brain fresh for each decision.

Don't play lazy - This is particularly critical for Video Poker on the internet.  A number of the online casinos offer "Auto Hold" which is wonderful for most hands.  But Auto Hold doesn't always hold the best cards, so stay on your toes if you're using it and don't be lulled into just hitting the draw button.

Never keep the "kicker" with any pair in a bonus Video Poker game - Holding the kicker to any pair dramatically reduces your chances of pulling the 4 of a kind.

Always keep winning ("pat") hands dealt to you unless you can draw one card to a Royal or a super bonus hand.  - Here's where the internet differs from land casinos... On the IGT machines I love so much, when they deal me a full house with Aces over anything, I'll always break the full house to go for the 4 Aces with kicker, with a good degree of success.  On the internet, though, it rarely works.

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Don't break a flush - even if you can draw one to a straight flush (although I'll do it once in a while if the machine is running "hot").  Always break it if it's dealt you a flush with 4 to the Royal.

Don't play for the flush - If you're dealt garbage, it's generally not a good idea to hold three cards to a flush.  I watch people do this in land casinos endlessly, until I want to slap them silly!  The payout for the flush is just not worth the risk; it's better to hold one high card, or throw the whole hand out.

Hold the "Money Cards" - If you're dealt a garbage hand, but it has at least one card that if matched will win your money back, hold that card.

Never hold just a 10 - If you've been dealt garbage and a 10 is the highest card, throw the entire hand out.

Never hold a 10 with a Face Card - As a general rule, never hold just two cards to the Royal when one of them is the 10.

Watch for patterns - The video poker mathematical purists really hate that I say this, but I dare say I've been actually playing video poker longer than 99% of them.  Video Poker machines commonly go through "streaks" where they'll hit a lot of flushes, and no straights; or full houses, but not flushes; or any particular type of hand.  These streaks also change in a split second, but if you become aware of them and play to them when they're rolling, it will help maximize your winnings.

Practice makes perfect - The more you play the better you'll be. Learning which cards to keep and which cards to discard is very important for basic strategy and winning, and as you become more experienced at it, you'll learn where to take the right chances.

Careful Thought suggested - Players should be careful to to investigate the many strategies and tips and understand that when you play video poker online you do so understanding the risks and that if you play smartly the rewards can be great!

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Software Specific Video Poker Tips

Viper Software from Microgaming - This new version of Microgaming's software has a feature called "Auto-Play".  While this is a great feature for slots and blackjack games, be very careful of using it for Video Poker.  In fact, be very careful using the "Auto-Hold" on this new version; it's been upgraded to hold cards that wouldn't have been held on the old version.  It doesn't appear to be programmed for optimal play and I've watched several winning hands go by because I let the software choose the "hold" cards.

IGlobalMedia Software - The bonus Video Poker games at this casinos is truly a kick and addictive, and since you can play up to $100 a hand on these particular games you can really rack up some winnings fast!!  However, be very careful here of allowing the "Auto-Hold" to keep your cards for you.  I do much better choosing my own cards.

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All Software Vendors offer video poker in their suite of games - No matter what software provider you prefer you will find that all vendors offer at least a few video poker versions since it is such a popular game among players around the world. There are millions of online casino sites around the world.

I hope these video poker tips help you in your play.  If you have a specific question you'd like to ask, please write me. 

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