What Cards To Hold In Video Poker?

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Are you ready to level up your video poker game? Wondering what cards to hold to increase your chances of winning big? Well, look no further because we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll explore the exciting world of video poker and reveal the strategies to help you make the right decisions. So, grab your virtual poker chips and get ready to learn the secret to mastering this popular casino game—it’s time to discover what cards to hold in video poker!

Picture this: you’re sitting at your favorite video poker machine, and you’re dealt a hand of five cards. Now comes the crucial decision: which cards should you keep and which ones should you discard? Here’s where strategy comes into play. By understanding the value of each card and knowing when to hold or fold, you can greatly improve your odds of winning. We’ll dive deep into the different hand rankings and explain which cards you should aim to keep for maximum success.

But why is knowing which cards to hold so important in video poker? Well, it’s because this decision can greatly impact the outcome of the game. By using the correct strategy, you can reduce the house edge and increase your chances of hitting winning combinations. With a little practice and our expert guidance, you’ll soon be making smart decisions like a seasoned pro. So, let’s get started on our journey to discover the winning cards in video poker!

Now that you know the importance of making the right decisions in video poker, it’s time to delve into the specifics. In the following sections, we’ll explore different types of video poker games, explain how to evaluate your hand, and provide tips on which cards to hold for optimal results. Get ready to learn the ins and outs of video poker strategy and become a master of the cards. Let’s begin our quest to uncover the secrets of winning big in video poker!

What Cards to Hold in Video Poker?

What Cards to Hold in Video Poker?

Welcome to our in-depth guide on what cards to hold in video poker. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, understanding which cards to keep and which ones to discard can significantly impact your chances of winning. In this article, we’ll walk you through the strategies and considerations for making the best decisions in video poker. So, grab your favorite beverage, sit back, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of video poker!

Understanding the Basics of Video Poker

Before we delve into card-holding strategies, let’s quickly refresh our knowledge of the game. If you’re already familiar with video poker, feel free to skip ahead to the next section.

Video poker is a casino game based on traditional five-card draw poker. The objective is to make the best possible hand with the cards dealt to you. The game begins when you place your bet, after which you are dealt five cards. You then have the option to keep or discard any number of those cards, with the goal of improving your hand and ultimately beating the paytable.

Each video poker variant has its own paytable, which outlines the payouts for different hands. The most common variant is Jacks or Better, where you need a pair of Jacks or higher to win. Other popular variants include Deuces Wild, where twos act as wild cards, and Joker Poker, which includes a joker in the deck.

The Importance of Holding the Right Cards

Now that we’re refreshed on the basics, let’s explore why holding the right cards in video poker is crucial to your success. When you’re dealt your five initial cards, you’ll want to analyze them and assess their potential to form winning hands. Here’s why:

1. Maximizing Winning Opportunities: By making strategic decisions on which cards to hold, you increase your chances of forming winning combinations. Holding onto cards that have the potential to create strong hands is key to maximizing your overall payout.

2. Minimizing Losses: On the flip side, holding onto cards that have little potential for improvement can lead to unnecessary losses. Learning to identify which cards hold promise and which ones should be discarded is crucial for minimizing potential losses.

3. Playing Strategically: Video poker is not just about luck; it also involves skill and strategy. By knowing which cards to hold, you can apply the optimal strategy for each hand, increasing your odds of winning over the long run.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Which Cards to Hold

Now that we understand the importance of card selection in video poker, let’s explore the key factors you should consider when deciding which cards to hold and which to discard:

1. Hand Strength:

The strength of your initial hand should guide your decision-making process. If you’re dealt a good starting hand, such as a high pair or a four-card straight or flush, it’s generally advisable to hold onto those cards and aim for a stronger hand. On the other hand, if your initial hand is weak, with no pairs or connections, it may be best to discard and hope for a better draw.

2. Paytable:

Familiarize yourself with the paytable of the specific video poker variant you’re playing. Different variants have different hand rankings and payouts. Knowing the value of each winning hand and the associated payouts will help you make informed decisions about which cards to hold. For example, if there’s a higher payout for a flush than a straight, you may prioritize holding onto suited cards.

3. Probability of Improvement:

Consider the likelihood of improving your hand with the cards you choose to hold. If you have a pair, that gives you a solid foundation for a winning hand. However, if you have three to a straight or flush, the probability of completing those hands should influence your decision. Understanding the odds and probabilities in video poker can greatly enhance your decision-making abilities.

4. Bankroll Management:

Finally, don’t forget to consider your bankroll when deciding which cards to hold. If you’re playing with a limited budget, it may be wise to prioritize holding onto potential winning hands rather than chasing unlikely draws. Understanding the balance between risk and reward can help you make sound decisions and prolong your playtime.

Advanced Strategies for Card Selection

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to explore some advanced strategies for card selection in video poker. These strategies take into account not only the factors we discussed earlier but also more nuanced considerations like specific hand combinations and the potential for multi-hand play.

1. Expert Strategy Charts:

Expert strategy charts are valuable resources that provide detailed instructions on card selection for each possible hand in video poker. These charts are specific to different variants and paytables, taking into account all the relevant factors. By following these charts, you can optimize your gameplay and make the most informed decisions.

2. Multi-Hand Considerations:

When playing multi-hand video poker, where you can play multiple hands simultaneously, the decision on which cards to hold becomes even more complex. You’ll need to consider the impact of your card selection on each individual hand, as well as how the discarded cards can influence your overall chances of winning. It’s advisable to study and practice multi-hand strategies to excel in this advanced form of video poker.

3. Progressive Jackpots:

If you’re playing a video poker game with a progressive jackpot, additional considerations come into play. In these games, the jackpot increases with each bet placed and can be won with a specific hand, such as a royal flush. To maximize your chances of hitting the jackpot, prioritize holding onto cards that can potentially form the qualifying hand, while still maintaining a reasonable chance of winning other payouts.


When it comes to video poker, knowing which cards to hold is essential for success. By considering factors such as hand strength, paytable, probability of improvement, and bankroll management, you can make better decisions and increase your chances of winning. Advanced strategies, such as using expert strategy charts and adapting to multi-hand play, can take your gameplay to the next level. So, the next time you sit down at a video poker machine, remember to choose wisely and increase your odds of hitting that winning hand!

Key Takeaways: What Cards to Hold in Video Poker?

  • Hold onto high-ranking cards, like pairs, three of a kind, or four-card straight/flush opportunities.
  • Keep any high-value cards you have, especially if they can potentially form a winning hand.
  • Consider holding onto low-value cards if they are part of a potential flush or straight that can lead to a strong hand.
  • Discard cards that do not contribute to any potential winning combinations, such as single low-value cards.
  • Always analyze the paytable and understand the potential payouts for different hand combinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you unsure about which cards to hold in video poker? We’ve got you covered! Here are some commonly asked questions to help you make the best decisions and improve your chances of winning.

1. How do I decide which cards to hold in video poker?

Choosing which cards to hold in video poker requires careful strategy. The first step is to assess the initial five cards you are dealt. Identify any valuable combinations, such as a pair, three of a kind, or a potential flush or straight. Prioritize holding cards that contribute to these winning combinations. For example, if you have two cards of the same rank, hold them to aim for a three of a kind or a full house. If you have three cards to a flush or straight, hold them to boost your chances of completing the hand.

However, there are exceptions to these general guidelines. For instance, if you have a low pair but are dealt three high cards of a potential flush, it may be advisable to break the pair and aim for the flush. Similarly, if you have a single high card but no other potential winning combinations, holding onto the single high card might be the best option.

2. Should I always hold onto a pair in video poker?

While holding onto a pair in video poker can often be a good strategy, it is not always the best move. Whether you keep or discard the pair depends on the specific circumstances of the hand and the potential for other valuable combinations.

If you are dealt a pair of Jacks or better, it is generally recommended to hold onto the pair, as this is the minimum requirement for a winning hand in most video poker variations. However, if you have a low pair and also have four cards to a flush or straight, it may be more beneficial to break the pair and aim for the higher-value hand. It’s crucial to assess the overall potential of the hand and make an informed decision.

3. Is it always wise to hold all high cards in video poker?

While high cards can be valuable in forming winning combinations in video poker, it is not always wise to hold onto all high cards. It is essential to consider the potential for other valuable hands, such as flushes and straights, which may be better options than simply holding onto high cards.

If you are dealt five high cards but do not have any viable combinations, it may be more advantageous to discard all of them and look for potential straight or flush opportunities. Holding onto high cards alone does not guarantee a winning hand, so it’s crucial to assess the overall potential of the hand and make the best decision based on that.

4. Should I always hold a flush or straight draw in video poker?

While flush and straight draws can be valuable in video poker, it is not a strict rule to always hold onto them. The decision to keep or discard a flush or straight draw depends on various factors, such as the probability of completing the hand and the potential for other valuable combinations.

If you have three or four cards to a flush or straight, it is generally advisable to hold onto them and aim to complete the hand. However, if you have a low pair alongside the draw, it may be more beneficial to prioritize the pair and discard the other cards to try for a higher-value hand. It’s crucial to consider the overall potential of the hand and make an informed decision based on that.

5. Are there any specific strategies for selecting cards to hold in video poker?

Yes, there are various strategies that can help guide you in selecting which cards to hold in video poker. Some popular strategies include the Jacks or Better strategy, Deuces Wild strategy, and the Double Bonus Poker strategy.

These strategies involve a set of rules that prioritize certain decisions based on the initial hand dealt. They consider the potential for valuable combinations and the probability of achieving them. It is advisable to study and practice these strategies to improve your chances of winning in video poker. However, keep in mind that strategies can vary based on the specific video poker variation you are playing, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules and optimal strategies for that particular game.

Don’t Hold These Cards In Video Poker (Jacks Or Better) Or You’ll Be Losing Money On Every Hand!


To make the most of your video poker game, remember these key points. First, always hold onto a pair or better, as they have the best chances of winning. Second, if you don’t have a pair, keep any high-value cards like aces or face cards. Lastly, never keep a kicker card, as it doesn’t increase your chances of winning.

When playing video poker, it’s important to strategize and make wise decisions. By following these guidelines, you can improve your odds of winning and have more fun playing the game.

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