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How to Play Online Video Poker

    Some basic rules when playing online video poker

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 you 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 – visit a casino of your choice and play free video poker where you can prectice to your hearts content.

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