Video poker strategy

Beat the house edge with our guide to basic video poker strategy.

Video poker is one of the few casino games where it is possible to beat the house edge. This page will introduce you to basic strategy for full-pay video poker variants (with and without wilds) via a series of hand charts, helping you get an edge over the casino with mathematically ‘perfect’ play. Credit to Michael Shackleford (AKA ‘The Wizard of Odds’) for these systems. If you need some help with the terminology, check out our poker glossary here.

Without wilds (e.g. Jacks or Better)

The following are the best plays, in order of absolute best to absolute worst (‘high’ card indicates a pair of Jacks or better).

1Dealt Royal Flush
2Dealt Straight Flush
3Dealt Four of a Kind
4Four to Royal Flush
5Dealt Full House
6Dealt Flush
7Three of a Kind
8Dealt Straight
9Four to Straight Flush
10Two Pair
11High Pair
12Three to Royal Flush
13Four to a Flush
14Unsuited K/Q/J/10
15Low Pair
16Four to an outside straight with 0-2 high cards
17Three to a Straight Flush
18Suited Q/J
19Four to an inside straight, four high cards
20Suited K/Q or K/J
21Suited A/K, A/Q, Q/J
22Four to an inside straight, three high cards
23Three to a straight flush
24Unsuited K/Q/J
25Unsuited Q/J
26Suited J/10
27Two unsuited high cards, kings highest
28Suited Q/10
29Two unsuited high cards, ace highest
30J only
31Suited K/10
32Q Only
33K Only
34A Only
35Discard anything else

Pay-out: 99.54%

With wilds (e.g. Deuces Wild)

In the list below, a natural denotes a hand that uses no wild cards.

1Natural Royal Flush
2Four to a Royal Flush
3Straight Flush
4Four of a kind
5Full House
6Three of a Kind
8Four to an outside straight flush
9Suited Q/J/10
10Four to an inside straight flush
11Three to a royal flush, except Q/J/10
13Two Pair
14Four to a Flush
15Four to an outside straight
16Three to a straight flush, spread 3-4, suited
17Two to a royal flush, jack highest
18Three to a straight flush, spread five and suited
19Four to an inside straight, except missing deuce
20Two to a royal flush, queen highest
21Two to a royal flush, king highest, no penalty cards
22Discard anything else

Pay-out: 100.76%

The right casinos to play video poker

Put our basic strategies to the test at our highest-rated casinos for video poker.

[CASINOS game=video-poker]