The Gambling Guru Talks Video Poker

Christine writes:

When playing video poker I often here the term “perfect play” mentioned. Does perfect play on video poker differ from perfect play regular deck poker?

The Guru replies:

Video Poker is a very different game from regular poker played against live opponents. In live poker there is no way to define “perfect play”. Bluffing, reading your opponents, and other psychological elements are part of the game. In Video Poker you can’t bluff the computer, and the only psychological elements involved is what is going on inside your head. “Perfect Play” can be defined as always making the exact correct play based upon the cards you are dealt.

Stan writes:

I like to play video poker most of the time. Which hand is played wrong most of the time? Meaning, when certain cards are dealt but not kept although they may have good odds?

The Guru replies:

This answer comes from my friend and video poker expert Steve Adkins, author of: “The Book The Casinos Don’t Want You To Read”.

In Jacks or Better, people keep a pair and a kicker (one extra card that matches nothing). You should simply keep all pairs, unless you have 3 or 4 to a Royal Flush or 4 to a straight flush. I was playing in a tournament one time and I saw a lady throw away a pair of three’s. I asked her why and she said I never keep a pair less than Jacks. I should say that she lost in round one of the tournament.

Another bad move In Bonus Poker or Aces and Ligawd Faces is keeping a full house with three bonus cards. If 4 aces is the bonus and your dealt a full house with three aces, most people tend to keep the full house. The correct play would be to keep the aces (or any three bonus cards) and go for the four of a kind bonus.

In Deuces Wild a misplay is keeping a straight or a flush with two deuces. A straight or a flush only pays 10 coins. If you just keep the two deuces, the worst that will happen is that you will get three of a kind or 5 coins. You should just keep your two deuces.

Never keep two pair in Deuces Wild. I see that a lot. Two pair does not pay anything. Keep the first pair dealt and go from there.

In Joker Poker… Not drawing to three to a straight flush. Whenever you have three cards to a straight flush you should always go for it.


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