Mastering the Basics: A Guide to Winning at Video Poker

Video poker is a popular casino game that combines the strategic elements of poker with the ease and excitement of slot machines. It offers players the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of gambling while employing skill and strategy to improve their chances of winning.

If you’re new to video poker, understanding the basics is crucial before moving on to advanced strategies. In this article, we’ll cover some essential tips to help you get started on your journey to becoming a successful video poker player.

Familiarize Yourself with the Game Rules and Paytables

To increase your chances of winning, it’s vital to understand the rules and paytables of the specific video poker game you’re playing. Different video poker variations have distinct paytables and hand rankings, which affect the game’s optimal strategy. Take the time to study the game rules and paytables, and choose games with favorable payout rates.

Always Play Maximum Coins

One of the most crucial tips for video poker success is to always play the maximum number of coins allowed. This strategy maximizes your potential winnings, as most video poker games offer a bonus for hitting a royal flush when playing the maximum bet. While this may increase your risk per hand, it can also significantly boost your potential return in the long run.

Develop Your Strategy

Successful video poker play involves a combination of luck and skill. While you can’t control the cards you’re dealt, you can optimize your decision-making process to increase your chances of winning. Familiarize yourself with the optimal strategy for your chosen game variation, which dictates which cards to hold and which to discard based on the probabilities of forming winning hands. Many resources, including strategy charts and software, are available to help you learn and practice these strategies.

Manage Your Bankroll

Proper bankroll management is essential for long-term success in video poker. Set limits on your spending and stick to them, ensuring that you don’t exceed your budget. Additionally, be prepared for losing streaks and don’t chase your losses. Maintaining discipline in your gameplay can help you avoid costly mistakes and extend your playing time, increasing your chances of hitting a big win.

Take Your Time

Unlike other casino games, video poker doesn’t impose time constraints on players, allowing you to take your time and make well-considered decisions. Avoid rushing your choices, as hasty decisions can lead to mistakes and suboptimal plays. Take advantage of the game’s relaxed pace to thoroughly analyze your hand and make the best possible choices.


Mastering the basics of video poker is the first step towards becoming a proficient and successful player. By familiarizing yourself with game rules and paytables, always playing maximum coins, developing an optimal strategy, managing your bankroll, and taking your time, you can significantly improve your chances of winning. Once you’ve mastered these fundamental concepts, you can move on to more advanced strategies and techniques to further enhance your video poker skills and enjoyment.