Top 5 Mistakes Made by Video Poker Players

Video Poker Mistakes

If you want to be a consistent winner in video poker, then you need to play perfect strategy for every video poker variant you play. Otherwise, you will increase the house edge against you. Part of playing perfect strategy is avoiding common mistakes made by video poker players.

Today, we will look at 5 common mistakes made by video poker players. Avoid these mistakes to improve your long-term win rate.

Playing Worse Than 8-5 Video Poker

If you don’t already know how to read a video poker paytable, we suggest you learn that skill before anything else. Afterward, you want to play video poker paytables of 8-6 and up whenever possible. However, you don’t want to drop below the 8-5 level, regardless of the game.

For example, 8-5 Jacks or Better has an RTP of 97.29%. The RTP goes up to 98.3% for 8-6. If you drop to 7-5, your RTP is down to 96.1%. There are online pokies with a better RTP than a 7-5 video poker machine. Make 8-5 your absolute cutoff point when picking a paytable.

Failing to Draw One for a Royal Flush

One of the worst mistakes you can make in video poker is not drawing one card for a Royal Flush, even if you have a made hand. For example, you have As-Ks-Qs-Js-8s for a flush. You’re looking at between 25 to 35 credits for a flush. By breaking the flush and drawing one, you are giving yourself a shot at a 4,000 credit loss.
Draw 1 to Royal Flush - Video Poker

At 35 credits for a flush, you only have to be right once in 114 draws to make this a bad play. You’ll definitely break a straight or a pair for a Royal Draw as well. Never give up a chance to draw one at a Royal Flush. It won’t hit often, but it hits often enough to always be the right play.

Dropping a Made Full House to Draw to Quads

There are many people who will drop a made full house in hopes of hitting four of a kind. There are two reasons that this is a bad play. First, the difference in payouts is not enough to make this a profitable play long-term.

Next, you’re giving up 45 credits and will only guarantee 15. You have to be right once every three draws for this play to be profitable. As such, you should not do this play.

The exception would be if you have aces full of deuces, threes, or fours in Double Double Bonus. In this case, you‘re chasing four aces with a 2, 3, or 4, which pays 2,000 credits. You only have to be right once in about 80 draws for this to be profitable.

Dropping a Low Pair to Chase Most Draws in Video Poker

There are many players who will drop a low pair to chase any form of a draw. This is incorrect in all but three scenarios. The first is if you have a pair of tens and four to an ace-high straight. In this case, you will drop the 10s as any card above a ten is going to give you a winner.

Hold Low Pair Video Poker

The next scenario you will drop the low pair is when you have four to a flush and a low pair. Lastly, the most obvious scenario where you will drop the low pair is to chase a one-card straight flush draw. In all other instances, giving up a low pair for a draw is a slightly worse play. You will catch three of a kind or two pair more often than your straight, so keep the low pair and draw three.

Braking a Paying Pair for a Draw

There are some people that will break a paying pair, such as kings, for the chance to draw one to a straight or flush. This is a horrible move. The difference in payouts between a pair and a straight or flush is not enough to make this play correct.

This isn’t giving up 5 credits for a draw at 4,000 like with a Royal Flush. Instead, you’re drawing to 20 to 35. It is better to keep the pair and draw three. You can still improve to two pair, three of a kind, a full house, or even quads.