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Video Poker - Best Strategy

The table below gives a basic drawing strategy for a Jacks or Better machine (the best kind). There is a perfect draw for every possible combination of cards dealt to you, but that strategy is far too complicated for this article and for the casual player.

This basic drawing strategy only give up a few tenths of a percent over a perfect strategy and is fast and easy to learn.

Hold any cards that form a winning combination. The only exception is if you are dealt four cards to a royal flush - always hold those four and try for the royal.

If you aren't dealt a paying hand, look at the list below and, in descending order, select the first combination of cards that applies to the hand you are dealt, keep them, and draw for the remaining cards.

+ Four cards to a royal flush

+ Three cards to a royal flush

+ Four cards to a straight flush

+ Three cards to a straight flush

+ Four cards to a flush

+ A four card outside straight (four consecutive cards)

+ Jack, Queen, and either King or Ten if all the same suit

+ Three high cards (Jacks or Higher) of different suits

+ Low Pair (tens and lower)

+ Two high cards of the same suit

+ Two high cards of different suits

+ Single high card

+ If none of the above, draw all five cards

Print the above chart and refer to it while you play (the machine doesn't care!) and you'll always make the best decisions.

Good luck!

Tom is the webmaster at, which is a website dedicated to turning beginning Blackjack players into serious recreational players.


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