The second best bet

Well, I guess you’ve earned the right to the first detailed video poker strategy. What you do with it is entirely up to you. Look around. Ask yourself, how many video poker professionals have I met? I’d be surprised if you’ve met any. There’s not many as can make it a paying game. So, I’m kicking off with Jacks or Better and, as the Brits would say, I’m gonna teach you how to suck eggs.
Some, it is best to prevent this from happening and Tramadol can be really helpful on this issue.
Just so we know we’re both talking about the same things, I’m gonna run through the winning hands and payouts for a 9-6 Jacks or Better video poker machine:

Royal Flush – AKQJ10 in the same suit. This’s the top hand in all kinds of poker. On video poker machines, you can expect one around the 40,000 hand mark — on average, that is. Assuming your head ain’t keeping company with your ass and you’re betting the full five coins, it pays 4,000 coins. If you forgot, it only pays 250 coins for the number of coins you did bet and you put $10 of that in the “F@:@ Me” swear box.
Straight Flush – any five cards in numerical sequence and the same suit, e.g. J10987. It pays 50 coins for the number of coins bet.
Four of a Kind – e.g. four 8s. It pays 25 coins for the number of coins bet.
Full House – three cards of the same value and a pair, e.g. three Queens and two Aces. It pays 9 coins for the number of coins bet.
Flush – any five cards in the same suit. It pays 6 coins for the number of coins bet.
Straight – any five cards in numerical sequence regardless of suit, e.g. QJ1098. It pays 4 coins for the number of coins bet.
Three of a Kind – three cards of the same value, e.g. three 8s. It pays 3 coins for the number of coins bet.
Two Pairs – e.g. two 3s and two Jacks. It pays 2 coins for the number of coins bet.
Jacks or Better – a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces. This is the name of the game but has the lowest payout of 1 coin for the number of coins bet.

Now you’re facing off against a machine. Remember, these video poker machines’re crafty mean, waiting for you to screw up big time. They’re programmed to sit there patiently while you let the seconds go by without making up your mind what to do. Did we say you were gonna hit 400 hands an hour? Well, why’re you standing there like a lightning rod waiting for the thunder to roll? Your hands should be a blur.

First rule — hold all the pat hands, i.e. royal, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush and straight.

Second rule — break up a pat flush or straight if this will leave you with four cards of a royal.

Third rule — if neither of the first two rules apply, look down the following list of hands, and hold the first card combination you come to:

4 of a royal;
three of a kind;
4 consecutive cards of a straight flush;
two pairs;
4 non-consecutive cards of a straight flush;
one high pair Jacks or Better;
3 of a royal;
4 of a flush;
KQJ10 (any suit);
one low pair (10s or lower);
QJ109 or J1098 (any suit);
KQ9, KJ9, QJ9, QJ8, Q109, J108, J109, J98 (same suit);
3 of a straight flush with 2 gaps;
3 of a straight flush with 1 gap;
2 face cards of the same suit;
KQJ (any suit);
1 face card + 10 (same suit);
2 face cards (any suit);
1 face card.

None of the above, redraw and see if the old RNG’s gonna give ya anything better.

But, to be honest with ya, most professionals prefer to play on progressive video poker machines. We’ll get to the hows an’ whys of that another time. Start with these baby steps. When you’re not crawling no more, we’ll get to the big boy’s strategy.

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