What Are The Best Starting Hands In Video Poker?

Are you ready to learn about the best starting hands in Video Poker? Well, you’re in luck! Today, we’re diving into the exciting world of Video Poker and uncovering the hands that can give you a winning edge. So, buckle up, because we’re about to take you on a wild ride through the ins and outs of this popular casino game.

Now, before we get started, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Video Poker is a thrilling combination of traditional poker and slot machines, offering players a chance to test their skills and luck against the house. But to come out on top, you need to know which starting hands can give you the best shot at success. And that’s exactly what we’re here to explore.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, understanding the value of your starting hand is crucial. It can mean the difference between a big win and a disappointing loss. So, let’s strap in and uncover the secrets of the best starting hands in Video Poker together. Get ready to raise the stakes and take your game to the next level!

What are the best starting hands in Video Poker?

The Best Starting Hands in Video Poker: A Comprehensive Guide

Video poker is a popular casino game that combines the excitement of slot machines with elements of traditional poker. Like any form of poker, starting hands play a crucial role in determining the outcome of a game. In this article, we will delve into the world of video poker starting hands, exploring the best hands to play and offering valuable tips to improve your chances of winning. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, this guide is packed with essential information to up your video poker game.

The Importance of Starting Hands in Video Poker

Choosing the right starting hands sets the stage for a successful video poker game. In video poker, you are dealt five initial cards, and it is up to you to decide which cards to keep and which to discard in hopes of creating the best possible hand. The starting hands you are dealt can significantly impact your chances of forming a winning combination. It is essential to analyze your initial hand carefully and make strategic decisions to maximize your potential payout.

The strength of a starting hand is determined by the value of the cards and the potential for creating winning combinations. Keep in mind that every video poker variant may have slightly different starting hand strategies, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and paytables of the game you are playing. Understanding the basics of starting hand selection will give you a solid foundation for success in video poker.

Top Starting Hands in Video Poker

1. Royal Flush: The holy grail of video poker hands, the royal flush consists of the ten, jack, queen, king, and ace of the same suit. It is the highest-paying hand in nearly all video poker variations, offering a significant payout if achieved.

2. Straight Flush: This hand consists of five cards in numerical order and of the same suit. While not as valuable as a royal flush, a straight flush is still an exceptional starting hand that can yield substantial rewards.

3. Four of a Kind: As the name suggests, four of a kind comprises four cards with the same value. For example, four kings or four sevens. Having four of a kind as your starting hand presents an excellent opportunity for a winning combination.

4. Full House: A full house is a combination of three of a kind and a pair. For instance, three jacks and two sevens. This hand is considered strong and can lead to significant payouts, especially if the three matching cards have a high value.

5. Flush: A flush consists of any five cards of the same suit, regardless of their numerical order. While not as valuable as a straight flush or royal flush, a flush is still a solid starting hand that can result in a fair payout.

6. Straight: This hand consists of five cards in numerical order, regardless of their suits. A straight is a decent starting hand that can lead to a winning combination when combined with strategic card swaps.

7. Three of a Kind: Three of a kind is a combination of three cards with the same value. Starting with three of a kind provides a strong foundation for building a winning hand, although additional strategic decision-making is necessary.

Tips for Maximizing Your Starting Hands in Video Poker

1. Know the game variations: Different video poker games may have different starting hand strategies. Take the time to understand the rules and paytables of the game you are playing to make informed decisions.

2. Study hand rankings: Familiarize yourself with the hand rankings and paytables of video poker. This knowledge will guide your decision-making when evaluating your starting hand.

3. Pay attention to the potential payout: Each video poker variation offers different payout rates for specific hands. Consider the potential payout when deciding which cards to keep and discard.

4. Hold high cards: In general, it is wise to hold onto high-ranking cards, such as aces, kings, queens, and jacks. These cards increase your chances of forming valuable winning combinations.

5. Keep suited cards: Suited cards are cards of the same suit. Holding suited cards gives you a chance at a flush or a straight flush, both of which offer substantial payouts.

6. Evaluate the potential for improvement: When analyzing your starting hand, consider the potential for improving your hand through card swaps. Take note of any cards that could potentially complete a winning combination.

7. Practice and observe: The more you play video poker, the better you will become at evaluating starting hands. Observe other players and study their strategies to gain valuable insights.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Video Poker

Knowledge of the best starting hands is essential, but it is equally vital to avoid common mistakes that can undermine your chances of success. Here are a few pitfalls to steer clear of when playing video poker:

Playing Too Many Hands

One common mistake in video poker is playing too many hands. It can be tempting to feel like you need to play every hand dealt, but this is not an optimal strategy. By being selective and only playing strong starting hands, you increase your chances of forming a winning combination.

Not Holding the Right Cards

Another mistake is not holding onto the right cards. When evaluating your starting hand, it’s crucial to identify any potential winning combinations and hold onto the cards that contribute to those combinations. Discarding strong cards in favor of a random chance at a better hand can be a costly error.

Ignoring Paytables

Each video poker variation has its own paytable, specifying the payouts for different hand rankings. Ignoring the paytable and not considering the potential payout for each combination can lead to missed opportunities. Always take the time to familiarize yourself with the paytable of the game you are playing.

Neglecting Strategic Decision-Making

Strategic decision-making is crucial in video poker. By carefully analyzing your starting hand and considering the potential for improvement, you can make informed choices about which cards to keep and which to discard. Neglecting this aspect of the game can significantly diminish your chances of winning.

Playing with Emotion

Lastly, it’s important to avoid playing with emotion. Making decisions based on frustration, excitement, or fatigue can lead to poor choices. Maintain a calm and strategic mindset throughout the game to maximize your chances of success.

By understanding the best starting hands in video poker, steering clear of common mistakes, and employing a strategic approach, you can enhance your gameplay and increase your chances of winning. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep refining your skills and enjoy the thrilling world of video poker.

Key Takeaways: What are the best starting hands in Video Poker?

  • 1. The best starting hands in video poker are those that give you a high probability of winning.
  • 2. A pair of jacks or higher is considered a strong starting hand as it guarantees at least a win with a pair.
  • 3. Starting with a high card such as an ace or a king can also be advantageous as it gives you the potential for a high-ranking hand.
  • 4. A suited starting hand, where all cards are of the same suit, can increase your chances of forming a flush or a straight flush.
  • 5. Avoid starting with low-value, unconnected cards as they have a lower probability of resulting in a winning hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section where we answer some common queries about the best starting hands in Video Poker. If you’re new to the game or want to improve your skills, these questions and answers will provide valuable insights.

1. Which starting hands should I play in Video Poker?

When playing Video Poker, it’s essential to evaluate your starting hand to make the best decisions. Generally, the best hands to start with are high-ranking pairs such as Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces. These hands give you a higher chance of forming winning combinations, especially when aiming for a jackpot. However, if you have other high-value cards, like an Ace and a King, it’s worthwhile to continue as well.

Remember, each Video Poker variation has different strategies, so it’s crucial to study the particular rules and payout tables to determine the optimal starting hands for each game.

2. Are there any starting hands I should always avoid in Video Poker?

Absolutely! Just as it’s crucial to know the best starting hands, it’s equally important to avoid weak hands that are less likely to result in winning combinations. Some starting hands that you should generally steer clear of in Video Poker include low-value pairs, like twos or threes, and hands with no high-value cards or potential for a straight or flush. These types of hands don’t provide strong foundations for creating winning combinations, so it’s best to fold and wait for better opportunities.

Additionally, if you’re playing a progressive jackpot Video Poker game, be cautious with low-ranking hands, as they rarely result in massive payouts even if they do win.

3. Is it ever worth playing a non-pair starting hand in Video Poker?

While pairs are often considered the best starting hands, there are situations where it can be worthwhile to play a non-pair starting hand in Video Poker. This is especially true if you have the potential to create a straight or a flush. For example, a hand with four consecutive cards of the same suit, like 5, 6, 7, and 8 of hearts, offers the possibility of a flush, which can result in a substantial payout. However, it’s essential to consider the game’s paytable and the potential payout for different hands before deciding to play a non-pair starting hand.

Keep in mind that playing non-pair starting hands requires careful evaluation and a good understanding of the odds and probabilities involved. It’s recommended to practice and gain experience to make better decisions in such scenarios.

4. Which starting hands are the best for Jacks or Better Video Poker?

In Jacks or Better Video Poker, where the objective is to obtain a pair of Jacks or higher, the best starting hands are obviously any pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces. These hands automatically fulfill the game’s minimum requirement and give you a higher chance of forming stronger combinations like Three of a Kind, Full House, or even a Royal Flush. Additionally, starting hands with potential for a flush or straight, such as four cards of the same suit or consecutive cards, can also be advantageous in Jacks or Better.

Remember to always study the specific rules and variations of Jacks or Better Video Poker, as strategies may slightly differ from other types of games.

5. Can the best starting hands guarantee a win in Video Poker?

While having the best starting hands certainly increases your chances of winning in Video Poker, they don’t guarantee a win on their own. Video Poker combines skill and strategy with luck, and even with a powerful starting hand, there’s always an element of uncertainty. The outcome of the game largely depends on the choices you make throughout each hand, such as which cards to hold or discard.

To improve your chances of winning, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with Video Poker strategies, understand the odds and probabilities, and practice proper bankroll management. With these factors in mind, you’ll have a better shot at success, even when starting with the best hands.

Best Starting Hands | Poker Tutorials


Okay, so here’s a quick summary of what we’ve learned about the best starting hands in Video Poker. Basically, the best starting hands are the cards that give you the highest chances of winning. These are usually the Royal Flush, Straight Flush, and Four of a Kind. They can get you the biggest payouts, so it’s really exciting when you get one of these! On the other hand, you want to avoid starting with just one high card or two low cards, because they don’t give you as good of a chance to win. So, next time you play Video Poker, remember to look for those strong starting hands!

To make it even clearer, let’s recap. The best starting hands in Video Poker are the ones that give you a better chance of winning, like the Royal Flush, Straight Flush, and Four of a Kind. You should try to get these hands because they can bring you the most money. But be careful with hands that have only one high card or two low cards, as they’re not as strong. So, keep an eye out for those strong starting hands and have fun playing Video Poker!