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    Understanding Video Poker Odds and Statistics

    Video poker machines can be just about everywhere in the world. The simple five-card draw game is popular and easy to play. But too many players don't take time to learn about the odds and strategy and are unable to take advantage of some of the best odds at winning a casino has to offer. Understanding odds and developing sound strategy might make a difference for any video poker player.

    Video poker players have their favorite game. It might be Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Jacks Are Better or Deuces Wild. Increase your chances of actually winning by taking the time to learn about the odds and statistics. While odds of being dealt hands are constant, payoffs might differ drastically.
    Unlike video slot machines where players just "pull a handle" and hope to win, video poker gives the players the choice to make decisions on what cards to hold or throw away. If the player is aware of the odds and statistics of drawing a winning hand, then that is an advantage, even over a machine.

    Video poker and poker are both based in mathematics. Perhaps the most important thing for video poker players to remember is that when talking about the "initial deal," the odds of getting a winning hand whether it is a pair of jacks or a royal flush does not change each time you play. In fact, the odds of being dealt a royal flush on the initial deal are 1-in-649,740. Those odds will vary depending on if a wild card is involved, but every time you hit the deal button, your chance of being dealt a royal flush always will be the same even if you were lucky enough to be dealt one on your previous hand.

    Most video poker games are based on the single-deck games found at Vegas-style casinos. A standard 52-card deck is used meaning there are nearly 2.6 million unique hands that can be dealt.
    One factor that changes all the odds: if a player does not play five credits. In that scenario, the payoff is significantly lower and the house advantage, which is normally around 3 percent, increases dramatically.
    Video poker players take delight on the initial deal when they receive a "pat" hand -- a hand where a straight, flush, straight flush or royal flush is dealt.

    Understanding the odds will help the video poker player develop a strategy that is well-conceived. And devising that strategy and learning to play video poker the correct way will increase your chances of cashing in a winning ticket.

    Finding the right machine, which many players do not take the time to look for, makes understanding odds and statistics all the more satisfying. A 9-6 machine, one that pays 9 and 6 for a full house and flush respectively, is more desirable than one that pays 8-5 for the same hands. Chances of winning on the first video poker machine are significantly higher than the 8-5 machine.

    Some video poker strategies might be confusing and there are guides that will tell you what cards to keep from the initial draw and which ones to throw away. Depending on the game, strategy will be different. If you are fortunate enough to be dealt one of those 1 percent hands, you will want to hold each card.

    Searching for the best paying machines will help you maximize your strategy and let you use your new-found understanding of video poker odds and statistics to make choices that will pay off.
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