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Video Poker Cheat Sheet and How to Get the Most Out of It

Casino visitors today are offered a wide range of games to gamble to their hearts’ content. The exponential demand for casino games has led to most establishments expanding to a global scale. And without an iota of doubt, of all the gaming options offered, video poker has the greatest popularity of the lot.

There are several reasons for this. First, video poker is almost similar to traditional poker, and players are generally aware of the game’s rules. Second, video games are an enthralling experience with its flashing audio-video output machines and the likelihood of making high gains. Next, when you play video poker, you can make your decisions, ultimately affecting the game. Finally, and this is critical, video poker is a game where players are provided advantage games that gives them an edge over the house.

Since its inception, more than a century back, the game of poker meant players sitting around a table and playing with real cards. It was only around 1975 that a new type of slot machine was made public in Las Vegas, and it became an instant hit. One video game was launched only – Jacks or Better draw poker. Today, more than 100 varieties of poker games are climbing to the top of casino games played.

Video Poker Game Explained

What makes video poker so popular among the masses is its simplicity. After making a bet, poker players are dealt five cards. They have to decide if they want to hold any cards. More cards are dealt until the hand is complete. If a paying hand is formed, a payout is received. Another game will be started by making another bet, but you might choose not to. At large casinos where more than a hundred games are offered, the variations might be by denomination (1 cent, 2 cents, to $50 or more) or by game type (Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Double Bonus Poker, and more). Every game has a different pay schedule.

A computer algorithm is at the core of video poker and determines the cards dealt through a random number generator (RNG). Fundamentally, the RNG simulates a fair deal from a well-shuffled deck. Even though the RNG is touted as being 100% random, it is not so. However, statistical measures are in place to ensure that the cards dealt are close to 100% random.  

What is a Video Poker Strategy Card or Cheat Sheet?

Next time you visit a casino, look around to see how many video poker players have video poker strategy cards in their hands. Not one, you can be sure. This is because most video poker players do not know that strategy cards exist. Even if they do, they think it is not legit, and finally, they do not know how to use one. All three reasons are duds.

First, strategy cards that easily fit inside a jacket pocket are available commercially for players on any gambling website. All that you have to do is download one. Secondly, cheat sheets for video poker games are legal to use in all gambling areas and jurisdictions.

The point that remains is how to use one. A strategy card shows the strategy for video poker and the correct way to play a hand. Take it as a “cheat sheet,” a sort of reference that you can use legally when you play video poker. It will help you make the right move, which in strategies for video poker means that you keep the cards with the highest value expected.  

Strategy cards have a table of hand rankings with the royal flush obviously at the top. The hands at the head of the table are ranked higher than those below. For example, a table might show the top five lines of strategy from a Jacks or Better game. All you have to do is look at your hand and check whether it matches any hands listed on the strategy card. If it does, you hold the hand that matches a line that is nearest to the top of the table. Generally, these are the royal flush, straight flush, or those leading to a double bonus.      

Video poker strategy sheets can make a significant difference to your poker strategy. Normally, video poker provides a reasonable payback percentage to the players. But when a poker strategy card is used, the rights reserved, and the house edge can be balanced out by following the right strategy on the initial five cards hand.

Many poker games players prefer to take a chance and go by instinct during the gaming sessions. While it sometimes gives dividends, employing a basic strategy helps them rely on a tried and tested plan that offers the best chances of winning and payout options. This also results in a major move for the players as they can put the house at a disadvantage by shifting the payback percentage by a few points. 

Are Video Poker Cheat Sheets Legal?

The point of the legitimacy of cheat sheets arises because of the word cheat. Strictly speaking, cheat sheets, or, better still, poker strategy video cards are perfectly legal, and you can refer to them at casino poker slots. Why are they called cheat sheets, thereby putting a question mark on their legality when playing video poker?  

A video poker cheat sheet is fundamentally a chart that shows the best move that you can make on whatever hand you are dealt with. There are almost unlimited numbers of cheat sheets that you can refer to simply because there is a different payable for every video poker game. This means that the best decision for one hand will not be the same as the next and will vary from game to game. When you refer to the sheets while playing video poker, you have greater opportunities to get a positive return. That is why they are commonly called cheat sheets without being illegal.

The most remarkable aspect is that it is not cheating when you use a video poker strategy card, making it legal to be used. It is not that you are sitting at a table with other people and playing poker; instead, you are in front of a machine playing against the house all alone. Nothing stops you from taking out a cheat sheet and playing the game by referring to the top tables and deciding what to do with your hand.

The problem is that most people are not aware that it is alright to work out a poker strategy with these cards and think that using them amounts to cheating. The very name cheat sheet gives the impression that it is cheating to use them. They feel that they might be asked to leave the casino if caught with a card in hand. But they are wrong. Cheat sheets are legit and can be used in any casino in a gambling jurisdiction. You might not require them in such hands like a royal flush or a straight flush, but there is no harm in taking guidance from cheat sheets in others.

What about people who know they are legal but do not use them to gain an edge over the house. First, the poker strategy sheets are quite complex, and using them requires a certain degree of expertise. Many poker players feel that it is preferable to pick up the game by developing their instincts rather than depending on a guide and that it is better to get on with the game than learning how to get the best from cheat sheets.  

Another reason borders more on the emotional level. If you have a house-sized ego, you will be embarrassed to go back to a poker strategy sheet before others. But since you will need some time to zero in on the correct game-play, using a cheat sheet to pick up the ropes is not a bad idea.

Whatever might be your decision, strategy sheets are legit, and there is no harm in openly referring to them, especially if you can get to winning ways.  

Why Should You Use a Video Poker Strategy?

The answer to this question is quite elementary – it will help you to win in video poker. Having a strategy in place and cards to refer to is not cheating; it is playing smart. Once you use video poker strategies, you can quickly decide on the next move based on the cards shown. If you are a novice in video poker, you might be tempted to chase your losses. But a good strategy will dictate what you should do and whether you should walk away to keep losses in check.

Here are some optimized video poker strategies that you will do well to follow.

  • Refer to Video Poker Sheets – While you may not get a chance to use strategy cards when sitting at a table, you can do so in a video poker game. You will know about the best rankings of your hand. A glance at the charts will show what you should do next. This cheat sheet is not cheating and is entirely legitimate.
  • Start Small & Smart – Before starting to play, know what you can expect from it by scanning the paytable once. Do not look for a game with the highest payout but the one that offers the minimum bets within your affordability. The notion is to start small, and once you get the hang of it, win big.
  • Play for the Max Coins – When you have a limited bankroll, this strategy will not work. There will be many lucrative bonuses, but that is only for those who are daring enough to aim for the maximum coins. Here, the higher the risk you take, the more will be your return.
  • Return to Player – This is one of the important things in video poker games as it helps you evaluate the house edge and your advantage. The highest RTP is in two of the most popular games, Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. Hence these games should be played.
  • Try for the Bonuses – Most winnings are got from the bonuses, and hence an optimized strategy will be focused on this aspect. You have to make the maximum bet to be in line for a bonus. Otherwise, without having a good hand and without being eligible for a bonus, you cannot retrieve your winnings.
  • Do not chase losses – Do not carry on playing when you are on a losing streak hoping that you get that spark that will bring back the amount lost. Instead, have rights reserved to walk away, swallow your pride, and if you are still up to it, maybe find another variation. 

Follow these strategies to become a better player. 

How to Use a Strategy Chart

Reading a video poker strategy chart is not a complicated affair. A strategy chart shows the various possible combinations that can be dealt in a hand. The list will have the best hand like a royal flush at the top, then the second-best, right down to the other deals. That means that when you follow the charts, there are no ways that you can go wrong in video poker games. The list of hands-on strategy charts is determined mathematically, so there is no room for errors.

For example, a strategy chart for 9-6 Jacks or Better will have in the lead four of a kind, straight flush, royal flush followed by 4 to a royal flush in second place, and three of a kind, straight, flush, full pay. At the end of the list is one high card and finally Discard Everything. The same principle applies to other games like Deuces Wild or Double Bonus Poker. Follow a strategy card and read what to do to earn real money. Simple!  

In a nutshell, these are the steps to follow a chart.

  • Study your hand first – all the five cards – carefully before looking at the chart
  • Start from the top of the chart and work your way down. You need to find the spot that matches your hand.
  • Once you find a few matches for your hand, see which is the highest on the list. These are the cards that you should hold in video poker.

Once you have mastered how a strategy chart works, regardless of whether it is the top Jacks or Better or the Deuces Wild, you will be on your way to earning real money.  


Can you cheat at video poker?

No, if you mean it in the real sense of the word. Video poker hands are dealt through a mathematical algorithm and a Random Number Generator, so the possibility of cheating is fully eliminated. But if you are asking about strategy sheets, which are charts to guide you, yes, you can use them for guidance. The charts are legal to use and available for Jacks or Better and all the video poker games played at casinos.

How do you always win at video poker?

There is no way that you can always win. Casinos would go bust in that case. But by following strategy charts, you can surely aim for full pay and minimize your losses by balancing out the edge of the house.  

Which video poker game has the best odds?

The top ten with the best odds are the Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Loose Deuces Wild, Double Double Bonus Poker, Triple Bonus, Pick’em Poker, Jokers Wild, and ACE$ Bonus Poker.  

How do you beat Jacks or Better in video poker?

This is what you should do.

  • For four cards Straight or a Flush, hold them and draw one.  
  • Three cards to a Royal Flush hold and draw two.
  • Two cards for a Flush? Hold the three lucky cards and draw two.
  • Pair? Hold and draw three.
  • No matching cards in hand? Hold the card that is higher or equal in value to Jacks.
  • No combinations or Jacks or higher? Draw five new cards.

Xiang Han

Xiang Han is a journalist at CapitalBay.News and has hands-on experience in the poker industry. He frequently plays online poker games and serves as a tournament consultant for popular online poker rooms.

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