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Reprinted here by the author2004, c carley, all rights reserved.  No reproduction in any form allowed without express written permission from the author.

Video Poker Basic Survival
Published Oct. 8, 2004

I have two equally important #1 rules of video poker;
#1 - Always go for the highest hand possible; and
#1 - Sometimes it's better to take the safer route and save your money for the next hand, which might give you a more realistic chance of winning something good.

Example: I'm playing Pick em Poker and am down to my last 4 hands of money; if I don't hit anything I'm done for the session. The game deals me the first 2 cards, then the 2 sets of cards to choose from. Of the 2 sets to choose from, 1 gives me the 3rd card to a Royal, the other gives me a high pair. Since I'm down to my last 4 bets and the chances of my pulling that Royal are extremely slim, the 2nd #1 rule kicks in - I'm going to hold the high pair so I can conserve my money to use on a better hand down the road. If I had been winning for that session and was up on money, I would've gone for the Royal.

Years and years ago when I was still learning the basics of Jacks or Better and had yet to hit my first Royal, I sat beside an old woman at the Nugget in Sparks/Reno who told me she only ever played for the highest possible hand. I asked her if she didn't lose a lot of money that way and she admitted she did, but she stuck to her guns with her theory. I thought about that for years, and I've studied it every which way possible. My personal conclusion is that
perfect strategy must be balanced with realistic expectations. In other words, when in doubt, hold what I call the "money" card - the one card (or two) that, if matched, will return your bet so you can survive to play another hand. Singing the theme song from the movie "Saturday Night Fever" while doing this can help if you stress out over it.... "Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive..". Sometimes you need to stay alive so you can fight again another day. 

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2004, c carley, all rights reserved.  No reproduction in any form allowed without express written permission from the author.




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