Strategy Chart: Video Poker Cheat Sheets are Legal

Strategy Chart: Video Poker Cheat Sheets are Legal

Many video poker articles that explore specific games will include a strategy chart showing the reader the best way to play the game. However, only an extremely small percentage of video poker players tend to use strategy charts while playing their favorite video poker game. There are several reasons for this.

Listed below are several lines from a full-pay (9/6) Jacks or Better video poker strategy chart. The proper way to use this chart is described immediately following it.

The colors indicate the type of hand for which o\you are saving:

Red – Royal FlushBlue – Straight FlushGreen – Pairs, Three of a Kinds, Full House, Four of a KindPurple – FlushBrown – Straight

Video Poker Strategy Chart card

To use this strategy chart, proceed as follows:

  1. Compare the hand that is dealt to the first line of the chart.
  2. If the line defines the hand, save the stated cards.
  3. For example, you are dealt the 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of spades (straight flush).
  4. This is a straight flush which is four of a kind or better.
  5. Save all five cards of the straight flush and hit the draw button.
  6. If the hand is not described in the line, move down to the next line of the strategy chart and then go to step 2 above.
  7. For example, you are dealt the 5, J, Q, K, and A of spades.
  8. The hand contains four cards of a royal flush as shown in the second line of the strategy chart.
  9. Save the J, Q, K, and A of spades and hit the draw button.
  10. Continue moving down the chart one line at a time and returning to step 2 until you reach the end of the chart.
  11. When you reach the end of the chart, do not save any cards, simply hit the draw button. As you can see, the process is straight forward. Compare the hand to each line of the chart starting from the top. When the line of the chart defines the hand, save those cards. Otherwise, at the end, draw five new cards. Complete strategy charts for several of the more popular video poker games are at the end of this article.


Even though you could simply take a strategy chart and play the game in a casino without any practice, it pays to practice at home. Until you become very familiar with the strategy chart, play will be very slow. The more familiar the player is with the strategy chart, the more quickly and accurately the game will be played. Fast play is particularly important if the game’s return (either from the game itself or from the game and comps received) is more than 100 percent. Faster (accurate) play means more money in the player’s pocket.

While the player can simply memorize the strategy chart of the desired game, it is better to actually practice the strategy before going to a casino in order to minimize any uncertainty. There are several computer programs and smartphone apps that mimic actual video poker play along with alerts when the wrong cards are held. I strongly recommend obtaining one of these and using it to hone your video poker skills.

As an added bonus, many of these programs and apps allow the user to generate and print strategies for almost any variation of several game types. This is very helpful if the casino does not have any of the games which are covered by the strategy charts at the end of this article.


Video poker strategy charts help players maximize returns from their favorite video poker games by eliminating mistakes that can cost real money. While most players are hesitant to use strategy charts in a casino, they are legal and the player should not be concerned about using them. Many players do not want to take the time and effort to practice and use strategy charts in a casino. By not doing so, they are likely giving the casino more of their hard-earned money than is necessary. Video poker strategy cards for the many popular games are available for sale on the internet. Strategy charts for many more games are also available to view and print on the internet. If a strategy chart for your favorite game is not available at the end of this article, or on the internet, you can purchase a computer program or smartphone app that allows for generating strategy charts for user-customized games. These programs and apps are also excellent methods of practicing the strategy until it is perfected.

It is your money that is risked when playing video poker. Make sure you get the best return possible.

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