Unveiling Video Poker’s Hands and Rankings

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Updated on: May 25th, 2023

Video poker hands and rankingsEmbark on an exciting journey into video poker, a captivating blend of strategy and chance. The key to becoming a skilled player is comprehending the diverse types of hands and rankings. Get ready to unlock the mysteries of video poker as we delve into this comprehensive guide, revealing the strategies and insights necessary to succeed in this exhilarating casino game.

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Understanding Video Poker Hands and Rankings

A solid understanding of the different hand types and their rankings is paramount in video poker. By familiarizing yourself with the hierarchy of hands, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions and maximize your chances of winning. Let’s dive deeper into the key aspects of video poker hands and rankings:

Hand Types in Video Poker

In video poker, hands are classified based on composition and potential value. Here are the primary hand types you’ll encounter:

Royal Flush

The crème de la crème of video poker hands, consisting of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suits. It is the most coveted hand, offering the highest payout.

Straight Flush

This hand comprises five consecutive cards of the same suit, such as 6-7-8-9-10 of hearts. While it falls short of a Royal Flush, it still holds considerable value.

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same rank, like four Jacks, form a Four of a Kind hand. It is a powerful hand that can significantly boost your winnings.

Full House

A combination of Three of a Kind and a Pair, for instance, three Queens and two Fives, constitutes a Full House. It provides a balanced mix of strength and payout potential.


A Flush consists of five cards of the same suit, not necessarily in sequential order. While it doesn’t require consecutive values, it offers a decent payout.

Hands and rankings – Straight

Five consecutive cards, but not of the same suit, make up a Straight hand. For example, 3-4-5-6-7 of mixed suits. It is a valuable hand, albeit less powerful than a Flush or higher.

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same rank, like three Aces, form a Three of a Kind hand. While it is a relatively common hand, it still holds decent value in video poker.

Hands and rankings – Two Pair

Two sets of pairs, such as two Kings and two Fours, make up a Two Pair hand. It offers better odds than a single Pair and can contribute significant payouts.


Like two Queens, two cards of the same rank form a Pair hand. Although it is the lowest-ranking hand in video poker, it can still lead to winnings.

Hands and rankings – High Card

If no other hand types are achieved, the highest-ranked card in your hand determines its value. While it holds the least potential for payouts, it can serve as a tiebreaker in certain situations..

Strategies for Maximizing Hands and Rankings

To excel at video poker and optimize your gameplay, consider implementing the following strategies:

Memorize the Hand Rankings

By memorizing the hierarchy of hands, you can quickly assess the potential value of your hand during gameplay. This knowledge enables you to make swift and informed decisions.

Aim for higher-ranking hands

Whenever possible, strive for higher-ranking hands like Royal Flush and Straight Flush. While rare, they offer substantial payouts that can significantly boost your winnings.

Understand the concept of expected value (EV)

Expected value is a mathematical concept that calculates the average value of a particular decision in the long run. Familiarize yourself with EV calculations to assess the potential profitability of each hand and make strategic choices accordingly.

Use optimal strategy charts

Different video poker variants have specific optimal strategy charts available. These charts provide mathematically derived recommendations for the best decisions based on your initial hand and the desired outcome. Utilize these charts to make sound choices and increase your chances of success.

Pay attention to paytables

Paytables vary between video poker machines and impact the overall odds and payouts. Study the paytable of the specific machine you’re playing to understand the payout structure and adjust your strategy accordingly. Some machines may offer higher payouts for certain hand types, providing opportunities for strategic decision-making.

By employing these strategies and honing your skills, you can enhance your video poker prowess and increase your chances of success.

Hands and rankings – Conclusion

Mastering the hands and rankings in video poker is a fundamental step toward becoming proficient. With knowledge of hand types, rankings, and strategies, you’re better equipped to navigate the exciting world of video poker. Remember to practice, study the game variants, and refine your decision-making to maximize your winnings.


As with any casino game, video poker involves an element of luck. However, by understanding the hands and their rankings and implementing sound strategies, you can tilt the odds in your favor. Explore different video poker variations, analyze paytables, and experiment with different strategies to find your winning formula. Good luck on your video poker journey!