Icon

Learn to Play Tens or Better Poker

Everyone who is even the slightest bit familiar with video poker likely understands how to play Jacks or Better. This is the simplest game out there as well as the most widely available, and since there are no wild cards to worry about, almost everyone who plays has some sort of strategy. However, Tens or Better from Playtech makes it even simpler for players to earn a payout. The pay scale is mostly the same as the Jacks version, but there is the addition of a payout for a pair of 10s.

Players who are familiar with Jacks or Better may be swayed to stick to their same strategies when playing this version, but the addition of the pair of tens for a payout should prompt everyone to make a few slight variations. First of all, completing a pair of 10s pays out even money and only the payout for the full house is lowered to compensate. This means that players have yet another combination that could result in a win to consider.

The biggest change in strategy when playing Tens or Better should come when players are working with higher-valued hands. This is because the addition of another payout potential changes the cards that the player should keep. For instance, if the player has more than two cards valued at 10 or more and there is no pair or straight or flush draw, then the player should keep only the lowest two cards of the draw and exchange the rest.

This bit of advice is a bit strange at first, but the explanation helps. All in all, returning all but the lowest two cards increases the chance that the player can make a straight all the while retaining the ability to complete one or more pairs at the same time. For instance, a player with an A-Q-10-4-2 hand should only keep the Queen and the 10. Keeping the Ace and Queen means that the draw is closed on one end and thereby harder to complete. There are more options when the Queen and 10 are kept instead.

There are a few other situations in which players may want to switch up their normal actions. For instance, a player with a J-9-6-3-2 may choose to keep the Jack and nine before exchanging the rest in Jacks or Better but in this game, players should only keep the Jack and nine if they are of the same suit. If the player had A-9-6-3-2, then he or she would want to keep only the Ace and exchange the rest since the ability to create straights or pairs with two or three cards is almost impossible.

All in all, when it comes to video poker strategy, players should always be sure that the strategies they are using match up with the variant of the game that is being played. Using a Jacks or Better strategy on any other game can be detrimental and actually increase the house's edge significantly.