How To Win Video Poker Tournaments

Most people who enjoy playing poker will already be familiar with video poker  – which are essentially draw poker games with huge prizes on offer. However, video poker tournaments allow you to pay an entry fee and play for a prize pool.

As you will be playing against other players rather than against a computer or the house, the element of fun is increased – and of course, this brings the competitive element back to the game.

So, if you’re going to take part in a video poker tournament, how exactly would you win it (see also “Best Video Poker Strategy“)? Well, we’ve written this helpful guide which explains the strategy behind how you would win a video poker tournament.

Ready to learn how to win? Read on! 

Wisely Choose Your Video Poker Tournament 

The first and foremost thing you must do when strategizing how to win your video poker tournament is to think wisely about which video poker tournament you’re going to play in. 

You’re going to need to know the rules and all of the extra details so you are best prepared for your tactics when it comes to playing. 

Let’s first examine what kinds of video poker tournaments there are out there:

Types Of Video Poker Tournaments

  • Buy in no fee = All players’ buy-ins go straight into the prize pool
  • Buy in with a fee = The host takes a fee for the ability to take part 
  • Open freeroll = No fee is paid and anybody can take part 
  • VIP freeroll = No fee is paid but only invites can take part 

When choosing which of these you will take part in, you will have to examine your own personal circumstances and which games you would prefer to play.

For example, an open freeroll video poker tournament can have hundreds of people enter – and as a result of this, the prize pool can become significantly diluted. Having said this though, any player on a budget should consider this option. 

Generally speaking, buy-in tournaments will have the larger prize pools – but of course, you will need to pay the fee before you begin. 

Now that we know the types of video poker tournaments out there (see also “Best Payout Video Poker Machines“), it’s now a good time that we examine the specific rules that could be in place:

Rules Of Video Poker Tournaments

  • Timed = These tournaments will have a specific playing time in place and the winner, if not decided before, will be the one with the highest points 
  • Credit limit = Players will continue until their credit runs out. The winner is the player with the highest credit when everyone is finished 
  • Credit & time limit = The tournament is on a time limit, but players can run out of credit before the time expires 
  • Hand limit = The tournament continues for a set number of hands. The winner is the player with the highest bankroll after this limit is reached

Perhaps the most common of these rules is timed tournaments when it comes to video poker tournaments. It allows for quick games with the ability to win the most amount of credits. 

After this, the second most common is probably hand limit tournaments, and this is again because you can play relatively quick games with a decent pay out. 

Manage Your Bankroll 

One of the most important things you need to do in order to win at video poker tournaments is to manage your bankroll.

Primarily, your own personal finances will play a significant role here – but once you’ve done this, you need to then manage it correctly. 

For example, let’s assume your bankroll is one thousand dollars and you want to have one hundred buy-ins. This would work out that you can afford to play $10 buy-in tournaments. 

By doing this basic step, you will not bleed your money down to nothing in a rapid amount of time – and your chances of winning increase because you’re staying in the game longer. 

Play Strategy 

Now that we’ve assessed all of this, we now need to work out our strategy. There are generally three schools of thought on this, so let’s examine these in more detail. 

How To Win Video Poker Tournaments (1)

[1] Speed 

Speed players do not generally have any other strategy rather than the element of luck. The idea is to play as many hands as possible before the time runs out and try to use your best decision making to win. 

[2] Perfect Tactics

This is where you would choose a hand limit or credit limit game to allow for more thinking time. Each player is dealt fairly so you all have an equal chance of winning. 

To play this game with the right tactic prowess, you need to practice as much as possible on free to play games. There are plenty of training programs available out there, but you will need to choose games with this strategy in mind. 

[3] Go For Royal Flushes

Typically, getting a royal flush in video poker tournaments is around 40,000/1 – however, this can be cut down to 23,000/1 if you hold onto the cards that can provide you with a royal flush. 

So, how would you play this strategy? Well, it’s pretty simple. You should discard any cards that are not royal (or at least under 10). Next, keep as many suited cards as possible. 

Once again, there are training programs for this strategy out there for you to play and build up your skills. 

What To Remember 

Video poker tournaments are a mix of both luck and skill, so if you’re out there looking for a sure-fire way to win, you’re going to be out of luck. Train yourself with these programs available and only gamble with what you can afford. 

Final Thoughts 

So, that’s how you can attempt to win at a video poker tournament! We hope we’ve been useful to you. Good luck!

Richie Thames
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