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It might seem odd to suggest that playing video poker can actually help you improve your performance in Texas Holdem.  Video poker is certainly a lot different than locking horns with a strong opponent in Texas Holdem.  That is exactly the point!  Let’s take a look at this idea!

Hoe Do Poker Players View Video Poker?

We admit that many of the most committed poker players here at Juicy Stakes Poker look down their noises at video poker players.  However, over at the casino side of Juicy Stakes video poker is wildly popular!  What, then, is the big attraction of video poker and how can it help regular poker players improve their game?

A Lesson from Sports and Music

In both sports and music, the best of the best regularly get down to the most basic elements of the game they are so adept at playing or the music they are so skilled at making.

A singer will always begin her day by practicing scales.  This gets her mouth and throat ready to perform the musical gymnastics they are constantly being called upon to do.  The same applies to concert performers: they start with the most basic hand and finger movements before going on to the magical sleight of hand they regularly perform in concerts.

In sports, players practice for hours kicking the ball, catching the ball, throwing the ball, running, and doing all of the most basic actions they perform so “effortlessly” on the playing field.

All of these basic activities are well known to keep the highest performers at the top of their game even as being at the top of their game involves actions that are far beyond the scope of the most basic actions!

There is a funny meme in which one person asks another for directions and the response is “you can’t get there from here”.  In sports and music, you can’t get to the rarified air that the very few occupy if you try to bypass the basics!

The Challenge of Poker

There is so much to learn, so much to remember, so much to keep in mind, so much subjective analysis to do in any single poker hand!  Poker has a wide range of expected return to player rate.  You can win many times your stake or you can lose it all!  There is a great deal of tension involved in real poker against real people.

Even in low stakes Texas Holdem, no one goes into a game “hoping” to lose all of their money!  Everyone wants to win even if the win will be for just a few tens of dollars.  The raw desire to win, to outsmart an opponent, to be seen as at the top of the game, creates a competitive tension that many poker players find both exhilarating and exhausting.

Video Poker Provides a Needed Break

A committed poker player can stay in the game, as it were, by taking a video poker break.  Video poker has the manifest benefit of being a very benign form of poker.

There is no bluffing in video poker.  There is no complex strategy in video poker.  The basic video poker strategy has about 15-20 lines of hand hierarchies for deciding how to proceed.  The more complex strategy has about 30 lines of hand hierarchies.  Even with 30 lines, the best strategy is not hard to learn.

It is certainly much easier to learn than the far more complex strategy in Texas Holdem.

Video Poker Helps Relieve Tensions that Can Lead to Tilt

Especially after a bad beat, even the most experienced poker players can feel themselves slouching toward tilt.  Most players are able to get themselves under control but some might need to take that break we spoke about earlier.

Video poker is one of many ways to take a break from Texas Holdem!  But it is one of only a few non-bluffing poker games that we can play when we are on a break.  Since the strategy in video poker is so direct, since there is no math to calculate and no bluffing to add to the tension, plying video poker has the ability to calm our nerves and give us a fun and entertaining activity in lieu of the high wire act that Texas Holdem can be at times!

Video Poker is Never Boring

In Texas Holdem, where we fold before the flop about 70% of all the hands we are dealt, we could sit at the table for an hour and not play a single hand.  We might call the big blind and miss the flop entirely causing another quick exit from the hand.

Poker players often need to find something interesting to do as a respite from what has become a boring Texas Holdem round.  Multi-hand video poker especially is wonderfully exciting as you see all of the winning hands get dealt on the draw!

Obviously, Texas Holdem is great fun for most players!  Video poker is a different kind of fun.  We might say that video poker is a benign kind of fun whereas Holdem is a much more crisis-oriented kind of fun!

Video Poker is Fast-paced

This can come as a relief to poker players who have not had a playable hand for some time and crave some ACTION!  As fast as video poker is, the return to player arte for correct play is close to 100% and in some variations can even exceed 100%!

Strategy in video poker is more direct than strategy in Texas Holdem.  It might have some statistical anomalies where the best decision is counter-intuitive to many gamers.  Even if statistically it can be a bit involved, as some decisions are only marginally better than the more obvious course of action, video poker strategy is still a lot more direct and accessible than the very complex strategies we need to master in Texas Holdem.

Finally, video poker gives us the chance to see a great deal of hands and to practice instant recognition of the relative value of hands and how to proceed.  Even though we can always take our time to decide how to proceed, we should try to instantly evaluate our hands in video poker since quick recognition of conditions is what we most need to master in regular poker.

Juicy Stakes Hopes You Can Get Better at Poker through Video Poker

Juicy Stakes offers a world of poker fun in the poker room.  Our experienced players know about the many tournaments we sponsor.  We have tables for several variations of poker.  We also cater to players of all skill levels and all stakes levels.

If you are not yet a poker player at Juicy Stakes, we encourage you to sign up NOW!  Our sister, Juicy Stakes Casino, is where you can go to play video poker and a large collection of other casino games!  Our video poker selection is varied and fun and make for a great break from the trials and tribulations of regular poker.


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