During a video poker game, you are dealt with a set of cards. You then have to study your cards carefully and see which cards you would have to dispose in order to create a winning combination — a combo that has the highest value when compared to your opponent’s cards, which in this case is the machine or computer. In most cases, you won’t really have a hard time in making a choice because your options are simple enough since only 1 winning hand is possible.
When conflict hands occur
There are instances however, wherein your choices become more complex. This happens when the cards dealt to you present more than one possible winning combination. Also known as conflict hands, this is a tricky situation that needs concentration, strategy, and luck.
Types of conflict hands in video poker
The simple conflict hands
There are actually two types of conflict hands. The first type occurs if the cards given to you already form a winning hand but then you also have the possibility of getting a higher ranked combination if you break the current winning hand. The rule of thumb for this situation is to not break the winning hand that has already been dealt with. The only exception to this rule of thumb is if you have a possibility of forming a royal flush, since this is the highest winning video poker hand.
The more complex type of conflict hands
Another type of conflict hands is more complex. This occurs when you are dealing with two possibilities:
- The possibility of forming a higher winning hand if you get rid of certain cards, although this is less likely to happen;
- and the possibility of forming a lower-valued poker hand if you get rid of certain cards, although this is more likely to occur.
Because your options in this case are more risky, it’s very hard to come up with a single winning formula or solution.
To further understand this, imagine that you have been dealt with 3D, 3S, 4S, 5S, and 6S. If you get rid of the 3D card, you can try to aim for a flush, straight, or straight flush. However, if you get rid of the 4S, 5S, and 6S cards, you can hope for a full house, two pairs, 4 of a kind, or 3 of a kind. In this instance, the best strategy is to get rid of the 3D card and hope for a flush, straight, or straight flush. However, there are many other possibilities if you are dealt with slightly different cards. Because of this, you should always aim for the highest possible winning hand that poses less risks.
When dealing with conflict hands, you have to determine which type it can be categorized under. Once you’ve figured this out, keep in mind the most applicable strategy or rule of thumb. But of course, no strategy can promise 100% winning results. You still have to rely on your gut instinct and a little bit of luck to get you through a game of video poker.