The main thing with video poker is learn how to play common scenarios with very high accuracy and a keen eye for patterns. While these make it easier to learn the strategy, some situations cannot be easily explained due to the many exceptions. Knowing these will significantly increase your chances for high payout rates.
The first and possibly most important exception comes from Jacks or Better and occurs in situations with KQJTT without flush or flush draw. Mostly, according to the rule, small pairs are preferable to open-ended straight draws. Yet, due to the strength of the high card draw, it is a mistake to keep TT for payout of 0.824x on average. For a considerable improvement, you may rather want to keep KQJT for an average win of 0.872x. Note that this is pretty much the only exception to this rule.
Secondly, and also concerning Jacks or Better with AhKhJh5h5c, the most commonly known rule is that one is always going to go for a flush draw rather than a low pair. Unlike above, there is no exceptions for this rule. However, it can cause you to overlook another significant feature of the hand. By keeping four hearts here, the average payout will be 1.340x. Conversely, you can keep the three cards to the royal flush and so generate a bigger payout of 1.387x – a considerable enhancement. This is a pretty common exception as well as a trick many online players fall for.
Lastly, and coming from Deuces Wild with the hand AsJs8s5s5h, we’d like to point to the fact that many will instantaneously think that the right thing to do is to discard the five of hearts and thus go with the flush draw. This is a great mistake. Keep in mind that all pairs have the same value in Deuces Wild as there aren’t any single pair payouts whatsoever. Here, the average worth for a pair of 5s is 0.560x, while flush draw is worth a bit less at 0.511x.