Basic Pick'em Strategy Chart

Use the Pick'em strategy chart below to increase your odds of winning at Pick'em Poker and get as close as possible to the 99.95% theoretical return that this type of video poker provides.

Priority Dealt Cards + Card Held Example
1 Three of a Kind
222-AAA
Three of a Kind
2 Qeen High Straight Flush Draw
TJQs
Q High Straight Flush Draw
3 King High Straight Flush Draw - 1 Gap
JQKs, TQKs, TJKs
King High Straight Flush
4 High Pair
99 to AA
High Pair
5 Ace High Royal Flush Draw
QKAs
Ace High Royal Flush
6 Open Ended Straight Flush Draw - 3 to J
9TJs-345s
Open Ended Straight Flush
7 4 High Open Ended Straight Flush Draw
234s
4 High Open Ended Straight Flush
8 Straight Flush Draw - 1 Gap - 2 to Q
235s-9TQs
Straight Flush Draw - 1 Gap
9 Straight Flush Draw - 2 Gaps - 2/3 High Cards
69Ts-TKAs
Straight Flush Draw - 2 Gaps
10 Flush Draw - 3 High Cards
9JKs-9KAs
Flush - 3 High Cards
11 Open Ended Straight Draw - 9 to Q
9TJ/TJQ
Open Ended Straight - 9 to Q
12 Straight Flush Draw - 2 Gaps - 1 High Card
589s-78Js
Straight Flush - 2 Gaps - 1 High
13 Flush Draw - 2 High Cards
29Ts-8KAs
Flush - 2 High Cards
14 Low Pair
22 to 88
Low Pair
15 Straight Flush Draw - 2 Gaps - 0 High Cards
A25s-458s
Straight Flush - 2 Gaps - 0 High
16 Straight Draw - 1 Gap - 3 High Cards
9TQ to JQA
Straight - 1 Gap - 3 High
17 Ten High Open Ended Straight Draw
89T
Ten High Open Ended Straight
18 Flush Draw - 1 High Card
239s-78As
Flush - 1 High Card
19 Straight Draw - 2 Gap - 3 High Cards
9QK - TJA
Straight - 2 Gap - 3 Hig
20 Straight Draw - 1 Gap - 2 High Cards
79T - 8TJ
Straight - 1 Gap - 2 High
21 9 High Open Ended Straight Draw
789
9 High Open Ended Straight
22 Flush Draw - 0 High Cards
267s-378s
Flush - 0 High
23 3 High Cards
9TK-9KA
3 High Cards
24 Straight Draw - 2 Gaps - 2 High Cards
69T-8JQ
Straight - 2 Gaps - 2 High
25 Straight Draw - 1 Gap - 1 High Card
679-78T
Straight - 1 Gap - 1 High
26 Open Ended Straight Draw - 0 High Cards
345-678
Open Ended Straight - 0 High
27 2 High Cards
29T-89K
2 High Cards
28 Straight Draw - 2 Gaps - 1 High Card
569-78J
Straight - 2 Gaps - 1 High
29 Straight Draw - 1 Gap - 0 High Cards
245-578
Straight - 1 Gap - 0 High
30 1 High Card
239-78A
1 High Card
31 Straight Draw - 2 Gaps - 0 High Cards
236-478
Straight - 2 Gaps - 0 High
32 0 High Cards
237-478
0 High Cards

Below is an example of the strategy chart application in actual game of Pick'em Poker. This situation happens quit often. Based on my experience this is probably tricky situation that comes up most often. On the left side image below we are dealt 6 diamonds and 5 clubs. And we have to choose from two piles of 3 cards with upcards Jack spades or 8 diamonds. Many players here tend to choose the high card (Jack of diamonds) but based on the strategy card it's obvious that straight draw with 1 gap low cards (priority position 29) has higher priority than 1 high card (priority 30). The difference between return when holding 8 diamonds (2.4113 return) and Jack (1.8617) is not as huge as can be some other mistakes in strategy.

Pick'em Strategy Chart Application

Another quite frequents situation is the choice between low pair or high card. This situation in Pick'em is less close call and would be major mistake as low pair has priority 14 which is much higher than high card (priority 30). This translates to return 5.7092 when holding the low pair vs return just 1.7642 when holding the high card.

Major Pick'em Playing Error

As you can see on the image above. The training software WinPoker will show you such a major errors when in "WARN" mode so you can instantly find out the mistakes you are doing. Once you are confident enough you can switch to "TEST" mode to play a session and in the end you can check out how many mistakes have you made and what would be your return in comparison to best possible return. WinPoker is not free software (it's $29.99). But it can save you much more money. If you make many major mistakes you can get substantially lower return that the highest possible theoretical return and you will lose very fast.

So lets summarize the most frequent tips that can help players avoid major errors and increase odds of Pick'em Poker:

  • Low pair (from 22 to 88) has much higher priority to high card¬† (9 or better)
  • Low card straight draw with 1 gap has higher priority than high card
  • High pair (99 and higher) has higher priority than any flush draw or straight draw
  • If none of the 2 cards up for choice will improve your hand it does not matter which one you choose (image below)

Choose Either Card