Tens or Better

Tens or Better is the natural extension of the payout schedule for Jacks or Better video poker. As you can probably guess, the idea behind Tens or Better is that you can get paid for getting a made hand of a pair of tens or above. While this adds value to the low end the pay table, it's made up for by the fact that it uses a 6/5 structure with a 6x payout for full houses and a 5x win for flushes.

Choosing the Right Pay Table

For Tens or Better, there are essentially two styles of pay tables that you can pick, and one is obviously better than the other. Both types use a standard 6/5 payout structure with 4x for a straight, 3x for three of a kind, 2x for two pair and 1x for high pairs. Both versions also pay 800x for a royal flush and 50x for a straight flush. The only difference between the two is the payout for four of a kind.

If you find a game that uses a 20x win for four of a kind, which is pretty common, then your maximum potential payout rate in the game with perfect play is 98.0 percent. This might sound good, and it is relative to the average casino game, but it's below average for online video poker. The Tens or Better pay table you're losing for has a 25x win for four of a kind instead. If you can find it, then this pay table gives you a potential payout rate of 99.1 percent, which cuts the house advantage by more than one-half.

Strategic Ideas

There's not much to say about Tens or Better in terms of strategy that's different than most other forms of non-wild video poker. The structure of the pay table isn't changed from Jacks or Better enough to warrant any major changes to how you should play, so a solid Jacks or Better player will be able to perform well at Tens or Better by playing very straight-forward strategies. The only thing to look for is not to accidentally think of a ten as a low card like you would in other games. This is a habit that can be very difficult to break.