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Should You Hold a Low Pair in Video Poker?

wVideo poker is a popular casino game that combines elements of both luck and strategy. One common dilemma that players face is whether to hold a low pair or discard it in hopes of obtaining a better hand. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of video poker and analyze the odds and strategies surrounding the decision to hold or discard a low pair. Remember, when exploring the exciting world of online casinos in the USA, choose reputable platforms that offer a wide range of video poker variants to enhance your gaming experience.

video poker should you hold low pair

Understanding Video Poker

Video poker is a game that is based on traditional five-card draw poker. The objective is to form the best possible hand from the cards dealt to you. In most video poker variations, the lowest qualifying hand is usually a pair of Jacks or better. However, when dealt a low pair (such as a pair of twos or threes), players often wonder if it’s worth holding onto.

Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Holding a Low Pair in Video Poker

When it comes to playing video poker, the decision of whether to hold a low pair can greatly impact your chances of winning. Low pairs, such as a pair of twos or threes, may initially seem insignificant, but it holds the potential for improvement. By carefully assessing the odds and considering the game variant you’re playing, you can make an informed choice on whether to hold onto that low pairs or explore other possibilities. Let’s delve deeper into the pros and cons of holding low pairs in video poker.

The Importance of Knowing the Odds

When deciding whether to hold a low pair in video poker, understanding the odds is crucial. The likelihood of improving your hand depends on the specific game variant you are playing, as different games offer different payouts for various hands. Familiarize yourself with the paytable for the specific video poker game you are playing to determine the potential value of holding a low pair.

Analyzing the Probability of Improvement

In video poker, the odds of improving your hand after holding a low pair depend on the number of cards you discard and the number of remaining cards in the deck. Generally, the more cards you hold from the low pairs, the lower the chances of improving your hand significantly. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

Examining High Card Opportunities

When holding a pair of low cards, there is a chance of drawing high cards that can lead to a winning hand. If you have a low pair of twos, for example, discarding the remaining three cards might give you a chance to draw higher-value cards like Jacks, Queens, or even a Royal Flush. It’s important to weigh the potential rewards against the risks when deciding whether to hold or discard a low pair.

Consideration of Game Variants

Different video poker variants have varying strategies when it comes to low pairs. For instance, in Jacks or Better, a game commonly found in online casinos in the USA, the strategy suggests holding low pairs in most cases. This is because the pair itself already qualifies for a winning hand. However, in other variants like Deuces Wild, holding a low pair may not be as advantageous due to the presence of wild cards.

Mindful Bankroll Management

When making decisions in video poker or any casino game, it’s important to consider your bankroll. Holding a low pair may be a viable option if you’re aiming for a more conservative approach to gameplay. By focusing on smaller wins and aiming for a steady stream of payouts, holding a low pair can help sustain your bankroll and prolong your gaming session.


Should you hold a low pair in video poker? The answer depends on various factors such as the specific game variant, the odds of improving your hand, and your personal risk tolerance. Understanding the probabilities and potential rewards is essential in making an informed decision. Whether you choose to hold a low pair or discard it, remember to enjoy the game responsibly and always set limits on your gambling activities.

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