Tens or Better Video Poker – Rules, Strategy & Tips

Tens or better video poker

Tens or better video poker
Of the many variations of video poker available online, Tens or Better is one of the easiest to learn and play.

In our Tens or Better Video Poker article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.

If you are familiar with one of the most popular versions – Jacks or Better – then you will be able to understand Tens or Better straight away. The only difference between the 2 versions is that in Tens or Better you need a pair of Tens to win as opposed to a pair of Jacks.

Due to the slightly lower threshold to receive a payout, the amount you win is slightly less but the better chance of winning a prize offsets this.

Tens or Better uses a standard 52-card deck of cards, and you will need to know the basic poker hands ranking before you start playing.

Tens or Better Rules

As with any version of Video Poker, the first decision you have to make is to decide how much you wish to bet.

You will be given the choice of how much 1 coin is worth and how many coins you wish to bet with.

As with other versions, we recommend you use the maximum number of coins available – 5. As the payouts for a Royal Flush are significantly better than when using 4 coins and as that is the ultimate aim of Video Poker – then it is worth playing 5 coins to get the bigger payout if and when it hits.

As an example, if you decide you want to bet €0.50 per game, you could choose the coin size of €0.50 and play with 1 coin or choose the coin size of €0.10 and play with 5 coins. Whilst the overall cost of a bet will be the same, playing with 5 coins of €0.10 will get a bigger payout and therefore would be the preferred option in these circumstances.

tens or better video poker layout

The screenshot above shows the typical layout for Tens or Better Video Poker, which is very similar to other versions in how the game is played.

As you will see, you can choose the coin size – we have gone for €0.20 – and then the number of coins bets. As we bet the maximum of 5 coins at €0.20, the total bet is €1. By using 5 coins, the maximum payout for a Royal Flush is 4,000 coins as opposed to 2,000 for playing with 4 coins.

Although payouts will be pretty similar across every version of Tens or Better, there may be a few small differences from one casino to another so it is worth ensuring you are getting the best deal possible. You can do this by checking the payouts at a couple of casinos before deciding where to play.


You won’t find many variations in the paytable above. Below we show you the payouts you can expect to get for each hand. Remember that the amount shown is the winnings in coins, and you need to multiply the win by the value of the coin you are playing with to get the monetary value of the win.

Hand1 Coin2 Coins3 Coins4 Coins5 CoinsRoyal Flush5001,0001,5002,0004,000Straight Flush501001502002504 of a Kind255075100125Full House510152025Flush48121620Straight481216203 of a Kind36912152 Pair246810Jacks or Better12345


Tens or Better Video Poker pays out with a slightly lower hand than many other versions which require at least a pair of Jacks. It may not seem like a lot to pay out with a pair of Tens or better, but that one extra win can give you one extra spin which could be the Royal Flush you have been waiting for, you never know!

This is just another reason to ensure you play with 5 coins whenever you can to ensure you make the most out of a Royal Flush win when it arrives.

Tens or Better Strategy

The Strategy for Tens or Better Video Poker is a lot like the one for Jacks or Better. It is worth noting that payouts in Tens or Better are normally lower for the Royal Flush, Flush, and Full House, to make up for a Pair of Tens being a winning hand. They can still pay out nicely should you hit one.

To ensure you follow the best strategy possible, start at the top of the table below and when you find an option that applies to your hand, follow the action on the right.

Although the House Edge still tips the game in the Casino’s favor – as it does with any game – this will give you the best possible chance of finishing a session ahead

HandActionRoyal FlushHold all 5 cardsStraight FlushHold all 5 cards4 of a KindDiscard the 1 card not involved4 cards to a Royal FlushDiscard the 1 card not involvedFull HouseHold all 5 cardsFlushHold all 5 cardsStraightHold all 5 cards3 of a KindDiscard the 2 cards not involved4 cards to a Straight FlushDiscard the 1 card not involved2 PairDiscard the 1 card not involvedHigh Pair – Tens to AcesDiscard the 3 cards not involved3 cards to a Royal FlushDiscard the 2 cards not involved4 cards to a FlushDiscard the 1 card not involved10JQKDiscard the 1 card not involved1 PairDiscard the 3 cards not involved4 cards to a Straight with 3 High CardsDiscard the 1 card not involved3 cards to a Straight FlushDiscard the 2 cards not involved3 cards to a Straight with 3 High CardsDiscard the 2 cards not involved2 Suited High CardsDiscard the 3 cards not involved4 cards to an Open Ended StraightDiscard the 1 card not involvedJQKDiscard the 2 cards not involvedKQ, KJDiscard the 3 cards not involved2 cards to a Royal FlushDiscard the 3 cards not involvedSuited 10J, 10QDiscard the 3 cards not involved2 High CardsDiscard the 3 cards not involved1 High CardDiscard the 4 cards not involvedAnything elseDiscard all 5 cards

For this version of Video Poker, a High Card is deemed to be a Ten, Jack, Queen, King or Ace.


We have mentioned it before but will mention it again – when playing Video Poker it is always recommended to play with 5 coins whenever possible to make sure you get the best possible payout. The difference between hitting a Royal Flush when playing with 4 coins and 5 coins is substantial and we wouldn’t like you to miss out on a big win. You can always reduce the size of the coin to reduce the total bet.


Never play with more money than you can afford to lose. For any session, we recommend that you start with at least 40 games to give you the best chance of winning and having an enjoyable time. When you decide how much you are willing to spend in a session, split that amount into 40 and play that amount per game.

If you lose the amount you were willing to play with at the start of a session, walk away. Don’t try to play catch up otherwise you could lose more than you intended to – which is a recipe for disaster.


Shop around – there may not be many differences in the payout amounts from one casino to another for the same game, but it is worth checking 2 or 3 to ensure you are getting the best possible deal.

Try and stick to the strategy in this article, which will reduce the House Edge as much as possible. The more chance of winning you give yourself, the better!


Finally, have fun. Gambling should be an enjoyable pastime and you should never overstretch yourself financially. If the enjoyment goes out of a game then stop playing as not only are you less likely to win. And if you are worried about losing, you could very well get yourself into financial trouble.

Video Poker Related Articles:
Top Casinos to Play Tens or Better
Strategy for Aces and Eights Video Poker
Video Poker Rules and Strategy
Pick ‘em Poker (Pick a Pair Poker)

Author: Jacob Carter