Tens or Better is a popular video poker game that is very closely related to Jacks or Better, however, it is much easier to win in Tens or Better because you only need a pair of 10s or better to receive a payout (as opposed to a pair of Jacks in Jacks or Better). Since it is easier to form a winning combination, Tens or Better video poker offers smaller payouts when compared to other video poker variations like Joker Poker. The game has a slightly lower variance than most video poker games because of the increased number of paying hands.
How to Play
Tens or Better plays out very similarly to Jacks or Better. Begin by placing your bet. You will then be dealt five cards; choose which cards you’d like to keep and those you would like to discard. Click Hold for all cards that you want to keep; the rest will be discarded and new cards will be dealt in their place once you opt to deal again. Remember, you only need a pair of 10s to be eligible for a payout.
Tens or Better Paid Hands
The list below shows all the possible winning hands for Tens or Better video poker and what they entail, ranked highest to lowest.
- Royal Flush: A hand that contains A/K/Q/J/10 of same suit. This is the highest paying hand in Tens or Better.
- Four of a Kind : Four cards of the same face value.
- Straight Flush: Five cards in sequence of the same suit.
- Flush: Five cards of the same suit.
- Straight: A hand with five cards in sequential order, but not necessarily the same suit.
- Full House: Three of a Kind plus a Pair.
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pairs
- Tens or Better: A pair of 10s, Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces.
Some Video Poker Terminology
- Gap: Refers to a missing card in a sequence (e.g. there are two gaps in a 4/6/8 sequence).
- High Cards: Refers to 10s and above (i.e. 10 through to Ace).
- Low Cards: All cards below 10.
- Inside Straight: Refers to a Straight that can only be completed one way. For instance, A, 2, 3, and 4, or 7, 8, 9, and J.
- Outside Straight: Refers to a Straight which can be completed in two ways. An example is 7, 8, 9, and 10 (can be completed with a 6 or a Jack).
Tips for Holding Cards in Tens or Better Video Poker
- Never break up an otherwise paying hand unless you have four of the five cards you need to hit a Royal Flush.
- Low Pairs (that is a pair lower than 10s) and are only potentially worth paying if they are part of a Full House. Because the probability of making a Full House is lower than making a Flush or Straight, discard low pairs and go for a more likely paying hand.
- Always keep a pair of 10s or higher when you have absolutely no other hand to play. A pair of 10s will at least help you to get your bet back.
- Aim for big payouts as most of the time you will be better off chasing a Straight Flush or a Royal Flush over an already made Pair or Straight.
- Always keep a Four of a Kind, especially if they are high cards.
- Keep a Straight, a Flush, a Full House, or Three of a Kind.
- Keep Two Pair.
- Keep all four cards to a Flush
- Keep two suited high cards.
- Keep all three cards to a Straight Flush.
- Keep all 10s or better.
The Skinny on Tens or Better Video Poker
Tens or Better is one of the easier video poker variants and offers more potential paying hand options; consequently, those payouts are considerably lower due to the better odds the game offers. If you are looking for a video poker variant with steeper payouts, try Double Bonus video poker or Double Double Bonus poker. Tens or Better is a great game to learn on for newbies or for casual players who more or less just play video poker for fun.