Tens or Better video poker

It might not be quite as famous as its older brother, but Tens or Better offers more regular payouts than most other forms of real money video poker. Let us show you how to play this simple variant with perfect strategy at the world’s best online casino sites.

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How to play Tens or Better video poker

As you might have guessed from the name, Tens or Better is a very close relative of Jacks or Better – the most popular and influential form of online video poker. The key difference between the two is all in the name: instead of a pair of Jacks, a pair of 10s is the lowest paying hand.

For example: if we drew 10s in a game of Jacks or Better, we wouldn’t win a thing. If we finished with the exact same hand in Tens or Better, however, we would win back our stake in full.

On its own, that would seem to suggest Tens or Better offers far greater value for money. But the lower minimum isn’t the only discrepancy between the two games.

Tens or Better odds and payouts

Besides the above, standard Tens or Better video poker features two important deviations from the 9/6 Jacks or Better pay chart:

  • Instead of nine coins per coin wagered (9:1), a full house pays six
  • Instead of six coins per coin wagered (6:1), a flush pays five

Otherwise, the Tens or Better payouts are identical to those in JOB. That includes the jackpot of 4000 coins for a royal flush, which is only available when you bet the maximum five coins per hand (always recommended).

House edge and expected returns

With optimal video poker strategy, Tens or Better returns more winning hands than any other common format. The player will win something around 49.45 per cent of the time, which is significantly greater than the 45.46 per cent projection in Jacks or Better poker.

There is a trade-off, however. Unlike Bonus Poker variants such as All Aces, Tens or Better features no boosted returns to make up for the short pays on full houses and flushes.

And because the returns for those two hands are lower than standard, so too is the overall theoretical return. The regulation Tens or Better video poker chart pays out around 99.14 per cent of all money wagered in the long run, while 9/6 Jacks or Better returns at 99.54 per cent.

Best online casinos for Tens or Better Poker

Microgaming Tens or Better Power PokerFor the most authentic online gaming experience, we recommend signing up at licensed web casinos that carry the full range of Microgaming video poker titles. This trusted developer boasts one of the most impressive and diverse selections of online poker, including two full pay Tens or Better games: a standard single-play edition and a multi-play version with four hands in action at once. However, rival software developers like BetSoft and NetEnt have also got into the video poker game, releasing some great video poker variants of their own.

At our top-rated casino sites, online video poker players can enjoy both of those titles along with Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, All Aces, All American, Aces and Faces, Aces and Eights, Bonus Poker Deluxe, the Power Poker series and many more long-time favourites.

Each of the licensed and regulated operators in our casino table above offers huge sign-up bonuses, supports a wide range of casino banking options, and runs certified SSL digital encryption to keep your cash and details as safe as a vault.

Tens or Better optimal strategy

Because the game is so closely related to plain vanilla Jacks or Better, the perfect strategy for Tens is one of the simplest around. To ensure a low house edge of 0.86 per cent, refer to the chart below and always play the highest ranked option available.

  1. Royal flush, straight flush, or four of a kind
  2. Four cards to a royal flush
  3. Full House, flush, or straight
  4. Three of a Kind
  5. Four cards to a straight flush
  6. Two pair
  7. High pair (10s or better)
  8. Three cards to a royal flush
  9. Four cards to a flush
  10. Unsuited 10-J-Q-K, 9-10-J-Q, or 8-9-10-J
  11. Low pair (Nines or lower)
  12. Three cards to a straight flush (high cards – gaps = 1+)
  13. Four cards to a straight (no gaps)
  14. Suited 10-J, J-Q, or 10-Q
  15. Three cards to a straight flush (high cards – gaps = 0)
  16. Unsuited 10-J-Q-A, 10-J-K-A, 10-Q-K-A, or J-Q-K-A
  17. Three cards to a straight flush (no gaps)
  18. Two suited high cards
  19. Four cards to a straight (three high cards)
  20. Unsuited 10-J-Q, J-Q-K, or 10-Q-K
  21. Unsuited 10-J, J-Q, or 10-Q
  22. Three cards to a straight flush (high cards – gaps = -1)
  23. Unsuited K-Q, K-J, or K-10
  24. Unsuited A-Q or A-K
  25. One high card
  26. Three cards to a straight flush (high cards – gaps = -2)
  27. Discard all

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