Tens or Better is a cousin of the Jacks or Better video poker game. As the name implies, Tens or Better requires at least a pair of tens to win. Adding this hand to the payouts affects the return of other winning hands. The ones most often affected are four of a kind, and in some poorer pay tables, two pair. In the better pay table, full houses and flushes also receive a lower payout.
Tens of Better is not as popular as Jacks or Better. It can be found at many online casinos. Some live ones spread the game. It is an available title on Game King devices, though most operators opt out of it. Pot O Gold machines on tribal land may also spread the game.
How to Find the Best Tens or Better Video Poker Machines
The pay table is key in finding the best Tens or Better video poker machines. The best one available is shown below. Its return is 99.14% with perfect play and five coins wagered. The amount shown is to be multiplied by the number of coins wagered to determine the proper payout. Most online casinos with the game use the pay table below.
- Royal flush: 800 (250 if wagering fewer than five coins)
- Straight flush: 50
- Four of a kind: 25
- Full house: 6
- Flush: 5
- Straight: 4
- Three of a kind: 3
- Two pair: 2
- Pair of tens or better: 1
Some machines will only pay 20 on four of a kind. This lowers the return by 1.2%.
Tens or Better Video Poker Strategy
The strategy below assumes that the pay table above is used, and five coins are wagered. It is like Jacks or Better but with more instances where a ten is held. Always hold a dealt full house, four of a kind, straight flush and royal flush. Also hold a straight or flush unless dealt four cards to a royal flush. In that case, draw for the royal flush. After that, follow the list below, starting at the top in terms of hand strength.
- Four to a royal flush
- Three of a kind
- Two pair
- Four to a straight flush
- Suited ten, jack and queen
- Pair of tens or better
- Three to a royal flush
- Four to a flush
- Four to an open-ended straight
- Pair of twos through nines
- Three to a straight flush with at least two cards ten and higher
- Three cards ten and higher
- All other three-card straight flushes
- Bare ten or higher
If none of the above applies, discard all five dealt cards.
How to Increase Your Return at Tens or Better
There are two important points to consider when looking for the best Tens or Better game. The most important is to make sure that the game you are playing uses the pay table shown above. The other is to follow the basic strategy below it. This will get you the top return on the game, which is just above 99 percent.
Most online casinos use the best pay table. Simply make sure that four of a kind pays 25 while two pair pay 2 per coin. Most live casinos will use a lesser pay table.
Use perks to increase return
There are ways a player can receive a return better than 99.14% when playing Tens or Better. This is done through loyalty programs and other promotions. These are available at both online and live casinos.
At online casinos, your loyalty card is already used at all games. It is tracked by the software. This gets you player points and benefits without having to do anything. Your action is automatically rated. This may also get you emails and internal messages with reload bonus offers and other cash perks.
Players making a first deposit at an online casino will typically receive a bonus. Video poker usually counts as 10 percent of the wager requirement. For example, if a bonus has a 20 times wager requirement, it would require 200 times at video poker. This is due to the low house edge on video poker games.
At a live casino, Tens or Better video poker players will need a loyalty card to receive any perks beyond free drinks. You must wait in line at the players center with your ID card to receive this. Once you have it, stick it into the slot on the video poker machine. This will award you slot points. It may also trigger mailers that will offer perks like free slot play, food and hotel rooms. It will also include you in promotions like hot seat drawings, if your favorite casino offers them.