Understanding the Basics of Tens or Better Video Poker

Have you played a five-card draw video poker game? Well, Tens or Better is one of the famous poker games. It's a variation of the Jacks or Better. If you haven't played the game yet, Tens or Better is an excellent game to learn as an introduction to poker or most notably to a Jacks or Better game. Even though you do not see a lot of Tens or Better poker machines in the Las Vegas Strip, local casinos still have them on their casino floors. Read on if you want to learn how to play Tens or Better.


Learning how Tens or Better is played allows you to easily understand the basics of the five-card draw poker game. The object of Tens or Better is to have a five-card poker hand that has a winning combination. The higher the hand is the larger the payout. The payout schedule is shown on the display of the machine for your reference. Once you are given the five cards, you will choose which of them you would like to hold on to and which one you want to be replaced. You can replace your cards only once.

Hand Ranking

In Tens or Better, the hand ranking is similar to the standard poker game. The only difference is that the minimum possible winning hand is a pair of tens or better and hence the game's name. What you need to do first in order to have a better understanding on how Tens or Better is played would be to memorize the hand ranking. The highest possible hand is the Royal Flush hand. A Royal Flush consists of the same-suite sequential cards Ten, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. Moving down to the lowest possible hand are the Straight Flush that consists of five sequential cards, the Four of a Kind that is made of four cards of the same value, the Full House that contains three cards of the same value and a pair of cards of the same value, the Straight that consists of five sequential cards of non-matching value, the Three of a Kind that contains three cards of the same value and two non-matching cards, the Two Pairs that consists of any two sets of cards of the same value, and the Pair that must contain either a pair of Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces. If you can learn to memorize these hands, you can play any kind of poker game.

How the Game Is Played

On the display, you choose among the coins that you want to wager for each round. You do this by selecting either the plus or minus sign on the right of the screen. You would then either choose Bet One or Bet Max to choose the number of coins you would like to bet on. Choosing Bet One adds another coin to the bet. Choosing Bet Max increases your bet to the maximum and automatically deals the cards. After choosing Bet One, you would then need to press on the Deal button.

Once the cards are dealt, choose which card(s) you would like to replace and press the Deal button to have them replaced. The game ends and starts over if you did not get a winning combination. If you did get a winning combination you can collect your winnings or double it.

If you choose to double it, the machine will draw a card faced up and deal you four cards faced down. You would then have to choose one card among the four cards. If the card you've chosen is lower than what the dealer has, you lose your win. If they are the same then it's a tie and you can again either collect you winnings or double it again. If your card is higher than the dealer's card, you winnings are doubled. You can again either double it or just collect your winnings. There is also the half double wherein you can double half of your winnings and deposit the other half to your balance.

This is basically what to expect in a video poker Tens or Better. Once you have the knack for playing the game, you won't have any problem playing the other kinds of five-card draw video poker game.