Pick Five Slot Strategy

Pick Five Slot Strategy

Pick Five is a tough game to beat. Compared to standard Jacks or Better games, where you make playing decisions based on a full five card hand, the one card at a time decision-making involved here reduces your chances of drawing winning hands.

It won't take long in front of this machine to realize that winning hands are coming infrequently, and that you would prefer games with more positive reinforcement. Meanwhile, let's look at some strategy tips to make your play more efficient.

Tips for the First Card

On the first two cards dealt, always choose a jack-ace card over any other card. If paired, the hand will achieve an automatic payoff. If you are dealt two high cards, keep the jack over any other high card with the second choice being the queen, because it gives you slightly more chances to catch a straight. For example, if the second card is a queen, and the third a 7, 8, 9, or 10, the choice of the jack as the first card will prove more valuable in leaving your chances open for a straight than having held a king. In the latter case, the 10 is the only non-pairing third card that will keep the chances for a straight open.

A jack is also better than the ace, because if the second card is a high card, which we will always choose over a 2, 3, 4, or 5 (four cards that could form a potential straight with the Ace), than the possibility of the straight is more likely again for the same reasons.

If you're dealt two medium cards, such as a 9 and a 6, choose the 9 for the possible straight possibilities down the line. We should also choose the 9 over a card such as the 3 or 4. Since we'll always be choosing high cards, jacks to aces, to be kept over low cards, we leave ourselves open to more straight possibilities by keeping 10's, 9's, and even 8's, over, 2's-6's.

Tips for the Second Card

Once you have established your first card, you're looking to pair that card as the highest priority. A card that pairs the first card, even as a low pair, is better held than a possible straight, flush, straight flush, or even a royal flush. Always take the pair when you have that opportunity.

Pick a high card, jack to ace, over any other card including ones that form possible straights, flushes, straight flushes, or royal flushes (such as a 10). Having just two cards toward those Straights or flushes is too speculative and you're better off with a high card that can win if paired.

Tips for the Third Card

As on the second card, choose a pair over straight or flush possibilities. For example, if you hold J 5 of hearts, and you can pick from either a 7 of hearts or a 5 of spades, take the five for the pair. Obviously, if one of those choices was a jack of any suit instead of the five, the jack should be picked.

If you already have a pair, and the third card can give you three of kind, obviously this is a no-brainer, play the trips. If a pair cannot be formed, your next best choice is to choose a high card, if one appears. For example, if you hold A 4, and the choice is J or 7, the jack should be picked. You're always looking to create opportunities for paying hands.

Tips for the Fourth Card

Picks that give you four of a kind, three of a kind and two pair hands are always chosen. If the fourth card gives you four to a straight flush, choose that over a pair. Play a high pair over a four flush or four straight, but if the pair is low (tens or less), play the four flush and four straight instead.

Given none of the above, pick the card that forms the pair, particularly if it is a high pair (but you'll also play the low pair).

Without a pair choice, choose four straights and four flushes over a high card, and a high card over a low card if no other paying combinations are present.

Tips for the Fifth Card

Fifth card strategy is easy. Obviously, you'll pick the card that gives you the highest paying hand.