Pick ‘em Poker – Rules, Strategies & Payouts

Pikem Poker

Pikem Poker

A type of video poker, Pick ‘em Poker – sometimes called ‘Pick a Pair Poker’ – is a version different from the rest.

It is one of the simplest games to learn as there are just 2 choices a player can make as opposed to many in a regular version of video poker.

Pick ‘em Poker is based on the Nines or Better version of video poker. The major difference is the way the cards are dealt which you will see below.

Pick ‘em Poker Rules

Like other variations of video poker, with Pick ‘em Poker you need to place a bet. You can normally change the value of a coin and then decide how many coins to bet with.

As with other versions, we would always recommend playing with the maximum number of coins possible, even if it means switching to a lower denomination of the coin. You will tend to find that payouts are better if you play with max coins.

So, for example, if you wish to bet €1 per spin, we would suggest changing the value of the coin to €0.20 and playing with 5 coins as opposed to playing with the coin value of €1 and using 1 coin.

Another similarity to other versions of video poker is the hand rankings. Aces can be high or low and the minimum hand needed for a payout is usually a pair of 9’s.

The difference between Pick ‘em Poker and other forms of video poker come when you are ready to play.

Once you click the Draw or Deal button, you get dealt 2 cards to the left of the screen, and 2 to the right.

The cards on the left, you need to keep.

The only choice you get in Pick ‘em Poker is which of the 2 cards on the right to keep. You need to choose 1 and discard the other.

Once this is done and you, therefore, have 3 cards – the 2 dealt on the left and 1 of the 2 on the right – 2 further cards are dealt which complete your 5-card poker hand.

Take a look at the screenshot below
Pick ‘em Poker

You will see that we have been dealt with the 6 of clubs and the 3 of clubs which we need to keep.

We then have a choice of keeping the 6 of hearts or 6 of diamonds – not ideal, although we can hold a low pair, there is only 1 further 6 in the deck which would improve our hand to 3 of a kind.

Once we have held one of the 6’s, a further 2 cards would be dealt to complete our 5-card poker hand.

And that’s it – once those cards have been dealt, if we have a pair of 9’s or better we will get paid out according to the paytable above.

Pick ‘em Poker is a very simple version of video poker to get used to and is ideal for beginners just starting out.

Even for seasoned players, it offers something different and a chance to win a nice amount although there is less skill involved in this version than in standard video poker games.


The payouts can vary slightly from casino to casino, but the table below shows the most common payouts.

You will not find any casinos with payouts that vary wildly from the below table, although it is worth shopping around if Pick ‘em Poker is your casino game of choice to ensure that you get the best deal.

As you will see, betting 5 coins gives a better payout ratio for a Royal Flush, Straight Flush, and 4-of-a-kind, so as we mentioned previously, we recommend you use maximum coins whenever possible.

Final Hand1 Coin2 Coin3 Coin4 Coin5 CoinRoyal Flush1,000 coins2,000 coins3,000 coins4,000 coins6,000 coinsStraight Flush200 coins400 coins600 coins800 coins1,199 coins4-of-a-kind100 coins200 coins300 coins400 coins600 coinsFull House18 coins36 coins54 coins72 coins90 coinsFlush15 coins30 coins45 coins60 coins75 coinsStraight11 coins22 coins33 coins44 coins55 coins3-of-a-kind5 coins10 coins15 coins20 coins25 coins2 pair3 coins6 coins9 coins12 coins15 coinsPair of 9’s or better2 coins4 coins6 coins8 coins10 coins


Pick ‘em Poker Strategy

The strategy for Pick ‘em Poker is pretty basic as there are only 2 choices you can make – holding card A or card B.

In a standard version of Video Poker, as you can hold between 0 and 5 of 5 cards, there are a lot more options.

Having said that, there are some basic rules that you can follow to try and maximize your chances of getting a payout.

Check the table below and go from top to bottom, when you find an option that suits your own choice, that is the one to go for.

If you get to the bottom but haven’t found one, hold either card as there is no increased chance of winning with either card.

HandEV-Value of expected payouts3-of-a-kind10.59Q J 10 Suited3.173 to a Royal Flush – King high2.83High Pair – 9’s to A’s2.633 to a Royal Flush – Ace high2.443 to Straight Flush – no gap2.003 to Straight Flush – 1 gap1.543 to Straight Flush – 2 gaps1.393 to Flush – no gaps, 3 High cards1.363 to Straight – no gaps, 3 High cards1.233 to Straight Flush – 2 gaps, 1 High card1.203 to Flush – 2 High cards1.16Low pair – 2’s to 8’s1.143 to Straight Flush – 2 gaps, 0 High cards1.093 to Straight – 1 gap, 3 High cards1.043 to Straight – 0 gap, 2 High cards0.993 to Flush – 1 High card0.973 to Straight – 2 gaps, 3 High cards0.923 to Straight – 1 gap, 2 High cards0.883 to Straight – 0 gap, 1 High card0.843 to Flush – 0 High cards0.773 High cards0.763 to Straight – 2 gaps, 2 High cards0.723 to Straight – 1 gap, 1 High card0.683 to Straight – 0 gaps, 5 to 8 high0.602 High cards0.573 to Straight – 2 gaps, 1 High card0.523 to Straight – 1 gap, 0 High cards0.481 High card0.373 to Straight – 2 gaps, 0 High cards0.33Anything else0.18

The above Pick ‘em Poker strategy when played perfectly gives returns of 99.95%, one of the best rates of any casino game.


Pick’em Poker Tips

Pick’em Poker is different to other versions of Video Poker so it is more important than ever to stay close to the strategy in this article in order to maximise your chances of winning.


Like other versions of Video Poker, the payout for a Royal Flush when playing with 5 coins is significantly more than when playing with 4 coins or less. Therefore, ensure you play with 5 coins whenever it is possible even if it means dropping down a coin size – the total bet amount may be the same but if the payout is significantly higher, use it to your advantage.


Pick’em Poker can be found at many online casinos, whilst most have the same payouts, it is worth checking a few places before you start playing to ensure you are getting the best payouts possible, just a few extra coins can make the difference between winning big or not winning at all.


Some versions have the chance to gamble any winnings on a random turn of a card. Whilst you can sometimes add extra winnings to your bankroll by doing this, we strongly advise against it as the odds are stacked in the favour of the casino.


Lastly, like any form of gambling, it is important to stay within your budget and not gamble more than you can afford to lose. Playing games at a casino should be an enjoyable experience, if the fun goes out of the game, stop and walk away.

Video Poker Related Articles:
Aces & Faces Tips
Aces and Eights Video Poker
Tens or Better Rules

Author: Johnny Diaz