Tens or Better Video Poker

Tens or Better is a variant of the classic Jacks or Better format. To create a winning hand, the minimum you need to land is a pair of tens.

To balance out this benefit, in Tens or Better some hands pay less than in Jacks or Better or similar formats.

In our complete guide to Tens or Better video poker, we show you how and where to play the game. We also include some strategy advice to boost your winning chances.

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How to Play Tens or Better

Like most forms of video poker, Tens or Better is based on 5-card draw poker and it’s easy to get into.

The better your hand – the bigger the payout. You have one draw and re-draw to formulate your final hand.

  1. Choose Your Bet – The first thing you should do is decide your stake level. If possible, bet the maximum allowed coins: 5.
  2. Deal – Click on the deal to be dealt a hand of five cards.
  3. Keep or Discard – Choose whether to keep or discard any or all your five cards. When you’ve made up your mind, click on the draw button to replace your discarded cards. This new five-card combination will be your final hand and determines whether you have a winner.

Hand Rankings

This is a list of winning Tens or Better poker hands, starting from the lowest to the highest.

  • Pair – 2 cards of the same value. For example, 10 of diamonds and 10 of clubs.
  • Two Pair – For example, a pair of 10s and a pair of 7s.
  • Three of a kind – Three cards of the same value. For example, three 5s.
  • Straight – Five cards that have values that run consecutively but aren’t the same suit. For example, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of any suit.
  • Flush – Five cards of the same suit. For example, 3, 7, 9, J and K all spades.
  • Full House – This hand contains a 3 of a kind combination and a pair. For example, 3 sixes plus 2 jacks make a Full House.
  • Four of a Kind – Four cards of the same value. For example, four fives.
  • Straight Flush – This is a straight where all the cards are also the same suit. For example, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of clubs.
  • Royal Flush – The best hand is a suited 10, J, Q, K, A combination.

Tens or Better RTP & Payouts

The average RTP of Tens or Better is 97%-99%. There are Full Pay versions of the game that go even higher, but they are rare in online casinos.

Here’s a full payout chart for Tens or Better. The paytable below assumes you’re playing at the maximum of 5 coins.

HandPrize in coins
Jacks or Better1
Two pair2
3 of a kind 3
Straight4
Flush5
Full House6
4 of a kind20
Straight Flush50
Royal Flush800

It’s easier to make a winning hand in Tens or Better than for example in Jacks or Better. The downside is that payouts for a flush and a full house are lower.

Tens or Better Strategy

The easiest way for you to start playing Tens of Better optimally is to use a basic strategy chart.

Starting at the top, scroll down the chart until you find your hand. The follow the instruction on which cards to hold or discard.

  • Royal Flush: Hold all 5 cards.
  • Straight Flush: Hold all 5 cards.
  • Four of a Kind: Hold all 5 cards.
  • Full House: Hold all 5 cards.
  • Four to a Royal Flush: Hold the 4, discard the other.
  • Flush: Hold all 5 cards.
  • Three of a Kind: Hold the 3, discard the other 2.
  • Straight: Hold all 5 cards.
  • Four to a Straight Flush: Hold the flushing cards, discard the other.
  • Two Pair: Hold the two pairs, discard the other card.
  • A High Pair (10s or better): Hold the pair, discard the other 3 cards.
  • Three to a Royal Flush: Hold the flushing cards, discard the other 2.
  • Four to a Flush: Hold the flushing cards, discard the other.
  • One Low Pair: Hold the pair, discard the other 3 cards.
  • Four to a Straight: Hold the straightening cards, discard the other.
  • Three to a Straight Flush: Hold the flushing cards, discard the other 2.
  • Two to a Royal Flush: Hold the flushing cards, discard the other 3.
  • Two High Cards (10, J, Q, K or A): Hold the 2 high cards, discard the other 3.
  • One High Card (10, J, Q, K or A): Hold the high card, discard the other 4.
  • No hand: Discard all 5 cards.

Pros & Cons of Tens or Better

Tens or Better is easy to get into, has a high RTP and it’s considered low variance. On average, your bankroll should last longer compared to playing other games. That’s because you can expect more frequent wins.

The slight downside is that rare hands, such as the Flush and Full House, are slightly less rewarding compared to some other video poker formats.

Pros
  • Simple to play
  • Higher then average RTP
  • Low variance means bankroll can last a long time
Cons
  • Flush and Full House payouts lower than in Jacks or Better

Tens or Better Alternatives

There are plenty of other variants of video poker to take for a spin too. Double Bonus Poker offers enhanced payouts for big hands, something that Tens or Better lacks.

Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild provide an even lower barrier of entry. That’s because they make forming winning hands easier in comparison to Tens or Better.

Conclusion

Tens or Better is a good pick if you’re looking for a low volatility variant of video poker. The downside is that it’s rare that you’ll land a super big hand with a payout to match.

Always play the game with the highest RTP rate to maximize your winning chances. Brush up on your strategy and Tens or Better can be both enjoyable and rewarding.

FAQs

Yes, you can improve your chances of winning at Tens or Better by using the correct strategy. Follow the charts to see which cards you should hold or discard.

Most online casinos allow players to try out a free play Tens or Better video poker in demo mode. It’s a good way to get used to the mechanics of the game and improving your decision making.

This is one of the lower variance forms of video poker. You’ll win more often as you only need a pair of tens to create a winner. The downside is that payouts for flushes and full houses are lower than jacks or better.

Playing the maximum 5-coin level, the most you can win at Tens of Better is 4,000 coins. That 800/1 payout comes when you land a royal flush, which is the highest paying out of all winning hands.