Should You Be an "Auto-Holder"?
December 15, 2014
There are obviously lots of people who are familiar with the game of video poker. In an informal environment, you have probably played something very similar to this game with friends or family. It is a simple game, at its very core. We have gone into some of the variations that had a little spice to video poker. Everyone realizes that this is an enjoyable undertaking, and that there is even an element of strategy involved. The instructions are pretty easy to follow; you initiate the play and get five cards. You click the buttons on the cards you want to hold onto, and let the others go. Then you get new cards, which will complete your final hand. Then you are told whether you have won the hand. That's not where the complications develop. The key to winning or losing is obviously HOW you play the hands.
There are a lot of folks who are genuine video poker mavens. They play so quickly you wouldn't believe it. Their objective is to get as much action going in as short a period of time as is possible. They are out there gunning for the Royal Flush. These are generally the people who have memorized some kind of strategy for playing the game, and to them, knowing what to do instantly is what really simplifies the game for them. If you are relatively new to video poker, you are most likely NOT one of these people.
Certainly there are some folks who want a different way to make video poker a simple proposition. They don't really want to know or study any strategy for the game, but they would like to participate anyway. And, since they are rather casual in nature as far as their approach, they don't want to be concerned with the subtle differences in strategy decisions that might be associated with all of the variations of the video poker game.
You could be one of these people. Maybe you want an uncomplicated way of making your decisions as you play, or perhaps you don't want to make any decisions at all. Believe it or not, there is a way for the decisions to be made for you. There is an option that is built into video poker games, most notably at Microgaming, which is known as a Autohold. And it works beautifully. What happens is that you get dealt your five cards, and instead of having to click anything, the program selects the cards that you will wind up holding, discarding the rest. Then your hand plays out.
There is nothing necessarily magical about Autohold, and no one should interpret this as being a perfect strategy to play. The only thing this option guarantees is that when it makes a decision for you, it puts you in a position where you could win something on the draw. But you obviously need to get a favorable draw, just like anyone else. The positive aspect of this is obviously that it turns video poker into a more "democratic" game that anyone can play, although we wholeheartedly recommend that you learn the right strategy yourself to get the maximum enjoyment.