Destiny Poker Video Poker Strategy
Destiny Poker is a video poker game that adds some extra elements to make things even more interesting. You get a second chance to draw on flush-based drawing hands with four cards, and you can even win bonus payouts or free games if you miss your draws, which drastically changes strategy for this title.
An Introduction to Destiny Poker Strategy
Most video poker games are pretty straightforward to analyze. You look at each of the 32 possible ways to play a given hand (based on 32 ways to play the discards), and you narrow it down to 1-3 top options based on some simple strategic principles. From there, you use superior strategies and an understanding of the game to figure out which is the best from those 1-3 options.
Destiny Poker throws all of this on its head by completely changing what happens in all of the most common situations once you’re down to those 1-3 options.
To put it another way, suppose you have a hand where your best options are A, B or C in the vast majority of non-wild video poker styles. While in most games, the best-paying option might be A, in Destiny Poker, it’s frequently going to be B or C instead.
This dynamic creates a situation where going on “auto-pilot” will absolutely kill your payout rate, and that’s why we’re going to break down not only the best strategies for which options to pick, but we’re also going to show you how to keep auto-pilot from kicking on and dragging you down the wrong strategic pathway in this game.
Important Rule Changes
This game is similar to other non-wild card video poker games in many ways, but there are also several important differences that change how we handle our strategic decision-making. Here are a few of those points:
- On four-card draws to flushes, straight flushes and royal flushes, you get a second chance to draw if you miss your card.
- If your second chance fails, you play a bonus round where you can win an instant payout or up to three free plays.
- The two pair payout is the same as the Jacks or Better payout instead of being twice that amount.
- There are a variety of bonus pays for several types of four of a kind hands, particularly for four of a kind in aces, twos, threes and fours.
- Betting centers around wagering six coins per hand, but wins are based on multiples of five coins.
This leads us to a few things that we’ll need to know how to do. First, we need to know how to play the bonus feature. Thankfully, there’s nothing to know. The results are completely random, and there is no strategy involved, so that simplifies things a bit.
The second thing to know is how to adjust to the fact that these draws are worth so much. This is going to be related to the third thing, which is how to adjust to two pair hands paying the same as a single pair of jacks or better, all of which we’ll get into below in a bit of detail.
Finally, we want to point out that there is nothing you need to do specifically to adjust to the fact that the game is based on six-coin bets while the wins are based on multiples of five coins. All you need to worry about is playing your discard as best you can, and the betting differences will take care of themselves.
Common Betting Scenarios in Destiny Poker
There are a number of common situations that you need to learn how to play to develop an overall Destiny Poker strategy. Because so many of these spots are completely different than what you’ll find in most other non-wild titles in the genre, we’re also going to show you how to keep yourself from going on auto-pilot, which will lead to really big mistakes in this game.
Playing Major Draws
In this game, major draws include four cards to a royal flush, four cards to a straight flush or four cards to a regular flush. This does not include three to a royal or four to a straight, which we will cover below. Also, it includes any four cards to a straight flush regardless of how many cards can make the draw.
If you have a pair and a major draw, you always break up the pair and go with the draw no matter what kind of pair you have.
With Other Made Hands
Sometimes you’ll have a made hand of some type along with a major draw. There are a few cases, but the strategic idea here is that you need to know when to keep your made hand and when to go with the draw.
If your made hand is a straight, you should only go with the draw if it’s a straight flush draw or four to a royal. You should not break up a straight for a flush draw here even though flush draws are worth so much more than usual.
With a flush, however, you should always break it up for a straight flush or royal flush draw as well. It’s also worth noting that you will not break up a flush draw to play with three to a royal like you will in some other games.
Minor Draws and Pairs
There are two types of minor draws in Destiny Poker video poker, and those are when you have three cards to a royal or four cards for an open-ended straight draw.
Note: An open-ended straight draw has eight possible cards that can make the hand. 5678 and 89TJ are examples of open-ended straight draws.
Likewise, there are two types of pairs. We’ll call high pairs a paying pair that can win on its own (jacks or better), and we’ll call low pairs everything ten and below.
With these definitions in mind, we have the following rules:
- As we stated above, any flush draw is better than a pair.
- With a high pair and a straight draw, you should keep the pair.
- With a low pair and a straight draw, you should keep the straight draw.
- With any pair and three to a royal, you should keep the pair.
- With a straight draw and three to a royal, you should keep the three to the royal.
If you’ve studied even basic strategy for any other common video poker game, then you’ll probably notice that most of these strategic recommendations are the opposite of what you’d typically do in non-wild video poker games. That leads us to avoiding auto-pilot so that you don’t accidentally make big mistakes.
The Issue of Auto-pilot in Destiny Poker Video Poker Strategy
As we have seen several times over, it’s a real problem in this game if you go on auto-pilot and just play according to what you’ve practiced with other games. It’s an absolute must that you stay present in the moment and actively think about what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’re aiming to do with each hand that you play.
A simple example would be if you held JJT74 with a flush draw. If you’re playing on auto-pilot, then you’ll keep the pair without a second thought because that’s the right play in the vast majority of video poker titles. However, you’ll actually lose out on a significant amount of value this way and should play with the draw instead.
Along these lines, there’s something you should do to kick yourself out of auto-pilot for the most common scenarios in this game where it’s an issue: Every single time you hit a flush draw (including straight draws and royal draws), you should make sure that it stands out to you that you should pause for a moment to make sure that you’re choosing the right option.
The only situation that doesn’t fit this pattern is if you have a low pair and a straight draw. Once again, this is a specific scenario where you have to play the opposite of what your intuition might tell you if you’ve played a lot of hands on other games.
Staying present in the moment isn’t the easiest thing to do, and it takes some practice. However, it’s much more likely if you follow these tips:
- Slow down instead of trying to play so quickly. Slowing down to the point that you’re consciously paying attention and looking for these traps makes it much less likely that you fall for them.
- Make a mental note each time you have a four-card draw that makes the hand stand out so that you take a moment to examine it critically instead of going with your first reaction.
- Consider practicing in a free play version of Destiny Poker or smaller stakes so that you can get a feel for when these situations come up.
If you follow these tips and put a little time in, you can shake the auto-pilot issue for the most part.
Bankroll Management Considerations
Finally, we want to make a point about bankroll management considerations for this title. There’s a higher variance and volatility in Destiny Poker than what you see in virtually any other non-wild card game that’s without a progressive. This is because of the large payouts you can get for various four of a kind hands, but the wins of up to 3,000x in the bonus round also contribute to this issue.
As a result, you need to be a little more conservative with your bankroll management guidelines than you would for other similar non-wild games like Jacks or Better or Two Way Royal. Cutting your average bet down to 75 percent or so of what you’re used to can be helpful, especially since you’ll be playing this game with six coins per turn instead of five.
Destiny Poker strategy is all about learning the differences between this game and other similar titles while making sure that you snap out of auto-pilot when needed to avoid mindless mistakes. If you can do that, then you’ll perform well at one of the most interesting and exciting variations of video poker in the industry.