Look Ahead Poker Video Poker

Look Ahead Video Poker Machine

Look Ahead Poker video poker gives players a chance to do what the name says and take a look ahead at the first card that is coming to them on the draw. You need to make an extra bet to take advantage of this feature. But it will help you greatly improve your chances of making a winning hand if you know what’s coming to you.

Video poker stands out as one of the very best games that gamblers could hope to play. This is true in the casino or as part of a top gambling website. You can learn to play it with ease, use strategy to improve your potential winnings, and enjoy extremely competitive payback for your gambling investment.

Video poker beginners often start at the Jacks or Better level. Jacks or Better stands as the most common form of the game and perhaps the easiest to understand.

You get paid in Jacks or Better proportionate to the likelihood of your achieving a certain winning hand. Rare hands pay the most and common hands pay the least.

But many people like the idea of messing with that formula to bring a surge of excitement to gameplay. That’s why video poker manufacturers created all kinds of pay tables to boost certain winning hands at the expense of others. And it’s also why they devised games that let you add a twist to gameplay as long as you make an extra bet.

Why Choose Look Ahead Poker?

Look Ahead Poker video poker gives you a little bit of both worlds. On the one hand, you get to sample from some of the most popular pay tables in all of video poker. These pay tables are similar to what you would see in the basic games, although some of the payouts for rarer hands are boosted a bit.

As for the extra feature, Look Ahead Poker video poker telegraphs what it offers you in its name. First of all, you have to bet seven coins per hand instead of the normal maximum wager of five coins. You can always play the game normally if you wish by betting just one through five coins.

But if you do go for the seven-coin wager, you will indeed get a “look ahead.” Before you have to make your decisions about what cards to hold and what to discard, you will be able to see the card that you’re going to get as the first card on the draw.

That bit of information will prove extremely crucial to your decision-making process. And it will help improve your chances of making the right selection. It’s almost as if you’re getting to legally cheat when you play Look Ahead Poker video poker.

Of course, the cost of this privilege is relatively high. Betting seven coins per hand will really drain your bankroll in a hurry if you get a run of bad luck. You have to decide whether the risk in Look Ahead Poker video poker is worth the reward.

In the following article, we’ll explain the ins and outs of the fascinating game known as Look Ahead Poker video poker. We’ll talk about how to play basic video poker, then we’ll explore how the twist works. Finally, we’ll talk about the importance of the pay tables and we’ll also look at how you can learn expert strategy for this game.

Playing Basic Video Poker

Before you can move on to a variation like Look Ahead Poker video poker, it’s a good idea to learn how to play basic video poker.

When you play video poker, you only have to worry about the machine in front of you. Unlike table games, there won’t be any pressure laid on you by other gamblers or casino employees. You can relax and play to your own pace, making it an extremely stress-free gambling environment.

In that way, you can say that video poker resembles slot machines. But slot machines don’t yield some of the perks that video poker possesses. Chief among them is the fact that video poker contains a strategic element.

Video Poker Logo

By choosing the cards you want to hold and the ones you want to discard in order to make the best winning hand, video poker lets you have an impact on how well you do. Slot machines have no equivalent to that. With slot machines, you just spin the reels and hope it turns out well.

Probabilities also play a major role in video poker. Your outcomes are limited by the 52 cards in a deck of playing cards, so you can anticipate roughly how often certain winning hands will show up. By contrast, you have no way of knowing the frequency with which winning slot machine spins will appear.

Video poker also lets you calculate your payback percentage by combining the probability of winning hands with the payout of those hands. If you don’t wish to do the math, you can still find out the percentages by entering the game’s information into online video poker calculators. Slot machines, once again, leave you in the dark in terms of this information.

Rest assured that the payback for video poker on average soars higher than what slot machines can offer. In fact, the top video poker machines can sometimes even pay better than the top table games.

One other benefit of video poker, it makes for ideal online play. When you look at the screen of a specific video poker brand on a machine and compare that screen to that same game on a phone or tablet, there’s no difference. Many other casino games get a little lost in the translation to online play.

Since there are so many advantages to video poker, it’s a good idea if we check out the instructions on how to play a basic hand. Then, we can move onto the special nature of Look Ahead Poker video poker.

Step 1: Build Your Bankroll

The bankroll at a video poker machine comes from the money you insert at the start of play. If you’re playing online, you will fund a betting account to create your bankroll. In either case, your bankroll with show up on the screen in credits or coins instead of dollars and cents.

Each credit on the machine will equal one unit of the machine’s denomination. You can play for a small denomination such as a penny or a nickel, or you can go for bigger stakes like a dollar per coin. Many machines give you the choice of what denomination to play, while others have the denomination set in stone.

To figure out how many credits you’ll have to play, divide the amount that you have allotted to play by the denomination. For instance, imagine that you put $10 in a 25-cent machine. Divide 10 by .25 and you get 40 credits.

Step 2: Make Your Bet

Many video poker machines only give the chance to bet between one and five credits. But Look Ahead Poker video poker also gives you the option to go above and beyond that with a seven-credit wager. Wagering seven coins will put the extra feature in play for you.

If you bet between one and five coins, you can play Look Ahead Poker video poker without the look ahead. Should you choose to do it this way, you should try to bet five coins per hand. That gives you the best payout on the royal flush, which is the highest-paying hand in all of video poker.

Keep in mind that when you bet seven coins, you will only get paid from the pay tables based on a five-coin wager. The two extra coins serve as the fee to put the extra feature in play.

Step 3: Play Your Hand

Video poker essentially provides a computerized simulation of the table game known as Five-Card Draw Poker. In the game, you get a deal with five cards. You then get to replace the cards you don’t want with others from the deck in the draw round.

However, Five-Card Draw Poker requires you to make the best hand at the entire table to win. If you can’t do that, you can also win by bluffing your opponents into giving up their hands.

Since video poker is played by a single person, none of that is applicable. All you have to do is use the deal and the draw to make a combination of cards that is deemed a winning hand by the pay table you’re playing. Do that, and you will be paid by the machine based on what winning hand you make.

Winning hands can sometimes vary depending on the game you’re playing. Wild Card games, for instance, possess a much higher threshold to make a winning hand. But, for the most part, you will be striving to make one of the following winning hands while playing Look Ahead Poker video poker:

  • Pair of jacks or better
  • Two pair
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight (five cards of consecutive rank, like 3-4-5-6-7)
  • Flush (five cards of same suit)
  • Full house (three of a kind and two pair in the same hand)
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush (straight with five cards of same suit)
  • Royal flush (ten, jack, queen, king, and ace of the same suit)

The hands at the top of the list are the easiest to achieve during video poker. Therefore, they pay the least. As you move down that list, probabilities of making the hands drop and the payout goes up.

When you make your wager, you will receive five cards on the screen. (For now, we’re going to hold off on the details of the “Look Ahead” card so you can get the basics of video poker down first.) From these five cards, you’ll be hoping to form some kind of winning combination.

You might be fortunate enough to have a winning hand right off the bat. More often than not, however, you will need the draw to improve a winning hand. On the draw, you get to dump the cards that you feel aren’t helping your hand in favor of others from the deck.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to discard any cards if you have a winning deal and don’t think you can improve upon it. Or you could discard all five cards if you feel it necessary. In most cases, you will have come to a conclusion where you are holding certain cards and discarding others.

You will make this decision based on the probabilities of attaining one of the winning hands on the pay table. And you should also be taking into consideration what the potential payout is. Combining these two factors will give the proper decision about what to hold and discard.

On certain deals, it might be wise to play it safe and go for a winning hand that will be relatively easy to make, even if it doesn’t pay all that much. Other times, it will make more sense for you to go for a rare, high-paying hand on the draw, even if your chances aren’t that great of achieving it. You will always be balancing risk versus reward when playing video poker.

Once you make your choice, you will press the buttons on the screen corresponding to the cards you wish to hold. The computer will replace the cards you’ve discarded with cards from the top of the simulated deck that gave you your deal. Remember that you can’t receive cards you were dealt on the draw.

At the conclusion of the draw, your hand is complete. Any winnings that you may have earned will be added to your total. (The bet you made will have been deducted at the start of the hand.)

That’s how basic video poker works. You can keep playing hands as long as you have credits left in your bankroll. You can also cash out at any time. A video poker machine will issue a redemption ticket that you can exchange for cash.

Now that you know how to play a hand of basic video poker, it’s time to learn how the extra feature of Look Ahead Poker video poker works. This way, you can decide if you think the extra bet is worth it.

Looking Ahead

To activate the extra feature in Look Ahead Poker video poker, you must bet seven coins. That is not a small wager by any means, especially when you’re playing several hands of video poker a minute. But it brings you opportunities to boost your winnings.

You must make the decision about whether or not you want the extra card before the deal. In other word, you can’t get a look at the deal then decide to add two coins to your wager after the fact. Everything must be in place at the beginning of the hand.

If you decide to play Look Ahead Poker video poker with the extra feature, you will see the five cards for your deal appear on the screen as normal. But just to the left of the first card in the deal, at a much smaller size, another card will appear face-up.

This card represents the first card you will receive if you decide that you need to draw cards. By playing the game this way, you’re gaining knowledge that will help you make better decisions about what your holds and discards should be. Let’s give an example.

Imagine that you have receive the following deal in a normal hand of video poker:

Five of Spades, Six of Spades, Seven of Spades, Queen of Spades, Queen of Hearts

This deal presents you with some interesting choices. You could take the easy play and go with the pair of queens. That already pays you back even money, and you can improve it on the draw to two pair, three of a kind, a full house, or even four of a kind.

You might also be interested in trying to achieve a flush. After all, you already have four spades. If you discarded the queen of hearts, your chances of drawing another spade would be a little less than one in six.

Or you could go forward with just the five of spades, six of spades, and seven of spades. This would still keep the flush in play, although now you would have to draw two spades in a row. More importantly, it would give you an outside chance at drawing to a straight flush, one of the more lucrative hands in the game.

In regular video poker, this hand could make for a tough decision, especially if you haven’t yet learned perfect strategy. But even if you have, the “look ahead” card can give you an upper hand going forward.

Let’s say that you are playing his deal in Look Ahead Poker video poker and you see that the first card on the draw is the Queen of Diamonds. There’s no doubt then that you should go forward with the pair of queens, knowing that you have at least three of a kind in the bag and that all of the flush possibilities are out the window.

But what if that extra card was the nine of spades? You know then that you have the flush in the bag. As a result, you would drop the queen of hearts.

Finally, imagine that the “look ahead” card is revealed to be the four of spades. This presents an instance where the decision will still be a tough one.

After all, the four of spades would give you an automatic flush if you decide to keep the four spades from the deal. But it would also give you a much greater chance at a straight flush, since you know that you’ll have the four through seven of spades.

You might want to go for that on the draw by dropping the two queens. If you did, you could still get the flush with another spade on the last card. But you could also make the straight flush, one of the highest-paying hands on any pay table, if you happen to draw the three or eight of spades in particular.

In any case, playing Look Ahead Poker video poker with the extra feature in play will always give you an increased chance at making a winning hand. That increased chance will help to offset the fact that you’ll be betting seven coins and getting paid for a five-coin wager.

As is the case with most games where there is an extra feature involved, Look Ahead Poker video poker pays back a little bit more on average if you make the extra wager. It’s understandable though if you find this a little bit too costly.

But you should always be trying to maximize your payback percentage on a video poker game if at all possible. That’s why, if you can’t play Look Ahead Poker video poker with the extra feature in place, we would suggest finding a lower denomination.

Barring that, we suggest moving on to another video poker game. Make sure it’s one that allows you to play to the maximum payback percentage while still staying within your budget.

Pay Tables for Look Ahead Poker Video Poker

Look Ahead Poker video poker is what video poker players sometimes refer to as an umbrella game. The extra feature of the game can be tacked onto many different pay tables, which all come under the Look Ahead umbrella. Here is a list of the games that you can find on a Look Ahead Poker machine:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Double Bonus Poker
  • Double Double Bonus Poker
  • Deuces Wild
  • Bonus Deuces Wild

By setting up in this way, Look Ahead Poker video poker lets you choose the style of game that you like to play. If you like the idea of stable play where you can stay afloat for a long period of time on a small bankroll, Jacks or Better is the game for you. Just don’t expect too many chances at big payoffs on a single hand.

Bonus pay tables give you those jackpot chances much more often. You just have to prepare for lower payback on common hands. That means you can find your swings between winning and losing to be quite wide-ranging.

Finally, you might choose a Deuces Wild version of Look Ahead Poker video poker. In Deuces Wild games, you have the chance to turn any two in the deck that you receive into whatever card improves your hand the most.

The following pay tables can be found on Look Ahead Poker video poker. You’ll note that payouts for hands like four of a kind, straight flush, full house, and flush often are higher on these pay tables than if you were just playing the standard version of these games. Those higher payouts are one of the ways that Look Ahead Poker compensates for the extra bet.

Jacks or Better Pay Table

Coins/Hands 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight flush 120 240 360 480 600
4 of a kind 30 60 90 120 150
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 7 14 21 28 35
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
3 of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
2 pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hands 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a Kind (Aces) 100 200 300 400 500
Four of a Kind (2s, 3s, 4s) 60 120 180 240 300
Four of a Kind (Any Other) 30 60 90 120 150
Full House 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two Pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks of Better 1 2 3 4 5

Double Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hands 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a Kind (Aces) 200 400 600 800 1000
Four of a Kind (2s, 3s, 4s) 120 240 360 480 600
Four of a Kind (Any Other) 60 120 180 240 300
Full House 10 20 30 40 50
Flush 7 14 21 28 35
Straight 5 10 15 20 25
Three of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two Pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Jacks of Better 1 2 3 4 5

The payback percentages for all of these pay tables come in at over 99%. We highly recommend games such as these. Even though you might be suffering a small loss when playing the game over a long period of time, you can easily make up that amount by taking advantage of loyalty rewards from casinos and top gambling websites.

But you also have to keep in mind that these are what are known as “full-pay” pay tables for Look Ahead Poker video poker. In other words, these are the highest-paying tables you will find for each particular style of play.

You might encounter a Look Ahead Poker video poker machine where the payouts are discounted for certain hands compared to what you see above. If that’s the case, you have to expect that your payback percentage will come down.

Remember that payback percentage isn’t that big of a deal if you’re playing video poker casually and only once in a while. If that’s the case, your luck will have more to do with winning or losing than anything else.

But if you plan on playing Look Ahead Poker video poker regularly in the hopes of making consistent profit, you must try to find the games with the highest payback. Otherwise, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle trying to make any return on your gambling investment.

Learning Strategy for Look Ahead Poker

The strategy for Look Ahead Poker video poker gets a little complex compared to other versions of video poker. That’s because most of the tools which allow you to learn strategy don’t exactly take into account the idea of a player knowing what card is coming to him on the draw.

As we showed above, the “look ahead” card will often have a drastic impact on the way you play a hand. And the only way to maximize your payback percentage when playing Look Ahead Poker video poker is to make the right decisions about which cards to hold and discard for every single deal.

By the “right decisions,” we mean the decisions that will bring the highest expected value to the deal. In other words, you’ll be getting the most out of the deal’s potential when you play it multiple times over a long period.

Learning those decisions without help can be nearly impossible for many hands with multiple possibilities, unless you’re a math genius, of course. For everybody else, there are strategy charts and video poker training software.

Video poker training software lets you simulate play. When you make a wrong decision about a hold or a discard, the software will let you know. In that way, you will learn the mathematically correct plays over time.

It’s doubtful that you will find software solely devoted to Look Ahead Poker video poker. But you might find a reputable video poker training software package that allows you to customize pay tables and add extra features such as the ones included in Look Ahead Poker video poker. That would be the way to go if you choose that.

As for strategy charts, the hard part is finding ones that are meant for Look Ahead Poker video poker. You can find plenty that are tailored to the basic games included under the umbrella, like Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild. But they won’t take into account the “look ahead” card.

Video Poker Strategy Chart

Strategy charts work by ranking combinations of cards that you might receive on the deal. This allows you to know which cards you should keep and which could be discarded. If you memorize a strategy chart, you should be good to go.

Your best bet with strategy charts and Look Ahead Poker video poker is to memorize the one for the version of the game you want to play. Then, when you receive the deal and the identity of the “look ahead” card, simply imagine a six-card hand. You can then follow the rankings as you always would.


Look Ahead Poker video poker lets you get an edge by seeing what’s coming to you. It can lead to massive winning hands if you get lucky and make the right choices. But it can also lead to a disappearing bankroll if you don’t on both counts.