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Tens or Better Video Poker Guide: Rules, Pay Tables, and Tips

Tens or Better is a video poker variant resembling Jacks or Better, the most popular variation of the game. However, the main difference is that a pair of tens or better will yield a win, which makes this game less volatile than Jacks or Better.

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Wild Casino

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Cafe Casino

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Image of Tens or Better Video Poker

If you’ve played Jacks or Better before, you’ll have less trouble understanding how Tens or Better works. However, if you’re a complete newbie, this article will help you understand the basics.

We’ll explain the rules and pay tables and offer some tips to set you up for success.

How to Play Tens or Better

Most video poker titles have simple gameplay, and Tens or Better is no different. Still, even though you will not be required to face other players, relying on your skills will benefit your gameplay. 

For starters, let’s focus on hand rankings since the strength of your hand determines the payout:

  • Tens or better — A pair of 10s, J, Q, K, and A
  • Two-pair — Two pairs
  • Three of a kind — Three cards of the same value
  • Straight — Five cards of consecutive rank (e.g., 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Flush — Five cards of the same suit
  • Full house — Three of a kind and a pair
  • Four of a kind — Four cards of the same value
  • Straight flush — Five consecutive cards of the same suit
  • Royal flush — 10, J, Q, K, and A of the same suit

How to Register at a Tens or Better Online Casino

Before you begin playing, you’ll need to register at an online casino — simply pick an operator from our top recommendations, set up an account, and fund it. Once the game lobby has loaded, you can select Tens or Better and press Play. Here’s what happens next:

  1. You’ll get to decide how many hands to play. You can play with up to 100 hands per round.

  2. Adjust the bet size by pressing +/-, and click on the Draw button.

  3. The computer will deal five random cards, and you can choose which ones to hold for the next round. If you like the hand, you can pick all five. By the same token, if you don’t like any of them, you can discard them all.

  4. If you‘ve rejected some cards, the second draw will determine the result. If you have a winning combination, you’ll get a payout according to the pay table.

  5. That’s it!

Tens or Better Pay Tables

The Tens or Better payouts depend on the card combination and the number of wagered coins. However, it’s important to mention that they also vary between different game providers.

Image of Tens or Better Pay table Single Hand
Image of Tens or Better Pay table Single Hand

Most online Tens or Better games offer lower payouts, while the full-pay version is typically found in land-based casinos

Below is a full-pay Tens or Better pay table:

Hands/Coins1 coin2 coins3 coins4 coins5 coins
Tens or better12345
Two pair246810
Three of a kind3691215
Full House612182430
Four of a kind255075100125
Straight flush50100150200250
Royal flush2505007501,0004,000

Tips for Playing Tens or Better

Tens or Better (and video poker titles in general) are a mix of luck and skill. While you can’t predict which cards you’ll be dealt, you can choose which ones to hold or discard. Your input can have a bearing on the outcome.

Here are some tips to help you maximize your winning potential:

  1. Never break up a paying hand unless you need a different card for a royal flush.

  2. Keep a high pair unless you have a shot at landing a straight flush or a royal flush.

  3. Never discard a four of a kind, especially if they are high cards.

  4. Keep two suited high-value cards.

  5. If you land nothing on the first draw, keep at least one high card.


Tens or Better is an engaging game offered in many land-based and online casinos. Although it’s not packed with wilds or bonus payouts like some other video poker titles, its excellent RTP rate and high hit frequency make it a great option for players of all tastes and preferences. 

While Tens or Better isn’t at the top of the list for high rollers, it’s an excellent choice for beginners looking to dip their toes in online gambling.  


Can I win big in Tens or Better? Although you can get neat payouts, the maximum prize tends to be lower than in other video poker titles like Jack or Better because it’s relatively easy to win.
What’s the difference between Tens or Better and Jack or Better? Both games have nearly the same rules and pay tables. The only major difference is that in Jacks or Better, you need a pair of jacks to win, while a pair of tens yields a win in Tens or Better.
What’s the Tens or Better RTP? The return-to-player rate depends on the software provider. However, Tens or Better typically carries high RTP rates (97.90% and up).
Can I play Tens or Better for free? Yes, you can. Many online casinos offer Tens or Better in demo mode.
What’s the best winning combination in Tens or Better? You’ll get the biggest payout in Tens or Better with the royal flush — a ten, jack, queen, king, and ace of the same suit.

About the Author

Author Hi all! My name is Jayson Peter, and I am the Chief Editor here at Casino USA. I have always been a huge fan of casinos, but I noticed that there are not a lot of websites out there that discuss the gambling industry in enough detail, so that’s how the idea for was born. With my extensive knowledge of the industry and the help of my team, I am ready to give you an insight into the exciting world of casino gambling in the United States.