Introduction & A Little History
There are many variations of video poker out there beyond the original Draw Poker machines, like Multi Strike, Quick Quads, Ultimate X, Dream Card Poker, Super Times Pay, and more. But the machine as we know it began in 1970 when Dale Electronics introduced the world’s first video poker machine, the “Poker-Matic.” and paved the way for the VP machine we know and love today.
According to Jerry “Stickman” Stich for 888Casino.com,
- The early versions of the game required at least two pairs in order to make a winning hand.
- Once the lowest winning hand was improved to a pair of jacks or better, the popularity of the game took off.
- Original versions of the game were quite primitive, resembling televisions of the period.
- Patent owner Si Redd’s own company SIRCOMA went public and was renamed International Gaming Technology (IGT) and the rest, as they say, is history.
Jacks or Better (JOB) is the oldest video poker game version, and really is the game that started it all. It started out with 9 credits for a full house and 6 credits for a flush. A 9/6 JOB is considered Full Pay at 99.54%. Most casinos don’t offer JOB at full pay until you get higher in denomination, such as $1, $2, or $5.
Why is it so popular? I go back to the “Stickman” and 888Casino.com with my own comments:
- It is simple to play (at least JOB is for a start)
- Unlike a slot machine, the player has a say in what happens. You can choose how many and which cards to save before drawing to your final hand. (Basic Strategy means the best play for each possible hand. Yes, there is a correct way to play the hand to keep true to the 99.54% payout over time.)
- You play video poker alone – no reason to interact with other players.
- Of all electronic casino games, video poker has the lowest overall house edge. (depending on the provided pay table and your ability to play perfect basic strategy)
- You can determine the casino edge by just looking for key information on the face of the video poker game. (if you know in what your VP game pay table configuration should be for full pay)
So what are the highest pay tables for today’s most popular Video Poker games? Below you’ll find the % to expect for different pay tables offered on the same game by using the full house / flush stats.
Jacks or Better & Bonus Games when 2 two pair pays 2 credits
Jacks or Better
|Pay Table||Payout Percentage|
|Full Pay (9/6) Jacks or Better||99.54%|
|9/5 Jacks or Better||98.45%|
|8/6 Jacks or Better||98.39%|
|8/5 Jacks or Better||97.30%|
|7/5 Jacks or Better||96.15%|
|6/5 Jacks or Better||95.00%|
Bonus Poker is a very common video poker game that has low volatility. It’s played just like Jacks or Better but the pay tables are different and provide bonuses for four of a kinds. Note that 8/5 is tops. 6/5 is often in casinos, so stay away.
|Pay Table||Payout Percentage*|
|8/5 Bonus Poker||99.17%|
|7/5 Bonus Poker||98.01%|
|6/5 Bonus Poker||96.87%|
More Pay Tables
The following games, with pay table and payback %, are also available in casinos. Usually, if any number is diminished, it equals one % less for each single number lowered.
Deuces Wild Poker and it’s Variations
Deuces Wild, as the name suggest’s, the value of deuces (2’s) are wild for all cards. This adds a pay for five of a kind, a wild royal flush and the all important four of a kind deuces. The full pay version is almost impossible to find.
Colorado Deuces can be recognized by the 13-for-1 payback on straight flushes the five of a kind return of 16-for-1. This is also rare.
Not So Lucky Deuces, like most Deuces games, pays only 4-for-1 on four of a kind, but has higher returns than the full-pay game on four hands: five of a kind (16-for-1), straight flush (10-for-1), full house (4-for-1) and flush (3-for-1).
(the first number is 4-of-a-kind, followed by FH, FL)
Double Bonus Poker is variation of Jacks or Better Video Poker, with extra payouts for selected Four of a kind hands. Four Aces will win you an 800 credit payout (when playing 5 credits).
Double Double Bonus Poker (DDB)has become an increasingly popular video poker game. Its popularity stems from the extra bonus payoff that you get with four aces, 2s, 3s, or 4s accompanied with a “kicker” (a specific fifth card that is in the same hand as the four-of-a-kind). What follows are some facts about the game (good and bad), and some tips to improve your chances of winning.
Triple Double Bonus Pokeris well liked by many video poker players. The most player-friendly pay table returns 99.58% (9/7) and the most common pay table 98.15%. (9/6)
If you count the number of basic game and their pay table differences above (there is also Super Triple Play & Triple triple Bonus) and multiply them times the number of formats (Triple Play, 5-play, 10-play, 25-play, 50-play, & 100-play) and then the many games that offers them (Multi Strike, Quick Quads, Ultimate X, Dream Card Poker, Super Times Pay – VideoPoker.com offers over 60!) and you have hundreds to choose from (as well as a run-on sentence). So the above is just the tip of the iceberg. But it’ll get you started at being aware of the best games available in your casino of choice.
Remember when gambling, follow the math, not the myth.