Know Your Game – Video Poker Pay Tables

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.

Dale Electronics’ Poker-Matic video poker slot machine – the first-ever automated video poker machine, 1970.

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.

A 1980 IGT Video Poker machine.

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)

Pay Table Pay-back
25/15/10/4/3/2
94.82%
20/10/8/4/4/3
95.96%
25/16/13/4/3/2
96.77%
20/12/9/4/4/3
97.06%
20/12/10/4/4/3
97.58%
25/15/9/4/4/3
98.91%
25/16/10/4/4/3
99.73%
25/15/11/4/4/3
99.96%
25/15/9/5/3/2
100.76%

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).

Pay Table Pay-back
7/5
93.11%
8/5
94.19%
9/6/4
96.38%
9/6/5
97.81%
9/7/5
99.11%
10/7
100.17%

 

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.

Pay Table Pay-back
6/5
95.12%
7/5
96.17%
8/5
97.25%
9/5
98.33%
9/6
99.44%

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)

Pay Table Pay-back
7/5
94.92%
8/5
95.97%
9/5
97.02%
9/6
98.15%
9/7
99.58%

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.

Binbin

Remember when gambling, follow the math, not the myth.

 

 

When the Video Poker Machine Hesitates – What Does It Mean?

HC MoheganSun.jpgWe have all been there – those of us who play Video Poker and Slots.  You’re playing along, things are going well, and then it happens……the machine pause for a moment!  What does it mean?  Was I winning too much?  Did someone in the “Office Upstairs” turn on that switch that changes winning into losing?

Conspiracy thoughts abound.

Well, you know what it means?  NOTHING!  At least it isn’t a reaction to ant success you’ve had previously.

Yes, we think it might have stopped our winning momentum, or the rhythmic luck we had our mojo in, but nope – it doesn’t have a clue how much you were winning or how your mojo was – it’s a machine and it doesn’t have the consciousness or emotion to care!

A 1980 IGT Video Poker machine.

So, what DOES IT MEAN? Well, certain machines – especially certain generations of Video Poker machine manufactured by IGT – pause every so often to do it’s accounting.  In other words, the counting of hands played, coin in & coin out, for example, are kept in short term memory.  On the IGT VP machines, for example, every 100 hands, it is downloaded into long-term memory, much like your computer does at times.  The more games and denominations on a single terminal, the longer it may take – a single game with a single denomination would be barely noticed.

You will find fewer and fewer machines with that hesitation these days, due to better software upgrades.

Of course we, as human beings, may notice it happen when we are winning, and shortly after we start losing.  “They must have known I was winning!!!!” you might yell.  But, seriously, nothing could be farther from the truth.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

6 Crucial Habits for Slot & Video Poker Players

senior-playing-slotsIf you love to play slots at your casino of choice, then you love the excitement that precedes that first pull. You spot one of your favorite machines, it’s open and calling you to join in. You rush to it like a long lost friend. But in the rush to play, many players forget to be mindful of certain important events that precede that play – there are things you need to check before that first push of the button. So many slot players get caught up in the excitement of playing, the anticipation of winning or even the disappointment of a losing session, that they forget the following checklist before they play. Forgetting any one of the following items could cost you money and/or comps. Remember this Pre-Play Checklist

1. Get a Rewards Card

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

MLife Rewards Club of MGM

It’s free. It reduces the casino edge by earning comps on dining, shows, and giveaways. That free hotel room might not feel free with losses, but if you’re going to play, get something for it, no matter how little you may play. And, always get two cards. How many times do you lose your card or forget it in a machine? Lots! Before you regret sitting at that favorite machine and finding your card is missing, always ask for more than one card at the rewards desk.

2. Check the Game Denomination

Have you ever played a penny slot machine, only to realize it was a dollar, not a penny? It happens when slot and video poker players mistake the basic denomination of the machine. Be sure you’re spending the correct amount you intend for your bankroll.  Some machines have denomination options, like nickel, quarter, or dollar video poker.  Be careful on these machines after you have chosen which game to play – you still may have to check and choose the correct denomination for your play.

3. Check Your Players Card

Being More Careful with your Players Card is just one of the things to be careful with in the casino

If I only had a dollar for every time I made a player aware that their players card needed to be re-inserted, I could double my bankroll. Before you play, insert your card and wait to see that it registers your name. If it starts blinking, take it out completely and try it again. Some casinos, like Mohegan Sun, only process one event at a time.  If you love to put in your money or TITO at the same time as the card, the card usually doesn’t register. Take your time and insert one, then the other.

By the way, don’t be a “conspiracy Charlie” (or Charlene) concerning what the card does. It is not connected to changes in denomination, it doesn’t change payoff percentage because “it knows you won” and it doesn’t hold back jackpots. Don’t play without your Card, it’s the only way you can earn comps these days with the new casino players clubs. Most casinos only comp you only according to the playing data registered by your card.

4. Be Sure Your Money or TITO Ticket registers in the Machine

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

Sometimes in your rush, you have trouble with your money or your ticket. One trick is to use a machine next to you if you have trouble. Some slots just have trouble reading what you add. Use that machine to get a fresh TITO Ticket.

5. One Last Check – Money in, players card registering, the denomination is correct. Ready to go.

6. Leaving the Machine

Before you leave that machine, win or lose, follow these easy quick Habits for Leaving the Machine. This habit will stop leaving your players cards in the machine as well as your money.  Yes, it does happen!  And there are people in the casino watching for just that mistake.  It only takes a moment with you looking the other way to happen someone snatch your ticket without you noticing.  It happened to me one morning at Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, it can happen to you, too.

When cashing out, get in the following habit:

  1. Push cash out button.
  2. Right hand takes card
  3. Left hand positioned at TITO dispenser.
  4. Check for both in hand before leaving.

Remember, CARD & TICKET, CARD & TICKET.

Now, go get that jackpot.

Binbin