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.

 

 

Playing Video Poker Like Jean Scott – The Monday Link

Jean Scott

We have featured Jean Scott one way or another many times at NETimeGambling, mostly because years ago, as a beginner video poker player, I followed her VP suggestions and frugal gambling tips.

Related articles include:

10 Money-Saving Tips For the Casino – Jean Scott, The Queen of Coupons

Big Data, Casinos, & Jean Scott

The Frugal Gambler, Jean Scott – Challenging New Post, Essential New Book

Timothy Dawson from LegitGamblingSites.com wrote today’s Monday Link article

Playing Video Poker Like Jean Scott

What I like about Jean’s work is she leans toward helping the low to mid level player.  Her philosophy is not beyond the realm of the recreational gambler.  To understand what I mean, you must read the above post.  Enjoy it – it could change the way you play video poker in approach and winning.

Binbin

Video Poker – Choosing the Best Game

If you ask Video Poker players “what is the best video poker to play?” don’t expect an answer before they ask you some questions. It’s not a black & white answer – there’s a lot of grey area in consideration. Some questions might include:

  • What’s your bankroll?
  • Have you played before or are you a newbie?
  • Do you prefer volatile games (bigger payout possibilities with an expected quicker loss in bankroll) or do you prefer to play longer with less volatility?
  • Are you interested to learn the correct strategy to maximize your time and reduce the house advantage or do you just want to play for fun and figure it out as you go?

So Many Games to Choose From. Each game has different pay tables, denominations and can be played on a single line or multiple lines. Let’s use Jacks or Better as our base game for this post.

First Consideration – Denomination & HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED?

This is where your bankroll comes into play. Remember, a bankroll is a totally separate amount of money dedicated to casino gaming – not to the money to pay bills, or even the amount in your pocket. It’s a totally separate amount!

.You can play single line games at nickel (hard to find outside of Nevada), quarter, fifty cents, $1, $2, $5, $10, $25 and even $100 machines.  Keep in mind that this depends on your bankroll and, in this player’s opinion, playing max bet of five coins. For more info on playing Max Bet, click on “Video Poker &  Max Bet.”

Super Times Pay Video Poker

Super Times Pay Video Poker

If you are interested in multi-line games, such Triple Play, Five Play, Ten Play, Twenty-five Play, Fifty Play or One Hundred Play, you may want to drop down from quarters to nickels or even pennies, depending on the number of lines.

So, you probably want to know how much is needed to give you the best chance of a winning play.

According to 888Casino, “The first rule of thumb most players hear when it comes to video poker is that for the long term you need about three to four times the amount won when you hit a royal flush on your game and denomination of choice. Specifically, if you are planning to play a 25 cent Jacks or Better game (standard game, not a progressive) where the royal flush pays 4,000 credits (which comes to $1,000), you need three to four times that amount or $3,000 to $4,000 dollars………If, instead you plan on playing a standard dollar Jacks or Better game where the jackpot once again is 4,000 credits, you will need $12,000 to $16,000 since the dollar amount of the royal flush is now $4,000.”

Please note that this for standard JOB. The higher the volatility (Bonus Poker, Double Bonus & Double Double Bonus as examples), the higher your bankroll should be.

new TO VIDEO POKER? A FEW BASICS

The solitary play of a video poker player.

If you are new to video poker, the first thing you should understand that while it uses poker card rankings for the basis of pay out, that’s really where the comparison ends. You can’t bluff the machine or figure out OPTIMAL STRATEGY by yourself.

So, how does this game work?  A Random Number Generator (RNG) deals 5 cards from a 52 card deck. (Some games use more, such as Joker Poker). The player chooses the cards to keep, presses draw to get replacement cards for those discarded to make the second and last 5 card hand which decides the payout. Most VP machines deal the draw cards from the continuous RNG.

Again, I refer to 888Casino concerning three major differences from slots, real poker and video poker:

  1. Unlike slot players, video poker players have a say in the outcome of the game.
  2. Because the player has a choice in video poker play, it is possible to play the hands in a way that is most beneficial to the player.
  3. Only a mathematically derived video poker playing strategy will get you the most from your video poker play.

VIDEO POKER LEARNING AIDS

John Grochowski. In one of the many publications he writes for, suggested the following software programs to help improve your strategy and speed.

To practice hundred’s of Video Poker games, and the newest multiline games, go to VideoPoker.com. Subscribe monthly and you will get a trainer to help you play most games with correct strategy.

The staple to any VP beginner’s book library would be John Grochowski’s “The Video Poker Answer Book.”  It’s a great place to start.

Want to know what casinos have the best Video Poker, or if they have any playable VP?  Go to vpFREE2, the “preeminent online resource for serious video poker players.” Their goal is to provide a complete inventory of the best video poker games available and make that information available for free to our users. Check out all eight New England casinos and the video poker they offer, as well dollars in for points, where the games are in the casinos, and more

Strategy Cards 

Strategy cards are available and legal.

Steve Bourie’s American Casino Guide offers free strategy cards you can print at home. The ACG website covers all of America’s casinos, games and strategies. The annual American Casino Guide also offers coupons for gambling & dining for casinos all over, with the vast majority to be used in Las Vegas. It’s a wonderful resource. For free VP Strategy cards, click HERE  Remember, strategy cards are easily available and legal to use in the casino.

The Draw

A very simple rule when looking for the best video poker game for your play is to look at the full house/flush payouts. Those two numbers with the specific game will usually determine the expected payout %.  Another part of the payout structure to look at is the pay for four-of-the-kinds (quads). You will find that the higher the quad payout is, the more volatile the game can be, and so, a larger bankroll is needed.

Recreational gambling is about being prepared and having fun. Video poker can be a grind, so if it’s not fun, move on to something else. But the more prepared you are, the more fun it will be.

Related articles:

Video Poker & Max Bet

Video Poker Considerations for Lower Pay Tables – Jerry “Stickman” Stitch

Video Poker Players – Don’t Rush the Royal Flush

Slot Machine & VP Etiquette – Final Part

Binbin

Remember, “When gambling, embrace the math, not the myth”