Video Poker is one of the most popular casino games. There are many different versions of the game, and if played correctly, and with a bit of luck, the games can be winnable. The most popular are the Jacks or Better single play games such as:
Jacks or Better
Double Bonus Poker
Double Double Bonus Poker
Video Poker uses standard poker hand rankings to determine payout amounts from a pair of Jacks up to the highest possible five card hand, the Royal Flush.
How to Play
Once the game is selected, one to five credits (coins) per hand may be wagered. After the deal/draw button is pressed, five cards from a standard 52 card deck are dealt face up onto the screen. The player then has the option to hold or discard as many cards as s/he wishes. The discards are replaced by the 47 remaining cards after the deal/draw button is pressed again.
How to Read the Pay Tables
It’s important to know how to read the pay tables that are displayed on the screen for easy reading. The single play games are the 5 credit/coin maximum bet per hand. Players may bet from one to five credits per hand. The popular games for the average player(s) are the quarter and dollar games. The max bet per hand for quarters is $1.25, and $5 for the dollar games.
The Jacks or Better game that has a high return rate of 99.5% is known as 9/6 Jacks. The nine referring to a one unit credit payout for a Full House, and the six for a one unit payout with a flush. This is the nomenclature used for all the aforementioned games in the Jacks or Better Family. Here is the pay table for the 9/6 base game per credits (coins) bet from 1 to 5:
Royal Flush – 250/ 500/ 750/ 1,000/ 4,000
Straight Flush – 50/ 100/ 150/ 200/ 250
4 of a Kind – 25/ 50/ 75/ 100/ 125
Full House – 9/ 18/ 24/ 36/ 45
Flush – 6/ 12/ 18/ 24/ 30
Straight – 4/ 8/ 12/ 16/ 20
3 of a Kind – 3/ 6/ 9/ 12/ 15
Two Pair – 2/ 4/ 6/ 8/ 10
Pair Jacks/Better – 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5
Note that all max credit payouts are multiplied by 5 times the one credit except for the Royal Flush. It is Prudent to always bet the maximum of five credits.
For the bonus Jacks or Better games There are different payouts for 4 of a kind depending on rank and game chosen. For example, Double Bonus pays 250 credits with four 5’s through Kings with max credits (5) bet, four 2 through 4 pays 400 credits, and four Aces pays 800 credits. For Double Double Bonus, four Aces with a 2,3,or 4 pays 2,000 credits.
These attractive payouts at the top end do not come without a giving back to the house in the lower paying hands. For example, the 9/6 payout is reduced to 8/5, even lower in some jurisdictions. In Double Bonus the 2 for 1 return for two pair is reduced to a push. (1 for 1). That’s important to know because two pair is a frequently dealt hand. The return for an 8/5 game is 96.4%. Note that the house edge is 3% more for the bonus games than the basic Jacks or Better game.
There is a skill element when playing Video Poker. Knowing the proper strategy is essential. Here are some tips to assist you during your decision making while you play. Low cards are 2 through 9, high cards are 10 through Ace. If you have:
Hand / Strategy
- 5 low cards – Discard all if no pair, draw all new
- A pair of anything – Hold the pair, discard the others
- One high card (J,Q,K,A) – Hold the face card, discard the others
- 2 or more unsuited high. cards – Hold all, discard others
- A suited 10 and one high card – Hold both, draw three (possible Royal)
- Two or more suited high cards – Hold all, draw to possible Royal
- Unsuited J,Q,K,A – Hold for possible straight
- Three or four low suited cards – Hold for possible flush, straight flush
- Any four cards to a straight – Hold for possible straight
- Three suited cards to a straight – Hold for possible straight flush, or flush
- High pair (Jacks or better) – Hold the pair
- Two pair – Hold both pairs
- Straight – Hold all 5 cards
- Flush – Hold all 5 cards
- Full House – Hold all 5 cards
- Four of a kind – Hold all 4 cards
- Straight Flush – Hold all 5 cards
- Royal Flush – HOLD ‘EM ALL!
Have fun and Good Luck!