Video Poker – A Game of Skill That’s Winnable If Played With Proper Strategy, and a Bit of Luck

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

Bonus Poker

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!

Casino Games With a Skill Element – A New Genre for Millennials While Playing

The reasons for the influx of skill games in casinos today can be summed up in three little words: Millennials, Millennials, Millennials! We all know what happened when casinos noticed in the early 1980’s that more people were playing slots than table games. While the now oldest of the millennials were having their diapers changed, their baby boomer parents were bypassing the blackjack tables to play the one arm bandits, which now account for over 80% of gaming revenue.

Those that were born in the early 1980’s to the late 1990’s are Millennials that grew up playing video games, and the casinos also took notice that this generation didn’t care to sit in front of a machine that did all the work for them in order to win. They want to be involved to make it happen. This led to the introduction of games of skill at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

Two Companies, GameCo and Gamblit Gaming, introduced their wares at the expo and by all accounts, things look very promising for skill-based games. Other companies, Konami, Scientific Games, and Next Gaming are creating their own versions to attract the Gen Y’s.

Here’s a brief look at what could be coming soon to a casino near you:

GameCo Products

Danger Arena

Skill-based Video Game Gambling Machines (VGM), with patented game design, maintain the same return to player as traditional slot machines. Play as Baz or Thyme to conquer Danger Arena. Take out 6 or more Danger Bots and you’re in the money. Eliminate 10 bots for top payout!

Pharaoh’s Secret Temple

The adventure has begun and players must unlock the riches of the Pharaoh’s Secret Temple by matching gems to collect rare treasures before their time is up. Gamble playing this casual video game with awesome boosts, Power-Up Prizes, charms, and Egyptian-themed traps.

Nothin’ but Net – Basketball

Get ready to hit the courts with a new game. Players can choose from a male or female player and have 16 chances to win big. Your skills will be challenged as you test your range from down-low to downtown. Just don’t miss the money ball!

Gamblit Gaming Products

Cannonbeards Treasure

An adventure awaits in the deep blue as 2-4 players engage in a fast-paced game of cards, skill, and naval warfare! Build a hand by grabbing the cards you need and reach the objective first to win a chest of gold! Be careful not to bust lest your opponent’s take the booty! makes for an extremely social, interactive and satisfying experience that will keep players engaged as they lower the sails and take to the seas!

Gamblit Poker

Grab the best poker hand and win big! This game puts a fast paced, irresistibly fun, skill-based spin on the ubiquitous game of poker. This 2-4-person game makes for a highly social, head to head interactive table experience that can result in cash winnings up to 240x your bet! Each player starts with two cards which, as soon as the game begins, are followed by a single deck of cards shown in rapid succession in the middle of the table. Players have to quickly grab the cards they need in order to complete the best possible poker hand. The player with the best hand wins the pot!

Other games of skill that may soon occupy the gaming floors are Terminator 2, Mission Impossible, and Judgment Day

Keep in mind that these, like any other casino game, carry a House Edge.

Good Luck with skill!