Video Poker Odds and Payouts – Understand Different Games

Video poker odds

4 minutes

Last Updated: November 6, 2021

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Video poker machines were among the first electronic gambling machines to appear in casinos around the world. Over the years, slot machines have overtaken them in popularity, but they still remain ever-present in the gambling world.

Video poker games lost their appeal mostly due to a lack of visual and sound effects. This is one area in which slot machines have been improving steadily throughout the years.

However, video poker remains one of the best games to play in a casino in terms of odds and payouts. Most video poker odds exceed 99%.

In this article, I will talk about video poker payouts, the differences between various video poker games, and the strategies you can apply to win the most when playing video poker games live or online.

We are going to look for the best video poker game to play, and I will explain just why certain types of these machines should be avoided in favor of others.

How Video Poker Works – Basic Rules and Payouts

There are many types of video poker games out there, each with a different set of rules. However, in general, video poker games all mimic the game of Five Card Draw, one of the most popular poker variants out there.

On a video poker machine, you are dealt five cards out of a virtual deck. You then get to pick whether you will keep these cards or discard them. You may keep any cards you prefer and replace the ones you don't like with others.

After the draw, payouts are made based on premade video poker pay tables. Unlike the actual Five Card Draw game, there is no betting or bluffing involved in video poker.

The video poker odds in most games are set up in such a way that the player should end up losing very small amounts of money over the long run.

The casinos banked that the small house edge would keep players playing for extended periods, which was usually true.

Today, with casinos loaded with video slot machines which often have an RTP of 95% or lower, video poker machines are a real treasure. With RTP usually higher than 99%, the value of playing these games over video slots can’t be overstated.

However, in order to truly understand how video poker games work, we must explore the different variants of the game. So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular video poker variations and how they differ from each other.

Jacks or Better Video Poker Odds

Jacks or Better is one of the most basic video poker games out there, found in most casinos around the world.

In Jacks or Better, you are trying to make at least a pair of jacks to get any payout at all, with a royal flush set as the game’s jackpot.

If you are going to start playing Jacks or Better, you need to first understand how video poker odds and payouts work.

The pay table is made up based on the actual chances of making various hands. The casino has to give itself a slight edge, so the game makes make the pay table slightly rigged in the casino's favor.

Video poker pay tables

Jacks or Better is the one video poker game that has many different versions with different pay tables. To give yourself the best chances to win, you want to find full pay video poker machines.

The way you will determine this is by looking at payouts for a full house and flush combinations. On a full pay machine, a full house will pay 9 coins, and a flush will pay 6 coins.

The 9-6 payout machines usually don’t have any other tricks, but you should also make sure that a straight pays 4 coins, three of a kind 3 coins, two pair 2 coins, and a pair of jacks or better 1 coin.

On a machine like this, you will have the best video poker experience and an RTP of well over 99%. This will put you almost on even with the casino.

Jacks or Better Video Poker Full Paytable
Royal Flush800
Straight Flush50
Four of a Kind25
Full House9
Three of a Kind3
Two Pair2
Pair (jacks or better)1

Tens or Better Video Poker Payouts

Tens or Better is a slightly expanded version of the Jacks or Better video poker machine. The only big difference in gameplay, as the name suggests, is that a pair of tens also produces a payout.

Video poker payouts can significantly differ between different versions of the Tens or Better video poker, and there is one main thing to look at.

On the Tens or Better video poker pay table, look at the payout for four of a kind. If you find a machine that pays 25 coins, you have found a machine with over 99% in payouts. If it pays 20 coins, stay away as your RTP is just under 98%.

Tens or Better Video Poker Full Paytable
Poker HandPayoutChance to Hit
Royal flush8000.000026
Straight flush500.000104
Four of a Kind200.002357
Full house60.011493
Three of a Kind30.074218
Two Pair20.128936
One Pair (tens or better)10.254368

Deuces Wild Video Poker

Surely, it is hard to believe that there is a casino game in which you can be a favorite to win, but Deuces Wild video poker is exactly such a game.

Deuces Wild is one of the best video poker games out there, in which every deuce serves as a joker card, replacing any other card as needed to form winning poker hands.

Payouts in the game of Deuces Wild start at three of a kind, with two pair hands still paying nothing. Even three of a kind only pays out 1 coin, while straights and flushes are worth 2 coins each.

Video poker payouts

That said, a full pay Deuces Wild machine with such payouts has an RTP rate of 100.76%. The odds and payouts in this game are simply not perfectly calibrated, and expert players can take advantage.

However, keep in mind that in order to get the full potential from this or any other video poker machine, you will have to play perfectly all the time. Making mistakes will cost you money, just like it does in real poker.

Deuces Wild Video Poker Full Paytable
HandPayoutChance to Hit
Natural royal flush8000.000022
Four deuces2000.000204
Wild royal flush250.001796
Five of a kind150.003202
Straight flush90.004168
Four of a kind50.064938
Full house30.021229
Three of a kind10.284690

Bonus Video Poker Odds

Bonus Poker is another deviation of the Jacks or Better video poker game. To get a minimal payout in this game, you will need to get a pair of jacks or a better poker combination.

The difference in the pay table of this game is that additional bonuses are paid for different four-of-a-kind combinations.

Namely, a bonus is paid for four of a kind 5s through Kings, a bigger bonus for four of a kind 2-4, and the biggest bonus for four aces. In Bonus Poker, four aces are worth more than a straight flush, despite being lower in the poker hands rankings.

Like all other video poker machines, the final returns differ on the video poker odds and the paytable the game uses.

A full payout Bonus Poker will produce returns of some 99.2%, which is not the best video poker version, but it's pretty good. However, make sure the game pays 55 coins for a straight flush and 80 coins for four aces. Anything less, and you may be looking at a low-paying machine.

Bonus Video Poker Full Paytable
HandPayoutChance to Hit
Royal flush8000.000025
Straight flush500.000107
4 aces800.000196
4 2-4400.000527
4 5-K250.001640
Full house80.011514
3 of a kind30.074468
Two pair20.129308
One Pair (jacks or better)10.215259

Super Double Bonus Video Poker

If you are really into chasing the big hands and want to get maximum payouts when you get lucky, Super Double Bonus Poker is the best video poker machine for you.

This game pays massive bonuses for getting four of a kind, with four aces worth as much as 160 coins. The full pay Super Double Bonus Poker pays 99.6% when played optimally.

Best video poker game

To make sure you are playing a full pay machine, check the full house payout and make sure it is at 9 coins. A machine with an 8 coin payout for a full house is not worth your time.

Super Double Bonus Video Poker Full Paytable
HandPayoutChance to Hit
Royal Flush8000.000025
Straight Flush800.000112
4 Aces1600.000221
4 J-K1200.000586
4 2-4800.000527
4 5-10500.001050
Full House90.010836
3 of a Kind30.074994
Two Pair10.122841
Jacks or Better10.216679
Total Return1.000000

Aces and Faces Video Poker Odds

Another one of the best video poker games, Aces and Faces, is yet another variant of the Jacks or Better machine, with some extra twists and turns.

Payouts in the Aces and Faces video poker start with a pair of jacks, while a royal flush is the game’s jackpot.

Special payouts are made for four-of-a-kind hands, and four aces should pay 80 coins, while four of a kind of any picture card will pay you 40 coins.

With a full payout, Aces and Faces video poker pays out 99.25%, which is a solid payout rate for a video poker machine and definitely better than what you can get in most other casino games.

Aces and Faces Video Poker Full Paytable
HandPayoutChance to Hit
Royal Flush8000.000025
Straight Flush500.000106
Four aces800.000196
Four J-K400.000587
Four 2-10250.001580
Full House80.011515
Three of a kind30.074474
Two pair20.129318
Jacks or Better10.215399

Joker Poker Video Poker Payouts

Jokers are not normally a part of any poker game, but Joker Poker is one of the video poker machines that do include the card.

With a joker in the deck, the chances of making big hands increase, which is why the payouts in Joker Poker start with a pair of kings.

This full pay video poker machine has such amazing payouts that the full potential a player can realize is 100.64%, an actual positive expectation.

It may be difficult to find a Joker Poker machine with a full pay table, but if you do, you will have a chance to actually make money gambling. Just remember, you will need to learn the best possible strategy for the game before you can start winning.

Joker Poker Video Poker Full Paytable
HandPayoutChance to Hit
Natural royal flush8000.000024
Five of a kind2000.000093
Wild royal flush1000.000104
Straight flush500.000575
Four of a kind200.008555
Full house70.015679
Three of a kind20.133937
Two pair10.110873
One Pair (kings or better)10.141958

Use the Paytable to Your Advantage

Video poker machines are fairly simple in terms of how players get paid. The most important part of your video poker strategy should be to find the best video poker pay tables around.

Once you find a video poker machine that has the right payout rate, you can start mastering the specific gameplay strategy for that game.

As you could see in the description of various video poker games, some of them are actually profitable when played optimally.

The one thing you should remember is to always ensure you are playing on a machine with full payouts. The payouts you can see in the images below each game in this guide are the full pay tables, and anything less than that will cost you money.

Also, keep in mind that these numbers are not a given, and you will need to play optimally to get to the percentages I mentioned.

You can find out more about optimal playing strategies in my other guides for each game but remember you only need to learn the strategy for the particular machine you are playing on.

Full pay video poker

Video Poker Odds & Payouts FAQ

What is RTP in video poker?

RTP stands for return to player. It is expressed in percentages, and it signifies the amount of money that a video poker machine returns to the players in the long run. The higher the RTP, the more theoretical chance you have to win in a particular game.

What video poker game has the best RTP?

All video poker games have a high RTP, but some are better than others. Games like Joker Poker and Deuces Wild video poker actually have positive expectations, with an RTP of more than 100%. This means you can win money if you play them right.

What are full pay video poker machines?

A full pay video poker machine is one that offers the best possible payout for that variant. All games have different versions, some of which offer a lower payout for some hands. You should always look to find a machine with full pays for maximum winning potential.

Is video poker more profitable than other casino games?

In almost all cases, yes! Video poker machines with full payouts offer more than 99% in payouts, and some even more than 100%. Other gambling games often offer 95% or less, and this is especially true for slots that are usually in the 95% range online and 90% in live casinos and local poker rooms.

How can I get the most out of a video poker game?

If you want to get the best possible video poker payouts, you will need to learn how to play the machine. This means knowing which cards to keep and which to discard in every possible situation. Learning this strategy will be crucial in reaching the full potential of the machine in question.

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