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Video Poker Basics, Short Pay, Full Pay Variations

Let’s begin your basic Video Poker Education.

The two techniques that are mandatory to becoming an educated and prepared video poker player are:

1) how to read a pay schedule with additional education to know the difference between short/partial pay and full-pay versions, plus

2) strategies for all the VP types/games.

Pay Schedules:

In a grouping of video poker machines, known as banks or carousels, all of which may look exactly the same, casinos will often ‘mix-in’ several VP machines with inferior pay programs (short/partial pay). Often, in a bank of regular non-progressive, non-bonus VP machines, only 1 or 2 may be the Jacks or better 9/6 (nine coins for a full house, and 6 coins for a flush), while the rest are 8/5, 7/5, or even worse, 6/5. This means that one player, on the 9/6 machine, will be winning more for the same hands than the other players. If you bet 5 coins, all winning hands are paid out multiplied by a factor of five, except for the royal flush. This is a bonus amount designed as an incentive to play five coins. All those players who play less than maximum coins are setting up the best payoffs for those who do.

Below is the average overall payback percentage for ten of the best VP versions. These percentages are maintained with maximum coins per hand, ‘full-pay’ schedule play and perfect strategy.

  • 1) 10/4 Loose Deuces--4 Deuces pays 2500=100.97%
  • 2) 9/5 Deuces Wild=100.76%
  • 3) 7/5 Jokers Wild--5 of a kind pays 1000, Quad pays 100=100.64%.
  • 4) 9/6 Double Double Jackpot Poker--2 pair pays 1=100.35%
  • 5) 10/7 Double Bonus--2 pair pays 1=100.17%
  • 6) Pick ‘Em Poker--pair of 9’s+ min. payout=99.95%
  • 7) 11/7 Triple Bonus Poker--Kings+ min.payout=99.94%
  • 8) 9/6 Jacks+--2 pair pays 2= 99.54%
  • 9) 8/5 Bonus Jacks+--2 pair pays 2, Four Aces pays 400=99.17%
  • 10) 9/6 Double Double Bonus--4 Aces with 2, 3 or 4 pays 2000=98.98%
  • The first two numbers reflect the payouts for a full house and flush as per one coin payout. Therefore, a 10/7 Bonus VP version #5, would pay 10 coins for a full house and 7 coins for a flush for a one coin bet.

    The exception being for Deuces Wild versions--#1 and #2, which reflect the payouts for a straight flush and 4 of a kind as per one coin payout. The minimum payout for Deuces games is 3-of-a-kind. #4 ‘Jackpot’ version is also known as Aces and Faces where the higher payouts are reserved for Aces, Kings, Queens and Jacks. In addition, because Bonus VP versions offer higher payouts for four aces and four 2’s, 3’s and 4’s, the pair and two pair payouts are often the same--1 coin. VP versions that pay 2 for 2 pair are #8 and #9 Jacks+ and Bonus Jacks+ in the guide above. It bears repeating that these percentages are maintained with maximum coins, full-pay schedules and perfect strategy in play. The actual payout of any video poker machine is determined not only by its schedule but also by how you select discards. Since playing errors can reduce the payout, just sitting down in front of a full pay machine won’t help you unless you learn the correct strategies.

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