When it comes to games like video poker that use a format likened to slots, many players become somewhat discouraged. Here, in our video poker guide, we discuss and take a look that the odds of playing video poker inside of casinos and tell you what the likelihood of winning is upon these machines.
Introducing online Video Poker
The game of video poker is something a little different, instead of playing on a table like a normal game of poker, the cards are lifted onto a slot machine for people to try their luck on. Play may not be as flashy as others, indeed the game looks like something out of the 90s. But, the fact remains, your odds of winning are far better than what you would expect off a regular slot machine.
There are elements of tactical strategy play that can help decrease the house edge over the game, but remove this and what are the actual video poker odds?
Taking a calculated chance
Video poker is a popular feature in any casino, be it online or on the strip of Las Vegas. Now it may come across as a game of chance, but many avid fans of the card game believe it is more about skills. Rather than feel that fate is in the hands of the casino, they know that each move has a significant impact on the game’s outcome. With online slots, this is not the case, there is no choice, rather a case of continuously pressing the ‘spin’ button.
When you pay to experience a slot feature you will find those odds of a payout are in the region of 70% to 90%. With video poker, the player can expect it to be in the region of 97% to 99%. Thusly, video poker is one of the more lucrative games found inside the casinos.
This is all about calculated risk. Knowing which games are more profitable than other is the smartest start you can make and let us not forget, video poker comes in numerous varieties. Popular titles include Deuces Wild, Double Bonus Poker, Jacks or Better, and Aces & Eights, to name a few. So, with video poker, the cards are really stacked in your favor.
Now, there may be no overall jackpot like you would find from a progressive slot game, but this is never what playing cards has been about. Players enjoy it for the slow burn, the incremental accumulation of profit and outfoxing the house with whatever hand they are dealt. For devotees of the game, this is kind of all that matters.
So what are the odds in Video Poker
We’ve already established that the percentage on the return to the player is already marginally larger than what you’d get from playing on big money jackpot slots. When it comes to the non-table game of poker, we need to step back and look at the rules to see what this 52-card game has to offer overall and why it is one of the best options to put your coins into.
Video poker uses a standard 52-card deck. The player is dealt 5 cards from the draw, they then have the option to hold what they have in their hard or discard them and have them replaced. The second draw is made and if the winning hand is made, then the payout follows.
The player will aim for high hands if possible; a royal flush, straight flush, full house or even a pair of three. Overall, there are 32 different ways to play the hand you are dealt. So, as mentioned before, there really is a choice that can affect the outcome of your bet.
Now, we have the details of the game and how video poker itself weighs up mathematical opportunities, but let’s inform you of another factor, the programming of the game itself.
Random Number Generators used in Video Poker
The video poker game you play, no matter the casino you join, is built like all virtual card and table games, using the RNG.
Know the algorithms
The RNG is a Random Number Generator. Basically, an algorithm that determines when the cards align to a numerical sequence within the programming to determine a win. Imagine you have two combination codes, one for the cards and one for the prize. Both are generated simultaneously within a fraction of a second when you press Deal and Draw. Should they match, then your hand wins. The strategy involved in video poker, if playing with the right knowledge, influences whether that algorithm is going to land favorably.
When playing any machine in the casinos it will favor you to know how the machines are built and thusly picking what you pay to play more wisely. The RNG system is considered better than its counterpart, the RTP.
The RTP or Return to Play is a program that works based on the percentage of money put into the machine. You will see that many of these games are, in fact, slots and are labeled, for example, 96.45 percent RTP or 97.16 percent RTP. The percentage is not the likelihood of winning, but the amount a player must pay in before the slot pays out.
The odds surrounding the deal
Players should know that a royal flush, or another high hand like a straight flush, or full house only come about a few times in many deals. All the high-ranking hands throughout video poker are rare compared to the weaker card lines. This goes for all variants of the game, Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better or Double Bonus Poker. Knowing the odds first-hand will give you a clearer awareness of how to play any particular hand against the house and to make the right decision at the time.
Playing is progressive, as in blackjack and baccarat, you will be trying to think a step ahead rather than in the moment.
When you opt for a video poker game that uses 52 cards, bear in mind, you can play multi-hand options also, the odds of landing a royal flush are about 1 in 649,740! For a straight flush it comes in at 1 in 72,193 and four of a kind, it is 1 in 4,165.
For a full house, you’ll probably land this line with 1 in every 694 games, whilst the flush odds are about 1 in every 509 games. Straight alone comes in a 1 in 255 and a three of a kind at 1 in 47. Pairs are common at 1 in 21 and Jacks or Better is 1 in 2.
Odds within the Draw
Will your decision-making lead to a payout? Well, your return is based on the aftermath of the Draw. If a player makes any alteration to the hand given this significantly alters the odds. But let us look at an example.
If you were to hold 4 cards that could make a royal flush, then only one remains to complete it. To achieve this high hand, the odds are 47 to 1. However, this odds of turning a three of a kind into one which is four of a kind is 24 to 1. Then turning this into a full house becomes 16 to 1.
The dynamics change for all possibilities from high cards down to a pair, or Jack or Better. Do you run any risks when you bet? Is it best to settle for the money you know you could make? This is where knowing the odds makes the difference is someone winning the ‘jackpot’ and those losing their coins. They are thin lines!
Can you better the odds?
When you play games like cards or table games, there is always the assumption that they are void of skill. Yes, it is impossible to affect what hand you will be playing with, but the strategy is what to do after. The casino will never win 100% of the time and professional players are all too aware of this. Therefore, they play with better insight knowing the percentages and options that have to make their payday come true.
With the variants of video poker like Deuces Wild, Double Bonus Poker and Jacks or Better, there are ways to gain minor advantages over the machines, even if the games all are different in their format.
Bettering the gaming experience
Regardless of the machine you opt for, in any of the casinos you choose to join, one of the keys to success is having a large enough bankroll to keep you in the game for as long as possible. Being able to have a progressive opportunity to play will increase your chances of making more money from the online platform. To do this, a player must invest in the bonus offers handed out by online casinos to help fund their bets and win a free payout that they get to keep.
Possible fault with the programming
We touch on this in greater detail in our guide on strategies, but if you are able to find RTP versions of the video poker game, then you may discover that your cash return may be more fruitful. We mentioned that RTP games payout based on the money going in. if the right percentage is hit the video poker game will payout. By this logic, the titles to aim for are those which are listed as popular within the casino. By rights, they are having sufficient money put into them, so if you are able to locate these within the casino you join, your payout may happen sooner than you think.