One of the most important things that you must be aware of when you are playing video poker is the Pay Schedule or Pay Chart. For every video poker variation, there will be an appropriate payout when you receive a certain hand. Some of the less respectable casinos will try to lower these payouts compared to the “casino norm.”
The first pay schedule that I will go over is for “Jacks or Better” since that is what the site is named. Below is the standard paychart that you will see at most casinos.
The three places where I’ve seen some casinos cheat is with the Flush (5x instead of 6x), Full House (8x instead of 9x) and Four of a Kind (20x instead of 25x).
Back in the 1990′s, the payouts used to be more favorable. The Flush used to receive a 9x payout and the Full House used to receive a payout of 15x. However, several people wrote books on how to beat the video poker machines by going for flushes and full houses. This caused the casinos to unilaterally change the payouts to reduce this player advantage.
Other Video Poker Games
There are many video poker variations that I have seen that are very similar to Jacks or Better. The two things all of these variations below have in common is that the winning hand needs to be a pair of jacks or higher and there are no wild cards.
This means that the only difference between these games are with the pay schedule. Usually, a special hand will receive a significant bonus; of course, this means that another hand(s) will receive a reduced payout. The strategy for playing any of these games is to try to get whichever hand is receive a bonus. In addition to that, use the optimal video poker strategy the I suggest here.
Here are some of the variations that I have seen:
2 Ways Royal – The Flush is reduced to 5x payout, the Full House is reduced to 6x payout; however the Four of a Kind is raised to 40x payout.
Aces & 8′s – The Flush is reduced to 5x payout, the Full House is reduced to 7x payout; Four of a Kind of Aces or Eights receives a 80x payout, Four of a Kind of Sevens receives a 50x payout; however the other Four of a Kinds receive a 20x payout (instead of 25x).
Aces & Faces – The Flush is reduced to 5x payout, the Full House is reduced to 8x payout; Four of a Kind of Jacks, Queens or Kings will receive a 40x payout, Four Aces receive an 80x payout.
All American – Two Pairs are reduced to 1x payout, the Full House is reduced to 8x payout; Straights and Flushes are raised to 8x payouts.
Bonus Poker – Two Pairs are reduced to 1x payout, the Full House is reduced to 8x payout; Four of a Kinds are raised to 75x.
Double Bonus – Two Pairs are reduced to 1x payout; the Straight, Flush and Full House is raised by 1x payout, Four of a Kind 5′s through Kings receives 40x payout, 2s, 3s and 4s receive 80x and 4 Aces receive 160x.
Double Double Bonus – Two Pairs are reduces to 1x payout; Four of a Kind 5′s through Kings receives 45x payout, 2s, 3s and 4s receive 80x and 4 Aces receive 160x; in addition Four 2-4 of a kind with an Ace-4 receive 160x payout and Four Aces with a 2-4 receives a 350x payout.
Double Jackpot – The Flush is reduced to 5x, the Full House is reduced to 8x and Four of a Kind 2-10 are reduced to 20x; 4 Kings, Queens or Jacks has a 35x payout, with an Ace-Jack 5th card pays out 70x; 4 Aces receives a 70x payout, with a King-Jack 5th card pays out 140x.
I’m sure that there are other versions out there with a similar story to tell. Some of the payouts go up, some of the payouts go down; however, the overall payout percentage of each machine is pretty much the same.
Video Poker Games with Wild Cards
Other video poker games that include 1 to 5 wild cards will start with a higher minimum hand in order to win. One joker usually requires Kings or higher to win. Two jokers usually requires Two Pairs to win. Four wilds (like deuces or sevens) usually requires Three of a Kind to win. I’ve seen 5 wild cards; this should still be a Three of a Kind to win, but the payouts will be reduced.
Example of a Shady Casino’s Paychart
I have found a Casino, which shall remain nameless for now, that has come up with a shady tactic to fool their video poker players. Since most people play Jacks or Better, this casino has the following paychart with their Jacks or Better Video Poker game:
What’s wrong with this? Uh, hello!? Why is the Flush worth 5x and the Full House worth 6x without there being any added benefit for the player?
If you see a paychart like this, I would stop playing at that casino altogether. If they are willing to openly cheat you in Video Poker, there’s no telling what they are willing to do to get your money.