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Apr

20

2015

Are Progressive Jackpots A Better Bet in Video Poker?

Video poker players in the know understand that on most games, payback percentages are changed by altering the returns on full houses and flushes. A “9-6” Jacks or Better game, where full houses pay 9-for-1 and flushes 6-for-1, returns 99.5 percent with expert play. If instead you see 8-5 Jacks or Better, meaning full houses pay 8-for-1 and flushes 5-for-1, then the average return is 97.3 percent with expert play.

However, when progressive jackpots are involved, even a game with a lower pay table can have high average returns.  Progressive games commonly add a percentage of each wager to the royal flush jackpot. After someone collects it, the jackpot starts building again from the starting value.

If the jackpot gets large enough, the edge tilts away from the house and the payback percentage reaches, and even and can even exceed, 100 percent. That doesn’t make it much more likely you’re going to win in any one session. The player gain comes from rare hands – we’ve all had long dry spells without a royal.

Listed here are the lowest whole-coin jackpot at which the average return exceeds 100 percent on some common games.

Jacks or Better: With no progressive and the royal at the base value of 4,000 coins, 8-5 Jacks or Better pays 97.3 percent with expert play. It reaches 100 percent with the royal at 8,666 coins. If the full house return drops another unit, 7-5 Jacks or Better is a 96.2 percent game at rollover, and the jackpot must hit 10,519 coins for break-even level.

Bonus Poker: For 7-5 BP, a 98.0-percent game at rollover, break-even is 7,254 coins. Drop to 6-5 BP, 96.9 percent at rollover, and break-even is 9,386 coins.

Double Bonus Poker: One common version is a 9-6-5 pay table, with straights paying 5-for-1 along with the 9-6 on full houses and flushes. That’s a 97.8-percent game at rollover, with a break-even point at 7,844 coins. Reduce the straight to 4-for-1, and 9-6-4 DB is 96.4 percent at rollover, break-even at 10,094 coins.

Double Double Bonus Poker: The most commonly available full-pay game though most of the U.S., 9-6 DDB pays 99.0 percent with expert play at rollover, with a break-even of 5,846 coins. Drop to 8-5 DDB, and you have a 96.8-percent game at rollover, with a break-even of 9,515 coins.

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