Video Poker Pay Table Strategy

 Video Poker Pay Table Strategy

When you see a strategy table for any given video poker game, it’s almost always going to assume a royal flush pays 4,000 coins if you’ve made a five-coin bet. That’s the standard payout on machines that don’t have a progressive jackpot.

But on progressive machines, where a portion of each wager is added to the payoff on royals, the odds are constantly changing. When the jackpot gets big enough, it pays to change strategy to chase royals more often.

Here’s an example for 8-5 Double Double Bonus Poker, which is pretty commonly available with a progressive jackpot.

On the regular strategy table for the game, high pairs rank higher than three parts of a royal, so if you’re dealt King of hearts, King of spades, Queen of spades, 10 of spades, 2 of diamonds,  the best play with a 4,000-coin royal is to hold the two Kings. Your average return per five coins wagered is 7.18 coins if you hold the pair of Kings and only 6.63 if you hold the three spades.

But the potential reward for holding suited King-Queen-10 increases as the royal jackpot grows. When the royal is 5,000 coins, holding the three spades brings an average return of 7.56 coins, while holding the pair of Kings stays at a 7.18-coin return. The turning point actually is a little lower, at a royal of 4,595 coins, with an average return of 7.183 coins on the three spades and 7.179 coins on the pair of Kings.

There are turning points for every potential royal hand on the strategy table. A full table of turning points for progressive 8-5 Double Double Bonus means evaluating at different jackpot levels hands such as suited Jack-10 vs. unsuited Queen-Jack, Ace-King-Queen-Jack of mixed suits vs. suited Ace-King, a low pair vs. two suited high cards and many others.

I know of no comprehensive guide to such plays. There are dozens of video poker games and dozens more pay tables, and lots of work to be done. If you’re serious about getting the most out of any one game and pay table, you might want to try what I did for the above example: define specific hands on video poker software such as WinPoker or Video Poker for Winners, and check them with the royal at different levels to explore the turning points.

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