When are Tax Forms Necessary in Video Poker Wins?

 When are Tax Forms Necessary in Video Poker Wins?

Unless they play at dollar level or above on single-hand games or quarter-level or above on multi-hand games, video poker players rarely reach the $1,200 threshold that requires a tax form before they’re paid. A royal flush with five quarters wagered brings a $1,000 jackpot — a nice bonanza, but well below the tax trigger.

However, some multi-hand nickel games with bonus multipliers also can hit that level.

The key is combining payoffs on multiple hands, a point that drew this question from a reader.

“I was playing a Triple Play Bonus Poker on nickel Hot Roll, got an 4 on a dice roll, then got four Aces on the deal, with no draw.

“Aces are worth 400, which on nickels is $20. with the dice multiplying by four, that was $80, and I got it three times for a total of $240.

“That got me thinking. What about a royal flush? A nickel royal is worth $200, so if I got 4 on the dice, they’d be $800 apiece. If I got them three times, that’s $2,400.

“Would that mean I’d get a tax form? Is the meaningful figure here the $800 on each royal, or the $2,400 for all three?”

For IRS purposes, all winnings on one play are lumped together, so yes, you would have to sign an IRS form W-2G before the casino could pay you on the three $800 royals. The total payoff you get after any one push of the deal button counts toward the $1,200 threshold at which the form is required.

When you’re playing video poker with multipliers and/or multiple hands, there are extra routes to an IRS-level jackpot. A single nickel royal will reach tax form level with any multiplier of 6x or more. Even without a multiplier, if you’re playing Ten Play, Fifty Play or Hundred Play, six or more royals could take you to $1,200-plus.

With multipliers, even medium-pay hands like full houses and flushes with enough hands and multipliers can bring tax forms.

But the short answer is that any total payoff of $1,200 or more will bring a tax form, even if the component payoffs are smaller.


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