The Video Poker Pay Table
A Video Poker pay table reveals the inner secrets of the game it's for.
Problem is, nobody ever tells you just how to read the pay table - how
to know which machine is better than another just by checking out that
simple payout schedule. The reason for this is, you can't tell just by
looking at it, you'd have to run it through a computer to really know.
These computer programs do exist (I'm still looking for one that doesn't
cost money), and people use them to create a Video Poker Strategy Card
for a particular machine. You can buy these strategy cards from some,
or find a few online.
So now we know the valued information (how much a machine pays back)
isn't exactly printed right on the pay table. You can either learn how
good a particular machine is by reading websites like this one, books,
or from software. Once you've analyzed the pay table and learned how much
a machine pays back, you can simply choose the most promising game that
you have the strategy card for. That's the start of your strategy.
Looking at the pay table itself, you'll notice that the payoffs are scaled
according to the number of coins you play. This means that if you pay
two coins, you get paid twice as much as playing one. The odds don't change
as they might with a slot machine. A flush will pay five coins per coin
played. This concept holds true for every hand except the royal flush.
The royal flush is kind of like the progressive jackpot on a slot machine.
You're not eligible for it unless you're playing full coins. Now, with
Video Poker you still win when you hit a royal regardless of the number
of coins you put in, you simply win significantly more when you hit a
royal while playing full coins. For this reason, most books and resources
recommend you always play with full coins. For the most part this is the
better choice. The numbers in a Video Poker pay table include your original
bet. This means that in a game of Jacks or Better when you get a pair
of jacks, the 1 in the pay table indicates that you're paid back your
bet, but nothing more. It's important to realize the numbers on the pay
table represent coins, not dollars. Lots of people think they're able
to win five thousand dollars for a royal flush on a quarter machine.