The electronic arcade card game of Video poker is one of the most popular games in African online and land casinos as it’s easy to play, has so many variants, is based on the classic skill card game of poker and can yield spectacular pay-outs if you know what you’re doing.
Video poker is deceptively easy to play, but requires some thought and strategy in order to maximise your winning potential. As such, before you start playing your chosen variant, read and understand the rules and game play 100%, and then take a look at its pay table.
Every video poker game under the Sun comes with a pay table which can differ depending on the variant as well as the land or online casino offering it. This is why it’s very important to read pay tables because they list the winning hands as well as how much they pay.
And how much a video poker game pays out for a particular hand should play a big role in helping you to decide if you should play that game for real money or not. For example, say you come across two Aces and Faces video poker games at two different online casinos.
Assuming both games accept the same coin and bet size, if game one pays 3,500 coins for a Royal Flush (the best possible hand in video and regular poker) and game two pays 4,000 coins for the same hand, your obvious choice should be game two as it pays much more.
If you don’t research video poker pay tables, you can’t compare their pay-outs with those of rival games and casinos, and you risk spending the same or even more on games with lower pay-outs. Prudent video poker choices can up your pay-outs and maximise your returns.
Identifying Video Poker Pay-Out Structures
Based on their pay tables and pay-outs, every video poker game can be classified by a kind of shorthand ratio that lets you know if their pay-outs are worthwhile. These are known as pay-out structures and are a great way to compare different and like video poker games.
For instance, in the case of Jacks or Better - one of the most popular video poker variants in Africa and beyond - various versions are available with up to 5 different pay-out structures -9/6, 8/5, 7/5, 6/5 and 5/4. These ratios apply to two hands - a Full House and a Flush.
A Jacks or Better video poker game with a 9/6 pay-out structure means that for every coin or credit you play, you’ll win 9 coins for Full House and 6 coins for a Flush. The rule of thumb is the higher the pay-out structure, the more lucrative and desirable the variant.
Video poker games with pay-out structures of 9/6 are called ‘full pay’ video poker games or machines and are highly sought after because they have an RTP or pay-out percentage of 99.54%. This means that almost 100c of each dollar played is paid out as winnings.
They offer more ‘bang for your video poker buck’ than any other video poker variant. 8/5 games, for instance, have a pay-out percentage of 97.2%, while 5/4 games have a pay-out percentage of just 92.78%, which can make a big difference to your funds over time.
You can work out the pay-out structure ratio of any video poker game by simply dividing the maximum pay-out by 5. For example, a Jacks or Better game that has a 45 coin pay-out for a Full House and a 30 coin pay-out for a Flush, works out to a tidy ratio of 9 to 6.
The missing percentage from each of the above is known as the ‘house edge,’ which is kept by the casino. While not all online casinos offer 9/6 video poker games, on this site you’ll only find top African-friendly online casinos with generous pay-out structures.
Video Poker Odds and the House Edge
In terms of video poker odds and the house edge, video poker has some of the best odds and the lowest house edge of any gambling game. So if you play variants with the highest pay-out structures in reputable casinos, you have a good chance to grow your funds.
What’s great about video poker is that unlike slots (that are 100% reliant on luck) it requires a level of skill and practice to win big. Luck, as always, plays a roll, but by following a basic video poker strategy for each variant you can help improve your winning potential.
As well as learning and understanding the rules of video poker, it’s equally important to understand the house edge of the various winning hands. In this way you can make better decisions on which cards to keep and/or discard en route to making the best hands.
To give you an example, below you’ll find the Jacks or Better video poker odds of winnings hands from lowest to highest, along with their respective pay-outs:
|Video Poker Hand||Hand Odds||Pay-Outs|
|Royal Flush||1 in 40,390||4000|
|Straight Flush||1 in 9,148||250|
|Four of a Kind||1 in 423||125|
|Full House||1 in 86||45|
|Flush||1 in 90||30|
|Straight||1 in 89||20|
|Three of a Kind||1 in 13||15|
|Two Pairs||1 in 7||10|
|Two Jacks||1 in 21||5|
Useful Video Poker Tips
- Only ever seek out 9/6 video poker games or at least 8/5 games in order to maximise your potential pay-outs.
- Play every video poker game with the maximum number of coins, i.e. 5. If this means you can only afford to play a variant with a slightly smaller coin size to accommodate the maximum bet, sobeit. (You’ll cry if you land a Royal Flush on a measly 1 coin bet).
- Playing the maximum 5 coins on some video poker games can unlock extra bonuses.
- Accept that any and all card deals are 100% random - and thus fair - at online, mobile and land casinos because games at either are all powered by cutting edge random number generator (RNG) software.
- You have just as much chance of landing a highly lucrative hand like a Royal Flush twice in 5 minutes as you do days or longer apart, so don’t expect one to come along just because you ‘think you’re due.’ Remember, all cards dealt are 100% random.
- If you find yourself on a ‘cold’ video poker game or machine, stop playing it and find another one. Don’t be tempted to use up your entire bankroll or even more because your ‘gut is telling you that the game is close to paying out.’