Last week, we gave you a brief introduction to video poker. As we explained, video poker is very popular with real money pokies players. However, many newer video poker players don’t understand that there is more than just playing your cards correctly. Players must also make wise decisions when selecting video poker games. This starts by understanding video poker paytables.
Today, we will give you the rundown of how to read video poker paytables and why this is important when picking video poker games.
What is a Video Poker Paytable
A video poker paytable is a list of payouts in a video poker game. Often, the paytable is a five-column table displaying the payouts for one to five credits played on a game. For machines that allow you to play more than 5 credits, you can scroll through the table to find the payouts for each bet level.
The paytable lists payouts for every hand in a video poker variant. However, the most important column in most paytables is the first column. This is where you will learn the type of paytable that you’re playing. Look at the payouts for a full house and a flush for a single credit.
For example, let’s say you’re playing Jacks or Better video poker and the payout for a full house is 9. The payout for a flush is 6. Based on this, your paytable is referred to as a 9-6 video poker machine. Whenever you hear someone say that a game is 9-6, 9-5, 8-5, or some other number combination, they are referring to the payouts for the full house and flush.
Why is this important? Because the paytable will help you determine the RTP for your particular video poker variant. Here is a breakdown of the RTP for various video poker paytable for Jacks or Better:
- 9-6 – 99.54%
- 9-5 – 98.33%
- 8-5 – 97.25%
- 7-5 – 96.17%
- 6-5 – 95.12%
As you can see, the lower the full house payment, the lower your expected RTP. Notice that there are few machines that pay 6 for a flush. Generally, the only machines that pay 6 for a flush will be 9-6. There are a few rare 8-6 machines out there, and they pay 98.39%. However, you’ll usually find 8-5 over 8-6.
Video Poker Can Pay Over 100% – If You’re Perfect
The thing to remember about video poker games is that each game has its own RTP and paytable. For example, if you play Double Double Bonus Poker, a 9-6 paytable will only pay 98.98%. However, if you’re able to find the rare 10-6 paytable in Double Double Bonus, it will pay 100.06%. That’s right, the game will pay back more money than you put into it.
Yes, there is a catch. The catch with video poker is that in order to maximize your RTP, you must play perfect strategy and play max credits. That means making the correct play for every hand dealt to you in a game. If you can learn perfect strategy, then you can expect the top RTP for the game.
However, there’s a catch there as well. Perfect strategy is different for each game. For example, in Double Double Bonus, you will throw away a full house containing three aces to go for four aces. That’s because there are two bonus payout possibilities for four aces. You’d never throw away a full house to chase four aces in Jacks or Better.
There are several games that will pay 100% or more to players. These are known as full-pay video poker games. Keep in mind that you must play perfect strategy and play max credits to get the max RTP. Here’s some example of full pay video poker games you can find at Aussie online casinos:
- 9-7 Jacks or Better – 100.79%
- 9-5 Deuces Wild – 100.8%
- Double Bonus – 100.2%
- Double Double Bonus – 100.1%
You’ll notice that we list 9-7 Jacks or Better. On rare occasions, you’ll find 9-7, but usually as promotions. When you find them, take full advantage of the games.
Pick Games Based On Paytables
If there is one piece of advice we can give to new video poker players, it is to pay careful attention to the paytables on the games you’re playing. A slight difference in paytables from one machine to another can make a huge difference in your expected RTP.
The smartest thing you can do before playing any video poker game is to look at the paytable. Often, it is at the top of the game. Other times, you will have to bring up a separate screen to access it. If there’s more than one version of your preferred game, look at all versions as paytables can vary from brand to brand.
Pick the games that give you the best possible RTP for your preferred game. The only time you will deviate from this is if you’re unskilled at a game with a higher RTP. For example, if you are not sure how to play perfect strategy for Double Double Bonus, stick to a lower paytable for a game that you can play perfect strategy. This way you maximize your payouts.
Now that you understand video poker paytables, we urge you to start learning perfect strategy for your preferred video poker games. This will ensure that you give yourself the best odds of winning whenever you play video poker.