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Best of Jerry Stickman

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Video poker pay tables may deceive you

14 January 2017

Video poker games are commonly classified by the type of game and an indication of the payback.
The type of game describes the major features of the game. Some of the more common game types include Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double-Double Bonus Poker and Deuces Wild.

To further classify these games, an indication of the payback is given. For most games it is two numbers describing the payback for a full house followed by the payback for a flush.

For example, “full pay” Jacks or Better is also called “9/6” Jacks or Better. Other games might be called 8/5 Jacks or Better, 8/5 Bonus Poker, 10/7/5 Double Bonus Poker or 9/6 Double-Double Bonus Poker.

The payback is shortened to two or three numbers because generally the other payback numbers on the pay table do not change. For example, 9/6 Jacks or Better has the following pay table:

Hand Pay Per Credit Bet
Royal 250
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind 25
Full House 9
Flush 6
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pair 2
Pair - Jacks or Better 1

The 8/5 version of Jacks or Better would be:

Hand Pay Per Credit Bet
Royal 250
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind 25
Full House 8
Flush 5
Straight 4
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pair 2
Pair - Jacks or Better 1

Since the only numbers that change are those for the full house and flush; they are the numbers that are given to define the machines pay table. It makes checking the pay table simple – only two numbers to check rather than nine or more.

When three numbers are used to define a game those numbers are generally for the full house, flush and straight, respectively. Double Bonus Poker is a game that tends to have the pays for three different hands change. Here is the pay table for a full-pay 10/7/5 Double Bonus Poker game.

Hand Pay Per Credit Bet
Royal 250
Straight Flush 50
Four Aces 160
Four 2s, 3s, or 4s 80
Four 5s thru Kings 50
Full House 10
Flush 7
Straight 5
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pair 1
Pair - Jacks or Better 1

As you can see, the full house, flush and straight are the pays that tend to change with this game.
While the pays for hands other than those used to describe the game usually do not change in the pay table that is not always the case. I have seen 9/6 Jacks or Better games where a four of a kind pays only 20-for-1 (rather than 25-for-1) and others where straights pay only 3-for-1 (rather than 4-for-1).

While this type of pay table modification is fairly rare, it does happen. It is always an excellent idea to check the entire pay table once you have found what appears to be a good game just to make sure it really is a good game.

A reduction in pay of just one credit per credit bet can reduce the overall return of a game by over one percent. That amounts to an extra loss of more than one dollar per 100 dollars played. This is something that you can avoid simply by taking a little time to review the pay table. The extra effort is worth it to your bankroll.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and tiny.

Jerry “Stickman”


Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. He authored the video poker section of "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!" You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerry@aol.com.
Recent Articles
Best of Jerry Stickman
Jerry Stickman

Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com