Unlike traditional poker, video poker is game played against the house – not against other players. Most video poker games are based on five card stud poker, where you get an initial hand consisting of five cards (face up) and get to elect freely how many to keep and how many to exchange (if any).
Also unlike traditional poker, the player knows in advance exactly how great a hand must be to win something, and exactly how much they would get paid for each possible winning hand.
The fact that the player gets to decide how many cards to replace makes video poker a game that doesn’t rely 100% on luck only.
Jacks or Better video poker
The most common type of video poker is Jacks or Better. As the name indicate, the lowest paying hand is a pair of jacks. So, if you get a pair of tens, you will lose your wager. If you get a pair of jacks, you will get paid. The stronger your poker hand, the more your get paid, so a Royal Straight Flush is worth much more than a simple pair or two pair.
Several different types of Jacks or Better are available, both online and offline, so it is important to check the rules and the paytable before you start playing. Generally speaking, Jacks or Better is played with a standard 52 card deck without any jokers or other wildcards.
Below, you can see the payout schedule for a 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker machine. It’s called 9/6 because on a 1 coin bet, it pays 9 coins for a Full House and 6 coins for Flush.
|Your poker hand||1 coin wagered||2 coins wagered||3 coins wagered||4 coins wagered||5 coins wagered|
|Royal Straight Flush||250||500||750||1000||4000|
|Four of a Kind||25||50||75||100||125|
|Three of a Kind||3||6||9||12||15|
|Pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces||1||2||3||4||5|
It is very common for Jacks or Better video poker paytables to encourage the 5 coin wager by being more generous with the winnings on 5 coin wagers. In this paytable, the payout for a Royal Straight Flush is disproportionally large on a 5 coin wager.
Other examples of commonly available video poker games
- Tens or Better
- Deuces Wild
- All American
- Joker Poker
- Aces & Eights
- Aces & Faces
- Double Bonus
- Double Double Bonus