Video Poker - Dealing

I’m thinking of visiting your advertisers’ web sites just to make sure they keep supporting your ability to give free advice to the gambling public. Your site is great. My question: Is it possible to draw the same card that is discarded in video poker? The Michigan Gaming Control Board has given me a half-answer, stating that all events are determined by a random number generator. Secondly, are the chances of hitting paying hands in VP subject to manipulation by the casino, like slot machines that are also governed by a random number generator?

Jack from Detroit, USA

Thanks for your support. I encourage everyone to click through the banners to help support the site. To answer your question, no, it is not possible to get the same card back. The machine represents a fair deal from a single deck. Once you discard a card you can’t get it back. To the answer the second question, no, the casino can not change the probability of each hand. The video poker machines deal a fair game. How often you get each hand depends on the random draw of the cards and your skill in playing them.

After the first five cards are drawn on a video poker machine, are the remaining possible five cards you could draw predetermined? Or is it just a matter of when you hit the draw button that the cards are determined?

Joe from Las Vegas, USA

They are predetermined. Once you hit "deal" the first time both the deal and the draw cards are chosen.

I know that in video poker, the cards are selected at random -- but are they selected at the instant the button is pushed for both deal and draw?


I think different video poker makers do it different ways. On all at least the draw cards are determined when the player presses the button. I think some also determine the draw cards at this time. Others keep shuffling the remaining 47 cards until the player presses the button to draw the replacement cards.

When playing video slots and there is the option to stop one or more wheels or to stop all of them, does that change the outcome of the spin or would the results have been the same if you did not use the touch screen? Great site. Keep up the good work!

Kevin from Fallon

Thank you for the kind words. I passed along your question to an industry insider. Here is his reply.

Manually stopping video reels early has no impact on the outcome. If it did, this would make it a true physical skill game, which is not legal in any US class 3 gaming jurisdiction that I know of. In fact, in some states, physical slot games which can award cash or prizes are allowed only if they offer a true physical stop mechanism which turns the device into a physical skill game.

I have used your site to knock down myths and betting systems with many friends and your proofs always win the day. On the Pink Panther (and some others) there is a bonus round that presents a screen with pictures from which to pick. Behind some are coin amounts and others have a symbol that ends the bonus round. Once you are presented with the bonus board the placement of the symbols cannot be changed, can they?

Jack from Rockaway, NJ

Thanks for helping in the fight against betting systems. First let me say that I have never worked for a major slot machine company and don’t have direct knowledge of this. However, I know many people in the industry and those I trust pretty much are in agreement on this topic.

That said, it is my understanding that in all forms of electronic games, including video slots, video poker, and video keno, the outcome is usually determined the moment you make your decision. Meanwhile the possible outcomes are constantly being shuffled, thousands of times a second. I can’t speak for every slot machine but I believe that with the major U.S. slot makers the outcome is not predestined but depends on the exact microsecond you press the button to make your play.