Video Poker - Other Games
Peter from Ottawa, Canada
Your expected return are the same on a triple play machine as a single hand machine, assuming the same pay table.
David B. from El Cajon, California
The odds of being dealt a natural royal flush are 1 in 649,740 in any 52-card video poker game.
You can buy the video poker strategy master which can generate a very good strategy for this game, as well as most any other video poker variation.
Jef from Atlantic City, US
IGT was right when they said you should use the same strategy for Spin Poker as single line video poker. Mathematically speaking the odds are the same. However Spin Poker has greater volatility since 9 different lines share many of the same cards. The same is true of multi-play video poker, the strategy and return is the same for a single line game. I do get into the volatility of multi-play video poker in my video poker appendix 3.
One-coin pay table
Pair, 6-10’s 1
Pair, J-A’s 2
2 Pair 3
3 of a Kind 4
Full House 12
4 of a Kind 50
Royal Flush 1,000
2-5 coins, multiply 1-coin payout
5-coin Royal pays 20,000 coins
With correct play, what is the return of these machines?
As a side note, these machines earn slot points at the same rate as video poker (half the rate of the regular slots), but I find that I accumulate point faster due to the obvious double-down situations. Does that indirectly improve the return?
I enjoy your website very much! Thanks!!
Tim from Newburgh, New York
Tim from Chicago, Ilinois
No, the strategy does not change. The odds are strategy are the same whether the replacement cards are all dealt from the same deck or each hand from a different deck. However there would be less volatility in a game like Spin Poker where all replacement cards are dealt from the same deck.
Vance & Ashley Dennis
No! You can get a near optimal strategy for almost any game with Video Poker Strategy Master or Frugal Video Poker.
I’ve seen this game. As I understand gaming regulations it is permissible to have the lower prizes more likely than the higher prizes. The best you can do is to estimate the average win of a four of a kind and then run that through an appropriate program to get at the optimal return. To get a strategy you can use Video Poker Strategy Master or Frugal Video Poker by entering any pay table.
Generally speaking 50 and 100 play machines have lousy pay tables and thus should be avoided. However assuming you did find a decent pay table ask yourself what you would play on single play and then divide that by 50 or 100. For example if you play the $1 single line machines then you should play 2 cent 50 line or 1 cent 100 line games.
I don’t recall this in the rule but I would assume they are the same as in One Eyed Jacks, in which a wild card is not forced to be wild if the player would otherwise have a natural royal flush.
Ken from Tallahassee, Florida
The reason the deuces wild game pays more is because a deuce is not normally as valuable as a seven. This is because there are more ways of making straights and straight flushes around a seven. So making deuces wild is a bigger change than making sevens wild. As I show in my section on Anything’s Wild under the same pay table making deuces wild has a return of 96.76%, while sevens wild is only 94.13%.
Nathan from Edina, MN
The return of 6/5 double double bonus is 0.946569, to be exact. My table says the probability of a royal is 0.000025. However, I like to use more significant digits that that, so let’s take the return, divided by the win, which is 0.020297/800 = 0.00002537. The return of all the wins besides the royal is 0.926273. Let’s call j the breakeven jackpot amount. Solving for j:
1 = 0.926273 + 0.00002537*j
j = (1-0.926273)/ 0.00002537 = 2,906.
The 2,906 is measured in bet units. For a $1 machine ($5 total bet) the breakeven point would be $5*2,906 = $14,530. So, $12,000 is still a long way away from break-even. Before some perfectionist writes me, as the progressive goes up, the optimal strategy will change, to be more aggressive towards playing for royals. My answer assumes the player follows the same 6/5 optimal strategy the entire time.
A simple approximation for any 52-card video poker game is to add 0.5% for every extra 1,000 coins in the meter. In the case of a $10,100 meter, that is $6,100 higher than a non-progressive. It is a dollar game, so that is 6,100 coins, so add 0.5% × (6,100/1,000) = 3.05% to the base return. The base return is 92.63%, so the total return could be approximated as 94.66% + 3.05% = 97.71%. The actual return for a $10,100 meter is 97.75%, so pretty close.
David from Montego Bay
In double double bonus a straight flush pays 50, a flush pays 6, and a straight pays 4. The probability of making the straight flush is 2/47, of a flush is 7/47, and of a straight is 5/47. So, the expected return of discarding the 9 is (2/47)×50 + (7/47)×6 + (5/47)×4 = 3.4468. The expected return of the straight at 4 is much more.
Robert from Biloxi, MS
Nice find! You didn’t say what denomination you are playing, which is important, so I’m going to assume dollars. For five-coin maximum bet, the number of doubles required for a win of w (where w<1200) is 1+int(log(1200)-log(w))/log(2).
The following table shows for each initial hand the pre-double win, pre-double probability, number of doubles required, post-double win, and probability achieving the post-double win, including the $250 bonus. The lower right cell shows a return of 115.5%. You will get a jackpot every 297 hands on average, with an average jackpot of $1,717.46.
8-5 Triple Bonus Return Table with $250 Bonus for Wins of $1,200 or More
|Pre-Double Win||Pays||Pre-Double Probability||Doubles Required||Post-Double Win||Post-Double Probability||Return|
|3 of a kind||$15||0.075542||7||$2170||0.00059||0.256136|
|Jacks or better||$5||0.211575||8||$1530||0.000826||0.252898|
To the best of my knowledge, the loosest video poker game in Vegas is the 101.60% 5¢ Loose Deuces game at the Fitzgeralds. It is located upstairs, near the sports book.
Update: This answer was correct at the time of writing. However, said machine has since disappeared. See my Ask the Wizard #292 for the new loosest video poker machine in Vegas.
James from Las Vegas
Counting a win of 1 as a "hit" (although it is really just a push), as far as I know, the highest hit frequency is in Deuces and Joker Wild. The 99.07% pay table has a hit frequency of 50.38%. The following table shows the hit frequency of various games. Not that you asked, but as far as I know, the lowest is Royal Aces Bonus Poker at 30.09%, which starts paying at a pair of aces.
Video Poker Return and Hit Frequency
|Deuces and joker wild||0.990675||0.503768|
|Tens or better||0.991390||0.494518|
|Jacks or Better||0.995439||0.454565|
|Double Double Bonus||0.989808||0.447163|
My best guess is Royal Aces Bonus Poker. I’ve seen it only once in Mesquite years ago. It pays 800 for four aces, but compensates with a lowest paying hand of a pair of aces, as opposed to the usual jacks. Here is the return table.
Royal Aces Bonus Poker
|Three of a kind||3||1,470,711,394,284||0.073782||0.221346|
|Pair of aces||1||1,307,753,371,584||0.065607||0.065607|
The standard deviation is 13.58! That is over three times as high as 9-6 Jacks or Better at 4.42.
However, if you limit me to games that are easy to find, my nomination is Triple Double Bonus, with a standard deviation of 9.91. Here is that pay table.
Triple Double Bonus Poker
|4 aces + 2-4||800||1,402,364,496||0.000070||0.056282|
|4 2-4 + A-4||400||3,440,009,028||0.000173||0.069031|
|4 aces + 5-K||160||2,952,442,272||0.000148||0.023699|
|4 2-4 + 5-K||80||6,376,626,780||0.000320||0.025592|
|3 of a kind||2||1,468,173,074,448||0.073655||0.147309|
|Jacks or better||1||3,944,045,609,748||0.197863||0.197863|
This question was raised and discussed in the forum of my companion site Wizard of Vegas.
- 6-5 Bonus Poker progressive.
- 2% meter rise on royal flush.
- 5-coin game.
Now assume the following about me.
- Minimum return to play of 100.5%.
- I’m capable of playing a progressive until it hits.
- I know perfect 6-5 Bonus Poker strategy for a 4000-coin royal.
What is the least the jackpot should be for me to play?
7,281.8 coins. It is interesting to note that if you played only once at exactly that meter then the return would be 98.5% only. The reason you should play at that point is because of the assumption you are capable of playing until you pop the jackpot. That is like having a 2% cash back slot club. 98.5% + 2% = 100.5%.
I might add that if you start playing 4000-coin jackpot strategy at exactly a 7,281.8 jackpot, you can expect to profit 201.18 bets. However, if you took the time to learn the strategy changes for a 7,281.8 coin jackpot, then your expected profit would be 234.31 coins.
On a related note, I just finished reading The Secret World of Video Poker Progressives by Frank Kneeland. This book has lots of formulas for much more complicated progressive situations, as well as practical advice and stories based on his years running a team of progressive hunters. I recommend it for advantage progressive video poker players.