Video Poker: Odds and Return to Player
Many gamblers believe that playing video poker machines is a waste of time and money, and instead prefer to try their luck at the slots. But the truth is that, while video poker games aren't as showy or colorful as slot machines, they have proven to be significantly more rewarding to players. In fact, video poker, along with blackjack, is one of the only casino games where players have a realistic chance of winning more than they lose.
To inexperienced gamblers, video poker may appear to be a game of chance, but experienced players and specialists realise that it is, for the most part, a game of skill. This means that every decision taken during the game has an effect on the game's result, which is never the case with slots. Furthermore, casinos do not disclose the typical payback percentage of slot machines, but they frequently do so with video poker. This payback percentage indicates how much of a player's wager would be returned to them as wins on average over time. While it varies between 70 and 90 percent for slot machines, it is approximately 97-99 percent for video poker. In other words, when playing slots, players are more likely to lose than when playing video poker.
Best Video Poker Casinos Online
But how is this figure arrived at? Casinos meticulously calculate the amount of money they are willing to return to their clients; they design games and tweak the pay tables of each such that the chances are constantly in their favour. Of course, based on the game's play, unique rules, and other factors, each game has a definite chance of winning or losing. There are numerous aspects that influence whether or not a game is more generous. Although nothing in gambling is guaranteed, video poker players can ensure a return on their investment if they choose the right game and use the right approach.
Odds in Video Poker
Players must become familiar with the game and its regulations in order to comprehend the odds of winning at video poker. Video poker is based on the 5-card draw poker game, which is one of the most basic types of table poker. It can be played on a video console, similar to a slot machine, or online as a virtual game. In most cases, video poker uses a standard 52-card deck (possibly more if a Joker is included), with the player being given 5 cards during the initial draw and having the option of keeping or discarding them. The player receives a reward that corresponds to the original wager and the winning hand if a winning hand is created in the second draw.
Before going into detail about the probabilities of winning at video poker, there are a few factors to keep in mind. The first thing players need realise is that each hand dealt to them in traditional video poker has exactly 32 ways to be played. To succeed, they must make the best decision each time they use the Draw button. This is feasible in two scenarios: if the game is played by a computer, or if the game is played by a skilled player who employs the proper strategy based on rigorous mathematical analysis.
The ranking of winning hands in video poker is the second item that every player should be aware of. The winning hands in the most basic variant of the game, Jacks or Better, are graded in the same way as in normal poker. The Royal Flush is the highest paying hand, consisting of a ten, a Jack, a Queen, a King, and an Ace of the same suit. Straight Flush is the next hand, which is made up of five cards of the same suit in a row. Following that is Four of a Kind (any four cards of the same value), followed by Full House (a Three of a Kind and a Pair). The following hand is Flush, which consists of any five cards of the same suit, while the following hand is Straight, which consists of five consecutive cards of any suit. Three of a Kind, Two Pair, and Jacks or Better, which is a pair of Jacks or higher cards, are the lower hands in the pay table.
Generator of Random Numbers
Today, all slot and video poker machines are controlled by a Random Number Generator, which assures that the games' outcomes are unpredictable. This is critical because it ensures fairness. Many people are confused about how the RNG works, believing it to be a piece of software or a computer chip that shuffles the cards in video poker. This is a prevalent misunderstanding that is far from accurate. The RNG, in actuality, generates a long string of numbers inside a predetermined range. Even after the cards are dealt, these numbers continue to be generated. This is true even when the game is not being played. The numbers dictate which cards and in what order they will be dealt.
However, the situation is far more complicated. There are various types of RNGs, and the one utilised in casino games is known as the Pseudo Random Number Generator. It serves as the foundation for not just all virtual games, but also many land-based casino games such as video poker and slot machines, Keno, and automated or computer-controlled roulette and blackjack games with no dealer. The RNG is called "pseudo" because the number sequence is only ostensibly random. In fact, a seed key or seed value determines it. Although the computational technique is fixed, it generates a large number of integers per millisecond, and the exact combinations cannot be predicted or replicated until the seed value is known.
In practice, the outcome of a video poker game is random, even if the statistics aren't. There is no shuffling of the cards, no streaks of losing or winning hands, and no link between the amount staked and the value of the cards dealt. It's also possible that the player will hit the biggest payment (or jackpot) twice in a row. On the other hand, receiving the exact same card that was discarded after the initial draw is impossible. You can be dealt a Nine of another suit after discarding a Nine of Spades, but not a Nine of Spades again because it was removed from the deck during the current round.
Initial Deal Odds
Most players are aware that a Royal Flush or other jackpot-winning hand occurs only once every few deals, as the stronger, higher-ranking hands in video poker are more common than the weaker ones. For the most part, this is correct. The odds of hitting a specific winning hand vary depending on the video poker game you're playing. However, the odds are known in the most popular permutations, and players can use them to choose the best game or make informed decisions.
The chances of landing a Royal Flush during the opening draw in a simple video poker game with 52 cards are 1 in 649,740. It's 1 in 72,193 for a Straight Flush and 1 in 4,165 for Four of a Kind. In 694 games, the player will get a Full House with the first cards dealt, while the odds of scoring a Flush are 509 to 1, 255 to 1, 47 to 1 for Three of a Kind, 21 to 1 for Two Pairs, and 7.69 to 1 for Jacks or Better. The chances of getting any pair (from Twos to Tens) are 2.37 to 1.
These figures indicate that you will be dealt any pair of cards nearly half of the time during your game. And you'll earn your wager back from the even Jacks or Better payout every 7 to 8 hands, with the option to merely enhance your winnings. Of course, all of these figures are averages; you shouldn't expect a pair of Sevens every two or three deals. Even after 20 hands, you might not obtain them. On the other hand, the RNG may deal you a Four of a Kind on your initial stake.
Odds on the Draw
After the player chooses which cards to keep and which cards to discard, the chances shift dramatically. This is also contingent on the cards he or she is holding. For example, if you have four cards in a Royal Flush and just need one more to complete it, your chances of completing it are 47 to 1. You have a 24 to 1 chance of turning a Three of Kind into a Four of Kind, and a 16 to 1 chance of turning a Full House into a Full House. There are far too many possibilities to mention or list, but any dedicated player may conduct their own research and review the information accessible in video poker guides, strategy books, and even online.
Back to the Player
Video poker, unlike roulette or slots, allows the player to increase their odds of winning. A strong success approach is based on the specific video poker variation and the pay table, which specifies the winning hands in a specific order along with their payouts. These will also display the game's house edge as well as the payback percentage. Return to Player (RTP), often known as payback percentage, is a phrase that represents the percentage of wagered money that is returned to the player over time. And this is one of the most crucial factors to consider when evaluating a video poker machine's quality.
A common 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker game has an RTP of 99.54 percent, which means the player will receive $99.54 in wins for every $100 wagered. This percentage is an average derived over a long period of time, which experts estimate to be hundreds or even millions of rounds every game. The RTP is a potential return that can only be achieved if the game is played correctly and with the maximum stake.
On the other hand, the house edge indicates how much money the game will keep over time. It's one of the fundamentals of gambling that every newcomer should understand: casino games are designed to give the house an advantage at all times. When it comes to video poker, however, the house does not always win, or rather, the house does not always come out on top. Simply speaking, the house advantage is the inverse of the RTP. The house edge on a game with a payout of 99.54 percent is 0.46 percent, which is one of the lowest among casino games. In video poker, the house advantage often ranges from 5% to nearly 0.5 percent. In some games, though, it is 0 or even negative. For example, the full pay Deuces Wild has an RTP of 100.76 percent, implying a house edge of -0.76 percent.
Casinos will sometimes publish the RTP rates for the games they provide in order to demonstrate that they are player-friendly and attract more clients. However, even if the payouts aren't plainly indicated, you can still figure out which games are more generous and which will leave you broke. The simplest method is to examine the pay tables of several video poker versions.
The pay table of the game you're playing always has an impact on the projected return. The payouts for two of the winning hands – Full House and Flush – are the first thing to check for, as they are usually the key signal for house edge and RTP. Stick to full pay games, where the payment for a Full House is often 9 times the initial wager, while the payout for a Flush is typically 6 times the original bet.
A full pay game with an RTP of 99.54 percent is referred to as a 9/6 Jacks or Better, but the 10/8/5 Bonus Poker has an RTP of 94.18 percent, which is among the lowest possible for video poker in general. A Full House pays ten coins for a one-coin bet, a Flush pays eight coins, and a Straight pays five coins. A Four of Kind hand, on the other hand, has a divided reward based on the cards in it. In addition, unlike 9/6 Jacks or Better, a hand of Two Pair pays out evenly rather than double the bet. This is a perfect example of a deceptive pay table that appears to be good on the surface, but when you do the math, it turns out that the house has the advantage. There are hundreds of video poker variations, the majority of which have lower RTPs and are generally referred to as "tight" by players.
Rather of trying to get a rare hand, most players opt to stick to games with more balanced pay tables. Knowing the pay tables allows them to select an appropriate game - some varieties give lower but consistent payouts, while those with progressive jackpots have the potential to make you wealthy, but you will most likely lose a lot of money until that happens.
Variations of Video Poker with High RTPs
Although the majority of video games are designed to favour the casino, there are a number of versions that have RTPs of above 100%. Naturally, such profitability is only achievable if the player makes as few errors as possible and employs the appropriate approach. For example, a correctly played full pay Deuces Wild can yield a maximum return of 100.76 percent. It's a 9/6 game, and the Deuces (the Twos) are Wild Cards that can be used to substitute any card in the hand, making it much easier for the player to form a winning combination. It's vital to examine the payment for Four of a Kind, since if it's 4 times the bet instead of 5, the return drops to 99.73 percent.
The 10/7 Double Bonus Poker, which has an RTP of 100.17 percent, is another popular variety that offers you the chance to win. During a bonus game, there is a Double feature that can help players double their earnings - they are dealt five cards, but only one is face up, and they must choose a card from the others. They win if they can open a card with a higher value than the one they started with.
Double Double Bonus Poker additionally draws in players with a higher-than-average RTP of 98.98 percent. It's a full-pay, 9/6 game based on the classic Jacks or Better, but the payoff for a Four of a Kind hand varies depending on its strength, starting at 50 coins (for Fives through Kings) and going up to 400 coins for four Aces.
Of course, video poker games with progressive jackpots are appealing because the RTP percentage rises in tandem with the jackpot and frequently exceeds 100%. Players must, however, wager the maximum stake in order to qualify for a jackpot, and they can soon run out of money.
Expected Value and RTP
Players typically prefer video poker machines with greater RTP percentages, although a game's higher average return does not always equate to a higher actual return. Playing a game like 9/6 Deuces Wild, which has an RTP of over 100%, will make you money in the long run, but you won't be able to obtain its theoretical return of 100.76 percent in only a few games. However, you may still compute each game's projected return and value by taking into account its RTP % and total bets.
If you bet $100 on a video poker game with a 100 percent predicted return, you could win $100 if you adopt a near-perfect strategy. You may compute the expected return on a $400 wager on a full play Deuces Wild, which theoretically pays back 100.76 percent, to be $403.04. In other words, if a player plays for a long period, he or she can anticipate to win $3.04 for every $400 stake placed on this game. On the other side, playing a game with an RTP less than 100% will eventually result in losses. After numerous hands, a $400 bet on the 9/6 Double Double Bonus Poker, which has an RTP of 98.98 percent, would result in a total of $395.92. The loss will be $4.08, however this is simply an estimate and should only be used as a guide.
Similarly, the anticipated value of each game may be calculated — this is the average amount of winnings a player can expect to create after a specific length of time spent playing. Most skilled gamblers place 650 bets every hour on average. We must consider the total bets in order to estimate the total wager for an hour. Reduced denominations are available in several video poker games, resulting in a lower total wager. Of course, the number of hands played at the same time should be taken into account, as the majority of the lower denomination machines are multi-hand or power video poker games.
For example, if a player bets the maximum of 5 coins with a denomination of $0.25, the total amount wagered on each hand is $1.25. Given that he or she plays 650 hands every hour, we may estimate the amount invested in one hour by multiplying $1.25 by 650 – $812.5. If the player bets this amount on full pay Deuces Wild, he or she can multiply it by the game's RTP of 100.76 percent. After one hour of gaming, the projected return is $818,675 dollars. When we compare it to the initial investment of $812.5, we see a $6.175 difference. This suggests that for a one-hour session of Deuces Wild, the expected value is $6.18.
Let's look at another high-paying video poker game, 10/7 Double Bonus Poker, which boasts a 100.17 percent RTP. We believe that playing this game will yield you less money than betting on Deuces Wild for full pay. Surprisingly, though, this is not the case. To ensure maximum profits, play with the maximum number of coins and bet amount. For example, take a $5.00 stake and multiply it by 5 (the maximum number of coins) to achieve a wager of $25.00 for each hand. For an hour of play, the investment would be $25 multiplied by 650, or $16,250. The estimated return would be $16,373.5, or 100.17 percent of $16,250. The difference is $123.5, which is the expected value of an hour spent playing the game.
It turns out that by playing a game with a lower RTP percentage, the player can win a lot more money. As a result, when selecting a video poker game, players should always consider the overall amount of money they intend to wager. The greatest option is to play a game with the highest expected value rather than the biggest expected return.