How Do You Calculate Video Poker Odds?


Like in any game, when you play video poker, if you want to win, or at least lose less frequently, you want to create the ideal strategy for your playing. Yet, when you do this, you should always take the odds into account. 

When we play slots, or when we play blackjack or roulette, most of us are fairly familiar with the odds, and they are pretty standard across the board, no matter how you play it.

How Do You Calculate Video Poker Odds

But, the trickier one is when you are playing video poker. Video poker is a bit harder to gauge. You need to consider your hand, and how you will play it, but video poker odds are not quite so obvious (see also “What Is A Video Poker Tournament?“). 

Today, we are going to tell you how you can calculate odds for video poker.

The Payoff Table

Video poker is a popular online and slot way of playing this very popular game (see also “How Do You Play A Video Poker Game?“). There is no bluff factor, and the game is pretty much just you, and the machine. So, it is actually simpler than it looks. 

In this game, you will be dealt 5 cards, then you can discard any amount of cards from none to all five. You will draw from the deck to replace your discarded cards. 

The value of the poker hand you end up with will be determined by something which is known as a payoff table. Typical payoff tables for a general jacks or better video poker game are pretty standard. 

This is what it would look like per $1.00 bet per game:

Hand Payoff
Royal flush $800
Straight flush $50
4 of a kind $25
Full house $9
Flush $6
Straight $4
3 of a kind $3
2 pair $2
Pair >= jacks $1
Other combinations $0

Think Strategy

You do have to think about strategy when you play video poker. When you are dealt a hand with 3 of a kind or a pair, and some other worthless cards, then you do need to use critical thinking and just discard these worse cards and try to improve on your pair or 3 of a kind. 

When you are in a brick-and-mortar establishment you do not often have the luxury of having easy dealings to evaluate, most of the time, you get a bad hand and just have to deal with it. 

Odds & RTP Rate

A lot of gamblers will probably believe that video poker machines (see also “Best Payout Video Poker Machines“) are pretty useless and are just a waste of money. Instead, most will go to the slots and try their luck there.

However, this is untrue, sure, video poker is not quite as colorful, however, it is well proven to be much more giving when it comes to winnings 

Video poker is one of the few games, alongside blackjack, where you have the genuine opportunity to win more than you could lose! 

It might seem to be a game of chance to those who are not quite so experienced, but enthusiastic players and most gambling experts are well aware that it is actually more about skills. 

So, every decision you make during the gameplay has an impact on the outcome of the game overall, slots are not like this. Also, most casinos will not reveal the payback percentage of all slots, but with video poker they always do. 

Payback percentage shows how much per bet on average will be returned to you as winnings in the long term. With slots, it is often 70 to 90 percent, but with video poker it is often 97 to 99 percent. So, you are more likely to lose much less playing video poker than slots.

Odds In Video Poker

How Do You Calculate Video Poker Odds (1)

To best understand how you are likely to win in video poker, you need to be familiar with video poker and its rules. This game is based upon 5-card draw poker, it can be one of the more simple forms of poker.

Video poker is also played on a console, similar to a slot machine, or in a virtual game in an online casino.

There will be a 52 card deck, and you will be dealt 5 cards in the first draw, and you will be given the choice of whether or not to hold or discard. The second follows and if you win, you get a payout that is in line with the bet and the hand. 

Before getting onto the odds, you should be aware that there are 32 ways you can play every hand you are dealt, so you have to make the best choice, each time you push the button to draw. 

You should also be aware of how each hand ranks in video poker. The basic version of the game focuses on jacks or better, as we previously mentioned, and in regular poker, the hands are ranked the same way. 

A royal flush is the highest paying hand, with a ten, jack, queen, king, and ace, all of the same suit. Straight full is second best with 5 consecutive cards of the same. 

Consider RNG’s

Note that all video poker machines and slots use RNG (Random Number Generators). This makes sure that the game outcomes are totally random and are not predictable. This is very important as it ensures that all games are fair. 

RNG produces a long sequence of numbers in a predetermined range and they are constantly generated, even once you have been dealt the cards. It determines the cards dealt and the position in which they are dealt. 

To Conclude

The best way to understand how to calculate odds in video poker is to have a good understanding of the game and how it works. You should also understand the hand rankings. 

Hand rankings are the most important, and how you play the hands you are dealt. Look at the payback percentage for a better idea of the individual games’ odds.

Richie Thames

Hi, my name is Richie Thames and I have been a software developer for 12 years. I have worked on some of the most popular online slot machine games, including ones you still see in online casinos today. While there is no simple trick to win the jackpot, there is power in learning about your game before playing. With several decades of experience under my belt, I created this website in the hopes of helping newbies on their journey. Please, enjoy my website, and I hope you learn something valuable about the art of gambling. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next jackpot winner?

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