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Full Pay Video Poker

In the world of Video Poker, the best machines are known as 'full pay' machines. Contrary to popular believe, the term full pay doesn't mean the machine has a payback rate of over 100%. It just indicates that the machine your paying has a payout schedule that is the most player-friendly for that specific game. For Jacks or Better for instance, a full pay video poker machine is known as a 9/6.

The 9/6 comes directly from the pay-table. If you look at the single coin payout for a full house, you'll often see a 9, and if you look at the single coin payout for a flush, you'll often see a six. In the casino you'll come across many Jacks or Better machines that have this 9 and 6, and many that don't. The ones that have something different have had their payout schedule altered - and in casinos, alterations are usually not for the good of the player.

A short-pay machine (anything that's not full pay) should be avoided. In the case of Jacks or Better, you'll see 7/5 and 8/5 machines - these alterations usually translate into a house edge percentage change of 2 or 3%. Not tons, but certainly significant.

One other number to check on the pay table is the return number on two pair. If two pair only returns one coin on a Jacks or Better machine, it's likely that there are other alterations to the pay table also, and that you should be following an alerted strategy. If the rest of the pay table remains the same however, and the only difference is a single return on two pair, it's not a full pay video poker machine, and it's most certainly ripping you off.

For Jacks or Better, have a look at what playing less than a full pay 9/6 machine does for you:

Version   Edge against expert strategy
9/6 99.54%
8/5 97.30%
7/5 96.15%
6/5 95.00%