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Progressive Video Poker

Progressive jackpots aren't just for the slots hounds anymore! In Video poker, progressive machines contribute towards the 'jackpot' payoff for a royal flush (or whatever happens to be the top hand). Usually the progressive network is a handful of machines in the same casino, whereas progressive slots can have networks spanning right across the country.

A fairly coming progressive video poker game would be an 8/5 Jacks or Better. The pay schedule would look identical to an ordinary 8/5 Jacks or Better machine, but the royal flush payback would be displayed at the top of the machine, as a constantly growing number. As with slots, you'll have to play the maximum number of coins to be eligible for the royal bonus.

Once a royal has been hit, the progressive amount displayed is paid off to the winner, and the number gets reset to some base value (in most cases, whatever the pay-schedule of a non-progressive counterpart indicates).

So how do we know when it's smart to play a progressive over a regular machine? We think about it. If the jackpot on an 8/5 Jacks or Better progressive has just been reset, we're obviously better off playing straight up 9/6 Jacks or Better. For the return percentage to run into something truly worth looking at, the value of a royal would need to be quite high. On a quarter machine the value would have to reach over 8600 coins. But the casinos don't show you the progressive jackpot in terms of coins like the pay schedule. Instead it converts it to dollars. For a quarter machine then you need to look for a jackpot that has exceeded $2150 to know the game has become positive expectation.

There are certain complications to remain aware of though. Since a progressive turns the game into one where you alter your strategy according to the value of the royal, your perfect Jacks or Better strategy is no longer so perfect. If you were to use a 9/6 strategy against an 8/5 progressive, you honestly wouldn't lose much, but it's still worth considering. Also, since the payback is concentrated more around the royal, you know the game will be inherently volatile.