Fat Tony's Video Poker
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The Video Poker Pay Table

A Video Poker pay table reveals the inner secrets of the game it's for. Problem is, nobody ever tells you just how to read the pay table - how to know which machine is better than another just by checking out that simple payout schedule. The reason for this is, you can't tell just by looking at it, you'd have to run it through a computer to really know. These computer programs do exist (I'm still looking for one that doesn't cost money), and people use them to create a Video Poker Strategy Card for a particular machine. You can buy these strategy cards from some, or find a few online.

So now we know the valued information (how much a machine pays back) isn't exactly printed right on the pay table. You can either learn how good a particular machine is by reading websites like this one, books, or from software. Once you've analyzed the pay table and learned how much a machine pays back, you can simply choose the most promising game that you have the strategy card for. That's the start of your strategy.

Video Poker Pay Table

Looking at the pay table itself, you'll notice that the payoffs are scaled according to the number of coins you play. This means that if you pay two coins, you get paid twice as much as playing one. The odds don't change as they might with a slot machine. A flush will pay five coins per coin played. This concept holds true for every hand except the royal flush. The royal flush is kind of like the progressive jackpot on a slot machine. You're not eligible for it unless you're playing full coins. Now, with Video Poker you still win when you hit a royal regardless of the number of coins you put in, you simply win significantly more when you hit a royal while playing full coins. For this reason, most books and resources recommend you always play with full coins. For the most part this is the better choice. The numbers in a Video Poker pay table include your original bet. This means that in a game of Jacks or Better when you get a pair of jacks, the 1 in the pay table indicates that you're paid back your bet, but nothing more. It's important to realize the numbers on the pay table represent coins, not dollars. Lots of people think they're able to win five thousand dollars for a royal flush on a quarter machine.