Getting Jacked Up.
The following card combinations are ranked in order from the strongest to weakest:
1. Royal Flush.
2. Straight Flush.
3. Four of a Kind.
4. Full House.
7. Three of a kind.
8. Two pair.
9. One pair of Jacks or better.
Editor's Note: Strategy Tips above are for Jacks+ 9/6 version only. Bonus, Double Bonus and Triple Bonus Jacks+ require specific strategies for different pay tables.
A basic Video Poker Education should begin with a basic version - Jacks or Better (Jacks+).
This version is the choice of newbie and veteran VP players alike, and to help the beginners, I have included a detailed strategy chart later in this article.
First, the three techniques required to maintain optimum VP play are:
Draw To The Hand Higher On The List. The high card is a Jack Or Better.
|Hand Dealt||# Cards To Draw|
|Straight Flush (SF)||0|
|4 Of A Kind||0|
|4-Card Straight Flush||1|
|3 Of A Kind||2|
|3-Card Royal Flush||2|
|Outside 4-Card Straight||1|
|3-Card Straight Flush||2|
|2-Card Royal, No 10||3|
|3 High Cards (Jacks +)||2|
|2 High Cards (Jacks +)||3|
|Inside 4-(No High Cards)||5|
|None Of The Above||5|
A common error newbie VP players make is not playing maximum coin. This method not only places you 'out of the running' for the best payouts, but also allows the casinos to hold 2% more money.
To clarify payouts on two pair, it may be worth noting that unlike many other VP versions, Jacks+ pays two coins for two pair. The 9/6 numbers refer to the payouts for a full house and flush as per one coin payout. Thus, a 9/6 Jacks or Better VP version would pay 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush on a one coin bet.
If you bet 5 coins, all winning hands are paid out multiplied by a factor of 5, except for the Royal Flush. This is a bonus amount designed as an incentive to play five coins. A Royal Flush is hit approx. every 40,000 hands with this version. Overall Average Payback with optimum play = 99.54%.
An outside straight is completed with two possible cards, (e.g. dealt 6,7,8,9) - a ten or five can produce a winning hand. This hand is held for possible win.
An inside straight is completed with one card only, (e.g., dealt 6,7,9,10) - only the eight can produce a winning hand.
Never keep a kicker (an ace or high card) with a small pair. You will discard all five cards approximately 3% of the time in search of a better hand.
|Full-pay 9/6 VP pay schedule for Jacks or Better:|
Multiply by 5 for maximum coin play.
|Pair - Jacks or Better||returns the bet.|
|Two pair (2 PR)||pays 2-1|
|Three-of-a-kind (3/kind)||pays 3-1|
(sequence, not same suit)
(non-sequential, same suit)
|Full house (FH)|
(3 of a kind and a pair)
|Four-of-a-kind (quad)||pays 25-1|
|Straight flush (SF)|
(in sequence, same suit)
|Royal flush (RF)||pays 250-1|
|(except with max. coins)||pays 4000|
Gayle Mitchell is author of Casino Gambling Made Easier books, Ebooks, booklets & the Slots Trilogy. Editor of Free Casino Players Ezine.