Statisticians guide to video poker odds for every winning hand.
the real deal on video poker, you ask? That’s a great question. Video
poker isn’t the plain-Jane gambling mechanism so many people think it
is. In fact, video poker can have the highest theoretical return to
player (RTP) of any game on the virtual online casino floor – even
higher than blackjack, depending on the rules and pay table.
knowing it’s a good option for the cost-conscious among us isn’t
enough to assuage every gambler. Odds are, if you’re interested
enough to know what games have the best payouts, you’d be equally
interested in what makes the game tick. Is the 99.91% RTP of
Microgaming’s All Aces Video Poker more likely to pay out
smaller sums just often enough to keep you running about even on your
bankroll, or is there a reasonable chance of winning the bigger
payouts for Quad Aces, Straight Flush or the grand daddy of them all,
the Royal Flush?
about Jacks or Better? Everyone says the 9/6 Full Pay games
are as good as it gets. With an RTP of 99.54%, it’s pretty close. All
Aces is actually better, but JoB Full Pay is far more readily
available. But again, what’s the chance you’ll hit a payout that’s
really worth something? That’s exactly what we aim to answer in
today’s write up.
Video Poker Odds for Every Winning Hand
The chart below details the odds of being dealt any particularly hand, segmented by each possible winning hand, versus all losing hands – in a standard video poker game. The following table does not account for specialty games like Deuces Wild or Joker Poker, where extra cards and/or wilds are present.
I continue, I’ll briefly explain how this information was gathered.
If you hate mathematics, feel free to skip ahead to the odds
table. If you love mathematics, then check out this page to
discover how I arrived at the answer to this first equation, because
I have no desire to explain the theory behind binomial coefficients.
You can learn how to write up and work the equation (52,5) for this
next part here.
5-Card Possibilities on Initial Deal
a 52-card deck, there are exactly 2,598,960 ways to be dealt 5
cards. That’s 2,598,960 possible hands you can be randomly dealt
the moment you insert money and press the “DRAW” button on a
standard video poker machine. This is as far as most video poker hand
calculations go in telling you the odds of being dealt any type of
hand, win or lose.
5-Card Possibilities after the Draw
remember, however, that you can “HOLD” any number of cards,
discarding the rest for replacements – replacements that cannot
mimic the held cards, or the discards you’re throwing away. If we
calculate all of those possible combinations, we come to a grand
total of 19,933,230,517,200 possible hands after the draw.
that’s a lot of combinations! Don’t believe me? Think a bout this. On
the opening draw, there are only 4 ways to be dealt a Royal Flush.
But when you base the possibilities on all hand combinations (2.5
million) that you can start with, accounting for the 32 different
ways to discard, and another 1,533,939 possible replacement cards,
it’s not so ridiculous to think there are 554,637,108 ways to draw
to a Royal Flush.
I said, I’m not going to explain the math behind this because, if you
aren’t familiar with binomial theorem, it won’t make sense anyway.
With that being said, here is the chart depicting your odds of being
dealt a paying video poker hand on the initial deal, as well as after
Odds Of Being Dealt Winning Video Poker Hands
This chart adheres to the winning hands on a standard Jacks or
Better pay table (Full Pay or otherwise); this being the most common
game available at land-based and online casinos worldwide.
Combinations on the Deal
Odds / %
Odds / %
1 in 649,740 0.0002%
1 in 64,947 0.0015%
4 of a Kind
3 of a Kind
1 in 1 100%
1 in 1 100%
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