3 Types Of Video Poker Variants

Few people know that early coin-operated mechanical slot machines featured Poker symbols, not a selection of fruit on their reels. Invented in Brooklyn in 1893, the Sittman-Pitt card machine is acknowledged as the first coin-operated gambling game to become popular across the USA.

It’s fitting, then, that one of the most popular offshoots of slots in today’s land-based, mobile and online casinos is Video Poker. Players who take the time to learn the mathematics of Poker or make draw-strategy sheets often find it both entertaining and profitable.

The modern game pays out according to the same Poker combinationsas those used in the Sittman-Pitt machine, but the power of the latest computer technology gives players many more options. For a start, Video Poker comes in an ever-increasing range of variations. Here are the 3 most popular types of variants.

Basic Game Variations

Jacks or Better is the standard form of Video Poker, so named because the pay table does not include any hand ranked lower than two Jacks. It can be found in what are termed“short-pay” and “full-pay” versions. The difference is in the pay tables: full-pay Video Poker variants usually include the numbers 9/6 in their titles, indicating a return of 9:1 on a Flush and 6:1 on a Full House. 9/6 games offer the best pay table returns in the Jacks or Better format.

Bonus Poker is also this type of variant, boosting the pay table by offering players “double” versions. Another is Tens or Better, which raises the odds of a win by starting the pay table at a Pair of 10s. This gives punters more potential wins, but payouts on all combinations are lower as a result.

Versions With Wild Cards

Deuces Wild, played using the standard 52-card deck but with all the 2s treated as Jokers, is a prime example of this kind of variation. Another is Joker Poker, played with 53 cards because one Joker is included.

This type of Video Poker variant increases players’ win probability too, and much like when you play Blackjack online in Canada, you can use strategy to give yourself the edge. Casinos compensate by makinga Pair of Queens the lowest winning hand, or by lowering the wins on each combo. A natural hand will usually make higher returns than a hand that needs a wild card to complete the same combination.

Aces And Faces

Aces and Faces is a Video Poker version with an impressive RTP of almost 99.26%.It plays with the same 52-card deck as Jacks or Better, and two Jacks is still the lowest combo that features on the pay table. The big difference lies in the return on Four of a Kind. In standard games, the payout on this combination is 25:1. It’s the same for all the non-picture cards in Aces and Faces, but it changes dramatically thereafter, and like any betting, if you use strategy, you could boost your winning chances. Four of a Kind featuring Jacks, Queens or Kings, the “faces”, wins 40:1, and four Aces will win 80 times the bet: a higher return than the 50:1 paid on a Straight Flush. A Royal Flush pays out 500:1, unless the bet is set at the maximum 5 credits: then it pays 800:1.


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