For the majority of players, when it comes to selecting a video poker game variant, payout rates are the deciding factor. While payout rates in video poker are generally very favourable in comparison to most other casinos games, often offering payback rates of 100% and more, this isn’t the only factor you should be considering when choosing your game.
It is important to be aware of the fact that many video poker game variants require complex strategy plays and are subject to higher variance than others. Not being aware of this could end up for a very miserable experience that ends up costing you more money than you make.
Here we discuss these two subtle factors and how they can influence your game.
Higher payout potentials often require more complex strategy
If you compare a game of 9/6 Jacks or Better and full-pay Deuces Wild side-by-side, you’ll immediately notice that Deuces Wild Video Poker features a 100.76% payout rate. Due to this fact, this games is one of the most highly sought after casino games in the world. While it is rare, some online casinos do offer it but if you sit down to play it you’ll quickly realize that the game play strategy is rather complicated. So in order to achieve the maximum payout rate you’ll have to be aware of how to play it correctly.
This is the same for most other higher payout video poker games like 10/7 Double Bonus Video Poker with its 100.17% payout rate. While it’s great to know that you can overcome the house edge in the long term, one also needs to consider how many mistakes you’ll make when learning and implementing these strategies in the initial stages of play.
For this reason, many experts suggest that players rather play 9/6 Jacks or Better games instead where a full house pays 9:1 and a flush 6:1. Full pay Jacks or Better games still offer a 99.54% return if perfect strategy is implemented and best of all, it’s not as complex as those required by variants that pay back over 100%.
Positive Expectation games have higher variance
Unlike Jacks or Better, certain games like Double Bonus video poker offer bonus payouts. In Double Bonus games you will be able to achieve inflated payouts on specific hands like Four Aces and four 2’s, 3’s and 4’s. While this does add a great deal of interest and excitement to the game, it does mean that there are also fewer small payouts available and as the variance of the game increases you may actually have to endure longer cold streaks and losses before a big win occurs.
Obviously whether or not this is an issue for you will depend on the size of your bankroll, but if you’re on a limited budget and are just a casual player looking for some fun, then bonus games are not always your best option. You’ll probably get more enjoyment and value for money out of Jacks or Better games with smaller, more frequent payouts which help you to expand and sustain your casino bankroll and enjoy gaming for longer.
If you’re still going to play the highest paying games
If you do come across a video poker game with a 100% or more payout rate and still want to play it, then keep two things in mind.
Firstly, ensure that you study the game rules and strategy well before you play in order to increase your odds of winning. Secondly, ensure that you have a large bankroll and apply sound casino bankroll management principles, especially if you’re going to play a bonus game. A general guideline is to have a bankroll of three to four times the value of a Royal Flush payout which at 4000 coins would equate to a sum of between 12,000 and 16,000 coins.
If you obey these two principles then you’ll be able to play high payout games with the best odds of maximizing your payouts.