Whereabouts of Good Video Poker Machines
In my opinion, the cutoff for a "good" video poker machine is one that
has a payout table that averages 99.5% or better with optimal play.
Casinos frequently change their machines and their policies, so this
list could be out of date by the time you read it. Send
me an e-mail with updated information and I will include it here and
give you credit (or not, if you tell me you want to remain anonymous).
Right now this is a very incomplete survey. You can fix that!
Skip Hughes is also maintaining a Web page of good
video poker machines.
Las Vegas has the best gambling anywhere. 6/9 jacks-or-better machines
(99.5%) are too numerous to list. A gambling-oriented site is Las
Vegas for Visitors at The Mining Co.
Many casinos have put in "Multi Poker" machines. This is relatively recent
(September 1996), or perhaps I missed them earlier. They combine Deuces
Wild, Jacks or Better, Bonus, Double Bonus, and Bonus Deluxe in one machine.
You pick which one you want to play. Some (not all) of these machines have
the full-pay variations.
Coast and its sister casinos the Gold Coast and the Orleans,
have full-pay deuces wild (100.7%) with a slot club (now offering cash
back), full-pay double bonus (100.2%), and 6/9 jacks-or-better machines
with a 4700 payout (99.9%). Alas, these casinos have pulled out their $1
full-pay deuces wild machines. (December 1997)
The new Stratosphere
Casino (the rebuilt Vegas World) has three types of "guaranteed over
100%" video poker machines: 10/6 jacks-or-better (100.6%), 9/7 jacks-or-better
(100.8%), and double bonus (100.2%). They freely advertize this; each such
machine has a special "certified over 100%" sticker. They also have a lot
of low pay machines, like 8/5s; you can see people blithely playing them
even though plenty of seats are available on the good machines. Go figure.
(December 1996) Bob Mueller now updates this: "The Stratosphere now
accepts their slot club cards in the over 100% return machines, but at
a reduced rate (80 quarters for a point). Still it is a good deal
as a buffet comp (any meal) is given for the first 50 points which are
retained for cash back (250 points for $5)."
Tom Dolan reports (Summer 1996) that the Boulder
Station has 10/6 machines (100.7%).
Mark Cox reports "a small casino in Henderson (just outside of Las Vegas)
called the Skyline. They have the only full pay nickel deuces wild machines
I've seen anywhere here in Vegas. They offer 5 nickel, 10 nickel, 5 quarter
and TEN quarter varieties. That's right TEN COINS. I like them a lot and
wanted to share it with others who happen upon your web site."
Marland reports, "As of 8-1-97 the Plaza in Las Vegas had four All-American
Poker (100.717%) and a lot of odd type jacks-or-betters 9/6 with 4700 Royal
(99.95%)." I verified this, and also observed full-pay deuces wild (100.7%)
and double bonus (100.2%). (April, 1998)
The Las Vegas Club downtown has $0.50 full-pay deuces wild (100.7%) and
jokers wild (100.6%). (April 1998)
Fitzgerald's downtown has full-pay double bonus (100.2%). (April 1998)
Alas, the Rio Hotel has pulled out
its full-pay deuces wild and full-pay double bonus machines. It still has
a few jacks-or-better 9/6/4700 machines (99.95%). Its double deuces machines
(99.7%) are also above my threshold, and one bank has a progressive on
the royal flush. (March 1998). A 1999 report says they also have $1 double
bonus machines (100.2%).
The Venetian has been experimenting with their payoffs in the year and
a half since they have been open. They opened with only $1 machines, then
changed to some quarters. They started out with 6/9 machines (although
some had a very strange 238 coins for a straight flush, instead of 250,
what's that all about?) Now their payoffs are on the low side, although
if you are willing to play $1 or triple-play quarters, you can still get
some full pays. (November, 2000)
Bob Mueller reports: "Sam's Town and Santa Fe each have progressive 6-9
Draw Poker and full-pay Deuces Wild machines. Full-pay Deuces Wild
can also be found at Sunset Station."
Sean McAuliffes reports "Bally's has full-pay double bonus poker machines
that also offer progressives on all the four of a kinds,straight flush
and royal (at least 100.2%)" (May 1998).
Pat O'Connell reports, "The Reserve in Henderson NV seemed to have nothing
but full pay video poker machines as of last summer (8/1/99)."
Frank Sarlo reports: "Henderson on Water Street has a casino called the
Rainbow Club. They actually have full pay 25 cent deuces wild machines
along with a complement of full pay dollar deuces wild machines along with
10/7 machines and some other goodies."
Lance Murakami reports: "The California hotel (downtown) has 3 full payout
Dueces Wild machines (1 near the craps pit and 2 near the escalators).
The Plaza also has 5 full payout Dueces Wild machines near the Keno area.
The Peppermill Casino has
pulled out most of their full-pay deuces wild with a progressive jackpot
(at least 100.7%). Three remain, near the entrance to the buffet. Inexplicably,
they have become very secretive about their slot club; you have ask, but
it still exists, and they will still enrole new members. (Updated July
The Circus Circus has full-pay
deuces wild (100.7%), and a tens-or-better carousel with a progressive
jackpot (at least 99.5%). (September 1997)
The Reno Hilton has put in full-pay
Multi Poker (100.7% deuces wild). Paul Ledeger reports that there are six
jokers wild machines that have been paid back to full pay (100.6%). (May
1997, confirmed February 1998). Mike Lackey reports it also has $1 double
bonus (100.2%).(December 1997)
The El Dorado has one bank of
6/9 jacks-or-better machines with a 4700 payout (99.9%).
Mike Lackey reports the Silver Legacy has full pay double bonus (100.2%)
Paul Ledeger reports (July 1998) that Rail City Casino in Sparks has four
full-pay multi-poker machines (100.7% deuces wild), and the Western
Village Casino also has full-pay multi-poker (100.7% deuces wild) and
full-pay double bonus (100.2%). (Confirmed Februrary 1998)
Ed Curry reports the Sand Casino has 9/6 machines, some with progressives
(at least 99.5%). (September 1997)
Mike Lackey reports that the Silver Legacy has:
"Full-pay joker wild - quarter (some progressive), $1, and $5
10/7 Double Bonus (same machines as the joker)
A few full-pay Deuces wild"
Mike Lackey reports "the good $1 multi-pokers upstairs at Eldorado have
full-pay Double Bonus as well as joker wild."
Mike Lackey reports "Comstock has three 15/10 Loose Deuces. They
also have 9/6 Jacks with a 4500 coin royal."
Bill Treshler reports "Harrah's Reno has 3 $1.00 Full Pay 10-7 Double Bonus
Machines in the Sports Casino near the corner of 2nd & Center Streets."
The Atlantis Casino removed their full-pay deuces wild carousel and all
their Multi Poker machines except one. (And that was gone by June 1998.)
however, a new source reports that they now have full pay double bonus,
"Just spent several days in Reno and stayed at the Atlantis. The casino
has dozens of 10-7 double bonus in .25 and 1.00 denominations, both throughout
the casino floor and at the bars. Plenty of triple play in 10-7 DB plus
one bank of 6 -.25 machines with 5-play feature.."
Bob Mueller reports: "The Golden Nugget Laughlin retains their row of 6-9-4700
Draw Poker machines near the north entrance, as well as a double row of
the full-pay Deuces Wild machines near the down escalators to the coffee
shop and buffet." I can verify the full-pay Deuces Wild machines, and also
observed full-pay Double Bonus (100.2%) (March 1998) Mike Lackey reports
full-pay jokers wild machines there also (100.6%) (February 1998). An anonymous
source has even more information, "The Golden Nugget has plenty off full
pay Deuces, a few full pay Jokers Wild and a few super full pay Jokers
(4700 Royal) plus some $1 10/7's double bonus. They also have a deal when
you open an account and put 500 points on your card, you get a free T-Shirt.Also,
rumor has it that if you want to get a room comped, they look at your last
play. If you've put roughly 150 points or more on your card, they will
probably comp it. They fill up pretty fast, though - they have fewer rooms
than a lot of other casinos in Laughlin."
Bob Mueller reports: "Flamingo Hilton: A very good selection of 9/6
machines, located near main entrance." (I verified in March 1998.)
The Colorado Belle had at least one full-pay Deuces Wild, plus full-pay
Double Deuces (99.7%). (March 1998)
has 6/9 jacks-or-better machines with a 4700 payout (99.9%). (December
Harrah's Casino has full-pay
Multi Poker (100.7% deuces wild) with a "cash back" slot club. (December
Casino, after many years, changed the payoff of their bank of six full-pay
joker's wild machines with a 4700 payout -- they now pay 17 on four-of-a-kind
(not even 18, which is still too low!). (July, 1998)
removed their bank of 6/9 jacks-or-better machines (99.5%). (July 1997)
It was in for less than a year.
The Riverbelle Casino
has 6/9 Jacks-or-Better machines (99.5%). Their servers are in Botswanna,
and are operating under that country's gambling rules.
George Clark reports, "I know of at least three online casinos that have
full-pay deuces wild poker in 25-cent and 1-dollar. These are:
All three use the same Java software, which also includes 8/5 Jacks or
Better, and a Bonus Poker game, neither of which is 100+%. But the deuces
wild is, indeed, the full-pay (100.76%) version. And, of course, none of
them have "slot clubs", although all three do offer a 10% sign-up bonus."
[A caveat: remember that many jurisdictions do not require a fair deck.
have no specific information about these three casinos, but any online
casino that offers a game greater than 100% is risking that someone will
write a program that plays them with an optimal strategy.]
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Frank Carbin reports that the Tropicana
has several 9/6 jacks-or-better machines (99.5%) and the Claridge
has about a dozen 9/6 machines on the mezzanine.
Henry Strouss reports that the Showboat has 9/6 jacks-or-better machines
(99.5%) for 25 cents and $1.
Elizabeth Waldron reports "there are at least 4 $1.00 double bonus (full
pay) in the east tower casino at the Trump Plaza".
Mark Radmanesh reports: "I was in Taj~Mahal in Atlantic City last weekend
(May 2000) they have full pay jacks or better locations: 1- Sultans Palace
(high limit) $2 near the BAR also $10 and $25, 2- they also have full pay
$1 Js or B as you walk from registration toward casino."
Steve Heston reports "Rolling Good Times magazine has a web page with articles
that claim the Alton Belle casino in Alton (Illinois) has 9/6 Jacks or
Better machines, and that the Casino Queen in East St. Louis (Illinois)
has 'full pay' double bonus machines with a 100.15% payback. I confirmed
that the Casino Queen slot club pays .2% on average, with triple payment
on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m."
Joe Chiles reports the Alton Belle new St. Louis offers a quarter 9/6 Jacks
or Better progressive.
Joe Chiles reports there is a great quarter 9/6 Jacks or Better triple
progressive at Harrah's in St. Louis. Progressive jackpots are offered
for the Royal Flush, Straight Flush, and quads.
Joe Chiles reporst 9/6 Jacks or Better machines [99.5%] can also be found
at the Hollywood Casino in Tunica County, Mississippi.
Stan Cobane reports, "There are two .50 AllAmerican machines at the Sheraton
at Tunica, Miss." He also verifies the reports from Steve Heston and Joe
Rick Barnes reports, "Grand Casion in Tunica, MS has quite a good supply
of Aces/Faces VP. Payout is 99.26%. When you count the cash back
from the slot club, it approaches 100% payback. They have it
in .25, .50 and $1. Hope this helps some of your site's readers."
Jim Duggan reports, "Players Island Casino, Metropolis IL (10/25/99) has
Full Pay All American Poker (6 machines 25 cents). Machines located
on 2nd deck to the right of bar. Players Island Casino, St. Louis MO, 2-9/6
jacks or better 25 cents (I know you said you don't list these, but they
are hard to find unless you're in LV). They also have a bank (8?)
of full pay $1 progressive. All of these are located on the barge on the
left as you go toward the two Players Island Casinos. Harrah's is
taking over Players, so the future of these machines may be in some doubt."
Mark from St. Louis adds the following: Both Player's Island and
Harrah's are located in the same building (Riverport) - each has two separate
casinos (previously used to stagger Missouri boarding times). The
boarding times have since been eliminated, but the walls between the casinos
has not yet been removed. Player's Island (left casino) still has two 9/6
Jacks or Better (0.25) machines. Player's Island (right casino) runs
a bank of 9/7 Double Bonus progressive (0.25) machines (down to 4 of a
kinds). Harrah's (right casino) offers two 9/6 Jacks or Better (0.25) machines.
Harrah's (left casino) offers three (9/6 Jacks or Better (0.25) machines.
Both Harrah's and Player's Island offer the 0.25 All American game on their
Bally multi-game machines. This is an 8/8/8 game. Also, Multi-Play
Video poker is very popular in the St. Louis area where many triple play
machines are being replaced with five-play and ten-play machines (0.25
and 0.05). The 0.25 triple play machines commonly pay 8/6 on a Jacks
or Better Game and pay 26-1 instead of 25-1 on a four of a kind. I am not
aware of any good paying Deuces Wild games in Missouri.
Mark from St Louis adds the following about Tunica County Mississippi:
Hollywood Casino offers 0.25 9/6 Jacks or Better machines. You will
only find low paying 0.25 video poker machines at Gold Strike, Sheraton,
and Horseshoe. In fact, there are relatively few video poker machines
at these casinos. The Grand Casino offers 8/5 Bonus Poker Aces & Faces
machines at 0.25. They also offer good Double Bonus Aces & Faces and
Double Double Bonus Poker Aces & Faces as well. There are many
of these machines scattered all over both floors of this very large casino.
This is probably a video poker player's heaven when outside Nevada.
Mark from St Louis adds the following about Biloxi: Again, the Grand Casino
Biloxi offers the same 0.25 Bonus, Double Bonus, and Double Double Bonus
Aces & Faces machines listed for Tunica County. Treasure Bay has 9/6
Jacks or Better games at the bar when you enter the casino. The Isle of
Capri offers several 10/7 Double Bonus Poker 0.25 machines. And, to my
amazement the $1.00 versions were 9/6 (for the same game). Equally surprising,
the 0.05 triple play machines at the New Palace Casino had the odds usually
seen on only 0.25 and higher triple play video poker (8/6).
An anonymous report from Tunica:
Hollywood-6-8 .25 9/6 and 5-6 $1 9/6 also a larger (25-30) bank of
8/5 .25 progressive .
Sam's Town-a few 8/5 bonus
Fitz-A few .25 9/6
Sheraton- 2 .50 9/6, $1 9/6, 5-6 .25 AA
Gold Strike- 4- .25 8/5 bonus 4-play
Grand- MANY 8/5 Aces/Faces in .25 and $1
Harrah's- .25 8/5 bonus progressive(a bank of 6-8). Many .25
and $1 9/6
Isle- 3 .25 9/6
Outside of the United States
Mike Van Emmerik has a video
poker page with the whereabouts of good video poker machines in Queensland,
Page last updated on November 29, 2000.
Return to Jeff Lotspiech's Video Poker page.