Note: these returns are calculated assuming optimal play (you choose the best possible discard for every hand dealt). They also assume the machines deal fairly, an underlying -- but rarely discussed -- assumption of all writers on video poker strategies. For an explanation of how these returns were calculated, click here.

Video poker's high jackpots mean that, unless you play thousands and thousands of hours, your actual return can be significantly different than the average returns given here. I have written a Java-based "gambler's ruin" calculator that you can play with if you want to get a feel for this.

*Using these tables*. New types of video poker machines spring
up every day. I am having a hard time keeping track of all of them (especially
since this is just a hobby, not a job). Fortunately, you can often use
these tables to guess the expected return for a new variation you encounter.
For example, I recently came across a variation of Double Bonus: it changes
the payoff on the Full House from 10:1 to 9:1. It doesn't sound like much,
does it? But look at the Double Bonus
table: full houses account for 11.18% of your expected return. By reducing
it by 10% (10:1 to 9:1), the casino is pocketing about 1.12% extra on each
machine. This will give the machine roughly a 99% return -- not a rip-off,
but below my personal threshold. It may be possible to get a fraction of
this back by modifying your strategy, but a rule of thumb is that strategy
modifications are at least an order of magnitude less than payoff modifications.

- Jacks-or-better Machines
- 9/6 Jacks-or-better; 4700 Royal
- 9/6 Jacks-or-better; 4000 Royal
- 8/5 Jacks-or-better
- 10/6 Jacks-or-better
- 9/7 Jacks-or-better
- Tens-or-better Machines
- "Bonus Poker" Machines
- Joker Wild Machines
- Deuces Wild Machines
- Full Pay Deuces Wild
- Deuces Wild (4 for Four-of-a-Kind)
- "Double Deuces" (2500 for Four Deuces)
- "Loose Deuces"
- "Double Deuces"
- Deuces/Joker Wild Machines

Last modified *February 28, 1998.*

For near-optimal strategies for some of these machines, return to Jeff
Lotspiech's Video Poker Page.

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4700 | 2.46% | 1 in 38078 |

Straight flush | 250 | 0.55% | 1 in 9019 |

Four of a kind | 125 | 5.89% | 1 in 424 |

Full house | 45 | 10.35% | 1 in 87 |

Flush | 30 | 6.63% | 1 in 90 |

Straight | 20 | 4.51% | 1 in 89 |

Three of a kind | 15 | 22.30% | 1 in 13 |

Two pair | 10 | 25.83% | 1 in 8 |

Jacks or better | 5 | 21.35% | 1 in 5 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
99.90% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.98% | 1 in 40391 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 0.54% | 1 in 9148 |

Four of a Kind | 125 | 5.90% | 1 in 423 |

Full House | 45 | 10.36% | 1 in 87 |

Flush | 30 | 6.60% | 1 in 91 |

Straight | 20 | 4.49% | 1 in 89 |

Three of a Kind | 15 | 22.33% | 1 in 13 |

Two Pair | 10 | 25.85% | 1 in 8 |

Jacks or Better | 5 | 21.45% | 1 in 5 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
99.54% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.99% | 1 in 40170 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 0.53% | 1 in 9288 |

Four of a Kind | 125 | 5.90% | 1 in 423 |

Full House | 40 | 9.21% | 1 in 87 |

Flush | 25 | 5.45% | 1 in 92 |

Straight | 20 | 4.49% | 1 in 89 |

Three of a Kind | 15 | 22.33% | 1 in 13 |

Two Pair | 10 | 25.85% | 1 in 8 |

Jacks or Better | 5 | 21.50% | 1 in 5 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
97.29% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.98% | 1 in 40391 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 0.54% | 1 in 9148 |

Four of a Kind | 125 | 5.90% | 1 in 423 |

Full House | 50 | 11.51% | 1 in 87 |

Flush | 30 | 6.60% | 1 in 91 |

Straight | 20 | 4.49% | 1 in 89 |

Three of a Kind | 15 | 22.33% | 1 in 13 |

Two Pair | 10 | 25.85% | 1 in 8 |

Jacks or Better | 5 | 21.45% | 1 in 5 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
100.69% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.67% | 1 in 47862 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 0.55% | 1 in 9067 |

Four of a Kind | 125 | 5.86% | 1 in 426 |

Full House | 45 | 10.26% | 1 in 88 |

Flush | 35 | 10.28% | 1 in 68 |

Straight | 20 | 4.37% | 1 in 92 |

Three of a Kind | 15 | 22.04% | 1 in 14 |

Two Pair | 10 | 25.49% | 1 in 8 |

Jacks or Better | 5 | 20.25% | 1 in 5 |

Loss | 1 in 1.7 | ||

TOTAL |
100.8% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 2.05% | 1 in 38937 |

Straight flush | 250 | 0.51% | 1 in 9726 |

Four of a kind | 125 | 5.89% | 1 in 424 |

Full house | 30 | 6.89% | 1 in 87 |

Flush | 25 | 5.32% | 1 in 94 |

Straight | 20 | 4.94% | 1 in 81 |

Three of a kind | 15 | 22.27% | 1 in 13 |

Two pair | 10 | 25.80% | 1 in 8 |

Tens or better | 5 | 25.42% | 1 in 4 |

Loss | 1 in 1.9 | ||

TOTAL |
99.13% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.98% | 1 in 40233 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 0.53% | 1 in 9360 |

Four Aces | 400 | 1.56% | 1 in 5106 |

Four 2's,3's,4's | 200 | 2.10% | 1 in 1897 |

Four 5's-K's | 125 | 4.09% | 1 in 610 |

Full House | 40 | 9.21% | 1 in 87 |

Flush | 25 | 5.44% | 1 in 92 |

Straight | 20 | 4.48% | 1 in 89 |

Three of a Kind | 15 | 22.34% | 1 in 13 |

Two Pair | 10 | 25.86% | 1 in 8 |

Jacks or Better | 5 | 21.52% | 1 in 5 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
99.16% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.66% | 1 in 48048 |

Four Aces | 800 | 3.18% | 1 in 5030 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 0.56% | 1 in 8841 |

Four of a Kind (5-K) | 250 | 8.03% | 1 in 622 |

Four of a Kind (2-4) | 400 | 4.19% | 1 in 1908 |

Full House | 50 | 11.18% | 1 in 89 |

Flush | 35 | 10.46% | 1 in 67 |

Straight | 25 | 7.50% | 1 in 67 |

Three of a Kind | 15 | 21.65% | 1 in 14 |

Two Pair | 5 | 12.46% | 1 in 8 |

Jacks or Better | 5 | 19.23% | 1 in 5 |

Loss | 1 in 1.7 | ||

TOTAL |
100.17% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.90% | 1 in 42077 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 0.54% | 1 in 9173 |

Four of a Kind | 400 | 18.87% | 1 in 424 |

Full House | 40 | 9.18% | 1 in 87 |

Flush | 30 | 6.67% | 1 in 90 |

Straight | 20 | 5.13% | 1 in 78 |

Three of a Kind | 15 | 22.21% | 1 in 14 |

Two Pair | 5 | 12.83% | 1 in 8 |

Jacks or Better | 5 | 21.12% | 1 in 5 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
98.49% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.98% | 1 in 40231 |

Four Fives | 500 | 1.86% | 1 in 5352 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 0.54% | 1 in 9250 |

Four of a Kind | 125 | 4.14% | 1 in 604 |

Four of a Kind | 125 | 1.31% | 1 in 1899 |

Full House | 35 | 7.99% | 1 in 88 |

Flush | 25 | 5.36% | 1 in 93 |

Three Fives | 25 | 2.83% | 1 in 176 |

Straight | 20 | 4.51% | 1 in 89 |

Three of a Kind | 15 | 15.99% | 1 in 19 |

Three of a Kind | 15 | 4.70% | 1 in 64 |

Two Pair | 10 | 25.88% | 1 in 8 |

Jacks or Better | 5 | 21.40% | 1 in 5 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
98.56% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.76% | 1 in 45282 |

Four Deuces | 1000 | 4.07% | 1 in 4909 |

Wild Royal Flush | 125 | 4.48% | 1 in 557 |

Five of a Kind | 75 | 4.80% | 1 in 312 |

Straight Flush | 45 | 3.70% | 1 in 243 |

Four of a Kind | 25 | 32.46% | 1 in 15 |

Full House | 15 | 6.36% | 1 in 47 |

Flush | 10 | 3.33% | 1 in 60 |

Straight | 10 | 11.29% | 1 in 18 |

Three of a Kind | 5 | 28.45% | 1 in 4 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
100.76% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 5000 | 2.42% | 1 in 41251 |

Four Deuces | 1000 | 3.73% | 1 in 5359 |

Wild Royal Flush | 125 | 4.87% | 1 in 513 |

Five of a Kind | 75 | 4.67% | 1 in 321 |

Straight Flush | 45 | 4.41% | 1 in 204 |

Four of a Kind | 20 | 24.45% | 1 in 16 |

Full House | 20 | 10.47% | 1 in 38 |

Flush | 15 | 6.20% | 1 in 48 |

Straight | 10 | 11.38% | 1 in 18 |

Three of a Kind | 5 | 26.75% | 1 in 4 |

Loss | 1 in 1.7 | ||

TOTAL |
99.38% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.76% | 1 in 45311 |

Four Deuces | 2500 | 10.63% | 1 in 4702 |

Wild Royal Flush | 125 | 4.24% | 1 in 589 |

Five of a Kind | 85 | 5.39% | 1 in 315 |

Straight Flush | 50 | 4.34% | 1 in 230 |

Four of a Kind | 20 | 26.04% | 1 in 15 |

Full House | 15 | 6.34% | 1 in 47 |

Flush | 10 | 3.29% | 1 in 61 |

Straight | 10 | 11.06% | 1 in 18 |

Three of a Kind | 5 | 28.47% | 1 in 4 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
101.60% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.78% | 1 in 44920 |

Four Deuces | 2000 | 8.37% | 1 in 4779 |

Wild Royal Flush | 125 | 4.39% | 1 in 569 |

Five of a Kind | 80 | 5.03% | 1 in 318 |

Straight Flush | 55 | 5.02% | 1 in 219 |

Four of a Kind | 20 | 25.93% | 1 in 15 |

Full House | 15 | 6.31% | 1 in 48 |

Flush | 10 | 3.35% | 1 in 60 |

Straight | 10 | 11.15% | 1 in 18 |

Three of a Kind | 5 | 28.32% | 1 in 4 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
99.70% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.78% | 1 in 44763 |

Four Deuces | 2500 | 10.69% | 1 in 4674 |

Wild Royal Flush | 125 | 4.28% | 1 in 583 |

Five of a Kind | 60 | 3.81% | 1 in 315 |

Straight Flush | 40 | 3.13% | 1 in 255 |

Four of a Kind | 20 | 26.12% | 1 in 15 |

Full House | 15 | 6.35% | 1 in 47 |

Flush | 10 | 3.28% | 1 in 61 |

Straight | 10 | 11.21% | 1 in 18 |

Three of a Kind | 5 | 28.49% | 1 in 4 |

Loss | 1 in 1.8 | ||

TOTAL |
99.19% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.94% | 1 in 41214 |

Five of a Kind | 1000 | 1.86% | 1 in 10713 |

Wild Royal Flush | 500 | 1.04% | 1 in 9611 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 2.87% | 1 in 1740 |

Four of a Kind | 100 | 17.11% | 1 in 117 |

Full House | 35 | 10.97% | 1 in 64 |

Flush | 25 | 7.78% | 1 in 64 |

Straight | 15 | 4.97% | 1 in 60 |

Three of a Kind | 10 | 26.78% | 1 in 7 |

Two Pair | 5 | 11.08% | 1 in 9 |

Kings or Better | 5 | 14.19% | 1 in 7 |

Loss | 1 in 1.7 | ||

TOTAL |
100.64% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Royal Flush | 4700 | 2.43% | 1 in 38614 |

Five of a Kind | 1000 | 1.86% | 1 in 10725 |

Wild Royal Flush | 500 | 1.08% | 1 in 9246 |

Straight Flush | 250 | 2.87% | 1 in 1739 |

Four of a Kind | 100 | 17.08% | 1 in 117 |

Full House | 35 | 10.96% | 1 in 64 |

Flush | 25 | 7.87% | 1 in 63 |

Straight | 15 | 4.98% | 1 in 60 |

Three of a Kind | 10 | 26.73% | 1 in 7 |

Two Pair | 5 | 11.07% | 1 in 9 |

Kings or Better | 5 | 14.02% | 1 in 7 |

Loss | 1 in 1.7 | ||

TOTAL |
101.01% |

HAND | PAYS | RETURN | FREQUENCY |

Five Wild Cards | 10000 | 1.54% | 1 in 129801 |

Royal Flush | 4000 | 1.58% | 1 in 50516 |

Four Deuces | 125 | 0.37% | 1 in 6754 |

Wild Royal Flush | 60 | 3.06% | 1 in 391 |

Five of a Kind | 45 | 5.17% | 1 in 174 |

Straight Flush | 30 | 4.48% | 1 in 134 |

Four of a Kind | 15 | 24.37% | 1 in 12 |

Full House | 15 | 7.98% | 1 in 38 |

Flush | 15 | 8.72% | 1 in 34 |

Straight | 10 | 13.22% | 1 in 15 |

Three of a Kind | 5 | 28.47% | 1 in 4 |

Loss | 1 in 2 | ||

TOTAL |
99.00% |