One of the great features of video poker machines is that you can find out what the payout percentage is simply by looking at the pay out table. Knowing this, it is your job as a player to always make sure you are playing the best possible machines in the casino. While choosing a full pay machine will not guarantee that you will win it will over the long term give you the best chance of winning.
So how do you find the best machines? The first step is to learn what the full pay pay tables are for the games you like to play. In our Video Poker Games section we have detailed information on all of the most popular games. Look up your favored games and memorize the full pay version. In many cases when you compare the different pay tables you will notice that only a few pays change.
For example on Jacks or Better the most common payout that change are the
flush and full house wins. A full pay machine pays 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush (Note : there are Jacks or Better machines with better pay tables but as they are very rare the 9/6 version is considered full pay).
While this may seem trivial. Even a small change to one or two of the wins can make a very big difference to the overall expected return. Take a look at the numbers below to get a better idea of the difference.
- 9/6 Jacks or Better : 99.54%
- 9/5 Jacks or Better : 98.44%
- 8/6 Jacks or Better : 98.39%
- 8/5 Jacks or Better : 97.29%
As you can see by looking around for the best games you can cut the house edge by over 2% just in the variations outlined above. The casinos know that most players do not know what to look for and will assume that any machine that has a Jack or Better sign on the front will be the same. This is what separates the smart video poker players from the average punters.
While full pay machines are quite common for most game variations in Las Vegas you might find them harder to find in other gambling locations. One tip for machine selection is to not only learn what the best possible pay tables are but also what the next few pay tables are like down the line. This way if you have a choice between two or three games you will still play the best possible one.
Using the example listed above, if there were no 9/6 machines in the casino you are playing at then a 9/5 machine would be marginally better than
an 8/6 machine. As long as you get yourself on to the best machine that you can find then you have made the first step towards winning.
Of course finding the best games is only the start. You then need to play perfectly using correct strategy to make sure you keep the house edge at it's lowest. You will also need some luck as even a long session on a full pay machine does not in any way guarantee that you will walk away a winner.