Required Bankroll for Video Poker

One of the keys to giving your self the best chance of success when playing video poker or any gambling game for that matter is bankroll management. This section covers a range of information that you can use to make sure you get the most out of your gambling cash and not go over your budget.

Bankroll Tips

The figures outlined below are based on the math of the games and are theoretical. There is no guarantee that if you play 40,000 hands you will hit a royal flush or that you will get the exact same payback.

Always gamble with money that you can afford to lose. You should always set your self a budget for each day you want to play and stick to that budget. Never under any circumstances should you chase your losses by increasing your bet or going over budget. If you have a bad session stop playing.

Starting Bankroll

The table below shows the average amount of hands you will get from a starting bankroll. As above you will in the real world get varying results. It is important to note that the smaller your bankroll the higher the risk of ruin - that is, the risk that a bad streak will cause you to lose your money before things average out.

Jacks or Better (9/6) Average Hands by Bankroll
Bankroll 25¢ Machine $1 Machine $5 Machine
$100 2666 66 13
$1000 26666 666 133
$5000 133330 3333 666

Going for a Royal Flush

A royal flush occurs on average every 40,000 hands or so. With this in mind we are going to look at what it will cost you to play 40,000 hands on one of the most popular machine variations - Jacks or Better. The table below shows you the expected cost if you play 40,000 hands with a royal flush (% + RF) and without a royal flush (% - RF).

Note: Perfect play is assumed as is playing max bet (5 Coins per hand).

Jacks or Better Cost per 40,000 Hands
PT Coin Wager % + RF Cost % - RF Cost
9/6 25¢ $50000 99.54 $230 97.56 $1220
9/6 $1 $200000 99.54 $920 97.56 $4880
9/6 $5 $1000000 99.54 $4600 97.56 $24400
9/5 25¢ $50000 98.44 $780 96.46 $1770
9/5 $1 $200000 98.44 $3120 96.46 $7080
9/5 $5 $1000000 98.44 $15600 96.46 $35400
8/6 25¢ $50000 98.39 $805 96.41 $1795
8/6 $1 $200000 98.39 $3220 96.41 $7180
8/6 $5 $1000000 98.39 $16100 96.41 $35900

Now that you know how much 40,000 hands will cost on average with perfect play just how long will it take you to play these hands? An experienced player can play around 600 hands per hour but the average player probably gets between 200 and 300 per hour. This means for the average player it will take around 160 hours of playing or 5 hours a day for just over a month.


The amount of money you gamble with is a very personal choice. Even knowing the averages and the math it should always be kept in mind that video poker is quite a high variance game. This means that you can have big swings of luck in either direction. You might hit three royal flushes in 5000 hands or you might not hit any for 100,000 hands - that's video poker for you.

More Playing Guides

How to Play Video Poker

A step by step guide to playing any type of video poker machine.

Machine Selection

Choosing which machines to play can have a big effect on your winnings.

Progressive Jackpots

Find out how games with progressive jackpots can offer RTP's over 100%.

Single Vs Multiplay

We compare the differences of playing one or one hundred hands per game.

Strategy Guide

Playing with perfect strategy increases your chance of winning long term.

Playing Tips

A quick selection of the best easy to remember playing tips.

Comp and VIP Programs

Learn how the extra rewards offered by casinos can add to game returns.

Play Online

Play video poker online at these recommended online casinos