Video Poker Machine Terms

To get the most out of this site and the most out of your play it is worth learning the most common video poker terminology. These terms are found throughout this site and are commonly used in books and conversations with other players.

Playing a machine is known as giving the machine action
Average Payback
Also known as EV or Expected Value. The EV is the average pay back of any particular play. It is important where you have several options on a hand as you should always go for the one with the highest EV.
Bet Max
Also known as maximum bet which is five coins per hand on most games.
Cash Out
The act of taking your money out of the machine. You will find a cash out button on the button panel. Simply press it to remove your money from the machine.
The additional rewards such as cash back or free rooms you get for using a slot or VIP card when you play. Comps is short for compensation.
All video poker machines display the money you put in as credits. For example if you play a $1 machine and insert a $20 note you will get 20 credits to play with. Wins on the payout tables are also listed in credits.
The statically average number of hands for any particular hand to be dealt. For example a royal flush will be dealt roughly once in every 40,000 hands played. It is important to note that this is based on the maths and a royal may come up many times in 40,000 hands or never in 40,000 hands. There is no guarantee that if you play 40,000 hands in a row you will get a royal.
Can relate to two things. The first is the value of the cards and the second is the value of the coin size.
Discard Cards
The cards that you decide not to hold after the initial deal.
Double Up
A secondary betting option where you have the chance to try to make your win bigger by entering the double up round.
The second deal of the cards after you have selected cards to hold or discard.
Also known as house edge. The mathematical advantage the casino has on the games. For example on a full pay Jacks or Better machine the edge is 0.46%.
Expected Return
The average amount paid back on any particular play
Expected Value
Also known as EV. The average of all possible outcomes for any play.
A five card hand that contains cards all of the same suit
Four of a Kind
A hand where four cards have the same value. For example 10d, 10c, 10s and 10h - the fifth card has no effect. Also known as quads.
Full House
A hand consisting of a three of a kind and a pair. Example 2s, 2h, 2h, 7h, 9c
Full Pay
Used to describe the best possible pay table for a particular game type. For example a full pay version of Jacks or Better has a 9 coin win for a full house and a 6 coin win for a flush.
The five cards dealt on the screen are known as your hand.
After the initial deal you have the option to keep any or all of the cards. This is known as holding cards. The opposite is discarding cards.
Found inside all video poker machines that pay out coins. The hopper holds the coins and releases them when you hit the cash out button.
Inside Straight
A hand where you need a card in the middle of the run to achieve a straight. For example if you have 9h, 10c, Qs, Kc your need a J of any suit to make the hand.
An additional pay for hitting a big hand such as a royal flush. A jackpot is often progressive in the fact that it grows as games are played.
A card that when added to another hand increases the win. For example on Double Double Bonus a kicker is an Ace, Two , Three or Four. A pay where this comes into play is for example four aces with a two as the kicker.
Maximum Coins
Every video poker game has a maximum number of coins you can play per hand. In most cases this is five coins. Pressing the Bet Max button automatically bets the highest possible coins and initiates the deal.
Multi Hand
Any video poker game where you can play more than one hand at a time. Common varieties include triple, five and ten hand play.
The mathematical likely hood that any particular hand will occur
Pat Hand
A hand that is complete and cannot be improved after the initial deal. Examples include a royal flush, a straight, four of a kind or a full house.
Pay Back
The expected return on a video poker game after millions of hands have been played. Also known as the EV of the game.
Pay Off
The amount won for any particular had. Video poker machines display this is coins so if you are playing a quarter machine and you hit a 4000 coin royal flush you will win $1000. (4000 x 0.25 = 1000)
Pay Table
The list of possible payout displayed on the front of the machine. By looking at the pay table you can determine the pay back.
Perfect Play
The act of playing every hand according to the highest EV. Perfect play is the only way to achieve the lowest possible house edge on any given machine.
Progressive Jackpot
A jackpot that grows according to the amount of action a machine receives. Progressive jackpots on video poker machines can occasionally turn a negative expectation game into positive one.
Random Number Generator
Also known as RNG. The RNG is a computer chip inside every machine that is used to make sure that the cards are consistently shuffled in a random manner.
Risk of Ruin
This is the chance that you will run out of money before the game reaches it's statistical pay back percentage.
Royal Flush
The highest possible hand on most machines. A royal flush is an ace high straight flush. For example 10h, Jh, Qh, Kh and Ah in any order.
Stands for return to player. See - Pay Back
Sequential Royal Flush
A royal flush in numerical order from 10 on the left to ace on the right. Some machines such as Pick'em Poker offer an additional jackpot for this hand.
A five card hand consisting of cards in consecutive order but different suits. For example, 2h, 3d, 4h, 5s, 6c
Straight Flush
A five card hand consisting of five cards of the same suite in consecutive order.
Strategy Card
A card showing the correct plays for every possible hand on a particular game.
The are four suits in a playing card deck, Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades.
Three of a kind
A hand that has three cards of the same value and two different cards. For example Qh, Qs, Qc, 6h, 9s - the additional cards have no effect.
Two Pairs
A hand that consists of two separate pairs of cards. For example 8h, 8c, As, Ah, 10c. The additional card has no effect.
Wild Card
Any card that can substitute for all other cards. Common examples of the are deuces in Deuces Wild and the Joker card in Joker Poker
Wild Royal Flush
A royal flush made up with at least one wild card. In general a wild royal pays much less than a natural royal with no wilds.
Winning Hand
Any hand that pays a winning combination.

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