Video poker is a very popular casino game. There are literally dozens of variations. Many of the later variations were developed and produced to add more excitement to the game. 

Certain four-of-a-kinds are paid at a higher rate. The highest pays for a specific four of a kind hand is the same as a royal flush at 4,000-for-5.

That number pales in comparison to the pay for sequential royals. Many sequential royals pay 10,000-for-1 for a sequential royal. Most sequential royals are taken from low to high, that is 10-J-Q-K-A, though some are taken as high to low (A-K-Q-J-10). There are also games called reversible royals that pay for sequential royals in either low-to-high or high-to-low directions.

As you might imagine, there are both pros and cons for playing these games. This article explores these pros and cons.


  1. Overview of sequential royals and reversible royals
  2. Sequential royal pros
  3. Sequential royal cons
  4. Summary

1 – Overview of sequential royals and reversible royals

Sequential and reversible royals are available in many different base video poker games. The sequential royal is simply another (the highest) winning hand added to the pay table. Sequential royals can be found on jacks or better, bonus poker, double bonus poker, plus many other jacks or better based games. They can also be found on deuces wild and other wild card games.

A standard pay for a sequential royal flush is 10,000-for-1 or 50,000-for-5. Normally, a progressive sequential royals game has the same 10,000-for-1 as the base value. The value increases from there as the game is played.

As mentioned earlier, sequential royals are generally considered in the low-to-high sequence only. Reversible royals are valid in both low-to-high and high-to-low sequence. Players have to be careful as some reversible royals games are labeled simply “Sequential Royals.” Make sure to look carefully at the entire game for the word “reversible.” It may not be readily obvious, but if that word is there, this game pays for sequential royals in either direction. 

2 – Sequential royal pros

The sequential royals feature comes on many common video poker games. Players can play a casino game that they are familiar with. The only difference is certain royal flushes pay an enormous amount.  

The sequential royals feature adds about an additional 0.26 percent (for one-way sequential royals) to 0.52 percent (for reversible sequential royals) to the return of the base game. These return percentages are based on playing perfect strategy – play that considers saving parts of a sequential royal when that average return outweighs standard playing strategy. 

If playing a progressive game, the return will increase roughly 0.26 percent (one-way) to 0.52 percent (reversible) for every 100,000 credits increase in the progressive jackpot. 

The biggest pro by far, however, is the size of the payout for hitting a sequential royal flush. Imagine – 50,000 credits on a quarter game amounts to $12,500 rather than the usual $1,000 for a standard royal flush. 

That is why most players play sequential royals. It may not come very often, but when it does, it is epic!

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3 – Sequential royal cons

There are also several cons when it comes to playing sequential royals video poker. Here's a look at a few of those:

  • A sequential royal is extremely rare. A reversible sequential royal occurs only once every approximately 1.9 million hands. Put another way, playing 1,000 hands per hour (a fast rate) for 24 hours per day, it takes 78 days to play 1.9 million hands. A one-way sequential royal occurs is even worse. The average occurrence is once every 3.8 million hands. Playing the same 1,000 hands per hour for 24 hours per day, it takes 158 days on average for each occurrence. The above numbers assume a playing strategy that considers card order.
  • Even though the return of the game is higher, the variance is also higher. This means a larger bankroll could be required.
  • Strategy must change for full advantage. Depending on the game and assuming a 50,000 credits payout, one-way sequential royals add 0.209 percent to 0.239 percent to the return. However, if the playing strategy is not changed to hold partial sequential royals when they are more profitable than standard strategy for the game, the increase in return drops to around 0.189 percent.
  • Strategy for sequential royals is not built into any of the current apps that produce strategy. Unlike playing strategy for non-sequential royals games, the current strategy generation apps do not have the capability of generating sequential royals strategy. Some help for determining what changes to the strategy are needed to factor in sequential royals can be found by searching the Internet, but the changes are only close approximations.
  • Compared to standard video poker games, those that include sequential royals are somewhat rare. Many casinos do not have any of them on their casino floors.
  • Many of the sequential royals games that are on casino floors have reduced pay tables compared to the same standard games. This can more than offset the bump in return that sequential royals provide. 


  • Sequential royal video poker games provide an extremely high payout for a sequential royal flush
  • There are both one-way (low-to-high or high-to-low) and reversible (either way) royals games. Sometimes the “reversible” characteristic is not clearly labeled.
  • Most common video poker games have sequential royal versions.
  • Most sequential royal video poker games pay 10,000-for-1 for a sequential royal. Progressive versions usually start at 10,000-for-1. 
  • Even though sequential royal versions have a higher return than the same standard game and pay table, it also has a higher variance. The main reason players like the game is the monster payout. 
  • A sequential royal is extremely rare. They average only once every 1.9 million hands for reversible royals and once every 3.8 million hands for one-way sequential royals.
  • To gain the maximum benefit from playing sequential royals, the strategy must include consideration of card order. 
  • Standard video poker strategy generation apps do not have the ability to generate strategy for sequential royals.

While there may be several cons to playing sequential royals, the gigantic payout, nevertheless makes the game a popular option.

Looking for more? Check out 888poker video poker strategy tips.

Jerry “Stickman” has been involved in casino gambling for nearly 30 years. He is an expert in blackjack, craps, video poker and advantage slot machine play. He started playing blackjack in the late ‘80s, learned several card counting systems and used these skills to become an advantage blackjack player and overall winner of this game. He also acquired the skills necessary to become an overall winner in the game of craps, accomplishing this by a combination of throwing skill and proper betting techniques. Stich is also an overall winner playing video poker.