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Playing Video Poker: Sometimes You’ve Just Got to Be Lucky

(Note: I’m not telling this story just to brag about my good fortune but rather to use it as a teaching example for video poker players.)

In a previous article, I bemoaned my long royal flush drought in which I played about 270,000 hands between one royal flush and the next one.  Then boom … I found myself in another mini-drought beginning in July 2019, lasting until the middle of December 2019. I was hoping for one more royal before the year ended. Here’s what happened.

Henry Tamburin Ph.D
January 8, 2020

The Facts on Hitting a Royal Flush at Video Poker

Let’s face it. What all video poker players hope (and pray) for is that the next hand will give them a royal flush because that results in an immediate 4,000 coin payoff. But did you ever wonder what the chance that this will happen when you hold, say, four cards to a royal flush?  How about holding three cards to a royal?  And what is the chance of being dealt a royal flush on the initial deal? I’ve summarized the answers to these questions below and they may surprise you.

Henry Tamburin Ph.D
September 10, 2019

5 Easy Video Poker Tips That Every Casino Player Should Know


  1. Play maximum coins
  2. Check pay schedules
  3. Know the strategy for the game you are playing
  4. Practice before you play
  5. Watch your bankroll


Playing maximum coins gives you the full value for the royal flush --- typically 800-for-1. Playing fewer coins gives you less for that hand --- typically 250-for-1.

Bob Dancer
May 22, 2016

Four Ways to Beat Video Poker

When people in the casino industry think about the way players are beating casino games, the drum beats for three opportunities: poker, sports betting and table games. The reason given is that only these games bring a player's skill into the mix.  But there is another type of game that APs are beating: video poker. There are at least four ways that APs use to beat video poker.

Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
October 6, 2012

Playing Ultimate X Video Poker: Rules & Strategy

Those who play video poker with any regularity generally have one or two favorite games they play. It may be some of my favorites such as Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, or Double Bonus Poker – games which have a high payback and low variance. Others prefer a bit higher risk, if it gives them a shot at more “jackpot” sized payoffs – such as Double-Double Bonus Poker. Still others – usually those who don’t play very regularly – will try any game they come across and try to get lucky.

Jerry Stich
May 6, 2018