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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

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

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

Simple Playing Strategy for Jacks or Better

The playing strategy for most of the hands you’ll receive when you play the popular Jacks or Better video poker game is a no-brainer because it’s fairly obvious which cards you should hold and which ones you should discard. But then there are the not so obvious hands in which you must choose between two (or more) possible plays. For example, how would you play a hand in Jacks or Better that contains

Henry Tamburin Ph.D
December 12, 2019

New Video Poker Games (2021 edition)

Video poker players are a loyal lot. They love their Double Double Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe and other games that have been around for decades.

Unlike slot players, who are eager to try out the latest spins on bonus fun, video poker players take some time to accept new games.

Most of the innovation in video poker comes in systems that use long-established video poker games as a base, then layers on fresh takes on bonuses and multipliers.

John Grochowski
January 24, 2021