Full Pay & Low Pay
Casinos will usually offer two basic variations of video poker. Some, like Deuces Wild, are extremely generous with their return, and therefore called “full pay” video poker. Others may have a low payback percentage, increasing the house edge, aka the house advantage, and are therefore called “low pay” video poker.
It is important to review the games paytable to know which type of video poker you are playing in this regard.
Single-Hand & Multi-Hand
In the past, most video poker games have been single hand, meaning, like ordinary table poker, the player only bets on one hand at a time.
Over the past decades however, multi-hand, also known as “power poker ”, has become increasingly popular. This variation allows up to five hands to be played simultaneously, meaning a potentially much higher payout.
Jacks Or Better
This is the most straight forward variation of video poker, making it the most popular amongst new players.
The payout starts with “Jacks or Better”, generally being a pair of Jacks, Queens, Kings, or Aces, although some variations have been known to literally make Jacks the single lowest paying hand. With an even payout system though, at the end of the draw, a Jacks or Better hand will automatically pay out an equal amount to that of the bet.
Another noticeable feature of Jacks or Better is the option to double your winnings in a bonus game whenever you receive a Jacks or Better hand.
This variation of video poker employs all four of the number two cards, also known as Deuces, as Wild Cards, which can be used by the player, in place of any other card, to complete a hand. Furthermore, Four-of-a-Kind in Deuces is counted as the second-best hand in the game after the Royal Flush.
Tens Or Better
Closely resembling Jacks or Better, the lowest paying hand in this version, however, is a pair of tens, rather than Jacks. This allows the player the possibility of winning more frequently than in the standard Jacks or Better game.
This variation, though based on Jacks or Better, offers better payouts for certain Four-of-a-Kind hands. Otherwise, the rules are generally the same, with Jacks or Better as the lowest hand.
Aces And Faces
Similar to Bonus Poker, Aces and Faces instead offers better payouts for all Four-of-a-Kind hands, formed by Aces, or with “face” cards, aka the Royals.
Also known as Joker’s Wild, this variation of video poker employs an extra card, a Joker, to the standard 52 card deck, which can be used by the player as a Wild Card.
Capable of being the most generous of all, Progressive Jackpot video poker does not pay out a fixed amount of money with each win. Rather a “jackpot” becomes the main prize, which is designed to “progress” in value. Linked to network, the jackpot becomes ever greater as more people play and a percentage of each of their bets is progressively added to the pot.