Video Poker: Paylines and Payouts

The paylines in video poker are the higher poker hand rankings. The objective of video poker is to get a hand that matches with the paylines. Unlike in slots where the final combination of symbols is generated by the machine, in video poker the player can replace certain cards. It is because he is permitted this conscious decision, the player must be familiar with the paylines and payouts offered.

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There are many video poker games and new ones are being constantly added. However they are all based on the stock game of “Jacks or Better”, with slight variations in paylines and payouts. Hence “Jacks or Better” can be used as a basis for understanding video poker paylines and payouts.

The paylines and payouts for the most common version of “Jacks or Better” in descending order of poker hand rankings is given below. Royal flush, which is ten, jack, queen, king and ace of the same suit, pays out at 250 to 1. Straight flush, which is five cards of the same suit in sequence, pays out at 50 to 1. Four of a kind, which is four cards of the same rank, pays out at 25 to 1. Full House, which is three cards of the same rank and the remaining two cards of the same rank, pays out at 9 to 1. Flush, which is all cards of the same suit, pays out at 6 to 1. Straight, which is five cards in sequence of mixed suits, pay out at 4 to 1. Three of a kind, which is three cards of the same rank, pays out at 3 to 1. Two pairs, which is two sets of two cards of the same rank, pays out at 2 to 1. Jacks or better, which is a pair of jacks, queens, kings or aces, pays out at 1 to 1.
These are the video poker payouts if the player bets up to four coins. However, if the player bets five coins, then the payout for royal flush is 800 to 1. All versions of video poker offer enhanced payouts for royal flush when played with five coins. Though royal flush is very rare, you will be kicking yourself if you get it and you have not wagered five coins.

Most variations in video poker are introduced by having wild cards, which are cards that can substitute for any other cards. The most common variation is “Deuces Wild” in which the twos are the wild cards. Deuces Wild allows for some interesting variation in video poker paylines. For example there is a payline called five of a kind, which consists of four cards of the same rank with the fifth card being a two. Because of the introduction of wild cards the lowest paying payline is three of a kind, which pays out at 1 to 1.