Can’t decide which version of video poker to play? Consider these favorites:
JACKS OR BETTER: This is one of the least volatile video poker games. If you’re looking for an even-keel experience that will keep you in your seat for a while, this is your game. The key is the 2-for-1 payoff on two pairs. On the full-pay 9/6 version, about 12.9 percent of all hands will result in two pairs, and those hands account for 25.9 percent of our overall return.
BONUS POKER: Game characteristics are about as similar to Jacks or Better as you can get. Both have the 2-for-1 payoff on two pairs. Bonus Poker is slightly more volatile because some of the overall return is transferred from full houses and flushes to bigger paybacks on the less common four of a kind. With a five-coin bet, four aces bring 400 coins and four 2s, 3s and 4s bring 200 instead of the 125 you get on all Jacks or Better quads. However, the full-pay full house and flush returns drop from 9/6 on Jacks or Better to 8/5 on Bonus Poker.
DEUCES WILD: The full-pay version players loved for the first couple of decades of video poker popularity has waning availability, but the “Not So Ugly” version pays 4-for-1 on four of a kind and full houses, 3-for-1 on flushes, 2-for-1 on straights and 1-for-1 on three of a kind. There are several versions that do that, but what sets NSU Deuces apart is that it raises the five of a kind return to 16-for-1 and straight flushes to 9-for-1, while leaving the top of the pay table intact at 250-for-1 and rising to 4,000-for-5 on a natural royal, 200-for-1 on four 2s and 250-for-1 on a royal with wild cards.
DOUBLE BONUS POKER: The volatility builds here. All four of a kind pays are at least doubled here, compared with Jacks or Better. For a five-coin wager, you’ll get back 250 if your quads are anything from 5s to kings. Not only that. The full pay version increases full house pays to 10-for-1, flushes to 7-for-1 and straights to 5-for-1, compared with the 9/6/4 on Jacks or Better.