Lessons in Winning Video Poker: What is full pay and why does it matter?
If you’ve spent any remarkable amount of time playing video poker, you’ve probably heard the term “full pay”. Those who understand the term know just how important it is when choosing the right game to play. If you’re not sure what full pay means, give me a couple minutes of your time to teach you, and I promise you’ll be a far better video poker player for it.
What Is Full Pay Video Poker?
The term “Full Pay” refers to the value of a video poker machine’s pay table. Every game has one. The pay table details exactly what payouts the gambler will receive for achieving each hand rank on the menu.
The term is most often heard when referencing a Jacks or Better Full Pay video poker machine. In this case, a Jacks or Better game that features Full Pay will deliver a payout of x9 for a Full House, and x6 for a Straight.
Other payouts do not typically vary down the line; only the Full House and Straight tend to get altered by a game’s manufacturer. The JoB 9/6 Full Pay, as it’s become known throughout the gambling industry’s most erudite communities, is the highest paying version of the game, presenting a theoretical return to player (RTP) of 99.54%. Which leads us to the next question…
Why Does it Matter?
A comparison of Jacks or Better pay tables, listed alongside their respective RTPs, will reveal why it’s so important to seek out Full Pay VP machines. The following is a chart detailing common Full House / Straight payouts for various JoB games, and their effect on the expected return and house edge.
Note that the house edge is the exact opposite of the RTP. Combining these two percentages will bring you to exactly 100%. For example, a 99.54% RTP equates to a 0.46% house edge (0.46% + 99.54% = 100%).
Jacks or Better Full Pay Table RTP and House Edge vs. Other Pay Tables
|JoB Full House / Straight Pays||RTP%||Edge%|
Open Your Eyes, Not Your Wallet
Every gambling tactician knows that the higher the RTP (lower the house edge), the better the game is going to pay out. As such, full pay tables are the underlying key to a successful run at the casinos. Winning video poker isn’t about luck. It’s about being responsible (smart budgeting) and incorporating basic strategy, but only on games that proffer the highest odds of return.
If you pay enough attention to the rules and pay tables, you can find video poker machines with an RTP at or slightly above 100%. None exist online at this time, but they do appear in land-based casinos now and again. When the theoretical return is so high, playing perfect strategy will deliver a long-term profit, the same way playing a below-100% RTP game guarantees a long-term profit for the casinos.