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How to Read a Video Poker Pay Table

The video poker pay table is probably the most important component of the game. It lists all the hand rankings for the game, and the payouts being offered for each one.

In order to develop a winning strategy, or even to play the game for fun, you need to understand how the pay table works. But amazingly, many new and experienced players still don’t understand how to read the pay table in video poker, or how to interpret the information it shows.

In this guide, we’ll look at the different types of pay tables you might see when you play video poker on your mobile, online or at a brick and mortar casino.

Multiple Column Pay Table

On most video poker machines, the player can choose how many coins to play with, between 1 and 5. Players will also be able to specify a Coin Value or Bet Size.

The payout to the player depends on how many coins are being played, the coin value, and the hand that the player achieves.

On a Multiple 5 Column pay table, the payouts are all listed together in a grid. The number of coins are shown along the top, and the hand rankings down the left.

joker poker pay table

The paytable above is taken from an online Joker Poker game. In this example, if you are playing a single coin and achieve a Full House, your payout would be 6 coins. If you are playing 5 coins and achieve a Straight Flush, your payout would be 250 coins.

Having visibility of all 5 columns at once is useful, because it allows the player to see occasions where there are enhanced payments on certain hands for playing the maximum 5 coins.

In the game above, a Sequential Royal pays 500 per coin when 1-4 coins are played, but this increases to 10,000 when you play the maximum 5 coins. This means the smart strategy is to play maximum coins. But it’s much easier to see that when the game shows you the entire pay table at the same time.

But depending on the casino, or the specific software that your video poker machine uses, that’s not always the case.

Single Column Pay Table

Some video poker software displays only a single column at a time. The pay table will automatically adjust depending on the number of coins you have chosen to play.

bonus video poker pay table

When you click the buttons to increase or decrease the number of coins played, you will see the returns on the Pay Table update at the same time. It’s not as easy to compare as the 5 column table, but you can still access all the information you need this way.

Why The Pay Tables Can Vary In Video Poker

Pay Tables are not “one size fits all” in video poker.

It is important to remember that the Pay Table will vary significantly depending on which variation of the game you’re playing. Not only will the payouts vary, but so will the list of available hands in the game.

For example, in Deuces Wild the table will include 5 of a Kind. This hand is available because of the wildcards in this version of the game, and therefore it would not be found on the Jacks of Better pay table.

Likewise, Bonus Poker and Double Bonus Poker will include different configurations of 4 of a Kind. These attract bonus payouts in the bonus poker series of games, but not in other versions.

That’s why it’s so important to be able to read the pay table for each game you play, rather than simply trying to memorize the hand rankings and payouts. This will help you develop your strategy, as well as choosing whether or not you actually want to play a particular machine.

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David Graham

Last Updated on January 10, 2021