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Articles by John Robison courtesy of Casino City Times

Do Higher Denomination Video Poker Machines hit more often?
By John Robison,15 October 1999

Video poker machines of higher denominations are not more likely to hit than video poker machines of lower denominations.

A 9/6 Jacks or Better machine pays back 99.5% with perfect strategy, regardless of whether it's a 5-cent or a 5-dollar machine. The odds of your hitting the royal flush, or any paying hand, are the same regardless of the denomination. Your hit frequency is determined by the paytable on the machine and the strategy you use.

A 9/6 Jacks game is the same on all denominations and a Double Diamond game is not the same because of the different ways video poker and slot machines operate. A video poker machine chooses cards at random from a 52-card deck and the make-up of the deck is the same on all denominations.

A slot machine, on the other hand, chooses three symbols at random, one from each reel, and the make-up of the reels in the program running the machine can differ from denomination to denomination, and even from machine to machine in the same denomination. And you can't tell the make-up of the reels inside the program by looking at the physical reels in the machine. (Click here to read more about how slot machines operate.)

Video poker does share one aspect with slots: You will tend to find the higher-paying machines at the higher denominations. The reason is the same as for slots. The casino makes the same amount of money by taking a smaller bite out of someone wagering big bucks as they do by taking a bigger bite out of someone wagering small bucks.

But when you find a high-paying video poker paytable on a low denomination video poker machine, you can rest assured that it's the exact same game as when it's on a high denomination machine.

John Robison


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