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Is Video Poker Rigged?

Video poker is a casino poker game played on a machine thus eliminating all interaction with other players. You can also play in online casinos. The game methodology is similar to the typical slots with the game and poker combinations as content.

Over the years, public opinion on the integrity of online poker has varied greatly. Among the conspiracy theories are the “curse of cashout”, the fattening of jackpots by individual rooms to create action and generate more rake, etc. Some players believe that if they count to ten before going all-in, they are more likely to win. But the most common belief is that video poker games are rigged.

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Testing Video Poker Machines

For most online players, bad beats and losing streaks are part of the game. Rigged game theory is simply a result of variance. The Online Poker Watchdog team has run a series of tests on millions of hands from major poker rooms to determine if there is statistical evidence of cheating. The website claims to be an independent statistical auditor, primarily focused on ensuring the integrity of the game.

The investigation consists of two tests and was quite direct and similar in all cases. First, over a million hands are loaded into a database and compared to the expected number of hands that should have won. The second test divides the hands that were ahead preflop from those that were behind and compares them.

The Results

  • PokerStars’ analysis used a sample of 1 million flush hands and 69,663 preflop all-ins from Sit and Go tournaments. Expectations suggested that 34,748 of these hands would have won. In reality, 35,850 did, so the actual deviation was +102. For those of you with a degree in mathematics, this figure is very close to normal. When comparing ahead and behind shoves preflop, the numbers were again very close to normal.
  • The PartyPoker research studied a sample of 1.26 million hands, focusing on 11,984 hands from NL50 cash games. The expectation is that 6,267 of these hands should win. In reality 6,198.5 did, which is equivalent to a deviation of -68. The preflop all-in comparison was again very close to normal.
  • Ongame’s research studied a sample of 1.42 million hands, examining 12,306 hands from shorthanded NL30 cash games. Expectations were that 6,457 of those hands would win. In reality, 6,454.5 did, giving a deviation of -2.5. The preflop shove comparison once again surprised no one.

The three rooms do not show any signs of cheating in their respective rigorous analyses. While most players don’t believe that online gaming is rigged in any way, we hope these statistics will convince some skeptics. Although the legal situation of online poker in some countries is not entirely clear, it is encouraging to know that the integrity of the big rooms remains intact.

RNG: Does Random Number Generator Ensure Video Poker Is Genuine?

Apart from successful analysis, all online games of chance use RNG (Random Number Generator) as a means to ensure a random outcome, including Video Poker. Since we moved to digital versions of slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, and everything else that online casinos offer, the games use random numbers to determine the outcome.

This works quite simply. The RNG works together with the casino software to ensure fair results. In video poker, luck thus becomes an important factor, since the only moment in which the player must make some kind of decision is at the moment of discarding. If we said that poker is a game of strategy, the only strategy that can be developed in video poker will consist of deciding the number of credits to bet in each hand, or at the moment of discarding, going for a larger combination project. or try saving a more conservative project.

The luck factor is a crucial element for poker, and it cannot be doubted due to the randomness of the cards provided. But this luck factor is framed by an enormous number of factors that may in turn be framed by luck, greatly reducing the importance of the luck factor. However, in video poker, due to RNG, it could be said that the key to success is luck, as long as you don’t commit atrocities at the time of discarding.

Video Poker Modalities: Are They Truly Random?

There are different game modalities in video poker. The main differences between these modalities are the presence of wild cards, the winning combinations, and the payment of said combinations. When video poker machines are classified according to their paytable, the nomenclature of two numbers separated by a slash is usually used. The combination of numbers that indicates the payment in full and color for 1 credit. The most popular machines are 9/6, 8/5, 7/5 and 6/5. Regardless of the type, all video poker machines and games are completely random, thanks to the RNG, as explained above.

Types of Video Poker Machines

Video Poker Games Without Wild Cards
Jacks or Better The first modality that arose and therefore best known is “Jacks or Better”. In this modality, the combinations equal to or greater than the pair of Jacks will be paid.
All American “All American”, this game is based on the game “Jacks or Better”. In this modality, the payment of the flush, the straight, and the royal flush is increased with respect to its base version “Jacks or Better”, but the payment of Full House and two pair is reduced.
Tens or Better “Tens or Better” is similar to “Jacks or Better”, except that here the minimum paid pair is tens. In this modality there are more winning combinations and therefore the prize of other combinations will be reduced to compensate for the greater number of winning combinations.
Bonus Poker A “Bonus Poker” machine rewards better poker combinations (four of a kind) than a “Jacks or Better” machine.
Double Bonus A “Double Bonus” machine prominently awards poker combinations. A fairly extended paytable for this game pays out as follows: fives to kings poker pays 50 to 1, twos to fours poker pays 80 to 1, and aces poker pays 160 to 1.
Aces and Faces It is also based on the game “Jacks or Better”. In this game with the combinations of poker of aces and poker of face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) you get better prizes than in the original game “Jacks or Better”.
Video Poker Games With Wild Cards
Deuces Wild Deuces Wild is one of the most popular wild card games. In this modality of video poker, the twos act as wild cards. Therefore, there is the possibility of having up to four jokers. On the other hand, the poker of twos will be the second best combination since whatever the value of the fifth card, the four jokers and the fifth card will be a straight.
Joker Poker In this modality, an extra card is introduced, a wild card, to the 52 cards that make up the deck. Therefore, this modality will have 53 cards in play.
Double Joker Poker In the “Double Joker Poker” mode, two extra cards, or two jokers, are added to the 52 cards in the deck, with 54 cards in each draw.

Types of Video Poker Machines

Tips on How to Select the Best Video Poker Machine

  • A video poker machine can be differentiated from another based on the number of prizes it distributes regardless of the video poker game on the machine. Among the video poker machines you can differentiate between machines with the highest payout and machines with the lowest payout.
  • The difference between them lies in the amount of revenue that the machines return in the form of prizes, as some return more than others. The fact that a machine is of the maximum payment type does not mean that sooner or later it will return 100% of what is played on said machine. There is always a percentage that is not returned in prizes.
  • To choose the best video poker machine you will have to identify by looking at the payout table if it is a machine of the maximum payout type or not. To see if a video poker machine of the “Jacks or Better” modality is a maximum payment, you will have to look at the payments of the color and the full house. If for 1 credit you win 6 flush and 9 full house, that machine will usually be a good choice. This type of machine is also known as the 9/6 machine.
  • To be sure that, for example, a Jacks or Better machine has a high payback percentage one should also make sure that the payout to two pair is 2 credits when playing 1 credit on the spin, and check that the royal flush has a special prize associated with it, a prize of around 4,000 credits, for when the maximum number of credits is played in the run (5 credits).
  • Some online casinos list the payback percentage in the game description.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between poker and video poker?

The main difference between poker and video poker lies in the fact that in video poker you don’t have any opponent, your own cards are the only opponent. Not even the machine itself is, since it is not about beating the machine, but about getting some of the winning combinations. The fact of not having any rival makes the difference since you don’t have to develop any of the factors that make poker a unique game.

How much can you wager each spin?

You can play from 1 to 5 credits per spin. Winning card combinations and the prizes associated with each combination are displayed on the paytable for each machine. The prize table has six columns, in the first one the names of the combinations with prizes appear and in the other five columns the prizes according to the number of credits bet in the spin, from left to right, from 1 to 5 credits.

How are the card hands paid?

Normally, the winning card combinations are usually any poker combination from a pair of face cards, the pair of jacks being the first winning combination of most of the machines. The better the combination, the higher the prize. The ranking of winning combinations are the same as in poker, from lowest to highest – pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, poker, straight flush, royal flush.

Is video poker RNG truthful?

What you must not forget is that the correctness of these generators is ensured by certain licenses that online casinos must acquire in order to operate at all. So don’t be suspicious – RNG works according to the rules, and they cannot be manipulated.

Are casinos scamming people with their games?

Know that it is not in any casino’s interest to cheat customers, because such unprofessional behavior would result in losing their business license. Casinos make enough money anyway, so it wouldn’t be profitable for them to take a risk and try to cheat customers.