Over the years a large number of variants of video poker have been developed. If a total count is made of all the variants offered on the Internet it would be in the region of fifty. In the basic single hand game Microgaming offers over ten of the more popular variants in its online casinos. The question arises which variants of online video poker players should opt for. The answer depends on the reason why the player is wagering.
The average payout ratios for most video poker variants are packed in a very narrow range. Therefore players who are wagering with small bankrolls and primarily for entertainment need not be bothered with finding out which variant of video poker pays out better. Video poker variants have been introduced so as to alleviate the boredom of playing the standard Jacks or Better game. Such players should sample as wide a range of variants as they can and settle down on the ones they enjoy more. If they are bored playing one variant they can always switch to another.
However players must bear in mind that video poker is a game in which players are required to take decisions. Therefore it involves an element of strategy. This is unlike slot games or roulette where the player places the bet and the game does the rest. If players make wrong choices then they stand to lose out. Different video poker variants require different strategies. Therefore the larger the number of variants a player wagers on the more is the number of strategies that he has to learn if he wants to achieve the theoretically high payout ratios. Therefore players with even moderately sized bankrolls should focus on a few variants only in which they have perfected the strategy. The average payout ratios for video poker variants by and large lie between 98.5 % and 99.5%. Players with small to moderate sized bankrolls can wager on the variants at the lower end of the range provided they enjoy those games better. They will not lose out too much in terms of returns and will make up in the enjoyment they derive from playing their chosen variants.
However for players with larger bankrolls it becomes essential to choose those video poker variants that offer the highest average payout ratios. Over a large number of hands even small differences in payout ratios can be significant. The problem lies in the practice that online gaming software developers rarely, if ever, specify the average payout ratios for individual games. It is impossible for the common player to perform the mathematical calculations required to compute the average payout ratios. Fortunately for them help is not very far away. There are many sites on the Internet that display the average payout ratios for video poker variants. While using these sites there is one factor which is critical. Different online gaming software developers offer different payout tables for the same variant of video poker. Therefore it is not sufficient to simply check out the average payout ratio for a variant but the player should actually match the payout table offered by the software provider to the payout table given in the Internet site.
Based on the payout tables provided in the variants of video poker offered by Microgaming, the average payout ratios of those variants are listed below.
- Aces and Eights - 98.7%
- All American - 98.5%
- Bonus Poker - 99.2%
- Deuces and Joker - 98.5%
- Double Bonus Poker - 99.1%
- Jacks or Better - 99.5%
- Tens or Better - 99.1%
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