Blackjack isn’t the only game with great odds. Some video poker games offer a house edge similar to that of blackjack, and you can sometimes find them in quarter denominations, which means you’re putting less money into action per hour.
An example is Jacks or Better. If you can find a quarter game with a 9/6 pay table, you’re looking at a house edge of just 0.54%. With 600 hands per hour, that’s $750 in action, but you’re only expected to lose about $3.75 per hour.
Video Poker Pay Tables
Of course, not all the video poker games have such generous pay tables. You can find more information about video poker pay tables in that section on our site, but let me just say this about video poker:
Even the worst video poker games are a better gamble than your average slot machine game, and these games are more enjoyable to play anyway.
Even an 8/5 Jacks or Better game only has a house edge of less than 3%. That’s twice as good as the average of 6% or more on most slot machine games.
Also, when you’re playing video poker, the decisions you make have an effect on your outcome. Make right decisions, and you’ll win more often and lose less often. Make bad decisions, and the reverse is true.
And with video poker, you can calculate the house edge based on the pay table. This is just impossible to do with a slot machine game because you have no idea what the odds are of any particular symbol coming up on any particular reel.
Odds of video poker
Video poker games base all their odds on a virtual card deck. That means each card has a 1 in 52 chance of showing up, so mathematicians can easily calculate the payback percentage and house edge for the game.
I prefer my casino games to lack that air of mystery. I want to know what kind math I’m facing when I gamble.
Most table games also have a known house edge, but it’s almost always significantly higher than the house edge at video poker. Roulette, for example, has the house edge of 5.26%, which is 10 times the house edge on a full pay Jacks or Better video poker game.