Video Poker Terms


Deuces Wild – a popular Video Poker variant, which has a 100.76% return on investment rate as long as you follow the optimal Deuces Wild strategy; in this game, the deuces are wild and can substitute for any other cards.

Flush – a hand that contains five cards of the same suit.

Full house – a poker hand that is composed of three cards of the same rank and a pair, for example TTTJJ or QQQKK.

High-card – a card higher than J, ie. JQKA.

House edge – the advantage that the casino holds over the player, which results from the overall design of the games. Please note that in some Video Poker games the house has no edge as long as the player is able to follow the optimal strategy. This is particularly true for Video Poker variants that require a lot of skill and experience – in such a case, the casino can afford to pay the most talented players, as it receives plenty of money from people who misplay their hands.

Inside straight draw – drawing to a straight with one “inside” card missing, for example if you hold JT87, you need to hit a 9 to complete your straight.

Jacks or Better – a popular Video Poker variant, which has a 99.54% return on investment if you’re able to follow the optimal Jacks or Better strategy; in full pay version of this game, Jacks or Better is the lowest paying combination with a 1:1 payoff.

Low-card – a card lower than T, ie. T98765432.

Odds – in Video Poker terminology, the odds refer to your chances of hitting a certain combination or completing a certain hand. For example, if you hold four suited cards and you’re playing with a 52-card deck, the odds of hitting a flush are about 19.15% or 9:47 due to the fact that out of 47 cards left in the deck only 9 complete your combination.

Open-ended straight draw – drawing to a straight from both sides, for example if you hold JT98, you can complete your straight by hitting a Q (QTJ98) or 7 (JT987).

Optimal strategy – the optimal strategy is a strategy that allows you to always go for the plays that maximize the return on your investment. Please note that while many simple Video Poker strategies allow you to get close to maximum ROI, the ones that are optimal and account for all the possible exceptions tend to be rather complicated and take a lot of time and effort to master.

Quads – a poker hand that contains four cards of the same rank, like TTTT or QQQQ.

Return on Investment (ROI) – the amount of money you expect to receive if you play a given poker variant over prolonged periods of time. If the ROI rate is equal to 90%, you’re going to get $90 out of every $100 that you’ve invested on average. Conversely, if the ROI is 110%, you’re going to get $110 out of every $100, which means that the house has no edge. Please note that the ROI is a mathematical concept, which means that it reflects the overall profitability of a given casino game. Furthermore, hitting the maximum ROI for a Video Poker game requires you to follow the optimal strategy.

Royal flush – a hand that contain five cards of the same suit in a sequence, from A to T.

Straight – a hand that contains five cards in a sequence, for example KQJT9.

Straight flush – a hand that contain five cards of the same suit in a sequence.

Three of a kind – a poker hand that contains three cards of one rank, for example 999 or TTT.

Two of a kind, pair – a poker hand that contains two cards of one rank, such as KK or QQ.

Two pair – a poker hand that contains two pairs.

Wild Card – a card that can substitute for any other card when it comes to completing a winning combination; in Deuces Wild the deuce can substitute for any other card, which means that QTJ92 is essentially a completed straight corresponding to QTJ98.