Have you ever seen all of the numbers and percentages listed for video poker games and pay tables and wondered what it all meant? If so, you are in luck. On this page we will look at exactly what the video poker odds and percentages mean, and there will even be a few examples.The most common video poker odds I see listed are the ones for a 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker machine. This machine pays back a hair over 99.5% when you use textbook strategy and play for maximum coins. So lets look at what these video poker odds actually mean.

If you are playing a quarter machine, you will be betting $1.25 per hand. To see your expected return on each hand, simply multiply the $1.25 times the 99.5%. This gives you an expected return on each hand of $1.24375. Now, this doesn't seem like you are losing much, but when you multiply these numbers by 400 hands per hour times a 10 hour session, let's see what it adds up to.

$1.25 times 400 times 10 = $5,000 wagered

$5,000 wagered times 99.5% = $4975

Over 100 hours you will lose roughly $250 on average.

That still isn't bad. If you can play video poker for 10 hours and only lose $25 you probably got your moneys worth.

But what you must consider is that very few people actually play perfect strategy and there is a ton of variation between sessions. One session you may actually win quite a bit while on other sessions you may lose $500 or more. Also, the average includes you hitting a royal flush every once in a blue moon, which brings the average way up.

So that is exactly what the video poker odds mean. Don't count on them for anything exact, but realize that over time you will lose a lot less money by only playing those machines that offer the best odds. This is because you actually lose slower.

Let's do one more example. This time we will use Deuces Wild, a Not So Ugly Deuces or Not So Ugly Ducks machine, with video poker odds of roughly 99.73%. Let's assume the same quarter machine, $1.25 per hand, 400 times hands per hour and 10 hours play.

$1.25 times 400 times 10 = $5,000 wagered

$5,000 wagered times 99.73% = $4986.50

Over 100 hours you will lose roughly $135 on average.

As you can see, over a short period of time the percentage difference is small, but over hundreds of hours it can be pretty significant. The difference in the two games above is $115. Imagine the difference if you are playing an 8/5 Jacks or Better machine which only pays back roughly 97.3% video poker odds. You end up losing roughly $1350 over 100 hours. That is why a machine with good video poker odds is so important.