Video Poker Glossary

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To bar someone from playing. It is rare that a casino will bar a video poker player but it does happen.

Ace High
A hand with not even one pair but that does have an ace.

Action
The amount of money wagered.

Bank
A row of video poker machines.

Bankroll
A player's available gambling money.

Bonus Poker
A variation of Jacks or better.

Bullet
An ace.

Carousel
A bank of video poker machines all of which are networked into one progressive jackpot.

Change Person
The casino employee who refills the slots and video poker machines.

Comps
Freebies or other benefits the casino gives to selected players.

Credits
These are virtual money. A 25 cent game means that each credit is worth 25 cents and so on. Each winning hand pays according to the hand itself and the number of credits wagered.

Cycle
According to statistics, the number of hands of video poker it will take for a player to win the jackpot. Although there is no certainty that any player will win the jackpot in any given cycle, most jackpots are won in a cycle of 40,000 hands.

Deuces Wild
A poker variation in which the two is wild.

Discard
To throw away cards you don't want. Some machines ask you to discard while others ask you to hold!

Draw
To take more cards hoping to make a winning hand.

Drawing Hand
A hand that requires drawing cards to improve.

Expected Return
This is a calculation based on the pay back schedule and the odds of completing a hand. Ironically, although the payoff for straights is lower than for a flush, expected return dictates going for the flush in a situation where you can choose between going for a straight or a flush.

Expected Value
The value of a hand as a function of all the possible outcomes for that hand. (see expert play)

Expert Play
Playing according to a rigid strategy that increases the player's chances of winning. Expert play is based on the expected value of all the hands you get.

Face Card
Jack, queen or king.

Flat Top
A video poker game with a pre-set jackpot.

Flush
Five cards of the same suit.

Four Flush
Four cards of the same suit, one shy of a flush.

Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same rank.

Full House
A five-card hand consisting of three of a kind and a pair.

Full Pay (machine)
This means that the machine has the highest possible payoff. Also called a 9/6 machine because it pays 9 credits for a full house and 6 credits for a flush. (see short pay)

Garbage
A bad hand.

High Pair
A winning pair. In Jacks or better a pair of tens loses; in tens or better it wins.

Hold
To retain a card or cards before the draw. Some machines ask you to discard while others ask you to hold.

Hopper
This is the basket inside the machine where money is kept.

House Edge
A percentage figure expressing the house's long-term expectation of winning from each bet.

Inside Straight
A straight that can only be made by drawing a card inside the five-card sequence.

Jacks or Better
You must have at least a pair of jacks to win.

Joker Poker
Poker played with one or two jokers. The jokers are always wild.

Kicker
Kickers are important in regular poker but strategists advise players to never hold kickers in video poker.

Max Bet
The highest bet allowed at that machine. When playing progressives you should play the maximum bet.

Multi-hand
When the machine allows you to play more than one hand at one time.

Outside Straight
A straight that can be made by drawing a card to either end of the five-card sequence.

Pair
Two cards of the same rank.

Pat Hand
A five-card made hand not requiring a draw. (see stand pat)

Payback
The amount the video poker machine will pay to players over the long run.

Payoff
The amount the machine pays for each winning hand.

Pay Table
The chart, normally found at the top of the machine, that shows the payoff schedule.

Perfect Play
See expert play

Power Poker
Playing several hands at the same time.

Progressive Jackpot
A pot that grows constantly until someone wins it. The jackpot is drawn from a bank of machines.

Push
A tie. The player gets his bet back, doesn't win money and doesn't lose money.

Random Number Generator (RNG)
A computer chip that continuously runs through a deck of cards. It stops randomly when a wager is made.

Royal Flush
A flush of consecutive cards headed by the ace. It pays off progressive jackpots and occurs about once in 40,000 games.

Run
A straight.

Sequential Royal Flush
A royal flush in perfect order reading from left to right. Some games offer a special bonus for this hand.

Set
Three of a kind.

Short Pay (machine)
Some machines don't offer the highest payoff schedule. These are also called 8/5 machines because they pay 8 credits for a full house and 5 credits for a flush. (see full pay)

Slot Club
A program the casino offers. Members enjoys some comps and may get small rebates.

Stand Pat
To decline to draw because the dealt hand is a winner.

Straight Flush
A flush of consecutive cards.

Strategy Card
A crib sheet to help players make the best decisions.

Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same rank

Volatility
The deviation from the statistical expectation on an individual video poker machine.

Well
The basket under the video poker machine that winnings fall into.

Wild Card
A card that is designated wild can be used as if it were any card in the deck.

Wild Royal Flush
A royal flush made with a wild card. These pay much less than a pure royal flush.

Posted by Nick David

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