If you are a video poker veteran (or have read the video poker strategy articles on this blog) you are undoubtedly familiar with the video poker rule of thumb: always play maximum coins for the best odds.  Always.

You also may be aware of the difference between a full pay and a short pay video poker machine.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, a full pay machine pays what are considered to be standard odds for the game.  This is in contrast to a “short pay” video poker machine, which pays out players at lower odds.

For example, a full pay Jacks or Better video poker machine would pay you 9 times your original bet if you get a full house or 6 times your normal bet if you get a flush.  A typical short pay machine will generally pay you 8 times your bet for a full house or 5 times your bet for a flush.  This small difference in payout can have a significant impact on the odds of the game.

A Video Poker Quandry For The Ages

So what do you do if you find yourself in the following situation?

You have the choice to either play a SHORT PAY nickel machine, playing 5 coins every time, OR you can play on the FULL PAY quarter machine, playing 1 coin each time?

In other words, which is more important to the odds of the game, playing a full pay machine or playing 5 coins at a time? 

The answer may surprise you….

It turns out that over time, playing the full pay machine with one coin will always be your best bet.  In fact, playing the full pay machine with 1 coin will yield 50% better results over the long haul.  So the next time you are presented with the option, always take the full pay machine!

If you enjoyed this video poker strategy article, you may also enjoy the Deuces Wild Video Poker Strategy Card, how to double your video poker winnings, video poker myths, the video poker glossary, or video poker risk of ruin.

Jeff White

Jeff has been an active gambler from the age of 18 when he won a small local poker tournament in San Jose, CA. He moved on to playing other casino games shortly thereafter, with a great interest in the statistics and mathematics involved. He has studied the historical gambling systems of nearly every popular casino game played today, and has written strategy books for several of them including blackjack, slot machines, craps, and roulette. Jeff has been a daily contributor to the Silver Oak Casino blog since the beginning of 2009.