Video Poker Glossary | Video Poker terms

For different types of video poker, see video poker variations.

bonus poker – video poker in which certain card combinations, like four aces or two pairs, win you a bonus. Generally, the payouts for other card combinations are correspondingly lower.

Cash Out button – the button you press on a video poker machine to retrieve the coins (or “credits”) you’ve accumulated.

comps – benefits like free trips, meals or cash back that casinos award players for playing frequently. They can add substantially to the expected winnings in video poker.

credits – in video poker terms, the coins you’ve inserted or won and can use to continue playing.

cycle – the average number of video poker hands you need to play, in theory, to hit the top jackpot (a royal flush).

Discard buttons – a button that displays under each card you’re initially dealt in video poker. To replace any card by drawing a new one, you press its Discard button. Usually, you can press the same button again if you change your mind and want to hold the card.

draw – the act of obtaining a new card as a replacement for a card you’ve chosen to discard. In video poker, you can choose to keep all five of the cards you’re initially dealt or to draw up to five new cards.

draw dead – drawing cards even though you know the resulting hand won’t win. In this scenario, it’s best to replace all your cards or to keep only those that have value.

flat top video poker – video poker without a progressive jackpot; the value of a royal flush stays the same, irrespective of how long you play or what your accumulated credit is.

full pay machine – a video poker machine with a payoff schedule that makes it possible, or at least nearly possible, to realize a profit, given perfect strategy and the use of five coins per round.

high card – a royal card or an ace, and in Tens-or-Better video poker, a 10.

Hold buttons – buttons that display below each card you’re dealt. Typically, a Discard button changes to a Hold button once you press it. This lets you change your mind and choose to keep a card in your final hand instead of replacing it with a new card.

hopper – in video poker terms, the tray in a video poker machine that holds the coins and releases them when a player is paid out.

house edge – the advantage to the casino that’s built into most video poker games.

jackpot – in most video poker games, a royal flush; the highest paying card combination you can get.

Jacks-or-Better – a popular video poker variation in which two jacks is the lowest paying hand.

joker poker – video poker in which a joker is used as a wild card.

payoff schedule – the table on a video poker machine that tells you exactly how many coins you stand to win for each of the payable card combinations. Payoffs are higher for five coins than for any lower number of coins you can choose to play. The payoff schedule for a machine is what tells you whether the machine offers a reasonable chance of making a profit (or at least of minimizing your losses).

payout – the return of coins you’ve won by a video poker machine. Most modern machines don’t return the payout until you press the Cash Out button. Prior to that, credits (or coins) you win are automatically added to the credits you can use to carry on playing.

Play Maximum Credits button – in video poker terms, a button you can press to specify that you want to play another round using the maximum number of coins (typically five coins).

progressive jackpot – in video poker, a jackpot that increases the more you play. Generally, multiple video poker machines are linked so that the jackpot gets higher with each bet placed by more than one player. Once a player wins the jackpot, it returns to its starting value.

random number generator (RNG) – the computer algorithm that a video poker machine uses to generate random numbers, which in turn determine which cards it deals.

spill – when a video poker machine dispenses a large number of coins for a high-paying hand instead of adding the coins directly to your credits.

wild card – In video poker terms, a card that the player can choose to substitute for any card in the deck. In Deuces Wild, all four 2s are wild cards. In other games, a joker is wild.