2 Ways Royal video poker makes for an interesting variation on the basic
forms of video poker played in casinos around the world. The difference here is
that this game is played in online casinos for those who like to do their
gambling action away from the hustle and bustle of casino floors. In addition, 2
Ways Royal video poker, sometimes known as Split Way Royal, adds an interesting
twist to lure jackpot hunters to the game.
has blossomed as one of the most popular casino entertainments because of the
way that it combines the strategy of table games with the ease and comfort of
slot machines. It has also become extremely popular for online gamblers. After
all, sitting in front of a computer screen, tablet, or smartphone isn’t all that
dissimilar from sitting in front of a video poker machine in an actual casino.
2 Ways Royal video poker has carved out a niche in some of the most popular
online casino operations. On the one hand, the game manages to be a simple
variation of video poker that even beginning players can readily understand and
enjoy. Yet it contains one twist on that most common form of video poker,
usually known as Jacks or Better, to entice the more adventurous gamblers out
The twist that’s evident in 2 Ways Royal video poker can be figured out by
the name. Even basic video poker players know that a royal flush is the most
coveted hand in the entire game. But this variation gives you a second way to
make a hand that pays as much as a royal flush, only, in this case, using low
cards to complete this valuable hand.
In the following article, we’ll give you a primer on 2 Ways Royal video
poker, showing you how to play if you’re just starting out. We’ll also delve
into the advantages and disadvantages of game play. And for those who are
interested in learning all the right moves, we’ll talk about some of the more
important strategies to help you come out a winner.
The Basics of Playing 2 Ways Royal Video Poker Online
As far as we know, there are no physical versions of 2 Ways Royal video poker
to be found in brick-and-mortar casinos. But that doesn’t really matter if you
are a true enthusiast of video poker, because it can be found online at many top
gambling sites. A simple online search of the game, either for 2 Ways Royal
video poker or its other common name, Split Royals, will turn up the sites where
you can play the game.
To play 2 Ways Royal video poker, you need to create an account with the site
involved, which usually involves depositing money via a credit card or other
form of accepted payment. Once you’ve done that, you can usually decide what
denomination you’d like to wager throughout the game. From there, it’s just a
matter of settling down with your computer or other internet-ready device and
2 Ways Royal video poker is played just like most forms of video poker. Once
you decide how many credits you want to play (from one through five), you are
dealt five cards, with the probability of receiving each card based on a
standard 52-card deck. Ideally, these five cards will immediately make up a
winning hand, as determined by the pay table listed on the screen (more on that
If not, you have the chance to discard any number of cards in your hand (even
all of them). Those will be replaced by cards drawn out of the 47 remaining in
the simulated deck. Your decisions on which cards to discard will be based on
the probability of making one of the winning hands.
Simple, right? Almost as simple as playing a slot machine, which can also be
played at most of the same online casinos that house 2 Ways Royal video poker.
But as you’ll see in a moment, you are actually much better off as a gambler
going with video poker.
Video Poker vs. Slot Machines
Since they are generally found in the same sections of casinos and are both
generally offered by casino sites, you might think that video poker and slot
machines are inseparable. But that’s not true, at least not if you care about
winning money at a higher rate over the long haul.
Here’s the thing: anyone can get lucky with a slot machine spin whenever they
sit down to play. But your chances of winning money when you play video poker
are not only more pronounced, but they are also clearer to understand. Slot
machines pay less, and you really don’t know what you’re getting with each one.
The reasons for this come down to probability. 2 Ways Royal video poker, the
game that we’re telling you about here, will return about 99.8% of a gambler’s
investment to them over a long period of time. That means that $1000 put into
the game will return, on average, $998 in return if you play the game perfectly
(more on that when we get to strategy).
How do we know that? Well, we’ve already told you that the outcome of each
video poker hand is hemmed in by the probabilities inherent in a deck of cards.
Meanwhile, the payments for each of those hands are clearly delineated by the
pay table of each variation of video poker.
Slot machines have pay tables as well, of course. You can look online and see
how much each spin returns depending on how many credits you play, just as in
video poker. The only problem is that there is no way that you can determine the
probabilities with a slot machine.
You don’t know whether, for example, three jackpot symbols will show up once
every 20 spins, or every 200 spins, or even every 20,000 spins. Essentially, you
are flying blind when you play a slot machine in casinos or online. Not to
mention the fact that, with no strategy element involved, you have no control
over winning or losing each spin.
As for payouts of slot machine varieties, you won’t know when you settle down
to play what they are. But keep in mind that studies have shown that both
physical and online slot machines return just about 92% to their players.
Compare that to anywhere from 95% to 100% for video poker, depending on game
variety and player strategy, and there really isn’t much comparison.
2 Ways Royal Video Poker Pay Tables
For those who are new to the world of video poker, the pay table is the
crucial component of the action. It will tell you how to play the game in terms
of holds and discards, and it also shows you what type of play you can expect
from the game. Let’s examine the pay table for 2 Ways Royal video poker.
Hi Royal Flush
Lo Royal Flush
Four of a Kind
Three of a Kind
Jacks or Better
Avid video pokers will notice that this pay table sets up very similar to Jacks or Better, which is essentially the standby version of the game. The pay
for many of the hands is identical in the two games, while both games start to
pay off with a pair of jacks or better (meaning jacks, queens, kings, or aces).
The big difference with 2 Ways Royal video poker comes in terms of the hand
known as the lo royal flush. A traditional royal flush (or a high royal flush in
this case) is a hand with a 10, jack, queen, king, and ace, all of the same
suit. This is the most lucrative hand in most forms of video poker.
But 2 Ways Royal video poker includes the possibility of a lo royal flush.
This is a hand with a 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the same suit. And as you can see, it
pays off 4000 credits for a five-credit bet, or 800 to 1, which are the same
odds as the high royal flush.
What that means is that 2 Ways Royal video poker gives you two chances at the
highest payout in video poker. Obviously, either hand is quite rare to achieve.
But having two different ways of achieving such a big payout can be enticing if
you like a little more spice in your video poker.
Let’s take a look now at some of the other discrepancies between 2 Ways Royal
video poker and Jacks or Better.
Four of a Kind
Jacks or Better Video Poker pays: 25 to 1
2 Ways Royal Video Poker pays: 50 to 1
Jacks or Better Video Poker pays: 9 to 1
2 Ways Royal Video Poker pays: 6 to 1
Jacks or Better Video Poker pays: 6 to 1
2 Ways Royal Video Poker pays: 5 to 1
Other than those hands and the aforementioned inclusion of the lo royal flush
in 2 Ways Royal video poker, all other payouts are the same. (It should be noted
that the above payouts are based on the version of Jacks or Better that pays
most aggressively. There are other versions that pay less for the full house and
So what does all that mean concerning the gameplay of 2 Ways Royal video
poker? Well, let’s take a look at it in terms of something known as volatility,
which is an important factor for those sitting down to play the game.
Gameplay of 2 Ways Royal Video Poker
As we mentioned above, 2 Ways Royal video poker returns, with perfect play,
about 99.8% to players. The Jacks or Better game we talked about returns about
99.54%. Does that mean that you should stick with 2 Ways Royal video poker?
Well, that depends. First of all, those are average paybacks, so there’s no
telling what you might receive over a small sample size. But let’s just assume
you’re sitting down to play the two games; how might that play out?
Both are what would be known as low-volatility video poker games. That means
that you can generally assume that you’ll be able to play for a long time
without losing your initial bankroll. Your risk of ruin, which is a measurement
of the likelihood of blowing through your funds, is lower when playing either
Jacks or Better or 2 Ways Royal video poker than it would be for the “Bonus”
video poker games that are prevalent in casinos and online.
Yet 2 Ways Royal video poker carries slightly higher volatility than Jacks or
Better due to its inclusion of both the lo royal flush and the higher payout for
four of a kind. These hands are responsible for a higher percentage of the total
payback than they are for Jacks or Better.
You have to realize that both the lo royal flush and four of a kind hands are
extremely rare occurrences in video poker. That means that, when those hands
don’t occur, your bankroll can be depleted in a faster fashion than with Jacks
or Better. What compounds this scenario is the fact that the full house and the
flush, two hands that appear on a much more regular basis over the course of
video poker play, pay less than with Jacks or Better.
As a result, 2 Ways Royal video poker straddles the line between the basic
Jacks or Better and the more aggressive Bonus poker editions. On the one hand,
it offers a little bit of stability to the online gambler with a decent
bankroll. But it also affords the opportunity to score big in a different way
with the usage of the lo royal flush hand.
2 Ways Royal Video Poker Strategy
Earlier in this article, we mentioned the concept of perfect video poker
play. What this means is that a player could conceivably make the right decision
every time they were faced with a discard choice. If they were able to do that,
they would be able to maximize their winnings.
You have to understand that this concept does not mean that the “right”
discard will lead to winning that specific hand every time. By the same token,
you could get lucky and win a hand with the “wrong” discard. The right choices
are the ones that, given the probabilities involved and the pay tables, give you
the best possible chance to win over a long period of time.
So let’s take a look at some ways to acquire perfect strategy for 2 Ways
Royal video poker or any video poker variation:
Video Poker Trainers: These are generally smartphone apps or computer software designed to help you learn any
variation of video poker. You can tailor them to the pay tables of the
variation that you’re playing, and they will alert you when you are making
the right and wrong discards for any given hands.
Strategy Charts: Look online, and you can
usually find strategy charts for most types of video poker, including 2 Ways
Royal video poker. These charts display the types of hand you might receive
on the deal and then rank them from best to worst. By comparing your hand to
the hand on the chart that is highest-ranked and most closely matches yours,
you will know what to discard.
Free Play: It isn’t hard to find websites that
will allow you to play video poker for free. By practicing, you’ll get the
feel for which cards to hold and which to discard. The only issue with free
play is that it might reinforce bad habits if you get lucky with the “wrong”
plays and think that they will always be the way to go.
Now that you know how to learn the right discards and holds for each hand, we
can give you some quick tips to get you started with your strategy for 2 Ways
Royal video poker.
Strategy Tips for 2 Ways Royal Video Poker
Play the Max Credits
You will find this piece of strategy adorning to-do lists for just about
every video poker variation. The reason? Royal flush hands always pay at a
higher rate with five credits played then they do at one through four credits.
You’ll notice that’s the case on the pay table for 2 Ways Royal video poker.
And you’ll also notice that the lo royal flush makes that same jump (250 to 1
for one through four credits and 800 to 1 for five credits). That means that
playing five credits is extremely important for 2 Ways Royal video poker.
Keep Low Cards in Play More Often
You have to realize that making those royal flushes, either on the high or
the low end, has to be your ultimate goal. That means that you would, for
example, hold on to three suited connecting cards, like the 2, 3, and 4 of
hearts. The fact that you can possibly draw to a lo royal flush is simply too
hard to ignore.
On the same level, a pair of low cards carries a bit more weight than usual
because of the high payout for a four of a kind hand. You also should be less
reliant on holding to four suited, non-connected cards. After all, the flush
only plays at five to one.
The main lesson in all this is to play to the pay table. That
will clue you in on how to play, even without using video poker trainers
or strategy charts.
Think About the Probability
Many people are familiar with the table game version of poker, which requires
you just to have a hand that beats the other people at the table. But you can’t
use the same logic to try and win at video poker.
For example, you might try to draw to an inside straight (for example,
unsuited 4, 5, 6, and 8, needing just the 7) in table poker. That could be based
on your hunch about what the other players have. But it is not a smart play in 2
Ways Royal video poker.
After all, you are basically taking about a one in twelve chance of drawing
the 7 (using the example above) for a relatively meager payout of 4 to 1. That
math is not in your favor, which is why the best play would be to discard all
five cards and start fresh on the draw.
It gives you a better payback rate than slot machines
It is relatively low volatility, meaning that you can play for a
long time on a small bankroll
The addition of the lo royal flush gives you the chance of a
second huge payout on the pay table
You get paid more for four of a kind than in many Jacks or
Cons of Playing 2 Ways Royal
If you are used to traditional Jacks or Better, you might get
frustrated by the lower payouts for the full house and flush
Even with the lo royal flush, gameplay is still largely devoid
of big payouts
2 Ways Royal video poker holds a little bit of value for both the
thrill-seeker and the conservative video poker player. It is close enough to
Jacks or Better that those familiar with that game can easily adjust. But the
increased chance of a significant quick score makes 2 Ways Royal video poker an
interesting variation on the norm.
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