Atlantic City video poker games are competing with the beach and the
boardwalk for your attention.
The result is that some of the best video poker variations in the country can
be found at casinos in Atlantic City. In fact, we recommend skipping the slots
in Atlantic City entirely, because the payback percentage is so much better on
Atlantic City blackjack is nothing to write home about, either. Since all the
casinos there have relatively unfavorable rules, video poker trumps blackjack.
You’ll find full pay Jacks or Better (with the 9/6 pay table we discussed on
the Jacks or Better video poker page on our site) at most of the properties in
town. The payback percentage on these games, if you play with perfect strategy,
is 99.54%. This leaves the house with a razor thin edge of just 0.46%.
One thing you won’t find in Atlantic City are video poker games where the
player has an edge-i.e., games with a payback percentage of 100% or more. Let’s
face it. The casinos in Atlantic City aren’t exactly thriving businesses lately,
anyway. Overly generous video poker games would only make their financial
But if you stick with the right games, use your players club card, and learn
the right strategy for how to play each hand, you can play a game with a close
to 0% house edge. We like to think of that as free entertainment.
Below we list the top video poker casinos in Atlantic City along with which
games qualify them for the list:
1 – Borgata
The Jacks or Better games
at Borgata are good. They offer the full pay (9/6)
pay table. You can find these for as little as a quarter, but remember to bet 5
coins per hand. Borgata caters to high rollers, too, so you can also find JoB in
denominations of $10, $25, and $50-which means betting $50, $125, or $250 per
But that’s not the best video poker payback percentage in the casino,
although at 99.54%, it comes close. The Super Double Bonus Games offer a 99.69%
payback percentage, which is 0.15% better. Forget about high roller action on
these games, though, as they’re only available for $1, $0.50, or $0.25.
Bonus Poker is the only other good choice at the Borgata. (We define “good”
as offering a 99% or higher payback percentage when played with perfect
strategy.) These are only available for $1 or more. The highest denomination
Bonus Poker game reported there was the $50 denomination game.
If your standards are a little lower, you can play games with a 98%+ payback
percentage. These include Double Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus.
2 – Harrahs Atlantic City
The best video poker game at
Harrahs Atlantic City is full pay Jacks or
Better, which is easy to find and available in denominations from 25 cents to
$10 and several points in between. They have enough of these machines that
you’ll rarely find them all full.
Double Double Aces and Faces, with its 99.46% payback percentage, is also
readily available in the same denominations. We recommend sticking with Jacks or
Better unless you’re just dying for variety, though. Double Double Aces and
Faces requires a different strategy, and even if you’ve mastered that strategy,
Jacks or Better offers slightly better odds.
But Harrahs has several more good VP variations: Bonus Poker (99.17%), Bonus
Aces and Faces (99.26%), Double Bonus Poker (99.11%), Double Double Bonus
(98.98%), and Jokers Wild (99.29%). These are all available in multiple
denominations from 25 cents up to $5.
3 – Bally’s Atlantic City
If you’re looking for full pay (9/6) Jacks or Better, which should be your
bread and butter anyway-especially if you’re a beginner-Bally’s has a couple
dozen games to choose from in multiple denominations. Look for the GameKing
machines in the smoking section.
You can find the game for a quarter or 50 cents, but most of the full pay
machines are the higher denomination machines–$1, $2, or $5. This means
wagering $5 per hand at most of their games, as you need to play for 5 coins per
Double Double Bonus Aces and Faces (aka “the video poker game with the long
name”) offers a payback percentage of 99.46%, which is almost as good as full
pay Jacks or Better. You’re more likely to be familiar with the correct strategy
for 9/6 JoB, though, so you’re probably better off sticking with that more basic
game unless you’re just looking for variety.
Bonus Aces and Faces, Bonus Poker, and Joker Wild are also reasonably good VP
games to try at Bally’s. They do offer pay tables which make a 99%+ payback
percentage possible, but always keep in mind that you need to know the right
strategy for the game. If you don’t, you’re going to give up as much as 2% or
more just by making the wrong decisions.
We’re big fans of the Bonus Poker games at Bally’s, by the way, as they offer
a payback percentage of 99.17%. And the strategy for those games is relatively
easy compared to the other variations on the list.
4 – Caesars Atlantic City
One of the best payback percentages available in the entire city is available
on the Double Joker Wild games at Caesars. The expected return on this game, if
you play correctly, is 99.91%. It’s only available in a 25 cent version.
Double Double Bonus is popular in Atlantic City, and the version at Caesars
has a payback percentage of 98.98%, which is probably close enough to 99% for
most people. You’ll find a limited selection of these games near the center of
You can also find full pay Jacks or Better here, in multiple denominations
starting at a quarter and going up to $5.
5 – Tropicana Atlantic City
Joker Wild with a 99.59% payback percentage is available at Tropicana
Atlantic City, but it’s only available for 25 cents. It’s only slightly better
than the 2-that’s right, there are only 2-full pay Jacks or Better games at the
Trop. The Jacks or Better games are in the high limit area and are available for
between $1 and $10.
Those are the only good games there, although they also offer Double Double
Bonus with a payback percentage of 98.98%. If you’re stuck for an idea for what
to play besides those, you could try their Deuces Wild variation, but it’s a $5
game with a payback percentage of only 98.91%.
6 – Trump Taj Mahal
The best game at the Trump Taj Mahal is Jacks or Better for $1 or $2. As with
most of the casinos on this list, they offer the game with the 9/6 pay table and
the 99.54% payback percentage.
They also offer Bonus Poker with a 99.17% payback percentage for $1, $2, or
Those are the only 2 good games, but Double Double Bonus with a 98.98%
payback percentage comes close to good, too. If you’re a low roller at the Taj
Mahal, this is the only realistic option, because it’s the only VP variation
with a decent pay table available for a quarter.
7 – Golden Nugget Atlantic City
One of the least impressive video poker casinos in Atlantic City is the
Golden Nugget. They offer full pay Jacks or Better, but there aren’t many of
these machines available. The ones that are available are hard to find in the
back of the casino. You can play for multiple denominations, from 25 cents to
Double Bonus games with a 99.11% payback percentage are also available at the
Golden Nugget. They’re available from 25 cents to $5, too.
You can also find Bonus Poker games with a payback percentage of 99.17%.
These are available in $1 and $5 denominations only.
8 – Resorts Atlantic City
City offers the least attractive selection of video poker
games in the city. The only game worth playing here is Bonus Poker with a 99.17%
payback percentage. It’s available for 25 cents, 50 cents, or a dollar. None of
the other games here are worth playing.
Atlantic City is a solid video poker destination. There’s something worth
playing at all the casinos there.
The Borgata and Harrahs are the top 2 choices on our list, and Resorts and
Golden Nugget are dead last.
Regardless of the casino, video poker is probably your best option,
math-wise, anywhere in the city.
The best advice we can offer you, though, is to seek out the best pay tables.
The casino managers mix the VP variations, so they might be right next to each
other and have dramatically different payback percentages.
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