Guide to Playing Fast Fours Video Poker

Fast Fours video poker creates excitement for video poker players who love to reach four of a kind but often find themselves coming up a bit short. In this twist on basic online video poker, a three of a kind hand can become four of a kind if the other two cards can be added up to match the rank of the matched trio. The best part is that this extra feature comes to players at no extra cost!


Video poker is a game that many casino-goers and online gamblers love for its simplicity and the advantages it brings to bettors. You can play the game by yourself and still get the payback certainty you get out of games like blackjack or craps. In many ways, it marks the best of both worlds between table games and slot machines.

But the most basic version of video poker, known as Jacks or Better, sometimes aggravates bettors because it doesn’t yield many opportunities for big payoffs that are reserved for rare hands like a royal flush. Video game manufacturers addressed this by creating “Bonus” pay tables where four of a kind hands get paid almost on a jackpot level similar to the royal flush.

Fast Fours video poker is a game that answers those concerns in an intriguing way. It does this by giving you new ways to create four of a kind, or quads, as those hands are sometimes labeled. If you end up with three of a kind after the draw, the hand can become a quad if the other two cards add up to the sum of the three of a kind in terms of rank. This can include numbered cards or face cards, which are given a numerical value in line with their rank.

As a result, it opens the door for far more four of a kind hands, and the big payoffs that go along with them. In addition to that, this extra feature comes at no extra cost to the bettor. Many other video poker games have an extra feature, but they usually require players to bet an additional amount. This isn’t the case with Fast Fours video poker.

While all of this might sound really exciting, Fast Fours video poker doesn’t come without its drawbacks. On the one hand, you don’t have as many options in terms of pay tables as you would with other games that have an extra twist attached. And the pay tables you do get to choose are somewhat lacking in terms of their payback percentage compared to other variations of video poker.

In this article, we’ll explain how to play Fast Fours video poker, first, by explaining basic video poker to you, then by demonstrating how the Fast Fours video poker twist works. We’ll also look into the pay tables that are available on the game and talk about the payback percentages attached to those tables.

Finally, we’ll talk about how you can learn to play this game at a high level by using the right strategy for each and every hand you play.

Learning Basic Video Poker

Fast Fours video poker is one of many variations that is built on the core of basic video poker. The most basic form is usually known as Jacks or Better, because that is the minimum hand needed to win back some money. Once you learn how to play the basic version, you shouldn’t have any problems advancing to play Fast Fours video poker.

The game is essentially a simulation of the card game known as five card draw. Because it is played by one person at a machine, the games are often lumped in with slots. But that is a misconception, because video poker holds many advantages over slot machines.

To begin with, slot machines don’t contain any kind of strategical component. All you do is spin the reels and hope things turn out in your favor. Video poker gives you a chance to control gameplay by deciding which cards you should hold and which you discard.

Slot machines also give no insight about your percentages of winning. You might see on the pay table that a spin of three cherries will pay you one thousand coins. But you have no way of knowing how often one of those spins might show up on average.

By contrast, video poker is based on a simulated deck of 52 cards, and the probabilities contained in those cards don’t change from one hand to the next. As a result, you can figure out your probabilities of attaining hands like a royal flush or four of a kind by doing some math. It takes the guesswork out of the equation.

In addition, by combining the probabilities with the payouts for each hand as listed in the pay table, you can reach a payback percentage total that demonstrates how much the machine will pay you back on an average session. None of that is available with slot machines. You don’t know if the machine you’re playing is set to pay you back at 85% or 95%.

On the whole, payback percentages for slot machines lag behind those of video poker. Again, this is an area where video poker is more like table games. The best video poker machines are in the same neighborhood and sometimes even surpass the best payback percentages of table games.

One part of the comparison with slot machines that does hold true is that video poker is a solitary experience. You don’t have to deal with other patrons or casino employees, nor do you have to know the protocol for how to play or bet. Video poker takes place in a much less pressure-packed environment than the one that surrounds table games.

Knowing all of that, you can see why some people only play video poker when they gamble. It takes the best parts of slot machines and table games and combines them into one attraction. And it’s extremely easy to learn, much more so than other table games.

On that note, let’s talk about how to play video poker. We’ll now walk you through the step-by-step process of playing a hand. After that, we’ll move on to talk about how Fast Fours video poker works.

Step 1: Your Bankroll

When you put money into a video poker machine, you are establishing your bankroll. This is the money needed to make bets so you can win. If you’re playing at a top gambling website, you can establish your bankroll by creating an account at the site then fund it with a credit card or other available methods.

Your bankroll will be registered on the machine in credits or coins. Each credit will be equal to one unit of whatever denomination you’re playing. Denominations can run from small amounts like a penny to larger amounts like a dollar.

To determine how many credits you’ll have to play, you just need to divide the money that you put in the machine by the denomination you’re playing. For example, if you put a dollar into a nickel machine, you will have 20 credits to start (1 divided by .05). Once you learn video poker online, it can be played very quickly, often multiple hands per minute. So, you should keep in mind how long you want to play when you establish your bankroll.

Step 2: Your Bet

Video poker machines like Fast Fours video poker give you the chance to bet between one and five credits per hand. Don’t be confused. Fast Fours video poker possesses an extra feature, but it does not require an additional bet like other games with special features. That’s one of the main advantages of playing the game.

While the size of the bet is entirely up to you, we recommend that you bet the maximum amount of five coins whenever possible. This is because the five-coin wager gives you the best possible payback for the royal flush, which is the rarest and most lucrative hand in the game. When playing one through four coins, the payback for the royal flush sits at 250 to 1, but it skyrockets to 800 to 1 when playing five coins.

If you can’t commit to the five coins every hand, you should consider finding a game with a lower denomination. That way, you can play the max bet without harming your payback percentage, which is what happens if you only play one through four coins per hand.

Step 3: Your Hand

As we said above, video poker takes its cues from five card draw poker. You get five cards in a deal, then you get to assess those cards, discard the ones you don’t like, and draw new ones to replace them in an effort to make the best possible poker hand.

The big difference is that video poker only requires you to create a winning hand as determined by the pay table. In five card draw, you have to beat everybody else at the table. Here are the winning hands you’ll be trying to make when playing Fast Fours video poker:

  • Pair of jacks or better
  • Two pair
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight (five cards of consecutive rank, like 3-4-5-6-7)
  • Flush (five cards of same suit)
  • Full house (three of a kind and two pair in the same hand)
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush (straight with five cards of same suit)
  • Royal flush (ten, jack, queen, king, and ace of the same suit)

These are ranked from the most lucrative and hardest to achieve (at the top) down to the least lucrative and easiest to achieve (at the bottom). You will assess the five cards you receive in your “deal,” which occurs when you make your bet and the cards appear on the screen. Ideally, you might have a combination that makes one of the winning hands above.

But if you don’t, you’ll still have the chance to make a winning hand. Each round of online video poker includes a “draw” round. In this round, you will discard the cards you feel are inessential, and they will be replaced by cards that are on the top of the deck from which you were originally dealt.

When we talk about decks of cards in Fast Fours video poker, everything is a simulation. There is a random number generator inside the machine which is always shuffling the simulated deck. When you deal and draw, the shuffling will stop, and you will receive the cards that are on the top right at that moment.

No video poker machine is due to win or lose based on whatever hands occurred before. And no cards are due to show up based on hands that were played on the machine before you.

Every time you are dealt a card, your chances of receiving a specific card from the deck are 1 in 52. And every time you draw, your chances for specific cards are 1 in 47, since the five cards you were dealt are out of play. You will use that knowledge to help you decide what to hold and what to discard.

For example, let’s say that you receive the following hand:

Poker Hand - Four of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, Ace of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds

This hand is a winner. You already have a pair of aces, which meets the minimum requirement for a winning hand (jacks or better). Even though it’s a modest payoff, by keeping the aces and discarding the rest, you could conceivably improve to higher-paying hands like two pair, three of a kind, a full house, or even four of a kind.

Yet there are other directions that you can go with this deal as well. For example, you could pursue a possible flush. After all, you already have four hearts in the deck, and have a chance between one in four and one in five of drawing the fifth heart if you discard the ace of diamonds.

Along those same lines, you could discard the four of hearts and ace of diamonds and go for the royal flush. This would require you to draw both the ten of hearts and the ace of hearts, which would be a long shot. But you might want to take on those odds considering the mammoth potential payout for the royal flush.

The possibilities of this deal are fascinating, and you will be faced with choices like these when you play Fast Fours video poker. On other deals, the decisions will be much easier. You should try to choose based on the percentages of drawing to a winning hand and based on how much each winning hand would pay.

In any case, once you’ve made your decision and indicated the cards you want to hold, your draw will take place. The hand is over that point. If you’ve made a winning hand, your account will be credited, while a losing hand will do nothing, since your bet will have already been deducted at the start of the hand.

To play more hands, you just have to repeat the steps to your heart’s content. If you run out of credits, your game is over unless you insert more money. Another option is to cash out any remaining credits and have them redeemed for cash in the casino.
That is how a hand of video poker works. Now that you have the basic game down, move on to Fast Fours video poker. Let’s take a look at how the game’s twist increases your chances for four of a kind.

Fast Fours

In most hands of Fast Fours video poker, the process of deals and draws will take place as always and your winning hands will look the same. But there is a possibility that a three of a kind hand can become a four of a kind. And that happens when the two cards not involved in the three of a kind add up to the rank of the other three cards.

Let’s talk about rank so you can understand how this works. The rank is essentially the numerical value for the cards in the deck. Here are the ranks for the cards in Fast Fours video poker:

  • Ace: 1
  • Two: 2
  • Three: 3
  • Four: 4
  • Five: 5
  • Six: 6
  • Seven: 7
  • Eight: 8
  • Nine: 9
  • Ten: 10
  • Jack: 11
  • Queen: 12
  • King: 13

Let’s talk about how that works in a hand of Fast Fours video poker. Let’s say you end up with the following after the draw:

Poker Hand - -Seven of Hearts, Seven of Clubs, Seven of Diamonds, Two of Hearts, Five of Clubs

In normal video poker, this hand would be scored as a three of a kind and paid accordingly. But here, the other two cards are a two and five. Adding up the rank of those cards, you end up with the following:

2 + 5 = 7

That would give you another seven according to the rules of Fast Fours video poker. As a result, the twist has given you four of a kind. Another example:

Poker Hand - Ace of Spades, King of Hearts, King of Diamonds, King of Clubs, Queen of Hearts

You have three kings, but you also have an ace and a queen. Let’s do the math, knowing that the ace has a rank of 1 and queen has a rank of 12:

1 + 12 = 13

We know from above that the king has a rank of 13. That means the ace and the queen actually give you another king. And that gives you four of a kind.

As you might imagine, there are many different examples where this could work. Fast Fours video poker basically gives you more chances to come up with a four of a kind. As you’ll see when we get to the pay tables, the four of a kind hands pay off much higher than three of a kind, making this a twist that is extremely worthwhile, especially since you don’t have to bet extra to take advantage of it.

One note on this game: Fast Fours video poker closely resembles another version of video poker known as Quick Quads. Quick Quads also has a feature where you can add the ranks of cards to make a four of a kind. But there are some differences.

Quick Quads requires you to bet a sixth coin to activate this feature. If you don’t, and you end up with a hand like the ones above, you will only have a three of a kind. The sixth coin makes Quick Quads more expensive to play than Fast Fours video poker.

On top of that, Quick Quads don’t include face cards (jack, queen, king) as part of the twist. As a result, the second example with the ace and the queen adding up to a king wouldn’t be possible. You would really only be able to make the quads if you have numbered cards.

Payback Tables and Payback Percentages for Fast Fours Video Poker

The pay tables for Fast Fours video poker are somewhat limited compared to other games with extra twists added on to them. There are three different pay tables available for Fast Fours video poker.

  • Bonus Poker
  • Double Bonus Poker
  • Double Double Bonus Poker

As is the case with all bonus pay tables, the payback for four of a kind hands is increased. This is done at the expense of more achievable hands like the two pair or three of a kind. Here are those pay tables for Fast Fours video poker:

Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 200 400 600 800 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind (aces) 80 160 240 320 400
Four of a kind (2s, 3s, or 4s) 40 80 120 160 200
Four of a kind (any other) 20 40 60 80 100
Full house 5 10 15 20 25
Flush 4 8 12 16 20
Straight 3 6 9 12 15
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Double Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 200 400 600 800 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind (aces) 160 320 460 640 800
Four of a kind (2s, 3s, or 4s) 80 160 240 320 400
Four of a kind (any other) 20 40 60 80 100
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Double Double Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four aces without any 2,3,4 400 800 1,200 1,600 2,000
Four 2s, 3s, or 4s without any A,2,3,4 160 320 460 640 800
Four aces 160 320 460 640 800
Four 2s, 3s, or 4s 80 160 240 320 400
Four 5s though Ks 20 40 60 80 100
Full house 6 12 18 24 30
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Pair of jacks + 1 2 3 4 5

You might notice, if you are an expert video poker player, that some of the payouts are depressed compared to other versions available. This is how Fast Fours video poker can afford to give you the twist with the extra opportunity to make four of a kind. Unfortunately, this means that the payback percentages for the game also suffers.

In general, we recommend that if you’re playing video poker at a top level, you should stick with games where the payback percentage sits at or above 99%. That means, on average, you will be losing a dollar for every $100 that you put through the machine. This loss can be overcome by casino and online loyalty programs, especially if you play often.

Unfortunately, the payback percentages for those playing Fast Fours video poker sit at less than 97%. That is well below the threshold that we recommend. But does that mean that you should completely ignore this game in a casino?

Not necessarily. If you are the type who likes to chase big payouts, Fast Fours video poker holds some advantages. The increased chances of four of a kind bring you more opportunities to win big in a hurry.

That makes Fast Fours video poker a solid game to play if you are searching for that big payoff during a short session or two. By contrast, those who are looking to make a profit out of playing video poker for a long period of time will struggle to do so playing Fast Fours. If that’s you, you should probably check out other games.

Learning Proper Video Poker Strategy

Strategy for Fast Fours video poker can be a little tricky because of the twist in the game. But once you know how the twist works, you should be able to make an adjustment. For example, consider the following deal:

Poker Hand - Two of Spades, Five of Clubs, Nine of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, Jack of Clubs

In a normal video poker game, this would be a no-brainer kind of hand. You would hold on to the two jacks and go from there. But think about the possibilities for Fast Fours video poker.

Since you have a two and a nine, which adds up to a rank of 11 (the rank of a Jack), you essentially have three jacks. Your best play here would be to drop the five of clubs. If you draw one of the other two jacks in the deck, you made four of a kind.

Barring examples like that, the best way to learn proper Fast Fours video poker strategy is to get some assistance. If you don’t, and you make decisions about what to hold and discard that aren’t mathematically sound, you will be hurting your payback percentage. That is especially the case over the long haul, since luck will be less of a factor than it would be if you were only playing a few hands.

Here are the two best ways to learn proper video poker strategy:

  • Video Poker Training Software: By using this software, you can play simulated versions of your favorite pay tables and customize the training to those tables. If you’re confronted with a hand where you’re not sure what to hold and discard, you can ask for help. Or you can play the hand without the assistance, knowing that the software will notify you if you make an incorrect choice.
  • Strategy Charts: These charts can be found for all of the major pay tables listed above. They rank all of the combinations of cards you might receive on a deal in terms of their value. This allows you to compare your own deal to these combinations and throw out cards that won’t get you to that highest expected value. If you can memorize a strategy chart, you can make the right decisions on every single deal.

Pros and Cons of Fast Fours Video Poker

Pros of Fast Fours Video Poker

  • Increased chances at four of a kind hands
  • Twist comes without an extra bet
  • Easy gameplay that is essentially the same as basic video poker
Conclusion of Fast Fours Video Poker

  • Fewer pay tables than other games
  • Depressed payback percentages
  • Tricky strategy to consider adding cards together

Conclusion on Playing Fast Fours Video Poker

Fast Fours video poker, whether you play it at your favorite casino or a top online gambling website, rewards players who can do a little simple addition on the spot. If you can, you might stumble into a four of a kind possibility that can really boost your bankroll in a hurry. Just be aware that the poor payback percentages can bring you down in the long run.