Kings or Better No Wild Card Video Poker

Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker brings a pay table quirk most associated with wild card games to a basic format. You’ll have the same 52 cards at your disposal as you would if you were playing Jacks or Better. But the difference is the minimum winning hand is a pair of kings instead of a pair of jacks.

King of Diamonds

In the world of video poker, you can usually choose between games with wild cards and those without it. Wild cards can be turned into whatever card you can imagine that will improve your hand. Having wild cards in play means that hands that are usually difficult to acquire are much more within reach.

As a result, games with wild cards usually adjust the pay table to account for that fact. Hands that make a certain amount in games without wild cards will usually make less in games with them. Otherwise wild card games would provide way too much of an advantage to the player and nobody would play any games without them.

When you play a game without wild cards, it usually follows the format of Jacks or Better. The lowest-ranked winning hand is a pair of jacks. From there, payback is based on the probability of making winning hands. The rarer the hand, the more it pays.

Wild card games like Joker Wild usually start payback with a pair of kings. As a result, games listed as Kings or Better poker usually are those that have a joker in the deck as the 53rd card. Because of the wild card, you’ll be able to make certain winning hands, that you wouldn’t be able to achieve otherwise.

The Kings or Better video poker game that we are spotlighting in this article starts paying off at a pair of kings but has no wild cards. Its deck includes the standard 52 cards. It’s a Jacks or Better format with a pay table that looks like Joker Wild, albeit without five of a kind or wild royal flush hands included.

You might wonder why anyone would want to play this game when there are plenty of Jacks or Better games that make it easier to form winning hands. Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker answers this question by boosting payback for specific winning hands from what you would expect from Jacks or Better type games. You’ll see better payback for straight flush, full house, and flush hands.

Having these boosted payback amounts can make Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker seem enticing. But in truth, the overall payback for the game is a bit lacking. While it might be the type of game that is suited for casual players looking for big gains in a short period of time, long-term players might struggle to make a profit with this online-only version of video poker.

In the following article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker. We’ll demonstrate how to play and take an in-depth look at the pay table for this game. We’ll go into the strategy you need to use, as well as talk about the payback you can expect.

Why You Should Be Playing Video Poker

Video poker is one of the most popular of all casino games. That popularity stretches out to the online arena as well. As a matter of fact, there are games like Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker which you can only find at a gambling website.

If you’ve never played video poker before, you might be in the dark as to why it is so beloved. Consider it to be a kind of ideal combination of table games and slot machines. You’re getting all the best aspects of those games without any of the downsides.

To illustrate that point, let’s take a look at all of the reasons why you should consider making video poker your game of choice as soon as possible.

  • You can play video poker without anyone else involved. Video poker doesn’t require other players, nor do you need a casino or website employee to operate it. As a result, you get complete privacy and control over the way you want to play.
  • You can find a video poker game that is just right for you. Many casino games are limited in terms of the variations of them that are available to you. There are hundreds of video poker games that you can find in casinos and online.
  • You can learn to play video poker quickly even if you’re a complete novice. If you have a basic background in poker, it won’t be hard to get up and running with your video poker gameplay. But you can figure it out quickly as well even if you are completely new to the concept.
  • You get to have some control over the outcome of video poker hands. That isn’t the case with slot machines, which are completely based on luck. The decisions that you make playing video poker will have an impact on whether you win or lose hands, although luck will still be a part of the equation.
  • You don’t have to guess about anything involved with video poker. It has a pay table just like slot machines. But unlike slots, the probability of forming winning hands is something that you can estimate on your own.
  • You can do well with video poker play in terms of your winnings. Average payback for video poker is among the highest for all casino games. It’s just a matter of researching how much specific variations and pay tables pay back against one another if you really want to maximize your winnings.
  • You can play video poker online and get pretty much the same experience as you would playing in a casino. Of course, you wouldn’t be surrounded by lots of people and noise. But in terms of game play, online video poker at top real money gambling websites perfectly matches up with the casino versions of the game.

You now should have a better understanding of why the smartest gamblers choose
video poker when they’re in casinos or gambling online. Let’s take a look at how to play, before we move on to the interesting features in a Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker pay table.

Playing Basic Video Poker

Step 1: The Bankroll

You’ll need money to make your bets and you’ll need a place for your winnings to collect as you play video poker. That’s the role that your bankroll fills. To form a bankroll when playing video poker online, you have to sign up for an account at a gambling website, then fund it with credit card or some other available method.

The bankroll will show up in units known as credits or coins once you’ve reached the video poker game screen. These units will be directly tied into the denomination of the game that you’ve chosen to play. For example, if you made a five-credit wager in a video poker game with a denomination of 25 cents, you’ve made a $1.25 (5 times .25 bet).

Step 2: The Bet

The good news about online video poker, which is where you’ll find Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker, is that you’ll have a wide variety of denominations from which to choose, wider than what you can expect in a casino. Once you’ve chosen that denomination though, you’ll still be following the basic format for betting in video poker. You’ll choose between one and five credits wagered per hand.

You can switch up the size of the bet on every single hand if you choose. But it’s advised that you bet five credits, also known as the max bet, on every hand. The reason we suggest you do that is that your expected payback percentage will be at its highest when you play this way.

Most winning hands are paid out in direct proportion to the size of your bet. The big exception to this rule in video poker is the royal flush. This exception is what affects your potential payback.

If you bet between one and four credits and achieve a royal flush, your payback will be 250 credits for every one that you bet.

  • 1 coin bet = 250 coins won
  • 2 coins bet = 500 coins won
  • 3 coins bet = 750 coins won
  • 4 coins bet = 1,000 coins won

When you make the royal flush with a five-coin wager, you get 800 to 1 payback.

  • 5 coins bet = 4,000 coins won

As you can see, you’ll be extremely disappointed if you haven’t made the max bet and you hit a royal flush, especially considering they don’t come around very often. If you find that betting five credits per hand is too much for your budget, lower your denomination. You’ll have much more flexibility in doing this playing Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker than you would playing a casino game.

Step 3: The Hand

A hand of video poker plays out in the much the same manner as a hand of the card game known as Five-Card Draw Poker. In both cases, the player gets a deal of five cards and has to decide which he wants to hold and which he wants to discard. The discarded cards are replaced by others from the deck as the player tries to make the best possible poker hand.

The big difference is that Five-Card Draw generally is a game with multiple players involved. To win a hand, you have to beat all of those players. That means forming the best hand out of everyone or bluffing others into quitting the hand.

Video poker, by contrast, is a one-person game. And all you have to worry about is making one of the winning hands on the pay table. If you do, you’ll win money back based on what your original wager was.

In terms of Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker, these are the winning hands you’ll be trying to make.

  • Pair of kings 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)

At the top of the list is the hand that gives Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker its name. it is the easiest of all the hands on this list to achieve as you play video poker. But it pays the least as well.

As you move down the list, payback will start to rise. In other words, you’ll be awarded more for hands that are difficult to achieve. When you make decisions about what to hold and discard, which we’ll now discuss, you have to take into account both the probability of making the hand and the payback attached to it.

The Deal

Five cards will appear on your screen once you’ve made your bet and asked for the deal by clicking on the proper icons. These five cards will come from a standard deck of 52, or at least a simulation of such a deck. Software that uses the concept of a random number generator will “shuffle” these cards non-stop until you hit the button for the deal.

Once you do this, the top five cards will be your deal and the remaining 47 will continue shuffling. This process ensures that both your deal and, later on, the draw will be random. And that will be the case for every hand that you play.

It’s important that you understand the random nature of video poker when you’re making decisions. If you start believing you’re seeing patterns or trends, it could cause you to alter your strategy. In reality, your strategy shouldn’t change and should be based on playing the cards that maximize the value of the hand.

The Decision

Once you have the deal in front of you, you have to decide which cards you want to hold and which you want to discard. The cards that you hold will stay in your hand and will be a part of your final five-card hand. And the discarded cards will be replaced by others from the same deck that provided you with the deal.

What that means is that you won’t get any card you discard back on the draw. Nor can you get one of the specific cards (same rank and suit) that you held. With any luck, the cards that you draw will compliment the ones you held and give you a winning combination.

Of course, you don’t have to hold any cards if you don’t like any of the five from the deal. By contrast, you can hold all five if the deal you received is a winning combination that you don’t think you can improve.

As we mentioned above, you have to balance the likelihood of making winning hands with the payback of those hands. You have to decide what kind of risk you want to incur in return for the potential reward you could gain. In that way, video poker is very much like a table game in its format.

Let’s take a look at a sample hand to see how this works.

Sample Video Poker Hand

Imagine that you received the following five cards on the deal in a hand of Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker.

Four of Diamonds, Four of Hearts, Five of Hearts, Six of Hearts, King of Hearts

There are no winning combinations in this hand according to the Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker pay table. But there are certain combinations which form the “seeds” of a winning hand. Deciding which one to pursue is your job at this point.

For example, you could go forward into the draw holding only the pair of fours. This would give you three cards on the draw to potentially improve your hand. You could possibly draw two pair, three of a kind, a full house, or four of a kind.

You can also hold onto everything but the four of diamonds. Doing this would put you in line for a flush, since you’d have four hearts and would need just one more on the draw. This choice would leave you with a 9 (hearts left in the deck) in 47 (cards left in the deck) of coming up with the flush, which works out to a little less than 1 in 5.

Finally, you might decide to hold the four, five, and six of hearts. The big lure of this strategy would be the chance of drawing two more hearts in consecutive rank and completing the straight flush. But you’d have the chance at other winning hands depending on what you draw.

These possibilities all bring their own series of risks and rewards. Your strategy might depend on what you’re looking for from the game. A conservative player might stick with the pair, while a risk-taker might go for the straight flush in the hopes of striking it big.

We’ll talk more about how to make these choices when we get to strategy. Once you start playing video poker regularly, you’ll be able to make these decisions very quickly. This is even the case on a hand like this, where there are many good possibilities in play.

The Draw

Once you make the decision about what to hold and discard, you need to indicate, by clicking on the icons, the cards that you want to hold. If you don’t click on a card, it means you want to discard it. When you’ve completed this process, you’ll click on the “draw” button to complete the hand.

You’ll see the discarded cards are then replaced on the screen by others from the deck. Using our example from above, if you had held the pair of fours, they would stay on the screen. The other three cards would be replaced by new ones.

At that point, the game will add credits to your bankroll if you did form a winning combination. If you didn’t, nothing will be deducted, because that will already have happened when you made your bet and received the deal. Any winnings always include the original amount that you wagered.

You can keep playing video poker in this manner by repeating the steps we listed above, as long as still have enough credits to bet. If you quit, your remaining credits will be converted back to money and will be returned to your gambling account. Should you wish to collect your winnings from that account, you’ll need to see what the withdrawal procedures are for the gambling website you’re using.

That’s how video poker works on a hand-to-hand basis. Now that we have that out of the way, we can start to talk about the pay table of Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker and what separates it from other games of its kind.

Kings or Better No Wild Card Video Poker Pay Table

The pay table is the most important piece of information you need to heed as you begin to play video poker, no matter what type of game it is. By understanding the pay table, you’ll get a feel for what kind of game play you can expect. And you’ll also be able to get a good idea for what kind of strategy you should be using.

In the case of Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker, the pay table reveals it to be a kind of hybrid between wild card and non-wild card video poker variations. Take a look at the Kings or Better No Wild Card 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 195 390 585 780 975
Four of a kind 22 44 66 88 110
Full house 11 22 33 44 55
Flush 7 14 21 28 35
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Kings or better 1 2 3 4 5

The first thing is you have to know how to read the pay table. It shows you how much you’ll win for any winning hand according to the amount that you’ve wagered.
For example, imagine that you made a five-coin wager and achieved a straight. Follow the row for straight payback over to the column for five-coin wagers and you see the number 20.

It means that you’ve won 20 coins for that hand at that betting level. Since that includes the amount you bet, you need to subtract five coins to come to the profit of 15 coins you earned with that hand.

As we said above, Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker gets its name from the fact that it starts paying back at a pair of kings. Most other games that do that include a wild card like a joker.

In reality, the Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker is much more like what you could expect from Jacks or Better, which is the most popular format in all video poker. Take a look at the most common pay table for Jacks or Better.

Jacks or Better 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 of a kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

In most cases, you make out better by playing the Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker pay table. Specifically, payback for the straight flush, full house and flush are all much better on the Kings or Better game that what you’d find in Jacks or Better.

In terms of the straight flush, that’s a pretty rare hand to achieve in video poker, so you might not notice the difference based on that. But full houses and flushes are hands that you can expect to pop up now and again during a session of video poker. As a result, you’ll certainly notice an advantage in Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker when these hands arrive, at least compared to Jacks or Better.

Jacks or Better does have a slight edge in terms of the payback for four of a kind. This is an interesting hand because the payback is often boosted in other forms of video poker, such as Bonus games. You won’t find too many video poker variations where the payback for a quad is as low as it is in Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker.

The big edge that Jacks or Better has is the fact that you’ll get paid for a pair of jacks and pair of queens. It might not seem like a big deal, at least until you play a round of video poker. Then, you’ll see just how easy it is to accumulate a simple pair.

Not only does that difference mean a great deal to the payback of these two different games. But not paying out for a pair of jacks or a pair of queens also makes Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker a much more volatile game. Your bankroll will be prone to wider swings between highs and lows than if you were playing Jacks or Better.

As we said, Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker resembles Joker Poker in that both begin payback at a pair of kings. For some more context, let’s take a look at a common Joker Poker pay table.

Joker Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Five of a kind 200 400 600 800 1,000
Wild royal flush 100 200 300 400 500
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind 20 40 60 80 100
Full house 7 14 21 28 35
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 3 6 9 12 15
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Kings or better 1 2 3 4 5

You can see that Joker Poker, just like Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker, pays back even money (meaning that you’ll get your original wager back) for a pair of kings or a pair of aces. From that point, the Kings or Better pay table has a big edge in pretty much all similar winning hands.

Of course, the difference is there is a joker in play in Joker Poker. Having the wild card means it will be far easier to achieve some of the winning hands that you’ll struggle to achieve when playing Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker.

In addition, Joker Poker puts other hands, like five of a kind or a wild royal flush, in play, hands that don’t exist in Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker. Those hands give you more chances for quick, significant payback.

Obviously, these games approach payback for individual hands much differently. But what about overall payback? Let’s explore what you can expect from Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker.

Kings or Better No Wild Card Video Poker Payback Percentage

If you’re a casual player, payback percentage might not be a big deal for you, nor should it be. Payback percentage only really takes hold with any accuracy once you’ve played thousands and thousands of hands of video poker.

Casual players probably won’t play nearly that much. Their results will have more to do with luck than any what the payback percentage predicts they should be.

But if you get to the point where you want to play video poker with the intent of conceivably making a profit over the long term, you’ll need to consider the impact of the payback percentage. It’s how you compare different variations of video poker against one another. Payback percentage is computed by combining the likelihood of making winning hands on the pay table with the payback for those hands.

Payback percentage is based on the break-even level of 100%. The vast majority of casino games have a payback percentage under 100%, meaning that you should expect to lose money playing them. That is why the casino or gambling website is said to have the house edge.

Ideally, you should try to find a game where the house edge is as low as possible. In that way, you can minimize your losses. And, with the help of rewards offered by casinos and gambling websites, you might be able to eke out a profit.

In the case of Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker, the payback percentage sits at 95.88%. What that means is that $10,000 played during a session would leave you with, on average, $9,588. You’d be looking at a loss of $412.

As you might expect, such a payback percentage would be hard to overcome for profit-seekers. It’s unlikely you’d be able to find a gambling site offering Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker with bonuses to compensate for your expected loss.

In general, we recommend serious players play video poker games with a payback percentage of at least 99%. Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker falls well short of that threshold, which means you shouldn’t make it your regular game for a long period of time.

But as a short-term change of pace, it might be what a casual player is looking for. You can take advantage of the higher payback amounts on the pay table compared to Jacks or Better in that way. And you wouldn’t be committing too much to a game that works against you the more that you play it.

Kings or Better No Wild Card Video Poker Strategy

We mentioned above that the payback percentage for Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker sits at 95.88%. The only way that you can hope to achieve that percentage in the long run is by playing the game with perfect strategy. And that means that you are making the correct choice for every possible hold and discard on every hand that you play.

Poker Chips

You have to think of video poker strategy as a long-term thing, much like payback percentage. If you only play a few hands here or there, you can make some mistakes and get away with it. A lucky draw can make you a winner even if you hold and discard in a mathematically incorrect fashion.

That’s why, if you are a casual player, you might adjust your strategy based on your preferences. For example, if you really want to go for broke, you might hold cards that give you the best chances for big payoffs, even if it means taking more risks and courting a higher percentage of losing hands.

If, by contrast, you want to play Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker for as long as possible on a small bankroll, you’ll probably want to go after the lower-paying hands throughout your session. It might keep you afloat longer, even if it means you’ll have less chance of a jackpot-style hand.

These strategic adjustments should only be undertaken by short-term players. If you really want to maximize your winnings over a long period of time, you have to learn perfect strategy. And we say “learn” it because it’s really not something you can figure out on your own.

You have to make the correct combination of holds and discards based on the five cards you receive on the deal. There are 32 possible combinations in every deal. Only one will unlock the hand’s highest earning potential.

How can you learn that? Well, the good news is that there are resources that can figure all that out for you, allowing you to just digest the results.

Make sure to input the correct pay table amounts when you use these resources so that the instruction is tailored exactly to Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker. Here are the two sources of video poker instruction that we recommend.

Video Poker Training Software

“Training” is the perfect name for this, because that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. You’ll be playing sample hands of Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker and deciding what to hold and discard. When you make an incorrect choice, the software will alert you to it and tell you what you should have done.

In this way, you’ll eventually learn perfect pay for this particular pay table. It might take some time before all the correct plays are drilled into your head, however. Make sure you don’t jump the gun with video poker training software until you’ve seen just about every kind of deal you can imagine.

Strategy Charts

A strategy chart offers a much quicker method of instruction than training software. You will be able to achieve perfect play as soon as you can memorize the contents of a chart. That’s not as easy as it might seem, since there are often dozens of entries on the chart.

The entries consist of different card combinations that hold potential heading into the draw. These “seeds” are ranked in order of their expected value. Once you have this memorized, you’ll be able to look at any deal that you receive and spot the card combination that you should be holding.

Kings or Better No Wild Card Video Poker Pros and Cons


  • Excellent payback for some mid-priced hands
  • Straight flush pays back better than most video poker games
  • With no wild card, strategy will be much easier to learn

  • More volatility because payback doesn’t start until a pair of kings
  • Relatively low payback for four of a kind
  • Payback percentage comes up short of ideal levels

Conclusion on Kings or Better No Wild Card Video Poker

Kings or Better No Wild Card video poker settles in between two styles of popular video poker action for an interesting variation. On the one hand, you’ll be excited at the prospect of higher payback on several hands than what most non-wild card games can offer. But you might equally frustrated when your pairs of jacks and queens don’t get you anything in return.