Guide to Playing Pyramid Poker Video Poker

Pyramid Poker video poker creates all kinds of excitement with five lines of video poker going on at once. The cards on the screen take the shape of a pyramid, with five cards at the bottom and one less card on each line until there is just one lone card sitting at the top. Along the way, multipliers and winnings can add up like few other video poker games.

Video poker delivers easy and unpredictable gameplay, making it a favorite for those who play it. It’s an experience that combines the best parts of both slot machines and table games. And you can get it while earning payback that ranks among the top out of all casino games.

PyramidIn addition, real money video poker online has spiced things up over the years with some exciting variations on the basic format of the game, also known as Jacks or Better. Many machines allow players to make extra bet to activate a special twist.

Pyramid Poker video poker contains that extra bet element. But even without the extra bet, it might just be one of the most unique video poker games you’ll see.

The name Pyramid Poker video poker says it all. The triangular formation of the cards on the screen certainly resembles something you might see on an adventurous trip to Egypt.

You play the bottom level of five cards just as you would a single hand of video poker, discarding the cards you don’t want in favor of other cards from the deck in an effort to make a winning hand. After that’s complete, the cards on the other lines are revealed one by one and scored according to separate pay tables.

In addition to that, you can double your bet for each line to activate a multiplier and really spice up your winnings. Starting at the top of the pyramid, any winning hand will increase your multiplier by 1. That means that you could have a maximum 5x multiplier by the time you reach the bottom.

As you might imagine, Pyramid Poker video poker presents multiple ways to win. If you make the extra bet, you’ll get many chances to multiply those winnings.

You just have to be prepared to pay for it. At the very least, you have to bet on all five lines, which is pricey. The bets go up if you add the extra feature, so you could be losing a lot in every round if you the cards don’t go your way.

In the following article, we’ll explain how this somewhat complex game known as Pyramid Poker video poker works. We’ll discuss how to play a basic hand of video poker online and dissect how the cards throughout the pyramid can add to your winnings.

We’ll also look at how the game’s pay tables are constructed. Finally, we’ll also check out some of the methods you can use to play with perfect strategy.

Basic Video Poker

Before you can learn how to play Pyramid Poker video poker online, you need to first grasp the basics of video poker. It’s loved by many, and you can learn it in a hurry even if you’ve never played poker or any games related to it.

Let’s first take a walk through a basic hand of video poker. After that, we can look at how the different elements of Pyramid Poker video poker come together.

Step 1: Establish a Bankroll

By putting money into a video poker machine, you’ll create that bankroll. If you’re playing video poker online, you can do it by creating an account at the online gambling site that you’ve chosen.

The money you put into the machine will register as credits or coins. Each credit will be equal to the unit of denomination you’ve chosen to play.

Some machines allow you to choose the denomination, such as a quarter or a dollar. Others have the denomination already predetermined.

Step 2: Make a Bet

Betting for Pyramid Poker video poker differs a great deal from other online video poker games. In most video poker games, you can only bet between one and five credits.

Pyramid Poker gives you the option of betting up to 50 credits. As a result, it’s best to hold off on talking about bets until we explain how the pyramid setup works.

Step 3: Play a Hand

This step in the process will be end up forming the base in Pyramid Poker video poker. It is the only part of the pyramid where you will have control over the action. The four rows above it will simply feature cards that are revealed and scored without any decisions you have to make.

On the base of the pyramid, you will receive five cards from a standard 52-card deck. The goal will be to turn these cards into a winning hand. Here are the winning hands you’ll be trying to make:

  • 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)

After you receive your five cards, you will assess them to see if they are in any way similar to one of the winning hands listed above. You might get lucky and have a winning hand right off the bat. More often than not, however, you will need the draw to improve your hand into a winner.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to discard any of the cards you have in your hand if you feel you already have a winning combination. By contrast, you don’t have to hold any of your cards if you feel like you don’t have anything worthwhile. In any case, once you decide on what you want to hold, press the buttons on the machine below those cards.

The machine will draw whatever cards you need from the top of the simulated deck which originally dealt you your first five. That means the deck will have 47 cards remaining. After the draw, the hand will be complete and any winnings will be added to your total.

That’s how you play the hand at the bottom of the pyramid in Pyramid Poker video poker. Everything else will happen automatically. But you still need to know how it works to see if you want to play this fascinating variation of the game.

Playing the Pyramid

The Bet

The first thing you have to concern yourself with when playing Pyramid Poker video poker is the bet. You need to make a bet between one and five coins for each of the five lines on the pyramid to play the game at its most basic level. That means you will need to bet at least five coins total, one for each line, just to initiate the hand.

We recommend that you wager the max bet of five coins for each of the lines on the pyramid. When you get to the pay table below for the bottom line of the pyramid, you’ll notice how much the payout rises for a five-coin wager on the royal flush hand compared to a one through four-coin wager.

It jumps from 250 to 1 to 800 to 1. You’d be short-changing yourself by not making the maximum wager.

Of course, that is no small bet. By making the max bet for each of the five lines, you’ll be betting 25 coins per round (5 times 5). Even if you were playing a quarter machine, which seems like a modest denomination, your bet for each round of Pyramid Poker video poker would be $6.25 per round (25 times .25).

But Pyramid Poker video poker also gives you the chance to activate an extra feature. By doubling the maximum bet for each line, making it 10 coins per line for a total of 50 for all five, you will have the chance to earn multipliers for each of the lines that turn out to be winners. Again, using our quarter denomination example, that beefs the total bet up to $12.50 per round (50 times .25).

That might seem like a huge investment per hand. But keep in mind, this is the best way to play this game, as it creates your highest winning potential in terms of payback percentage.
If you get lucky with a few hands or lines early on in your session, you could conceivably build a nice profit. That will make those wagers much more comfortable for you.

If you do feel like Pyramid Poker video poker is too rich for your blood, you can find a different video poker variation. But, as you’ll see as we walk you through how the game is played, the potential for big winnings might just tempt you. Let’s take a look at how it works.

The Pyramid

Let’s assume you’ve made your wager and that you decided to go for the max bet on each line with the multipliers activated. You’ll also have to choose the type of pay table you want to use, and we’ll talk more about this in a moment. For now, let’s assume you’re using the Bonus Poker version of the game.

Once you make all of these choices, you will see the pyramid of cards on your screen. There will be five cards on the bottom and, as you go up, four, three, then two, and one at the top. The only cards that will be revealed at first are the bottom five. You will be playing this hand as if you were playing a single hand of video poker.

Here is your five-card deal for the bottom line:

Four of Spades, Four of Diamonds, Five of Diamonds, Six of Clubs, Seven of Clubs

You have a pair of fours which, although not yet a winning combination, you can easily improve if you discard the other three. But you also have four through seven, which leaves you one shy of a straight. Ultimately, you decide to go with the pair, and you discard the five, six, and seven.

Here is the draw:

Four of Spades, Four of Diamonds, Four of Clubs, King of Spades, King of Hearts

Your draw went really well, as you ended up with a full house. As you’ll see when we get to the pay tables, this returns a 35-coin payoff. But that might actually improve, depending upon what happens above with the multipliers.

At this point, Pyramid Poker video poker will begin revealing the other cards in the pyramid, starting at the top. Think of each of these lines as individual hands, even though they have less than five cards. The threshold for what constitutes a winning hand for the lines above the bottom is much lower, so let’s take a look at what it takes for each:

Line 1 Winning Hands (1 card in hand)

  • Ace of spades
  • Ace of diamonds
  • Ace of hearts
  • Ace of clubs
  • King
  • Queen
  • Jack

Line 2 Winning Hands (2 cards in hand)

  • Royal flush
  • Straight flush
  • Pair
  • Straight
  • Flush

Line 3 Winning Hands (3 cards in hand)

  • Royal flush
  • Straight flush
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight flush
  • Flush
  • Pair

Line 4 Winning Hands (4 cards in hand)

  • Royal flush
  • Straight flush
  • Four aces
  • Four twos, threes, or fours
  • Four fives through kings
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Two pair
  • Pair

On top of all that, you need to know how the multipliers work. A multiplier does exactly what you might expect. For example, if you’ve earned a 3x multiplier on a hand that normally earns you 20 coins, you will receive 60 coins (3 times 20).

In Pyramid Poker video poker, you start at the top with a multiplier of 1x, which means that the winnings stay exactly the same, since any number times 1 equals that number. Starting at the top and working down, the multiplier will go up by one for each winning hand that you get. If you score winning hands on all four lines above it, you can earn a maximum multiplier of five times for the bottom line.

Let’s start moving through a sample for Pyramid Poker video poker and see how it all works. Remember that you already have a full house with a minimum of 30 coins won for the bottom line. The machine reveals the top card and you get:

Ace of Clubs

As you can see when you look at the Line 1 winning hands, the ace of clubs constitutes a winner. Again, we’ll get to all the pay tables in a moment.

For now, we’ll just tell you that you’ve earned 8 coins. There is an automatic 1x multiplier on the top line, so your payout stays at 8.

But because it is a winning hand, your multiplier increases to 2x for Line 2. Let’s see what’s next as the cards for Line 2 are revealed:

King of Spades, Ace of Spades

This illustrates an important point about Pyramid Poker video poker. When you think of a royal flush in normal video poker, you know that you need the ten through ace of a same suit.

But because the top four lines in Pyramid Poker video poker have less than five cards, a royal flush on those lines simply requires cards of the same suit that lead consecutively up to the ace. In other words:

  • Two-card royal flush: King, Ace of same suit
  • Three-card royal flush: Queen, King, Ace of same suit
  • Four-card royal flush: Jack, Queen, King, Ace of same suit

You can see now that your Line 2 makes a two-card royal flush. Your base winnings for this hand are 20 coins.

But remember that you’ve earned a 2x multiplier for winning on Line 1. As a result, your winnings for Line 2 get bumped up to 40 coins, or 20 times 2.

In addition, your multiplier rises again because you scored another winning hand. Now, it’s at 3x for Line 3. Let’s see what you get for Line 3:

Four of Spades, Seven of Hearts, Nine of Clubs

This is not a winning combination. You won’t receive any more coins for this hand of Pyramid Poker video poker. But your multiplier isn’t wiped out, it stays where it was (3x) as we move on to Line 4:

Three of Spades, Four of Diamonds, Five of Clubs, Six of Hearts

You’ve made a four-card straight on this line. That’s a 9-coin payout without the multiplier. Since you have a 3x multiplier carried over, that becomes a 27-coin payout.

Now, you’ve made it all the way down to the bottom line, which you’ve already played. Remember that we originally said the full house had earned you 35 coins. Your multiplier, after the win in Line 4, has risen to 4x, so that 35 coins becomes instead 140 coins (35 times 4).

Okay, let’s add everything up:

  • Line 1 (Ace of Clubs): 8 times 1x multiplier = 8 coins
  • Line 2 (Royal Flush): 20 times 2x multiplier = 40 coins
  • Line 3 (Losing Hand): 0 times 3x multiplier = 0 coins
  • Line 4 (Straight): 9 times 3x multiplier = 27 coins
  • Line 5 (Full House): 35 times 4x multiplier = 140 coins
  • Total = 215 coins

Let’s say that, as we used in the betting example, you were at a quarter machine. 215 coins means that you’ve added $53.75 in winnings on this round of Pyramid Poker video poker. Minus the $12.50 initial bet, you’ve managed a profit of $41.25 in a single round of video poker.

What if you bet the max but hadn’t doubled it, which means that you wouldn’t have received the multipliers? You would have ended up with:

  • Line 1: 8 coins
  • Line 2: 20 coins
  • Line 3: 0 coins
  • Line 4: 9 coins
  • Line 5: 35 coins
  • Total: 72 coins

That comes out to an $18 total (72 times .25). Minus the original $6.25 wager, that comes to a profit of $11.75. As a result, not playing with the multipliers cost you nearly $30.

Of course, this is just one example, and a pretty successful one at that. Due to the size of the bet, Pyramid Poker video poker requires to you to win at least a line or two to break each round just to break even or turn a profit. If you don’t, you can find your bankroll depleting very quickly.

It’s up to you to decide if this kind of action is up your alley. Pyramid Poker video poker provides an excellent opportunity for big-time winnings for those who don’t mind the chance of getting wiped out.

On the other hand, there are some people who like to play video poker for a long stretch with a relatively small bankroll. If you’re in that category, this game probably won’t be the one for you.

Pyramid Poker Video Poker Pay Tables

When you are looking at all the aspects of Pyramid Poker video poker, you have to realize there are several different sets of pay tables in play. First of all, there are different variations based on popular video poker games.

We’ve listed the tables for Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus, and Triple Double Bonus. But there are others you might be able to find as well.

For these variations, you can find the pay tables that are common to anyone who has ever played single-hand video poker. But you also have to account for Lines One through Four on the Pyramid, and the pay tables that govern those lines. With that in mind, here is what some of the pay tables for Pyramid Poker video poker look like:

Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hands 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins
Royal flush 200 400 600 800 4000
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) 45 90 135 180 225
Four of a kind (any other) 20 40 60 80 100
Full House 7 14 21 28 35
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Double Double Bonus Pay Table

Coins/Hands 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind aces w/ any 2,3,4 400 800 1200 1600 2000
Four of a kind 2s, 3s, or 4s w/ any A,2,3,4 160 320 480 640 800
Four aces 160 320 480 640 800
Four 2s, 3s, 4s 80 160 240 320 400
Four 5s through Ks 50 100 150 200 250
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 5 10 15 20 25
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pair 1 2 3 4 5
Pair of jacks + 1 2 3 4 5

Triple Double Bonus Pay Table

Coins/Hands 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins
Royal flush 200 400 600 800 4000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind – aces 2, 3, 4 kicker 800 1600 2400 3200 4000
Four of a kind – 2s, 3s, or 4s A, 2, 3, or 4 kicker 400 800 1200 1600 2000
Four of a kind – aces 5s – Ks kicker 160 320 480 640 800
Four of a kind – 2s, 3s, or 4s 5s – Ks kicker 80 160 240 320 400
Four of a kind – any other 50 100 150 200 250
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 5 10 15 20 25
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pair 1 2 3 4 5
Pair of jacks + 1 2 3 4 5

Line 1 Pay Tables

Hand Bonus Poker Double Double Bonus Triple Double Bonus
Ace of spades 15 15 15
Ace of diamonds 12 12 8
Ace of hearts 10 10 8
Ace of clubs 8 8 8
Kings 5 5 5
Queens 4 4 4
Jacks 3 3 3

Line 2 Pay Tables

Hand Bonus Poker Double Double Bonus Triple Double Bonus
Royal flush 20 20 20
Straight flush 10 10 10
Pair 10 10 8
Straight 8 8 8
Flush 5 5 5

Line 3 Pay Tables

Hand Bonus Poker Double Double Bonus Triple Double Bonus
Royal flush 250 250 250
Straight flush 50 50 50
Three of a kind 28 27 27
Straight 6 6 6
Flush 4 4 4
Pair 3 3 3

Line 4 Pay Tables

Hand Bonus Poker Double Double Bonus Triple Double Bonus
Royal flush 1000 1000 1000
Straight flush 150 150 150
Four aces 150 500 500
Four 2s, 3s, 4s 100 250 250
Four 5 through K 50 100 100
Flush 10 11 10
Straight 9 8 9
Three of a kind 8 7 8
Two pair 5 5 5
Pair 2 2 2

As you can see, there are subtle differences throughout these pay tables that you should recognize. These differences will affect the payback percentages of each variation. This probably won’t matter too much if you are only playing Pyramid Poker video poker casually and aren’t looking to play it over the long term.

If you are looking to make Pyramid Poker video poker your regular game of choice, you should note that the payback percentages lag a little bit behind the most competitive video poker versions. Ideally, you should be looking for video poker games that return at least 99% of your bankroll to you during a given session.

That would mean that your total loss on average would be 1% or less. Using the rewards from casinos or gambling websites (if playing online) you could make up this difference and conceivably turn a profit playing the game.

Unfortunately, the highest payback percentage of the three versions of Pyramid Poker video poker that we’ve shown you belongs to Bonus Poker, and that sits at just about 98%. Someone trying to grind out winnings playing this game may struggle. Over time, the averages will work against them, although their increased chances at big casino jackpots in a hurry might make up for it for them.

Of course, if you are only looking at Pyramid Poker video poker as a fun game to play every once in a while, you probably don’t need to worry about the payback percentages. If you play the game only occasionally, luck will probably impact your outcome more than the quoted payback percentage. It’s only when you start to play the game often will the averages start to win out.

Video Poker Strategy for Pyramid Poker

Pyramid Poker video poker, on the surface, might intimidate less experienced video poker players. They might see all of the different cards and numbers on the screen and think that it’s too complex for them.

In reality, you are only playing a single line of video poker. The rest of the action will all take place without your having to do a single thing.

As a result, you just need to worry about strategy for that single line. In terms of strategy, you need to develop the ability to make the mathematically correct choice for every possible deal you might receive. Making a lot of wrong choices will eventually reduce your winnings.

Again, this concept only comes into play more so if you are playing for a long time. Over a short span, you could make several incorrect choices according to the probabilities, but get bailed out by luck on the draw and still come out on top. The more you play, however, the more those wrong choices will work against you and cost you money.

What are the best ways of learning how to play Pyramid Poker video poker?

Well, first choose from among the different pay tables that are available, since that will narrow down what you need to know. Then, take advantage of the two methods of learning video poker strategy below.

  • Video Poker Training Software: This software allows you to play on a certain pay table as if you were actually playing for real money in a casino, even giving you a bankroll to really mirror the experience. When you are faced with a deal where you don’t know the right hold and discard, the software will tell you. Or you can simply take your chances and play without the hints, having the software alert you when you make a mistake so that you won’t make it again.
  • Strategy Charts: If you go with strategy charts for playing Pyramid Poker video poker, the best way to utilize them is to memorize them so you can bring all the pertinent information, stored away in your brain. A strategy chart ranks the possible combinations of cards you might receive on the deal from most valuable to least valuable. When you find the combination you have in your hand that is ranked highest on the list, you’ll know which cards you don’t need and can discard them accordingly.

Pyramid Poker Video Poker Conclusion

Pyramid Poker video poker delivers one of the most exciting and visually interesting video poker experiences you can have in a casino or on a top gambling website. Seeing all those cards turned over a line at a time and watching the multipliers adding up can really give you a thrill. Of course, not every round of Pyramid Poker video poker works out like that, meaning there is also the possibility that your pyramid might turn out to be the final resting place for your bankroll!