Royal Court Video Poker

Royal Court video poker puts a spin on common Bonus video poker pay tables that reward four of a kind hands handsomely. On most Bonus tables, four aces represents the highest possible takeaway on a quad hand. But Royal Court puts a premium on four kings, queens, or jacks instead.

Many people only know video poker through Jacks or Better, which is the most common form of the game. Jacks or Better is probably the easiest video poker game to understand in terms of strategy and payback. Simply put, the harder it is to achieve a winning hand based on the probabilities involved in a 52-card deck, the more it will pay off.

But one of the many top qualities of video poker is its variety. As a result, you can look through your casino or an online gambling website and find many variations of video poker far removed from
the traditional version of the game, Jacks or Better.

Many of these games create separation from Jacks or Better by fiddling with the pay table. Whenever you see a video poker game with the word “bonus” in its title, it usually means the pay table has been altered. Specifically, Bonus Poker games usually pay out more for four of a kind hands than what you can expect from Jacks or Better.

Playing Royal Court Video Poker

Royal Court video poker is set up for the most part like a Bonus Poker pay table. You do get more rewards for four of a kind hands compared to Jacks or Better setups. Like other Bonus Poker games, payouts for four of a kind, or quad, hands are based on what rank of card is involved.

The main difference with Royal Court video poker is that it awards more for four of a kinds with so-called “face” cards. For those who are unaware, face cards are the kings, queens, and jacks in the deck. That puts it in contrast to most Bonus Poker games, where face cards are actually among the lowest-paying quad hands behind aces, twos, threes, and fours.

Those who play Royal Court video poker have to be aware of this so that they can adjust their strategy. The name of the game should give it away, however, since most people know there are kings and queens involved in a royal court. And it isn’t too hard to imagine the jack involved as well based on its fictional characterization.

Like most variations of basic video poker, Royal Court video poker can be found with different pay tables depending on where you encounter it. You have to try and catch the game at its full-pay level if you want to earn the most money from it. Otherwise, you could be at risk of playing a game that makes it impossible for you to make a profit on a long-term basis.

In the following article, we’ll give you the lowdown on the game known as Royal Court video poker. We’ll talk about how to play video poker and what the unique pay table for this game means for you. And we’ll talk about important video poker concepts like payback percentage and strategy so you can get a well-rounded look at this game.

Why Video Poker Is Gambler-Friendly

When you walk into a casino, you can pretty much turn in any direction and run into a different way of gambling your money. There are usually several sections dedicated to slot machines. And you’ll likely find no shortage of table games to enjoy.

Interestingly enough, video poker sort of settles in between those two games as a kind of combination of both. It features solitary, self-contained play like slot machines. But it also includes a strategic element like table games.

And there’s also extreme variety when it comes down to the video poker games you can choose. Royal Court video poker is just one of many that you’ll find out on a typical casino floor. There are even more to find when you look online to various online gambling sites.

Video poker has carved out its own niche in this crowded gambling world because of how friendly it is to gamblers. If you’ve never played it before, you might not know about these advantages. Along with the variety that we already mentioned, here are just a few more:

  • Video poker is extremely easy to learn. If you have a little bit of a background in making winning poker hands, you’ll immediately get the hang of it. But even complete newcomers should be able to handle it with no problem after a few hands.
  • Video poker is a self-contained experience. Many people are intimidated by casinos because they might not know the etiquette or protocol that comes with playing table games in front of large crowds of people. With video poker, you’re on your own at the machine.
  • Video poker contains a strategic element. Unless you’re someone who wants a completely mindless casino experience (which is pretty much what you get out of slot machines), this will appeal to you. The better you are at making decisions in video poker, the more money you’ll make in the long run.
  • Video poker is governed by probability math. This is important because it will help you with your strategy. And it will also show you how often you can expect winning hands to show up during gameplay.
  • Video poker takes the guessing out of payback. Combine the pay table with the probabilities and you’ll get a clear payback percentage for any game you play. You can easily find the payback percentages for popular games like Royal Court video poker by doing a little online research.
  • Video poker payback is very competitive. You can expect an average video poker machine to pay you way more than what you would get from slot machines. And video poker paybacks even compare favorably with table games in this department.
  • Video poker makes for the perfect real money online gambling experience. There’s practically no difference from what you would see on the screen of a video poker machine to what you would see playing video poker on a connected device. You can find most of the top games online as well.

With all of that in its favor, it’s no wonder video poker is one of the most popular games. Or that its popularity keeps rising. Let’s learn how to play to take advantage.

Playing a Basic Hand of Video Poker

Step 1: Your Bankroll

You need to have a bankroll in place before you can begin video poker play. To establish your bankroll, simply insert some money or a redemption ticket into the slot at the base of a video poker machine. If you’re playing online, you’ll have to fund a website gambling account to get started.

Once you do this, your money will be rendered in credits or coins. Each of these credits or coins will be equal to whatever the denomination you’re playing. If you’re playing a quarter machine, for example, each credit or coin will be worth 25 cents.

Your bets and winnings will be expressed in these units as well. For example, let’s say you won 25 credits playing a 10-cent machine. Your winnings would be $2.50, or 25 times .10.

Step 2: Your Bet

Royal Court video poker resembles most video poker games in that it allows you to bet between one and five credits per hand. You have the option of changing up that bet for every hand you play. Or you can stick with the same amount over and over.

In fact, your best chance of maximizing your winnings is if you play five credits, also known as the “Max Bet,” every single hand. If you do this, you will give yourself a chance at the biggest payout in the game if you hit a royal flush.

When you bet between one and four coins and hit a royal flush playing Royal Court video poker, you will receive 250 coins for every one that you bet. But if you hit a royal flush on a five-coin wager, that payback goes up to 800 to 1.

You might find that going with the max bet for every hand is expensive. If that’s the case, you should consider switching to a machine with a lower denomination instead of lowering your bet. That way, you can get still have the opportunity at the highest-proportioned payout for the royal flush.

Step 3: Your Hand

If you’ve ever played a version of Five-Card Draw Poker with friends at home or in a casino, you’ll quickly understand the rhythm of play in video poker. In both cases, you get a five-card deal. And you get to improve your hand by exchanging cards on the draw.

Video poker replicates Five-Card Draw but turns it into a one-person experience. To win at video poker, you just have to make a hand, or a combination of cards, that is determined to be a winning one at the pay table you’re playing. There’s no need to beat a bunch of different people all at once.

In terms of Royal Court video poker, the hands you’ll be trying to make are pretty much the standard winning hands in 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)

A pair of jacks or better is the most common winning hand, while the royal flush is the rarest. As you move down through the list, your pay rises based on the potential of making a winning hand.

The only exception is that certain four of a kind hands pay out more than a straight flush in royal court video poker. That is the case even though the latter hand is harder to achieve.

When you make your bet and press the “deal” button, five cards will appear on your screen. These five cards will come from a deck of 52 within the software of the machine and matches a standard 52-card deck as if you might have at home.

The deck inside the machine is always being shuffled, waiting for you to hit the “deal” button so it can spit out the top five cards. After that, the remaining 47 cards go back to the state of constant shuffling waiting for the draw.

It’s important to understand this process so you won’t get any misconceptions about the game. Many people think they can anticipate certain cards appearing based on previous hands of video poker on a specific machine. But your deals and draws will always be completely random and your chances of getting specific cards never change.

Knowing that, assess your five-card deal to see if there are any winning combinations in it. If not, you’ll then see if perhaps there are a few which can make one of those winning combinations.

Let’s look at an example to explain this process further. Imagine the following five-card deal.

Poker Hand - Eight of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, King of Spades, Ace of Hearts

Right off the bat, you’ll probably notice that you have a pair of kings. That satisfies the requirement of being a pair of jacks or better, meaning you have a winning hand already. The only problem is that it’s a winning hand that pays off only even-money, not exactly a windfall.

But you still have the draw to improve the hand. On the hand, you can discard cards that you don’t feel are helping you and have them replaced with others from the 47 remaining in the deck.

In this case, you could hold the pair of kings and drop the other three cards. There’s a possibility on the draw that you could improve your hand to one that pays more, such as two pair, three of a kind, a full house, or even four of a kind. As you’ll see when we get to the Royal Court video poker pay tables, four kings pays off more than any hand other than the royal flush.

But our sample deal contains some other possibilities that you could pursue. For instance, there are four hearts in the deal. Get one more on the draw and you could end up with a flush.

You can use probability math to see what your chances would be. There are 47 cards left in the deck, nine of which are hearts. A little division should tell you your chances are a little less than 1 in 5 that you’ll draw the card you need to make the flush.

There’s one more intriguing possibility in this deal. You have three of the five cards needed to complete a royal flush, which yields the biggest payoff of all. It would take a very lucky draw to get the cards you need, but the potential winnings might push you into going for it.

You have to consider all of this when you look at the deal. What you’ll find is that, after you’ve played Royal Court video poker for a while, you’ll be able to make even a tough decision like this in seconds. We’ll talk more about how to do that when we get to the strategy section.

In any case, once your mind is made up, you will press the buttons on the screen corresponding to the cards you intend to hold. Once you hit the “draw” button, the discarded cards will be replaced and your hand will be over. Any winnings will be added to your bankroll; the amount you bet would have been subtracted right at the start of the hand.

You can continue playing Royal Court video poker in this manner as long as you still have credits left in your bankroll. All you have to do is keep repeating the steps from above. If you choose, you can also cash out your winnings at any point.

It’s really as simple as that. Once you have that process down pat, you can pretty much adjust it for any other variation on basic video poker.
In the case of Royal Court video poker, that variation comes from a unique pay table. Let’s take a look at that right now.

Pay Tables for Royal Court Video Poker

As you can probably tell from the name, kings and queens are going to be prioritized in Royal Court video poker. In fact, all face cards (jacks, queens, and kings) get a big boost in the pay table for the game.

First of all, you should note that Royal Court video poker follows the basic structure of a Bonus poker pay table. Bonus poker games always pay a little more for four of a kind hands than what you would expect from Jacks or Better, which is the most basic format of the game.

Bonus pay tables also differ from Jacks or Better machines because they distinguish how much you get paid for a four of a kind by the rank involved. When playing Jacks or Better, you get the same amount for four of a kind no matter what cards are involved.

Where Royal Court video poker separates from most Bonus Poker games is in the cards that pay the best in four of a kind hands. In Bonus poker, aces pay the most, followed by twos, threes, and fours, with the rest of the ranks coming in behind.

But Royal Court video poker puts four kings on top in terms of payout, followed by four queens and four jacks. Aces are lumped in with the rest of the ranks and don’t pay as well as the face cards.

Let’s take a look at some pay tables to show you what we mean. First up is a full-pay table for Royal Court video poker:

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 (kings) 100 200 300 400 500
Four of a kind (queens) 60 120 180 240 300
Four of a kind (jacks) 40 80 120 160 200
Four of a kind (aces through tens) 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 24
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

How do you read this pay table? Simply follow the row showing the winning hand over to the column showing the amount bet. For example, a flush on a hand featuring a five-coin bet pays off 40 coins.

Notice the payouts for a royal flush. You can see the jump in proportion when you get from four coins to five coins bet. That’s the reason why you should always play the maximum bet.

And we also said above that this is the full-pay table for Royal Court video poker. That means it will be the most lucrative, on average, of all the pay tables that can be found for this game. We’ll explain more about what that means when we get to payback percentage.

Now, for contrast, let’s take a look at a typical Bonus Poker pay table to compare it to Royal Court video poker.

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 (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 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 24
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

You can see the disparity we talked about when it comes to the ranks involved in the quad hands. Notice also that four kings in Royal Court video poker pays off more than four aces in Bonus Poker. That means there’s a little bit more of a jackpot component to the Royal Bonus game.

You’ll notice also that the Royal Court video poker table offers more for the straight flush hand than you can expect from Bonus poker. Again, it leads to the Royal Court pay table being a little bit more top-heavy, so to speak. More of the payback is wrapped up in hands that are hard to achieve.

Still, it’s more balanced than what you would get for some Bonus Poker variations like Triple Double Bonus. Games like that really boost the top end payouts. But they sometimes discount for common hands like two pair, while Royal Court video poker doesn’t go that far.

As we stated above, the first pay table listed for Royal Court video poker is the full-pay version. You might not be lucky enough to find that version in the casino or at the online gambling site that you’re playing. Instead, you might have to settle for one of these alternate pay tables.

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 (kings) 100 200 300 400 500
Four of a kind (queens) 60 120 180 240 300
Four of a kind (jacks) 40 80 120 160 200
Four of a kind (aces through tens) 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 7 14 21 28 35
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 24
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5
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 (kings) 100 200 300 400 500
Four of a kind (queens) 60 120 180 240 300
Four of a kind (jacks) 40 80 120 160 200
Four of a kind (aces through tens) 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 6 12 18 24 30
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 24
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

A close look should show you that the difference in the lower pay tables is the payback for the full house. Therefore, the easiest way to judge a Royal Court video poker pay table is too quickly look for the payoff or that specific hand.

Payback Percentage for Royal Court Video Poker

Payback percentage is a mathematical estimation of the amount that you will receive in payback for a given machine. If you were to make a dollar in return for every dollar you bet, that would mean your percentage is exactly 100%. Your losses (and gains, for that matter) would be zero.

Playing Cards Graphic

Most video poker games, and casino games as a whole, fall short of 100% payback. As a result, you can expect to lose money, on average, when playing these games. This is no surprise, as it establishes the house edge that allows casinos and gambling websites to make money and stay in business.

If you plan to play Royal Court video poker, you should be looking for the payback percentage to be as high as possible. In that way, you can eliminate the house edge as much as possible. You can, in fact, even overcome it.

How? Well, if you’re not losing too much, you can compensate by the loyalty rewards you get from casinos and online gambling sites. You can actually come to the game with a positive expectation.

The full-pay version of Royal Court video poker returns an average payback percentage of 99.7%. That is an excellent number. With anything higher than 99%, you can expect to eke out positive results playing the game over a long period of time.

The time factor is a big part of understanding payback percentage. If you’re only playing Royal Court video poker for a short session, your personal results might not come anywhere near the quoted percentage. Luck will play havoc with the outcome on such a short sample size.

The more you play and the more luck evens out, the more you can expect to get results similar to the payback percentage. That’s assuming you play Royal Court video poker with perfect strategy.

The other Royal Court video poker pay tables that we’ve listed will drop your payback percentage below that 99% threshold we mentioned above. As a result, you will have a hard time making a profit even if you do manage to garner those rewards that we talked about earlier.

Ideally, you’ll be able to find the full-pay version of Royal Court video poker and you’ll be fine. If you’re a casual player, you won’t have to worry about it as much if you can’t find that version. Serious players, however, should seek that out or look for another game.

Strategy for Royal Court video poker

Strategy is a concept that many people misunderstand when it comes to Royal Court video poker, or any video poker for that matter. They think they can come up with their own approach that will make them a winner.

Unless that approach matches up with the mathematically correct one, you can expect your results to fall below the payback percentage, even after a long period of time. What you have to realize is that there’s only one proper play for each set of cards you might receive on the deal.

Let’s take another look at the sample deal from above to show you what we mean. Remember that you were dealt the following cards:

Poker Hand - Eight of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, King of Spades, Ace of Hearts

We showed you how there were several different possibilities to pursue. But only one of those possibilities will unlock the highest expected value of the deal.

Expected value is a concept that, like payback percentage, will play out over time. You can play a hand incorrectly once or even a few times and come out with a good result because of a lucky draw.

But over time, if you were to play the deal over and over again, there’s one sequence of holds and discards that will return you the most money. In the case of the hand above, holding the pair of kings is the proper play, as it will return the highest expected value.

Again, this might not matter to you, especially if you don’t plan on playing Royal Bonus video poker on a regular basis. For example, if you’re only planning on playing a few hands and want to go for the biggest possible jackpot, you should probably hold the queen, king, and ace of hearts.

That will give you an outside chance at the royal flush, and it’s the only hold out of the three possibilities that we touted that will do so. You might not care too much about grinding out winnings over time. For you, a shot at the huge payback in one fell swoop might be enough.

But if you decide that you want to play the game at the highest level possible, you have to learn perfect play. Perfect play is when you can pick out the holds and discards that bring out the highest expected value on every deal you get in Royal Bonus video poker.

It’s rare person to do that without any help. Maybe a math expert could figure out on the spot all of the different variables that come into play.
But even then, it would probably take you some time to do it for each hand. Ideally, you should be able to play several hands per second to get the most out of your session of video poker.

Luckily, there are some resources to help you learn Royal Court video poker. First of all, make sure that the instruction you seek is tailored to the particular pay table you’re using. Then, seek out one of these two methods:

Video Poker Training Software

This is an excellent way to learn perfect play if you have the time to devote to it. It’s kind of a trial-and-error process. You play hands of video poker as if you were playing them for real money.

Each time you’re faced with a choice of what to hold and discard, the software will have the correct answer for you since it will already have the math figured out. You can ask for a hint, or you can guess yourself and see if you get it right. Playing with video poker software long enough will earn you perfect play.

Strategy Charts

Strategy charts are more of a quick fix for learning video poker. This is especially true if you’re good at memorization. Once you memorize a strategy chart for a particular pay table, you will have all the necessary information you need for perfect play.

A strategy chart does all the math for you beforehand then ranks the possible combinations of cards you can get on the deal in terms of expected value. You can look at your own hand to see which of your combinations ranks highest on the list. The cards not included in that group of cards can be discarded.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Royal Court Video Poker

Advantages of Royal Court Video Poker

  • Nice payoffs for four of a kind hands with face cards
  • Two pair pays 2 to 1, unlike some aggressive Bonus Poker pay tables
  • Gameplay is the same as basic video poker, so it’s easy to learn
Disadvantages of Royal Court Video Poker

  • You have to redirect your strategy a bit from common Bonus poker
  • Lower pay tables are lacking in payback percentage
  • Might not have enough spice for more adventurous players

Conclusion on Royal Court Video Poker

Royal Court video poker provides a bit of a different look for enthusiasts of Bonus video poker. Once you realize you have to prioritize the face cards a little bit more, strategy won’t be too hard to learn. And it’s a game that strikes a nice balance between low volatility and potentially big payoffs.