How to Play Royal Draw Poker Video Poker

Royal Draw Poker video poker puts a premium on four of a kind hands thanks to a special bonus round attached to them. Any time you achieve a quad, you’ll have a chance at a special hand of video poker with 13 cards of all one suit in the deck. Bonuses are added to your winnings depending on what hands you make from that special hand.

CrownIn the world of video poker, different types of games spin off from the basic concept known as Jacks or Better. From that basic format, many different variations have been created. Many change the game up, but these special features require you to make an extra wager to activate them.

Royal Draw Poker video poker contains a special feature. But you don’t need to wager more than the normal amount to enjoy it. The special feature is built right into the game, which is a nice advantage for those who want to keep their betting budget under control.

In the case of Royal Draw Poker video poker, that special feature is attached to four of a kind hands. Whenever you wind up with a four of a kind hand, or a quad, as they’re sometimes known, you become immediately eligible for a bonus hand. This hand is free. You don’t have to make another wager to reap rewards from it.

This special hand will come from a deck containing just 13 cards. All 13 cards will come from a single suit. You’ll play this hand as you would normally, discarding and holding the cards you choose.

Since all the cards are the same suit, you will at least end up with a flush. But the possibility exists for a straight flush or a royal flush. And you get the same massive payback on those hands in the bonus round as you would on a normal hand, even though they’re much easier to achieve in this case with only 13 cards of the same suit involved.

You’re walking away with at least a small bonus for the flush in this extra hand, with the possibility of much more. And you still get paid the normal amount for the four of a kind. It’s a kind of double whammy of good fortune when this occurs during a session of Royal Draw Poker video poker.

Other than that, the game pretty much resembles Jacks or Better, with a similar pay table. The main difference in the Royal Draw Poker video poker pay table is that it rewards two pair at even money. Most Jacks or Better pay tables offer 2 to 1 for two pair.

This slight change is essentially the way you pay for the Royal Draw Poker video poker special feature. You’ll be losing out every time two pair comes up, but that’s a relatively common hand in video poker. It makes the game more volatile than standard Jacks or Better. Your bankroll will have to be sturdy enough to withstand it.

Here, we’ll explore all there is to know about Royal Draw Poker video poker. We’ll take a look at how to play basic video poker and explain the special bonus round after four of a kind hands. Finally, we’ll look into the payback, volatility, and strategy attached to this intriguing version of video poker.

Why You Should Try Video Poker

Royal Draw Poker video poker is just one of the hundreds of video poker games you can find in casinos and online gambling sites. If you’ve never played video poker before, you might not realize what a beneficial game it is for gamblers. As a matter of fact, many people insist on only playing video poker.

Video poker enthusiasts realize that the game is a gambler-friendly mashup of slot machines and table games. It borrows from both, but only the good stuff. It represents the best of the gambling worlds. Take a look at some of the reasons why we think you should play video poker.

You can play by yourself. It’s frustrating to have the outcome of your gambling rely on the actions of other casino patrons. With video poker, it’s just you and the machine with no interruptions from anyone else.

  • You can find the video poker action that’s right for you. As we mentioned briefly above, there are countless variations on video poker. By doing a little research, you can find the version of the game that fits you just right, whether it’s Royal Draw Poker video poker or any of the hundreds of others available.
  • You can learn the game in no time at all. In terms of ease of play, video poker is near the top of the list of casino games. And because it’s a one-person game, you can take the time you need to learn without having to worry about anyone else.
  • You can affect the outcome with the decisions you make. On each hand of video poker (as we’ll explain a bit), you get to pick which cards you want to hold and which you want to discard. The better you are at making decisions, the more likely it is that you’ll do well playing the game.
  • You know what you’re getting from video poker. In terms of transparency, video poker holds an edge over most other casino games. Thanks to the pay tables and the playing card probability that determines how often winning hands show up, you can determine how much each machine will pay you back compared to others.
  • You can expect solid payback, on average, from video poker. The average video poker machine will offer much stronger payback than what you could expect from the slot machines alongside it in the casino. And many video poker pay tables can give you payback comparable to or better than the best table games.
  • You can play video poker online and not miss out on anything. When you play table games online, you might find out that the game play is affected by the transition away from the casino. That’s not really the case with video poker, which can be found at all the top online casinos.

That list should give you a pretty good idea of some of the advantages you get from playing video poker. We’ll get to the way that Royal Draw Poker video poker changes up play ever so slightly in a minute. But first, let’s go over how video poker is played at its most basic level.

How to Play Video Poker

Step 1: Start a Bankroll

You’ll need a bankroll both to collect your video poker winnings and so that you can make your wagers. On a video poker machine, starting a bankroll is just a matter of putting some cash or a redemption ticket into a machine. When you’re playing online, you’ll have to start up an account at a gambling website and allot some funds for a session of video poker.

When your bankroll appears on screen, you’ll notice that it gets translated to units called coins or credits. Each of these coins or credits will equate to one unit of the denomination that you choose to play. For example, if you win 10 credits on a 5-cent machine, it means that you’ve won 50 credits (10 times .05).

Step 2: Make a Bet

When playing Royal Draw Poker video poker, you’ll have to make a decision between betting one and five credits on every hand. This puts it in line with most standard video poker games. Even though there’s a special feature in play, you don’t need to bet extra to get access to it.

It’s always wisest to bet five credits on every hand. This is also known as the “Max Bet.” The max bet is the only way you can receive maximum payout for the royal flush, both on a regular hand and a bonus hand in Royal Draw Poker video poker.

When you achieve a royal flush off a bet of one through four coins, you will be paid 250 coins for every one that you bet. But achieving the royal flush on a five-coin wager puts the payback at 800 to 1, or 4,000 coins. This is also the case for the bonus hand feature on Royal Draw Poker video poker.

In other words, Royal Draw Poker video poker actually makes it more important to bet five coins per hand. You’ll have many more opportunities at a Royal Flush than you would at a normal video poker machine. And you don’t want to get short-changed if you hit the hand and don’t have the max bet in place.

If you find that betting five coins per hand is a little bit more than you want to take on financially, you should consider switching to a machine with a lower denomination. That should allow you to keep the max bet in play. Doing that is preferable to lowering your bet on the machine you’re currently playing.

Step 3: Play a Hand

You’ll find a lot of similarities in game play between video poker and the card game known as Five-Card Draw Poker. In Five-Card Draw, you get a five-card deal and then decide which of those cards you want to keep. Then you throw out the other cards and draw new ones to replace them, all in an effort to make the highest-ranked poker combination that you can.

The rhythm of play for video poker is exactly the same. But keep in mind that you need to beat everybody at the table to win a round of Five-Card Draw. That usually means either making an imposing winning hand or fooling everyone into thinking you have that hand via a bluff.

In the case of video poker, you’re the only one playing, so you don’t need to worry about what anyone else has. You just have to worry about making one of the winning hands on the pay table. Here are the winning hands you’ll be trying to make when playing Royal Draw Poker 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)

As you look at this list, keep in mind that the combinations on top of the list are generally easy to achieve during game play. They also don’t pay a lot. Moving down the list, the hands become harder to achieve but they also pay more.

After making your wager and pressing the button for the deal, you’ll see five cards on your screen. This is the deal. The five cards will come from a simulated deck of 52, which includes the same cards as a standard deck.

The chances of you getting any particular card on the deal or draw are completely random. Video poker software ensures this. Don’t go looking for patterns or cards that are “due,” or else it could lead to some poor decisions.

You’ll compare these five cards to the list able to see if there are any winning combinations. Even if there aren’t any right off the bat, you might have the beginnings of a winning combination within those five cards. Or you might have five cards that are pretty much unconnected and don’t have much resemblance to a winning combination.

In any case, your deal is only the starting point. You’ll be able to draw new cards to complete your hand. But first, you have to decide which cards you want to hold and which you want to discard.

How do you make this choice? Well, you have to try and estimate which cards will give you the best chance you to attain a winning hand on the draw. And you also have to consider how much each potential winning hand pays, since that could be a factor on how to approach the hand.

Keep in mind that the draw will come from a deck containing everything but the five card you received on the deal. 47 cards are remaining. And you won’t have any chance of seeing a card from your deal come to you on the draw.

Let’s take a look at an example hand to see how the decision-making process works. Imagine that you receive the following five cards on a Royal Draw Poker video poker deal:

Eight of Hearts, Eight of Clubs, Nine of Clubs, Ten of Clubs, Jack of Diamonds

In this deal, you don’t have any winning combinations right off the bat. But there are several different possibilities within these five cards that might work out for you depending on what you get on the draw. Of course, you won’t know what you’ll get on the draw until after you make the decision about what to hold and discard, which is why you’ll be trying to estimate the best possible play.

You could hold onto the pair of eights and drop everything else. That would provide you with three new cards on the draw. Possibilities on the draw include two pair, three of a kind, a full house or four of a kind, all winning hands.

You might also want to hold onto the eight through jack. Those are four cards consecutive in rank, which leaves you just one short of a straight. Completing the straight would require getting a seven or queen on your one-card draw.

One other way to play the hand would be to hold onto the eight, nine and ten of clubs. Doing this would keep all kinds of winning hands in play, including straight, a flush, or even a straight flush. But you’d need both cards to fall into place for any of those to happen.

You can probably tell from this example that video poker is a game of risk versus reward. Since the high-paying hands are tougher to achieve, going for them means running more of a risk of losing the hand completely. And playing for the lower-paying hands denies you the opportunity to win big.

Once you make your decision about what to hold and discard, you just need to press the buttons corresponding to the cards you wish to hold. You then need to press the “draw” button. That will signal the draw and complete the hand.

You can play video poker in this manner for as long as you like providing that you have the credits in your bankroll to make a wager. Simple repeat steps two and three to continue playing hand after hand. At any point, you can also quit playing and cash out your remaining credits.

This is how you play basic video poker. And, for the vast majority of hands, Royal Draw Poker video poker will play out in this manner. It’s only when you achieve a four of a kind hand that things will change up a bit.

Royal Draw Poker Bonus Hands

Royal Draw Poker video poker plays like basic video poker for the most part. But you have to be aware of what will happen when you get four of a kind.

If you do end up with a quad after the draw, you’ll get paid the amount listed on the pay table, which is 50 coins for every one wagered. You’ll then have the chance to play a bonus hand. Payout amounts for this hand will be based on whatever your wager was for the qualifying four of a kind hand, and you won’t have to make an extra bet.

The bonus hand in Royal Draw Poker video poker will come from a deck of only 13 cards. These cards will all be of the same suit, which you get to choose. Keep in mind that there is no benefit to picking any one suit over another, so, whatever feels lucky to you, go for it.

You’ll then receive a five-card deal just as if you were playing a normal hand. And you’ll be tasked with deciding what to hold and what to discard from those five cards. Finally, you’ll draw to replace the discarded cards, as always.

But having only 13 cards in the deck of the same suit changes things up dramatically. First of all, you won’t have a chance to pair up any cards, since there is only one of each rank included in the deck. That means you can eliminate winning hands like two pair or three of a kind from consideration.

The only three winning hands that will be available to you will be the flush, the straight flush and the royal flush. At the very least, you’ll make a Flush, because all the cards are automatically within the same suit. Payouts for these winning hands on the bonus round of Royal Draw Poker video poker are as follows:

  • Flush: 6 to 1
  • Straight Flush: 50 to 1
  • Royal Flush: 800 to 1

These payouts are in addition to the four of a kind payout that you get for achieving that hand. In other words, they truly are a bonus.

Let’s see how this might play out. You might receive the following five cards on the bonus deal, with Hearts as the chosen suit:

Seven of Hearts, Eight of Hearts, Ten of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, Ace of Hearts

There are two interesting choices in this bonus hand of Royal Draw Poker video poker. First of all, you are lacking only the nine of hearts for a straight flush if you drop the ace of hearts. In other words, you’re only one card away from a 50 to 1 bonus payout.

But you also already have the ten, jack, and ace of hearts in place for a royal flush. You would need to draw the queen and king of hearts to achieve it.

Normally, you might not even give that consideration if you were playing from a standard deck. But your chances of drawing the cards you need grow much larger when you are only drawing from eight cards remaining in the deck instead of 47. It gives you incentive to go for the big hand when given the opportunity.

We’ll get to the larger strategy at work in Royal Draw Poker video poker in a little bit. But in terms of the bonus hand, you should be trying to make the royal flush on just about every occasion. The only time you should shun it is if you are dealt a five-card straight flush.

Quite simply, the payout for the royal flush on the Royal Draw Poker video poker bonus is too good to pass up. And this is especially the case when you have a greatly increased chance of ending up with one.

Pay Tables for Royal Draw Poker Video Poker

You should always locate the pay table when you happen upon a new video poker game. At face value, it tells you what you’ll be winning for each hand. But it goes deeper than that to reveal important aspects of the game such as strategy, volatility and payback percentage.

In the case of Royal Draw Poker video poker, the pay table looks a lot like what you would expect from a Jacks or Better game. But there are some key differences that you’ll need to keep in mind before you choose to play.

Here is the full-pay (highest-paying) version of a Royal Draw Poker video poker 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 50 100 150 200 250
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

For those who have never seen a pay table before, they’re easy to read. Simply follow the row for each winning hand over to the column for the amount bet.

Imagine that you wagered five coins and achieved a flush. Following the “Flush” row over to the “5 coins” column reveals the number 30. You would win 30 coins on that occasion, or 25 coins profit (30 minus the five coins wagered).

Keep in mind that the Royal Draw Poker video poker pay table does not include the bonus amounts coming if you hit a four of a kind. Those will come into play one you make the quad and the new hand begins.

For comparison, here is a look at a full-pay pay table for Jacks or Better.

Jacks or Better 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 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 a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

You can probably see some of the differences. The Royal Draw Poker video poker pays a little bit more on four of a kind (50 to 1 against 25 to 1 for Jacks or Better.). That doesn’t even take into account the bonus that comes with that hand.

The only hand where the Jacks or Better pay table is superior is the two pair. Two pair in Jacks or Better pays 2 to 1. But it only pays even money (you get your bet back and that’s it) on a Royal Draw Poker video poker machine.

Why is that so important? Well, two pair is a hand that will come up very often during video poker game play. On average, you’ll see it about one every ten hands or so. Contrast that with four of a kind, which is where Royal Draw Poker video poker ranks better. You can go hundreds of hands without a quad.

As a result, the pay table structure for Royal Draw Poker video poker causes higher volatility compared to Jacks or Better. Because more of the payback is tied up in rare hands, your bankroll is prone to longer stretches of losing. But it can also rebound much more quickly and send you far into the black if you end up with four of a kind.

What is the remedy for a game with such high volatility? When playing Royal Draw Poker video poker, you should consider building up your bankroll a little higher than you would normally. That will help keep you from losing all your bankroll during a harsh slump.

Payback Percentage for Royal Draw Poker Video Poker

Payback percentage should be the ultimate determining factor for serious video poker players. By serious players, we mean those who play at every chance and devote a significant bankroll to the enterprise. If that‘s you, look for games that help you make a profit over the long haul.

Volatility, which we mentioned above, is something you should worry about for a short session. That’s when the ups and downs come into play. But after playing thousands and thousands of hands of Royal Draw Poker video poker, payback percentage will be much more accurate in predicting your results.

The payback percentage for Royal Draw Poker video poker comes in at 98.8%. In other words, in an average session, you can expect to come away with 98.8% of your original bankroll still intact after all of it has been wagered. Expected loss would be around 1.2%.

We normally recommend video poker games that come in at over 99% as good ones to play for a long stretch. Such machines allow you to make up the losses through casino rewards and loyalty programs at top gambling websites. You would have a good chance in this way of eliminating the house edge.

Royal Draw Poker video poker comes in slightly below that threshold. For that reason, it might not be ideal for those who are looking for a long-term video poker game.

But those who like the idea of big payoffs in a short amount of time should consider Royal Draw Poker video poker. Your chances of getting a Royal Flush-style payback are greatly magnified by the bonus rounds. It provides more of a get-rich-quick hope than your standard Jacks or Better game could do.

Strategy for Royal Draw Poker Video Poker

It’s always important to tailor your strategy to the type of video poker game you’re playing. Many people don’t pay attention to the pay table when they decide what cards to hold and discard on each deal. As a result, they end up hurting their chances of winning.

In the case of Royal Draw Poker video poker, you have to be aware of the special nature of its pay table to play the game at the highest level. That means taking into account both the big bonuses for four of a kind and the low payback for two pair.

Take a look at the following example of how this all comes into play. Imagine that you receive the following five-card deal:

Two of Clubs, Two of Hearts, Eight of Diamonds, King of Spades, King of Diamonds

If you were playing a Jacks or Better pay table, the correct choice would be to hold on to the two pair. It would assure you of payback of 2 to 1. You could also improve to a full house on the draw after you drop the eight of diamonds.

But what about if you were playing Royal Draw Poker video poker? Keep in mind that you only receive even-money for a two pair hand. That’s the same as what you would receive for a pair of jacks or better, which you also have in this deal with the two kings.

Now, remember how important it is to get four of a kind. It puts you in line for the bonus round as well as giving you 50 to 1 right off the bat. Four of a kind is your easiest ticket to a jackpot-style payout.

As a result, it doesn’t make much sense to hold the two pair if you were playing this hand on a Royal Draw Poker video poker machine. You’d be better off holding on to only the pair of kings. That would still lock in the even money you’d have wit the two pair, but it would also open up the possibility of the lucrative four of a kind.

Decisions like this come into play often when you’re playing video poker. On many occasions, the choice will be pretty simple about what to hold and what to discard. But on hands like the example above, it’s good to have some help instead of trying to figure out all the complex math by yourself.

Remember that the only way you can reach the maximum payback percentage for any given pay table is to make the right mathematical selection about what to hold and what to discard on every hand. Every mistake that you make lowers your payback percentage.

As for how to get the help you need to learn proper strategy for Royal Draw Poker video poker, consider one of the following two methods.

Video Poker Training Software

This is a great way to learn strategy if you’re new to video poker. It will give you a handle on the basics of the game, such as betting, holding and discarding cards and anything related to the mechanics of play. Once you get the hang of that, you can concentrate on specific instruction.

Make sure that your software allows you to input specific pay tables like the one used by Royal Draw Poker video poker. Once you have that information in place, you’ll be able to receive the right answers about what to hold and what to discard on any hand. Practicing for a while with video poker training software will get the job done.

Strategy Charts

Again, it is crucial to find a strategy chart that is set for Royal Draw Poker video poker. Otherwise, you could end up getting the wrong answers. And that could lead to you making less money in the long haul.

Strategy charts rank combinations of cards base on their expected value. When you get your deal, you have to locate the cards that provide you with the highest expected value so you’ll know to hold them. Once you memorize the strategy chart, you’ll have this information at your disposal.

Royal Draw Poker Video Poker Pros and Cons

Royal Draw Poker Pros

  • Access to a bonus feature without needing to make an extra wager
  • Bonus hands give you an excellent chance at a royal flush payout
  • No change to the basic of rhythm of play means it’s a great game for beginners
Royal Draw Poker Cons

  • Only even money payback for two pair raises volatility
  • Expected payback percentage is slightly lacking for full-pay version
  • Payback is heavily reliant on four of a kind, a rare hand

Conclusion on Royal Draw Poker Video Poker

Royal Draw Poker video poker will force your radar to be scoping out four of a kind hands at all times. The chances for big bonuses tied to these hands makes such a strategy necessary. You just have to be able to weather the rough patches between these quad hands to benefit once they come around.