How to Play Trade Up Poker Video Poker

Trade Up Poker video poker takes some solid hands and gives them the chance to be incredible. If you’re playing this game and end up with three of a kind on the deal, you can then choose to “trade up” for the possibility of four of a kind or a full house. But you’ll be risking your initial win if you make this decision.

Video poker stands as perhaps the most beneficial game for gamblers out of all the games found in a casino. It’s perfect for beginners because of how easy it is to play. And it provides some of the best variety of all casino games. You can find games that are simple to play, like Jacks or Better. Or you can branch out into exciting variations that alter the pay tables or provide a twist on basic gameplay.

Trade Up Poker video poker has a twist. In most video poker games, your deal can only be turned into as many hands as you’ve bet. But with Trade Up Poker, the deal might serve as the jumping-off point for an increased number of potentially lucrative hands.

Video Poker
The game allows extra hands if you’re dealt three of a kind. Trade Up Poker video poker may also allow this if you’re dealt a full house. It depends on the pay table and how many hands you’re playing at once.

The amount of extra hands you get also depends on those factors. When you use the Trade Up Poker video poker special feature, you start each bonus hand with three of a kind. Draws then take place.

By using this feature, you will be increasing your chances for four of a kind. And most video poker players know what a lucrative hand this is, especially if you’re playing a Bonus Poker pay table. More full house hands occur in Trade Up Poker video poker because of these extra hands.

The drawback to this unique feature is that you have to give up your winnings from the three of a kind (or full house) hands to use it. That’s a risk that can cost you if you’re unable to beef up any of your hands when you trade up. But, on the whole, it’s a feature that will raise your payback percentage.

In this article, we’ll explain the exciting nature of Trade Up Poker video poker. We’ll show you how to play basic video poker then talk about what occurs when you trade up. We’ll also go into pay tables, payback percentages, and strategy.

Learning Basic Video Poker

Trade Up Poker video poker is just one of many video poker variations of video poker that can be found in casinos. It can also be found online at gambling websites, where there’s a wide variety of video poker games waiting for you.

The good news is that once you learn the basic format of video poker, you shouldn’t have much trouble moving on to a slightly more complex variation such as Trade Up Poker video poker. Learning the basics give you the foundation for just about any other video poker game you might encounter.

If you haven’t played any kind of video poker before, you’ve been missing out on just about the most gambler-friendly game there is. It’s a game that combines some of the best facets of both slot machines and table games. And from that combination comes a game that’s both pleasantly challenging and relatively lucrative, at least compared to other gambling alternatives.

You can learn video poker without much trouble at all. And it’s a solitary experience, which makes it similar to slot machines. That means no hassles from other casino patrons or employees.

But video poker separates itself from slot machines because it involves the probabilities found in a deck of 52 cards. Those probabilities tell you how often you can expect winning hands to come around during gameplay. And they’ll also reveal how much you can expect in payback.

You can also use those probabilities to devise your strategy. Strategy is another area where video poker provides a contrast from slot machines, where there is really no strategy involved. In fact, with the strategy and probabilities, video poker plays a little more like a table game such as blackjack.

When it comes down to it, potential payback is an important factor in determining whether or not you’ll play a casino game. And video poker also ranks highly in that department. On average, it pays much higher than slot machines and runs neck and neck with table games.

But it does have an edge on table games in online playability. You can find video poker easily at just about any of the best gambling websites. And you’ll find no difference in terms of the experience between online and casino video poker play.

Trade Up Poker video poker takes the basic video poker format and shakes it up just a bit. First, let’s learn that basic format so you can be ready to find out how to trade up.

Step 1: Your Bankroll

When playing video poker, you have to establish a bankroll in order to make wagers. Your bankroll will come from money that you insert into a machine. If you choose to play video poker online, you’ll need to fund a gambling account at the website you choose.

Bankroll

Your bankroll will show up on screen as units known as coins, or credits. Each coin or credit will be equal to a single unit of the machine’s (or online game’s) preset denomination. For example, a five-coin wager on a quarter machine will cost you $1.25 (5 times .25).

Step 2: Your Bet

Trade Up Poker video poker is relatively unique among games with a special feature in that it doesn’t require an extra wager for you to use that feature. As such, you have the choice of wagering between one and five credits per hand, as is the case in most video poker games.

It’s always recommended that you bet five credits per hand. This gives you the best payback on the royal flush hand. Instead of 250 to 1 for a royal flush with one through four coins bet, you’ll get 800 to 1 for five coins bet.

Since Trade Up Poker video poker is played three or five hands at a time, you’ll be betting for each of those hands. And that can get expensive at five coins per hand. But if you want to get the most payback possible out of the game over a long period of time, you’ll need to make that financial commitment.

Step 3: Your Hand

Video poker works as a computerized simulation of the table game known as Five-Card Draw. In both games there are five cards dealt. That’s followed by the player discarding certain cards and drawing new ones.

But video poker is a one-person game. You don’t need to beat every person at the table to win money.

How do you win money? By achieving one of the combinations of cards that the pay table deems a winning one. In Trade Up Poker video poker, here are the hands that 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, kind, and ace of the same suit)

The hands at the top of the list rank as the easiest to achieve. As you move down the list, the hands become harder and harder to attain, due to the probabilities involved. You’ll see when we get to the pay tables for Trade Up Poker video poker that the hands at the bottom of the list pay the most.

When you make your bet and hit the “deal” button, five cards will appear on screen. These cards will come from a simulated deck that contains the same 52 cards that appear in a standard deck. Your chances of receiving any one of these cards, either on the deal or the draw, are completely random.

When you see your deal, you’ll look for one of the winning combinations. You’ll also be looking for combinations that, while not quite winners at the time, can become winning hands on the draw.

You have to assess your probabilities or achieving one of the winning hands. And you should also be considering how much those possible winning hands will pay. This will help you decide what to discard.

Whatever you discard will be replaced on the draw. The deck used from the draw will be the same one used for the deal. It will contain 47 cards since the five that were dealt won’t be in there anymore.

Once you make your decision about what to hold and what to discard, you’ll hit the buttons corresponding to the cards you want to hold, if any. When you hit the “draw” button, your cards will be replaced and your hand will be complete.

As long as you have credits left in the machine, you can continue to play in this manner. You can also cash out at any time you wish and collect the money that your bankroll represents. That’s how basic video poker works. Now, let’s move on to the unique twists provided by Trade Up Poker video poker.

Playing Trade Up Poker Video Poker

The first thing you need to know about Trade Up Poker video poker is that it can only be played in casinos in multiple play mode. Playing video poker online, you might be able to find a single-hand version of the game. But at the casino, you’ll need to commit to playing either three or five hands at a time.

You have to make a bet for each of the hands you play. But you’ll receive just one deal for all of those hands. The decisions you make will be played out for each of the draws.

For example, let’s say you receive the following deal as you play a round of Triple Play Trade Up Poker video poker on a Jacks or Better pay table:

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

Looking at this hand, you don’t have any winning combinations right off the bat. But you have a couple of possibilities.

You could hold on to the eight, ten, and jack of clubs. Holding these cards opens up the possibilities of a straight, a flush, and a straight flush. But the luck you would need on the draw makes any of these winning hands hard to achieve.

By contrast, you could hold on to the pair of fours. That would open up many possibilities with the other three cards you’ll get the draw. Included among those are two pair, three of a kind, a full house, or four of a kind.

Let’s say that you keep the pair of fours. That decision will be played out over the three hands. The draws will come from three separate decks containing the 47 cards left after the deal.

Take a look at how this might play out:

  • Hand 1: Four of Diamonds, Four of Hearts, Four of Spades, Five of Diamonds, Ace of Spades
  • Hand 2: Four of Diamonds, Four of Hearts, Six of Clubs, Six of Hearts, King of Diamonds
  • Hand 3: Four of Diamonds, Four of Hearts, Two of Hearts, Three of Spades, Eight of Spades

Here, you’ve been dealt three of a kind. Now, because you’re playing Trade Up Poker video poker, you have a choice to make.

You can choose to play this game normally, which would mean three hands of poker based on what you held, which would most likely be the three of a kind. That would ensure wins on each of those hands. And you could possibly improve them on the draw to a full house or four of a kind.

Or you could trade up. If you decide you want to trade up, you’ll get bonus hands.

Because you’re playing Jacks or Better and three hands at a time, Trade Up Poker video poker allows you 10 hands when you trade up. And each of these 10 hands will start with the three of a kind that you received on the deal.

The draws will then play out in the same manner we described above. You’ll be drawing from the deck of 47 for each of the 10 hands.

But the difference is that, once you trade up, you will only get paid if the hands improve.

In other words, if you manage a four of a kind or a full house in one or more of the 10 hands, you’ll get paid according to the pay table for those hands.

But if you don’t improve upon the three of a kind, you won’t get paid at all. Basically, it turns the Trade Up Poker video poker feature into an all-or-nothing proposition.

What’s the impact of that feature? Well, when you do trade up, you give yourself a vastly increased chance of four of a kind. And since that’s one of the highest-paying hands in the game, you’ll have a much better chance at earning a significant boost to your bankroll in a hurry.

But the flip side is that you’ll occasionally be giving up any payments from a sure-thing three of a kind played out over three or five hands. That will increase your chances of your bankroll falling in a hurry. It’s an interesting tradeoff that Trade Up Poker video poker presents, one you have to decide on each time the three of a kind comes your way.

Trade Up Availability and Restrictions

As we said earlier, the amount of bonus hands you will receive playing Trade Up Poker video poker when you get three of a kind depends on the pay table you’re playing and the number of hands you’re playing. Here is a look at how that all breaks down:

  • Jacks or Better: 10 hands for triple play; the pay table is not available in five-play mode
  • Bonus Poker: 10 hands for triple play; the pay table is not available in five-play mode
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe: 6 hands for triple play, 10 hands for five play
  • Double Bonus: 6 hands for triple play, 10 hands for five play
  • Double Double Bonus: 6 hands for triple play, 10 hands for five play

In addition, some pay tables allow you to use the Trade Up Poker video poker twist if you’re dealt a full house. But this can depend upon anything from the specific amounts on the pay table to the cards that are involved. It’s best to check the Trade Up Poker video poker machine for this information, since there are a lot of variables involved.

In any case, a full house on the deal would work the same way if eligible for the feature. The machine would hold the three of a kind within the full house. For instance, look at the following deal:

Three of Diamonds, Three of Clubs, Three of Hearts, Eight of Spades, Eight of Diamonds

In this case, if you chose to trade up, the three of a kind with threes would be held. The two eights would be discarded.

Obviously, you would be throwing away a higher-paying hand in a full house than you would with three of a kind. If you didn’t improve from this, it would hurt you a little bit more.

But the truth is that the right strategic play in Trade Up Poker video poker is to trade up when you have the opportunity, no matter the starting hand. It will raise your expected payback percentage (more on that in a moment), even though it makes your gameplay a bit more volatile.

Pay Tables for Trade Up Poker Video Poker

Trade Up Poker video poker allows you to choose among five of the most popular pay tables in all of video poker. As we’ve mentioned, the pay table that you choose will have an effect on your potential bonus hands with the trade up feature.

But the pay table you choose will have more of an impact than just that. It will determine what style of play you can expect.

For example, if you choose Jacks or Better, you’re getting a game where payments are parceled out evenly throughout the pay table. You won’t have as many chances at jackpots. But you’ll be better equipped to keep your bankroll afloat for a longer time.

As you move through the various Bonus Poker pay tables, you’ll see an increase in payouts for four of a kind. That could be tempting to you if you play Trade Up Poker video poker, since you’ll be getting more chances at those hands.

But it also means that payouts for more commonly-achieved hands will drop.

Remember that Trade Up Poker video poker is a volatile game to start because of the risk you run when you trade up. Playing such an aggressive pay table will add to the volatility.

You should also be looking for the full-pay tables that are available in Trade Up Poker video poker. By full-pay, we mean the ones that pay gamblers back the most on average.

As we show you the full-pay pay tables for Trade Up Poker video poker, take a look at the payback amounts for mid-level hands like the full house or the flush. These are the hands that will often be discounted on the lesser pay tables. And those discounts will lower your expected winnings.

Here are the full-pay versions of the Trade Up Poker video poker pay tables:

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 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pair 2 4 6 8< 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Bonus 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 (aces) 80 160 240 320 400
Four of a kind (2s, 3s, 4s) 40 80 120 160 200
Four of a kind (any other) 20 40 60 80 100
Full house 6 12 18 24 30
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pair 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Bonus Poker Deluxe 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 80 160 240 320 400
Full house 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pair 1 2 3 4 5
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Double Bonus 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 (aces) 160 320 480 640 800
Four of a kind (2s, 3s, 4s) 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 3 6 9 12 15
Two pair 1 2 3 4 5
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Double Double Bonus 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 aces w/ any 2,3,4 400 800 1200 1600 2000
Four 2s, 3s, 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 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pair 1 2 3 4 5
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Payback Percentages for Trade Up Poker Video Poker

Payback percentage is a very important concept to understand if you’re going to be playing any kind of video poker game regularly.

Essentially, payback percentage tells you what you can expect to make from a given machine over an average session. You have to take note of the “average” part of that sentence. The results can be quite skewed in a short session because of luck.

But, over time, the probabilities and the payback amounts will dictate what you can expect from a machine. Ideally, you should look for a video poker game with a payback percentage of over 99%.

Why is that threshold important? Well, with a payback of over 99%, your expected loss would be less than 1%. That’s low enough that you could overcome it by earning rewards from casinos and gambling websites for steady play.

It’s important to note that the highest payback percentages in Trade Up Poker video poker come when you use the Trade Up feature at every possible opportunity. And the good news is that the payback for the full-pay versions are outstanding.

Take a look:

  • Jacks or Better: 100.4%
  • Bonus Poker: 100%
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe: 99.9%
  • Double Bonus: 100.3%
  • Double Double Bonus: 100.1%

Not only do all of these games come in at over 99%, but four of the five are also over 100%. Those games eliminate the house edge.

In other words, you can expect to return a profit on those games even without earning rewards.

The problem comes when you’re unable to find the full-pay versions of the game. Receiving discounted payments on certain hands will lower your payback percentage. In fact, there are some pay tables in existence for Trade Up Poker video poker that reduce the payback percentage all the way below 97%.

If you encounter these games, you’ll find it nearly impossible to hope for a long-term profit. The averages will eventually drag you down and your bankroll will start to dwindle in small increments.

Even if you end up with these pay tables, however, you should still consider Trade Up Poker video poker on a short-term basis. The increased chances at four of a kind brought on by the Trade Up really boost your jackpot hopes, and that can overcome any drawbacks.

Strategy for Trade Up Poker Video Poker

The first piece of strategy for Trade Up Poker video poker is one that we’ve mentioned a few times already—you should always go for the trade up. It’s going to make things more volatile, but you benefit from these decisions over time.

As for the rest of the gameplay, learning the right strategy will ensure that you meet the expectations of the payback percentage. Make the wrong decisions, and you can expect your payback to drop.

It’s important to define what we mean here by “right” and “wrong” decisions for Trade Up Poker video poker. We’re speaking in terms of the math.

In every possible deal for every possible pay table, there’s a sequence of holds and discards which unlocks the hand’s highest earning potential.

You have to think of this as a long-term concept. You can get away with making wrong decisions playing Trade Up Poker video poker once in a while. You might even win on a mathematically incorrect play.

But when you make these wrong decisions over and over again, your luck will change. In much the same way, the right decisions can sometimes end up in a losing hand. Over time, they start to pay off.

Learning what the right holds and discards are for Trade Up Poker video poker might seem like an impossible task. After all, you’re talking about thousands of possible five-card combinations.

That’s why the first thing we suggest is to pick out a specific pay table you’ll be playing when you settle down at a Trade Up Poker video poker machine. From there, you should get some help.

Trying to figure out the right plays based on the math for every conceivable deal is something you shouldn’t try on your own. Even if you could do the math, you’d take forever doing it. Your pace of play on Trade Up Poker video poker would slow to a crawl.

Instead, let someone else do the math. In both of our recommendations for learning the strategy of Trade Up Poker video poker, the computations have already been done. All you have to do is process that information.

Here two ways you can learn perfect strategy for Trade Up Poker video poker.

Video Poker Training Software

For beginners, video poker training software proves especially helpful. You can learn the basic rhythm of play by playing practice hands. And you can get the hang of bankrolls, pay tables, and other video poker concepts.

As for someone who’s learning Trade Up Poker video poker, you can input the pay table you plan to use. When you’re playing, you’ll be faced with decisions about what to hold and discard, just as you would when playing for real money. If you make the wrong decision, the software will let you know so that the right play is learned.

Video Poker Strategy Charts

The ideal way to use a strategy chart for one of the pay tables available on a Trade Up Poker video poker machine is to memorize it. This way, you can know all the right plays heading into the casino. Memorization might take some time, but it will prove worth it in the end.

Video Poker Strategy Chart

Strategy charts rank all of the potential starting hands you might have in video poker. Your job is to compare your own hand to the ones listed in front of you. Once you see the combination within your own deal that is ranked highest on the list, you’ll know exactly what you should be holding and what cards are dispensable.

Pros and Cons of Trade Up Poker Video Poker

Pros of Trade Up Poker Video Poker

  • Special feature is free and adds to payback percentage
  • Improved chances of making four of a kind
  • Nice variety of pay tables

Cons of Trade Up Poker Video Poker

  • The Trade Up can hurt if none of your bonus hands improve
  • Only available in multiple play in casinos, making it expensive
  • Payback percentages drop significantly with lesser pay tables

Conclusion on Trade Up Poker

Trade Up Poker video poker leaves you with a decision about whether to settle for your three of a kind or go for broke and look for four of a kind. The top payback percentages for the game are among the best in video poker. But you have to find the courage to give up winning hands if you want to make the most of that payback.