Triple Trouble Video Poker

Triple Trouble video poker is a game where you won’t mind a bit of a demonic presence showing up on the game screen. That’s because seeing three devils during gameplay can give you both free spins and multipliers on both your original bets and your winnings. It takes basic video poker and lays something extra on top of it without you having to make an extra bet to activate it.

Triple Trouble Logo

Most basic video poker games are based on five-card draw poker in terms of the gameplay experience. For some, that kind of action is more than enough. Yet, for others, the grind of simple video poker can seem more like a chore than an exciting game, even as it returns excellent payouts for players.

That’s why video game manufacturers began to add little twists to the proceedings. There were new pay tables, such as the Bonus games that pumped up payback for rare hands like four of a kind. And there were wild-card games that added cards that could be changed into any other card in the deck, thereby increasing the opportunity to achieve those rare hands.

Games with an extra feature that spice up basic gameplay in some way are also in high demand in the world of video poker. Triple Trouble video poker is one of those games. But the interesting thing is that, unlike most video poker games with an extra feature, this one doesn’t require an extra bet to activate it.

Instead, Triple Trouble video poker comes with the extra twist loaded on top of basic video poker gameplay. While you’re getting your deal and your draw as you would in normal video poker, devils may appear on your screen. If you get three devils, that’s when the fun begins.

First of all, you’ll earn triple your original bet for that hand, along with whatever winnings you might have earned. Then you’ll get three spins, during which all your winnings are multiplied by three. If you also get the three devils, you’ll earn a bonus of nine times your original bet.

That all sounds good. But to make up for all of these bonuses, Triple Trouble video poker depresses the pay tables from what you might normally expect. As a result, your bankroll could really suffer if you can’t come up with those devils every once in a while.

In the following article, we’ll show you how to play Triple Trouble video poker by first explaining basic video poker. Then we’ll go over the game’s devilish extra feature and talk about how it affects pay tables and payback percentages. We’ll also talk about how to learn strategy and give a rundown of the game’s benefits and drawbacks.

Playing Basic Video Poker

To play Triple Trouble video poker, you first have to know how to play video poker in its most basic form. Luckily, that won’t be very difficult for anyone who has played a little bit of poker at home with a deck of cards or in a casino. Even if you haven’t done any of that, you shouldn’t have much of an issue getting the hang of video poker by paying a few hands.

Video Poker Logo

By doing that, you will be introduced to one of the top games that you can encounter in a casino or on gambling websites. In many ways, video poker takes the best elements of both table games, such as blackjack or roulette, and slot machines. It then rolls them all up into one exciting package.

Video poker resembles slot machines in the way that you can play it all on your own. No dealers or pit bosses will be needed for you to play the game. It’s just you versus the machine and you can play at a fast pace or just relax and move at your own leisure.

Of course, slot machines don’t require any skill from the gambler and the results are determined by blind luck. But video poker allows you to have some impact on the outcome of each hand. While luck will still be involved in terms of the cards that you receive, your decisions will affect whether or not you win or lose on many occasions.

Plus, video pokers have probabilities attached to them. There are usually only 52 cards in each simulated deck that dictates video poker play. As a result, a little math will tell you all you need to know about your chances of making certain winning hands.

By using probabilities, and combining them with the pay tables that explain how much you can make for each winning hand, you’ll know how much you can expect to make from that video poker machine just by looking at it. With slot machines, there are no probabilities. Thus, you have no way of knowing how much the slot machine will pay out during an average session.

But here’s a hint: It’s probably less than the video poker game in the casino. In fact, video poker pays off at a level, in most cases, similar to table games. When you add all of those factors up, you can start to understand why video poker is such an enviable game to play.

So, let’s learn how to play. Here is a quick walkthrough of how it works from the moment you put in your money to the moment you’re ready to walk away with (hopefully) your winnings.

Step 1: Bankroll

When you put money into a video poker machine, you are creating a bankroll. The same thing occurs when you create an account at a gambling website that offers video poker. This bankroll is what you use to make wagers and keep track of your winnings.

The money that you put into the machine will be rendered in credits or coins. Each of these units will be equal to whatever denomination you are playing. Most machines come with a preset denomination, such as a dollar or a quarter, while others allow you to toggle through different denominations before choosing the one you want.

The amount of credits that you have to start will be equal to whatever you put into the machine divided by the denomination. For example, if you put in a $20 bill on a machine with a denomination of a dollar, you’ll have 20 credits. Each time you bet, the amount will go down and it will go up with any winnings you accrue.

You should always set your bankroll based on how long you wish to play and the pace at which you can play. If you can pay quickly, having only 20 credits in the machine won’t last you very long. Your bankroll should also be determined by whether the type of video poker game you’re playing is set up to be volatile or not, as that will affect your ability to sustain your bankroll as well.

Step 2: Betting

In each hand of video poker that you play, you will be given the opportunity to bet between one and five credits. Some games allow you to bet a bit more, but Triple Trouble video poker is not one of them. Although this decision is totally up to you, we highly recommend that you play five credits every hand if you can.

Why? Well, when you see the pay table for this game (and most video poker variations), you’ll notice how the pay for a royal flush hand (ten through ace of the same suit) takes a huge leap in payout from one through four coins to five coins. You might not think a royal flush could ever come up during gameplay, but you’ll be really sorry if it does and you aren’t playing the max bet (five credits).

If you feel like five credits is too much for you to bet hand after hand, you should really consider lowering your denomination to the point where you can do the max bet with comfort. Gambling is all about maximizing your return on investment. You can’t do that in video poker if you don’t play the max bet.

Step 3: Playing

Your goal when playing video poker is to make a winning hand out of the five cards that you end up with after the deal and the draw, which we’ll explain in a moment. Some video poker games alter the winning hands slightly but, in Triple Trouble video poker, you are dealing with the basic ones that are in play in most games. And they are:

  • Pair of jacks of 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)

When you make your bet and hit the “Deal” button, you will see five cards appear on the screen. Imagine that there’s a digital shuffling machine within the software that is always working. At the moment you hit the “Deal” button, the top five cards in the deck will show up on the screen.

Ideally, the five cards that you see will comprise one of those winning hands listed above. But even if it doesn’t, you still have the chance to improve the hand. Take a look and see if there are at least the beginnings of one or more of those winning hands in the cards that you’ve received.

Let’s take a look at a sample deal:

Seven of Clubs, Nine of Clubs, Ten of Clubs, Jack of Clubs, Jack of Hearts

On this deal, you already have a winning hand in the pair of jacks. Although it only pays even-money on a Triple Trouble video poker pay table, you can always improve upon it during what is known as the “draw round.” On the draw, you get to discard the cards that you don’t think are helping your hand and have them replaced by other cards from the deck that dealt you your first five cards.

If you decide you want to go forward with the pair of jacks, you can discard the other three cards in the deal. Even if the new cards that you get don’t help you, you are still assured of getting your money back for having the pair of jacks. But you could get lucky on the draw and improve your hand to two pair, three of a kind, a full house, or even four of a kind.

But look at the deal again. Notice that there are four clubs in the deal and that is just one shy of a flush.

On top of that, those four clubs are just one shy of a straight flush. By drawing the ten of clubs, you could make one of the most lucrative hands in the game. And drawing any of the ten remaining clubs in the deck would give you a flush, which still is a solid-paying hand.

Of course, if you don’t get the club on the draw, your hand will be a losing one. You have to judge whether or not it is worth it to go for a winning hand that you don’t have. To do so, you might have to toss out one that you do.

That’s what we mean when we say your decisions will impact the outcome of your hands when playing video poker. On many hands, you’ll be faced with tough decisions just like this one. You can learn how to make the mathematically correct choices by looking at our strategy section below.

In any case, once you make your decisions about what to hold and discard, hit the “Draw” button. Your cards will once again be drawn from the top of the ever-shuffling deck within the machine. At that point, the hand is over.

Step 4: Wrapping Up

As long as you have credits left in your machine, you can continue to play video poker for as long as you wish. If you wish to quit with credits still in the machine, you can simply cash them out. You will receive a redemption ticket which can be traded in for cash or used at other machines in the casino.

If, at any point, you run out of credits, you’ll have to insert more money to continue play. Once you have the credits, you can just repeat steps two and three over and over again to keep playing.

Now that you have the hang of video poker, it’s time to talk about how Triple Trouble video poker works. And, by that, we mean the presence of devils and the benefits that they bestow.

Bonus Feature of Triple Trouble Video Poker

If you ever saw the old game show The Joker’s Wild, you know that receiving a devil on a spin was never a good thing. But in Triple Trouble video poker, the sight of a devil really amps up the excitement. The sight of three of them means that your winnings are about to take a big jump.

When you play Triple Trouble video poker, there is a kind of game going on outside the main game. While you play your video poker, the machine is randomly spinning to see if jokers are going to show up on the deal or on the draw. If, during either the deal or the draw, three devils appear, you will be receiving the game’s bonus.

Here is a rundown of how the bonus for Triple Trouble video poker works when you get three devils during the course of basic play:

  • You win three times your original bet
  • You receive three free hands
  • Any winnings you get while playing the free hands will be multiplied by three

Then, while playing the free hands, you can also get three devils. If you do, this happens:

  • You win nine times your original bet

Let’s take a look at how this might work. Imagine that you were playing Triple Trouble video poker and betting five coins per hand as we recommended. And let’s say that you receive three devils on a losing hand. You would immediately receive 15 coins, which is three times your original bet of five.

Now, you get to play the free hands. Let’s say that on the first of the free hands, you get a full house, and on the second, you get a flush. On the third free hand, your hand is a loser, but three devils show up on the screen. Your winnings would be:

  1. 7 coins won for full house multiplied by 3 = 21 coins
  2. 5 coins won for flush multiplied by 3 = 15 coins
  3. 5 coin bet multiplied by 9 for receiving three devils in bonus round = 45 coins

Adding it all up, you won 96 coins (15 + 21 + 15 + 45). Your original wager for the hand that started it all was 5 coins. That means you came up with a 91-coin profit.

One of the good things about the bonus in Triple Trouble video poker is that you get something from it even if you don’t have a winning hand. In many video poker games with multipliers and free spins, you are at the mercy of the deals that you receive. Here, you are assured of getting something out of it.

Another good thing is that you don’t need to make an extra bet to activate it. That means that you can play a game with an extra feature without having to break your bank to do it.

But you aren’t going to see those three devils on your screen very often. The rate that you can expect to see a three-devils hand is between 1% and 2% of the hands. That’s not very often.

The good news is that there are big payoffs awaiting when you do, as long as you have the patience to play enough hands of Triple Trouble video poker to get there. But the pay tables of the game have been adjusted to make up for the fact that these bonuses are in store. You really have to understand this aspect of it before you commit to playing this game.

Pay Table for Triple Trouble Video Poker

A pay table is a chart that you can see on your video poker machine that tells you how much you can expect to win for each winning hand based on how much you’ve bet. It is a crucial piece of information for video poker players. The pay table will dictate strategy and show you how much you can expect to make playing the game (more on that when we get to the payback percentage).

Here is a look at the most common pay table that you will encounter when playing Triple Trouble video poker in a casino or online:

Triple Trouble Video 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) 200 400 600 800 1000
Four of a Kind (2s, 3s, 4s) 40 80 120 160 200
Four of a Kind (Any Other) 25 50 75 100 125
Full House 7 14 21 28 35
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a Kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two Pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Jacks of Better 1 2 3 4 5

To read the pay table, you simply need to follow the rows with the winning hands over to the columns for how much you wagered. For instance, a 5-coin bet for a hand that comes up with a full house will earn you 35 coins. Minus the original 5-coin wager, that means that you ended up with a profit of 30 coins for that hand.

You can see what we were talking about with the royal flush hand from this table. Payout for one through four coins played comes out to 200 to 1 odds, but then it jumps to 800 to 1 when you get to five coins. Don’t forget that with Triple Trouble video poker, you are multiplying your bet when you get the three devils bonus, which is another reason that you should play the five coins every hand.

Without much context, this pay table might not mean that much to you, especially if you’ve never played video poker before. This pay table most closely resembles the pay table for Bonus poker, which adds nice bonuses for four of a kind hands. But, as you’ll see now, as we show you a typical Bonus poker pay table, it comes up a little short.

Here is the highest-paying pay table for Bonus poker:

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 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 5 10 15 20 25
Three of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two Pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Jacks of Better 1 2 3 4 5

You might notice that the Triple Trouble video poker pay table comes out on top in the four aces payouts. But, other than that, many of the more common hands pay more in the Bonus pay table game. And these common hands are what carry the bankroll in most video poker games.

Specifically, you’ll note that there is only a 2 to 1 payoff for three of a kind and even money for two pair in the Triple Trouble video poker table. Compare that to 3 to 1 for three of a kind and 2 to 1 for two pair on the bonus game.

These hands will come up often in the course of game play in video poker, certainly more often than those high-paying four of a kind hands. Without those payoffs for the common hands, you will have a hard time sustaining your bankroll. Luckily, the three devils bonuses help to make up for that.

But, alas, the bonus doesn’t quite make up for it, as you’ll see now as we talk about payback percentages.

Payback Percentages for Triple Trouble Video Poker

Percent Sign Over Money

A payback percentage is calculated by combining the mathematical chances of making winning hands with the payouts for those hands. On top of that, Triple Trouble video poker’s payback percentage also takes into account the chance of getting Triple Devils and the bonuses go with it. The Triple Trouble payback comes in at around 97%.

What that means is that, on average, $100 put into the machine would return $97, or a $3 loss. Again, that is only an average. You might win a lot more, based on luck. Or you might also come up short of that if luck isn’t on your side in a short session.

Over the long haul, the payback should come close to that 97% level. And that is not quite up to par with the best video poker payouts. For example, that bonus game that we showed you above, comes in at about 99% payback percentage. Usually, we would recommend only games over 99% for serious video poker players.

Why? At 99%, a gambler who plays video poker often can expect to make the 1% loss in casino or online rewards for loyal play. But at 97%, you’re unlikely to make a profit over the long haul.

For casual players, that is less of a concern. In fact, if you’re the type who likes to go for big payouts in a short amount of time, Triple Trouble video poker can actually be beneficial. This is especially true if you can get the three devils to come up early on in your session.

The bottom line is that you should consider what you’re trying to get out of the game before deciding to play it. If you’re looking for more of a short-term thrill ride, Triple Trouble video poker can really work in your favor. But if you are instead trying to play video poker and grind out a profit over a long period of time, you’re better off with games that can give you a high payback percentage, such as simple Jacks or Better.

Strategy for Triple Trouble Video Poker

On every deal in Triple Trouble video poker, there is a mathematically correct play. This is the play that will give the most expected value to the hand. Again, this is based on the long term, as luck will once again have a heavy impact on the outcome when you play a hand once or twice.

It is important to know the right plays for each hand if you want to maximize your winnings. In fact, the only way that you can achieve the payback percentages that we talked about for Triple Trouble video poker is if you know all of those plays.

On the one hand, strategy for Triple Trouble video poker resembles strategy for most other types of video poker. You’ll learn by playing certain tricks, such as to not play for an inside straight, or to go for the royal flush if you have three of the five cards that form it on the deal. These kinds of tips pretty much work for all video poker.

But Triple Trouble video poker also has a unique pay table. It is similar to Bonus video poker but a little bit different. The weaker payouts for the two pair and three of a kind hands reflect this difference.

What that means is that you’ll have to adjust your strategy somewhat for certain deals. For example, consider this hand:

Ace of Clubs, Ace of Hearts, Seven of Spades, Seven of Hearts, Nine of Diamonds

Normally, you would keep the two pair and go for a full house. But on the Triple Trouble video poker pay table, the pair of aces alone pays off as much as the two pair.

And the only way you can improve the two pair is a full house, which also doesn’t pay as well in Triple Trouble. If you throw out everything but the aces, you can keep the possibility of four aces and a huge payout in play.

Learning all of these little twists will be difficult on your own. Luckily, there are a few methods that are available to you to help. The two best methods for learning perfect play in Triple Trouble video poker are:

  1. Strategy Charts: See if you can find a strategy chart online with a pay table that is either exactly the same as Triple Trouble video poker or at least very similar. This chart will rank all of the combinations of cards you can receive on the deal from most to least valuable. By comparing your hand to the chart, you’ll know which are the right cards to discard in every situation once you memorize the chart.
  2. Video Poker Software Trainers: This software, if you buy the best versions, will allow you to customize the pay table to mimic that of Triple Trouble video poker. It will then allow you to play hands of the game and be confronted with choices about what to hold and discard. When you make the wrong choice, the software will alert you so you know what the right choices are in every situation.

Pros and Cons of Triple Trouble Video Poker


  • Three devils on the screen will really boost your payouts in a hurry
  • No extra bet required for the extra feature
  • You can play it as long as you understand basic video poker

  • Bankroll will shrink quickly without the three devils
  • Payback percentage lacks compared to other games
  • No choice of pay tables


If you’re in a bit of a daredevil mood, emphasis on “devil,” you might want to try out Triple Trouble video poker either in a casino or on a gambling website. Your payback can explode with three devils on the screen. Just make sure to look at the game as more of a short-term distraction than a long-term passion.