How to Play Turbo Video Poker

Turbo Video Poker creates excellent opportunities for video poker players who are always wishing they could choose the deal they start their hand with. This game actually gives you this opportunity, provided that you start by making an extra bet. If you do, you have a much better chance of coming away with a top hand.

Video poker comes in all shapes and sizes these days. You can stick with one of the basic versions of the game that are loosely based on basic Jacks or Better. Or you can get a little wild and try one of the games that give you the chance to twist around gameplay a little bit with an extra wager.

Turbo Logo

In addition, more and more people are discovering how well video poker translates to the online gambling experience. You can simulate exactly the kind of experience that you would get playing the game on a casino on any of the top gambling websites. This gives players a new way to enjoy the game.

Turbo Video Poker belongs to the new breed of video poker in more ways than one. First of all, you can make an extra wager to add a serious twist to basic play. It’s a game that can, for right now, only be played online, although you can play for real money.

The big twist in Turbo Video Poker comes when you double your usual maximum wager of five coins. That means you have to bet 10 coins to put the extra feature into play. If you’re a casual player, you might find that kind of monetary commitment a bit too steep.

But if you’d like to play the game at its most lucrative level, you’ll need to make this 10-coin wager when playing Turbo Video Poker. When you do, instead of one five-card deal, you’ll receive five of them. All five of these deals will come from the same deck of 52 cards.

From that point, you’ll have to make an assessment about which deal you should keep to go forward. Once you do, the other 20 cards from the four deals that were rejected go back into the pack. You will then play out the deal that you chose as you would any other video poker hand.

What does all that mean?

Well, first of all, Turbo Video Poker brings an extra strategic element to the game. For those, who like the decision-making part of video poker, you will enjoy the opportunity.

In addition, you will generally be starting out each hand with a much better set of cards than if you were just playing run-of-the-mill video poker. After all, you are choosing between five possible deals. The probability is that at least one or more of them should form a solid starting point for you.

What that means is, in general, Turbo Video Poker gives you a better chance of winning hands than regular video poker if you play the extra coins. More winning is what any video poker player should be seeking.

Just keep in mind that you’ll be winning based on a five-coin pay table, even though you’ll have to bet 10 coins to activate the extra feature. Turbo Video Poker might provide you more chances to win, but you’ll need those chances just to keep your bankroll afloat. Still, overall, the payback percentage for the game sits at a level that most video poker players should enjoy.

In the following article, we’ll explain everything you need to know in terms of playing Turbo Video Poker. We’ll show you how to play basic video poker then explain how the twist in this variation of the game works. Along the way, we’ll also tell you about pay tables, payback percentages, and video poker strategy for this interesting twist on the popular casino game.

Why People Love Video Poker

For some people, video poker is the only game they’ll ever play when they walk into a casino. If you’re one of these people, you can probably tell the uninitiated why video poker is such a favorable game to gamblers. And if you’re not, we’re here to tell you why it is.

Right off the bat, you’ll probably notice that video poker requires only one person to play. Even though it’s based on the multi-player card game known as Five-Card Draw, video poker provides an experience where you play against the machine.

Video Poker Heart

For people who like to do their gambling without a lot of hassles, this feature of the game really stands out. You don’t need to associate with other casino patrons to play. Nor do you need to deal with scrutiny of dealers, pit bosses, or other casino employees checking your every move.

You can say all of the above about slot machines as well. But don’t confuse video poker with slot machines. Video poker actually tops slots in just about every way you can imagine.

First of all, you have the ability to control your gameplay when you play video poker. Your decisions actually matter and will have an impact on whether you win or lose. Slot machines don’t give you any control at all over your winning and losing.

Slot machines are essentially random to the core. Not only don’t you have control, but you won’t have any idea about the frequency with which winning spins might show up. You also won’t know what to expect from the machine you’re playing in terms of payback percentage.

If slot machines leave you in the dark, video poker shines a light on just about every part of the process. Since video poker is based on the cards that you can receive from a regulation deck of 52 cards, you know that probabilities will be an important part of the process.

You’ll know roughly your chances of coming up with winning hands.

Since you know this, you can also figure out what the payback percentage will be for each machine that you’re playing. All you have to do is combine the probabilities of winning hands with the payouts for those hands.

If you don’t want to do the math, you can use resources like this page. Or you can input the pay tables into video poker calculators to get the necessary information on payback.

Speaking of payback percentage, video poker ranks pretty high in that department. You can expect payback on the average to be higher than slot machines. And the best video poker pay tables can even give table games a run for their money.

Add to that what we already told you about how well video poker translates to the online gambling experience. In fact, Turbo Video Poker represents a fast-growing segment of video poker including games that are only found online. For those who don’t want the hassles of casinos but want real gambling action, video poker can bring that to your connected device.

You now know all of the reasons why you should be playing video poker. Now, it’s time to talk about how to play the game.

We’ll give you the basics first. Once you have that down pat, you’ll be ready to move on and learn about Turbo Video Poker and its fascinating twist on the main game.

Basic Video Poker

As we mentioned above, video poker takes its cues from the card game known as Five-Card Draw. In both cases, you will be getting a deal of five cards. You can then discard unwanted cards and have them replaced with others on the draw to try and make the best poker hand.

But Five-Card Draw requires you to beat everybody else at the table to win the pot. It also requires you to understand betting concepts such as bluffing in order to play the game at the highest level.

Video poker keeps the same process of deal and then draw. But you aren’t playing against other players. Your only goal is to acquire a combination of cards that is deemed a winning hand by the pay table that you’re playing.

No need for bluffing or any of that. You just have to understand how winning poker hands work and learn about the probabilities of making those hands.

First, let’s talk about which combinations of cards are considered winners in video poker.

Keep in mind that some video poker machines deviate slightly in terms of the winning hands that they reward. Wild-card games, in particular, will have a different list of winning hands on the pay table than Jacks or Better-style games.

Since Turbo Video Poker is based on Jacks or Better, it features the most common set of winning hands in video poker. Those hands are:

  • 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)

These hands are listed from the easiest to achieve at the top to the rarest at the bottom. As you move down the list, the hands pay more and more. Basically, the rarer a hand is, the more it pays in video poker.

Before you get to all that, you first have to create a bankroll. Since we’re dealing with Turbo Video Poker and it’s an online-only game, you’ll need to find an online gambling site that you like to play it. Once you do, you’ll need to fund that account.

The money that you devote to play Turbo Video Poker online will show up on your screen as credits or coins. Each of these credits or coins will be equal to whatever denomination you’ve chosen to play. Denominations can run from smaller amounts like a nickel to bigger chunks like a dollar.

From this bankroll, you’ll make your wager. If you play Turbo Video Poker, you’ll have the choice between playing the game without the extra feature or playing with it. This will be reflected in the bet.

To play the game as if you were playing a normal Jacks or Better video poker game, you will bet between one and five credits per hand. You can change your bet each hand or you can stick with the same amount every time.

If you’re playing Turbo Video Poker at this basic level, you should at least go with the maximum five credits each bet. Why? Because your potential payback for the royal flush hand is much higher if you bet the five coins.

All other winning hands have pay backs which go up in proportion. For example, two pair pays two coins for one-coin bet, four coins for two coins bet, six coins for three coins bet, and so on.

The royal flush payback rises in proportion from one through four coins, paying off 200 coins for every one bet. But it jumps to 800 to 1 when you make a five-coin wager.

As for playing Turbo Video Poker, you’ll need to bet 10 coins for each hand. Keep in mind you will still only be paid from the pay tables at a five-coin wager level. But you’ll receive the extra feature when you make this bet, which will be more than worth your while!

Once you have your bet down, five cards will appear on the screen of whatever device you’re using to play. This is your deal. Your first job will be to assess this deal and look for winning combinations similar to the ones we’ve listed above.

Keep in Mind

The deal is always random. Your chances of receiving specific cards are always 1 in 52 on the deal, 1 in 47 on the draw (because the five cards from the deal won’t be included). Those probabilities never change, no matter what has happened on previous hands.

You might find that your deal is a winning one right off the bat. And you don’t have to discard anything if you have a winning hand you’re happy with and don’t want to try and improve.

More than likely, though, you will be looking to improve your hand. That is where the draw comes into play. On the draw, you can discard any or all of your cards and have them replaced with fresh ones from the deck.

How will you decide? Well, it will depend on the winning hands you think you have a chance of making based on your deal. It will also depend on the potential payout amounts for those winning hands.

Let’s take a look at a sample deal as an example:

Four of Spades, Six of Spades, Seven of Hearts, Seven of Spades, King of Spades

There are no winning combinations in this deal as it is constructed. But it can easily be improved on the draw. The trick for you is deciding what potential winning hand (or hands) you want to pursue.

On the one hand, you have a pair of sevens. If you discarded the other three cards, that would open it up for you to possibly draw to two pair or three of a kind. If the draw really went your way, you might even end up with a full house or four of a kind.

But there are other possibilities. Notice that you have four spades on the deal. With another spade, you could end up with a flush.

Finally, you also have the four, six, and seven of spades. That gives you three of the five cards you need toward a straight flush, the second highest-paying hand on the pay table next to the royal flush. Of course, you only have a few “outs” on the draw to get that hand.

What do you do? Do you play for one of the hands that are easier to achieve but might not pay back that much? Or do you go for broke and go for the straight flush, even though your chances are slim?

Decisions like these make video poker the challenging yet rewarding game that it is. Many hands won’t present a decision quite nearly as tough. But making the right decision, based on the math involved, will go a long way toward helping you win consistently (more on that when we get to strategizing).

Once you make your decision, you will press the buttons on the screen corresponding to the cards that you want to hold. The software will replace the cards you’ve discarded with other ones from the deck that was responsible for your deal.

At that point, the hand is over. You will look to see whether you’ve made a winning combination. If you have, credits will be added to your total.

Pretty easy stuff, right? Video poker won’t take you very long to learn, even if you’ve never had any experience with it before. In fact, you might find that you’re playing several hands a minute not too long after you start playing.

That is just the basic game, however. Keep in mind that Turbo Video Poker contains an extra feature that you might want to try out. Let’s learn how that works.

Choosing Your Best Deal in Turbo Video Poker

Give credit to gambling expert Michael Shackleford, aka “The Wizard of Odds,” for creating Turbo Video Poker. Shackleford is known for his analysis of gambling options. With Turbo Video Poker, he offers up one of his own. And, because of the special twist, it’s a pretty intriguing option at that.

As we said above, you can play Turbo Video Poker just as you would any Jacks or Better machine if you bet between one and five coins. You will receive just one deal and make your decisions about holding and discarding as normal.

Playing the game in this fashion, however, won’t bring you the maximum payback percentage that you can hope to receive from it. To do that, you will have to bet 10 coins per hand and activate the special feature for Turbo Video Poker.

If you bet the 10 coins, you will receive five deals instead of one. Each of these deals come from a single deck of 52 cards. What that means is that you won’t see the same card in two or more deals.

From these five deals, you’ll get to choose which one you want to play going forward. For example, let’s take a look at a sample of five deals that you might receive.

  1. Three of Clubs, Three of Spades, Three of Diamonds, Five of Clubs, Seven of Clubs
  2. Two of Hearts, Six of Spades, Eight of Diamonds, Eight of Hearts, Ace of Hearts
  3. Ten of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, Ace of Diamonds
  4. Six of Clubs. Seven of Clubs, Eight of Clubs, Eight of Spades, Nine of Clubs
  5. Two of Diamonds, Four of Hearts, Four of Diamonds, Nine of Diamonds, Nine of Hearts

Taking a look at these deals, you’ll see you did pretty well here. Deal 1 brings you three of a kind. You can go for four of a kind or a full house on the draw.

Deal 2 isn’t too exciting, with just a pair of eights standing out. Deal 4 matched that pair of eights, but also gives you an open-ended straight flush draw. And Deal 5 comes at you with two pair with fours and nines.

The really intriguing one is Deal 3. First of all, you were dealt a straight, which is a pretty great hand as it is. But you are also just one card shy of a straight flush or, even better, a royal flush.

It’s a tough decision. The highest-paying of the four without any changes to it is Hand 3, since a straight pays off at 4 to 1. And that hand has the highest potential as well, since you could improve it to the highest-paying hand in the game.

But some of the other hands can be tempting. One thing you need to understand when making your final decision is that the cards from the four deals that you don’t choose go back into the deck for the draw.

Understanding that might help steer you to Deal 3. If you went forward with that hand and dropped the ace of diamonds, you would still have a chance at the royal flush. The ace of hearts, which you would need to complete the royal flush, would go back into the deck even though it originally appeared in Deal 2.

Once you make your decision about which hand to play, the other hands will disappear and you can focus on the one you’ve chosen. You will then proceed to play the hand as we described in the above section on basic play.

Remember that the cards you draw will include all but the five from the deal you chose. You’ll select which cards to hold and which to discard based on that knowledge.

Turbo Video Poker continues in that fashion as long as you keep betting the 10 coins per hand. Each time, you will be faced with the choice of which of the five deals you want to play. Then, you will play that deal to complete that hand.

As you can see, the twist to Turbo Video Poker isn’t that hard to understand. Now, it’s time to talk about how that twist affects both the pay tables for the game and its payback percentage.

Pay Tables for Turbo Video Poker

On the surface, video poker pay tables seem to just show you how much you can expect from each winning hand on the video poker game you’re playing. But the pay tables tell you a lot more than that.

On the one hand, a pay table should dictate your strategy to some extent. You should be making decisions about what cards to hold and what to discard based on potential payouts. In the case of Turbo Video Poker, you should also be deciding which of the five deals you want to play based on this information.

Pay tables also let you know what you can expect in terms of payback from the game. By simply combining the pay table info with the probabilities of making hands, you can get a rough estimate of what the game pays back on an average basis.

In the case of Turbo Video Poker, you only have one pay table that you have to know. Many other video poker games with extra features let you choose from a variety of pay tables. This game keeps it simple, which helps make it easier for you when it comes to strategy (which we’ll talk about later).

Let’s take a look at the pay table that you’ll be playing when you play Turbo Video Poker:

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 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two Pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or Better 1 2 3 4 5

Let’s talk first about how you read this pay table. Simply follow the column listing the winning hands over the column with the amount of each bet. For example, if you made a four-coin bet and hit three of a kind, the payoff would be 12 coins.

Note that the payout stops at five coins, even though you have the opportunity to bet 10 coins when playing Turbo Video Poker. Consider those extra coins your fee for getting the extra feature. You won’t get paid any extra winnings on top of the five-coin level.

That fact makes Turbo Video Poker a somewhat volatile video poker game. You will be prone to more significant swings between winning and losing than if you were playing normal Jacks or Better.

The game becomes less volatile if you bet only one through five coins and play without the extra feature. But that will bring down your payback percentage, because you will have a harder time making winning hands than if you had the five deals from which to choose.

You should factor all of this in when deciding if and how you want to play Turbo Video Poker. And you should also consider what you can expect the game to pay you back, which is where payback percentage comes into play.

Payback Percentage for Turbo Video Poker

Payback percentage measures how much a given video poker machine or game will return to you, the player, on average. The key to that sentence is the phrase “on average.”

Percent Sign on Money

You might find that your experience playing a video poker game includes returns far different from what the payback percentage says. This is usually because the sample size is too statistically small to be accurate.

If you won five out of your first 10 hands, you might have a payback percentage of over 200. By contrast, if you lost your first 10 hands, your payback percentage would be zero. Luck is controlling your payback in these cases.

Over a lot of time playing the game, luck will even out and probabilities will take over. That’s when you’ll see the payback percentage start to resemble what the probabilities and pay tables say they should.

In the case of Turbo Video Poker, the payback percentage for the game when you’re playing 10 coins per hand and activating the extra feature sits at about 99.1%. That means, if you were to put $1,000 worth of bets through the game online, you would end up with $991 in your bankroll. You can expect to lose $9 out of your original stake.

In actuality, this percentage is one that’s beneficial to video poker players. Even though it’s more likely than not that you’ll lose a little bit of money during an average session, you can easily recoup that. Top gambling websites that offer Turbo Video Poker will offer you loyalty rewards if you play the game often.

Yet if you play Turbo Video Poker without the extra feature, your payback percentage falls below the 99% threshold that we recommend you seek from video poker games. Even if you’re an expert player, you’re likely going to lose money playing the game over the long term.

What it ultimately boils down to is what your intentions are when playing the game. If you are only looking to play the game casually with a small budget for a short time, you can get away with playing Turbo Video Poker without the extra deals.

But if you want to play the game successfully over the long term, you’ll need to play the game at the 10-coin level. Your own personal preference will dictate how you proceed.

Learning Strategy for Turbo Video Poker

Turbo Video Poker makes it a little tricky for video poker players in that it requires you to make two decisions when playing the game with the extra twist. Not only do you have to decide what to hold and discard, but you also have to decide which of the five deals you want to play.

Only by making the correct mathematical decisions based on probability can you hope to reach that 99.1% payback percentage. Every wrong choice you make will lower your percentage.

Luckily, there is a resource which will help with both. A strategy chart for Jacks or Better-style video poker can help you learn all the right moves for Turbo Video Poker. You just have to memorize it.

A strategy chart ranks all of the possible combinations you might receive on the deal. The deals with the highest expected value are at the top of the list.

First, you need to compare each of the five deals to the chart. Once you find the one with the highest expected value, you can tell what to discard by which cards in your hand aren’t included in the listed combination.

Let’s take a look at what a Jacks or Better strategy chart looks like:

Video Poker Strategy Chart

Memorizing the strategy chart will allow you to take the information you need into the game. You could also simply consult one while you’re playing online, but that will slow down your play significantly and make it harder for you to gain a profit through rewards.


Turbo Video Poker makes for one of the more exciting video poker games that you can play online. It solves the problem of being frustrated by the cards that you’ve been dealt. With five deals from which to choose, you’re bound to get at least one combination that you love.