Ultimate Aces Video Poker

Ultimate Aces video poker lives up to its name by really making the ace a card you want to see in your hand. It’s a video poker game with an extra feature that can be set into motion with an extra wager. Once you make the wager, you’ll receive significant multipliers if you have at least one ace on the deal.

Playing Cards

Video poker is one of the most popular games in the world of casinos and online gambling. After all, it takes many of the strategic elements found in table games like blackjack and puts them into a package very much like a slot machine. It is the best of both worlds when you play video poker.

For some, the basic version of video poker known as Jacks or Better, where you play a single hand at a time in a style that mimics five card draw poker, is quite enough. But other people like to see a little bit more excitement in terms of the types of payouts you can receive and the speed of gameplay. Ultimate Aces video poker addresses most of these issues by creating a spin on basic game play.

For one, Ultimate Aces video poker is played in multiple play mode, so you play three hands at a time. In addition, you can have access to many different types of pay tables from this one game, meaning that you can choose the style of play and the type of payback you might like to receive. Finally, an extra feature can be added by betting a little bit more that can really pump up your winnings.

That extra feature is where Ultimate Aces video poker gets its name. When you double the maximum bet for each hand that you’re playing, you will earn a multiplier every time that you are dealt an ace. The average size of the multiplier grows depending on the number of aces that you receive.

With these multipliers in place, the payouts for your winning hands will be boosted significantly. Considering that multiple play mode means that your three hands will be based on a single deal, the effect of those multipliers is really amplified. In just a single round of video poker, you can earn a lot of money when they come into play.

The problem is that you won’t always get those multipliers, which means that your extra bets will cut down on your potential profits. You will essentially be making twice the bets while getting payback based on a normal wager. And that can really do a quick number on your bankroll.

In the following article, we’ll take you through all the ins and outs of Ultimate Aces video poker, for those who play the game in casinos or do so at real money online casinos. We’ll explain how it’s based on basic video poker, then we’ll talk about the extra feature and what it brings to game play. Finally, we’ll look at pay tables, payback percentages, and strategy for this uniquely exciting video poker variation.

Learning the Basics of Video Poker

Ultimate Aces video poker might be a twist on basic video poker, but it is not such a drastic change that you’d be lost if all you know is the basic game. In fact, once you learn the basic way to play the game, you can easily make the jump to games with extra twists. Learning basic video poker isn’t difficult at all.

As we said above, video poker is generally a simulation of the card game known as five card draw poker. You receive five cards, then try and make the best winning hand by discarding certain cards and drawing new ones. In five card draw, you usually play against other players and try to get the best hand.

With video poker, you are playing by yourself. And all you’re trying to do is to make one of the hands that are considered winning hands by the pay table of the machine. The fact that you can play the game without any hassles from other casino patrons or employees, kind of like slot machines, is one of the reasons people love video poker.

When it comes to slots, however, you are limited in the impact that you can have on the game. There is nothing you can really do other than spin the reels and hope it comes out in your favor. That can be a dull experience for some people.

Video poker allows you to make a key decision in every hand that you play that will indeed affect your ability to win or lose. In addition, you can determine how much the machine will pay you based on the pay tables and probabilities that are unchanging in a 52-card deck of poker. There is no guesswork about whether you are at a “hot” or “loose” machine, since all the information you need is essentially right in front of you.

On top of that, video poker features payback percentages that are very competitive. The best video poker payback levels are well beyond what you can expect from slot machines. And they are in the neighborhood of the payouts for the top table games as well, sometimes even better than them.

As you can tell from all this information, video poker is a game that is for bettors. It is an extremely easy game to learn, even if you have no background in video poker at all. To that end, let’s take a look at how to play the game, from the moment you put your money into the machine to the time that you’re ready to cash out:

Step 1: Your Bankroll

When you hear the term “bankroll” in terms of video poker, it’s simply another way to talk about the money that you put in the machine. You should base your bankroll on how long you want to play and the budget with which you are working. And you should also consider the size of the bets that you’ll need to make to play each particular video poker game at the highest level.

You will need to decide on the denomination at which you want to play. Some video poker machines will allow you to choose between several denominations, which can be a penny, a nickel, a quarter or a dollar, as just a few examples. Others will have the denomination set when you begin to play.

Your bankroll will be rendered in credits or coins, whichever one of these units equal to the denomination you are playing. To determine the size of your bankroll, divide the amount of money you’ve entered by the denomination. For example, $20 at a 25-cent machine will get you 80 credits (20 divided by .25).

Step 2: Your Bet

The size of your bet will actually be the first piece of strategy that you must utilize when playing Ultimate Aces video poker, of any variation of video poker, for that matter. You might think that the more you bet, the more you’ll risk and the more you have a chance to win. While that is true, the size of your bet will also affect your payback percentage, which ultimately determines your profit margin if you play the game often.

With most video poker games, you can bet between one and five coins per hand. In these cases, it is always best to bet five coins if you can afford to it. This has to do with the fact that the ratio of payout for a royal flush, which is the most lucrative hand in the game, is much higher when playing five coins than it is when playing one through four.

In the case of Ultimate Aces video poker, you will have the option of playing 10 coins per hand. Since the game is only available in triple play mode, which means you’ll always be playing three hands at a time, you will essentially be playing 30 coins for each round. We’ll talk below about whether it is worth it to do this when playing this variation, but the short answer is that most of the time, it is.

Step 3: Your Hand

Your goal when playing video poker is to attempt to make a winning hand. These hands will be determined by the variation of video poker that you happen to be playing. Some games deviate a little bit in terms of their winning hands, especially wild card games, but for the most part, these are the hands that you’ll be trying to make:

  • 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)

Your first chance to make one of these hands will come on the deal when five cards appear on your screen. If you can make one of the combinations above right off the bat, you might want to keep your hand as it is. Or you might want to try and improve it.

You might also get a deal that doesn’t have a winning combination in it right off the bat. But there might be the beginnings of one. Or you might even get a deal which seems like it has little potential to do anything for you.

The good news is that you have a Draw round waiting for you to improve your hand. In the Draw round, you can discard none, one, some, or all of your five cards. Whatever you discard, you will then receive new cards from the same deck which dealt you to replace them.

The Draw round is the point in the game where you have a chance to make an impact. Sometimes your decisions on what to hold and what to discard will be simple. Other times, it can get a little tricky, especially when there are many potential winning combinations in your hand.

As an example, take a look at this deal:

Poker Hand

The good news is that you have a pair of jacks, which immediately is a winning hand that will earn you your five-coin bet back at the least. Of course, if you get rid of the other cards besides the jacks, you could possibly improve the hand from there. You might end up with two pair, three of a kind, a full house, or maybe even four of a kind.

On the other hand, you might also notice that there are four cards in a row in terms of rank. The eight-nine-ten-jack combination is just one shy of a straight. If you discarded one of the jacks, you could make the straight with a seven or a queen.

On top of that, a close inspection of the hand reveals the nine, ten, and jack of diamonds, three suited cards in a row. That means that you are two cards shy of one of the most lucrative hands in the game, the straight flush. And even if you don’t end up with the straight flush, you could conceivably end up with a normal flush if you draw two diamonds of any kind.

Basically, just about every winning hand is in play in this deal with the exception of the royal flush. You have to decide based on your probabilities of making the winning hands available to you. And you should also take into account your potential payouts for those winning hands, judging the risks against the rewards.

Once you make your decision, you will press the “Hold” buttons underneath the cards, if any, that you want to hold. When you do that and press the “Draw” button, new cards will replace the ones you’ve discarded. At that point, your hand is over, and the machine will determine if you need to be paid for a winning hand or not.

Video poker is that simple, even though the decisions can be tricky. Once you’ve finished a hand, you can simply repeat steps two and three from above for as long as you have credits left to play. If you want to cash out, you can do so at any time and collect a redemption ticket.

That example is how you play video poker a single hand at a time. Ultimate Aces video poker, however, is a game that can only be found in casinos in multiple play mode, specifically three hands at a time. Let’s find out how that works.

Triple Play Video Poker

When you play three hands of video poker at a time, you have to make bets for each. This is something that you can’t avoid for a game like Ultimate Aces video poker, which is only available in this mode. That means 15 coins bet per round if you want to do the normal max bet of five coins per hand, or 30 coins per round if you want to activate the feature.

What you have to understand when playing triple play is that you will only be receiving a single deal for each of the three hands. The decisions that you make about what to hold and discard will be replayed for all three hands. But then, each of the three hands will receive draws from different decks of 47, which represents the 52 standard cards minus the five that you received on your deal.

Let’s take a look at the deal from above as an example. As a reminder, it was:

Poker Hand

Let’s say that you want to hold on to the pair of jacks. Here’s how the three draws might play out:

Poker Hand

Poker Hand

Poker Hand

On the first hand, you made a full house. The second hand was improved to a three of a kind. Although the third hand wasn’t improved, you will still receive payback from most pay tables with a pair of jacks or better.

Each of the hands will be scored and all of the winnings added up. This gives you a good example of how a good deal can really pay off well when you are playing multiple play. By the same token, a bad deal will be played out over three hands, which means that you could be affected negatively as well.

The Ultimate Aces Video Poker Twist

As we’ve mentioned, you can play Ultimate Aces video poker in normal fashion by betting between one and five coins. You won’t have the extra feature. All you have to do is decide which pay table you want to use (more on that below).

If you decide to bet 10 coins per hand or 30 coins per round, you will activate an extra feature. First, you have to realize that the pay tables will not change. Even though you are betting 10 coins per hand, you will be getting paid off at the five-coin level.

Think about how that works. In that hand above where you had a pair of jacks, that would be a five-coin payoff on most pay tables for a five-coin bet, which means that you are essentially getting your money back. But, at a 10-coin level, a pair of jacks is actually a net loss for you of five coins.

So, why would you bet the extra amount?

To set in motion the extra feature from which Ultimate Aces video poker derives its name. And it can be a lucrative feature indeed, as we’re about to show. When you bet 10 coins per hand in Ultimate Aces video poker, any Ace that you receive on the deal will give you multipliers for the hands that you’re playing. Multipliers take any winnings and, as you can tell by the name, multiply them by the predetermined amount. For example, if you receive a 3x multiplier on a 30-coin win, you will instead receive 90 coins, or 3 times 30.

The average amount of multipliers that you will receive depends on how many Aces you receive. A single Ace will earn you anywhere from 2x to 10x multipliers. Whatever multiplier you receive will be added to all three of your hands.

Let’s look at an example. Imagine that you receive the following on the deal:

  • Four of Clubs
  • Five of Spades
  • Eight of Diamonds
  • Aces of Hearts
  • Ace of Clubs

You’ve received a pair of aces, which means that some multipliers will show up on your screen attached to your three hands. From this point, you still have to make your decision about what to hold and what to discard. In this case, your obvious play is to keep the two aces and discard the rest.

Let’s assume that you get a 5x multiplier, which is close to the average for two aces on the deal in Ultimate Aces video poker. You will see this on the screen for each of the three hands. The draw comes, and you receive:

  • Hand 1: Two Pair
  • Hand 2: A Full House
  • Hand 3: A Pair of Aces

On an average Jacks or Better pay table, you would normally receive the following payouts for those hands:

  • Hand 1: 10 coins
  • Hand 2: 40 coins
  • Hand 3: 5 coins

But now, factor in the multipliers. Now look at the payouts:

  • Hand 1: 10 x 5 = 50 coins
  • Hand 2: 40 x 5 = 200 coins
  • Hand 3: 5 x 5 = 25 coins

That adds up to 275 coins paid out on a 30-coin wager, which is a 245-coin profit. The only way you can make that kind of profit playing normal Jacks or Better video poker is to get a royal flush or a straight flush. Here, you did it with nothing more than a full house.

That is the lure of Ultimate Aces video poker. Your winnings can really increase once the multipliers come into play, especially with them being played out across three hands at a time. As we talk about pay tables and payback percentages, you’ll see that playing with the extra bet is, for the most part, worth your while.

Pay Tables and Payback Percentages for Ultimate Aces Video Poker

There are eight different pay tables from which you can choose when playing Ultimate Aces video poker. They represent pretty much the most popular tables in all of video poker, and they are:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Double Bonus
  • Double Double Bonus
  • Triple Double Bonus
  • Deuces Wild
  • Deuces Wild Bonus

Here is a sampling of how some of those pay tables will look on an Ultimate Aces video poker machine or if you find it online:

Jacks or Better Pay Table

Coins/Hand 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 pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 200 400 600 800 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind (aces) 80 160 240 320 400
Four of a kind (2s, 3s, or 4s) 45 90 135 180 225
Four of a kind (any other) 20 40 60 80 100
Full house 7 14 21 28 35
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

Double Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four aces without any 2,3,4

400 800 1,200 1,600 2,000
Four 2s, 3s, 4s, without A,2,3,4 160 320 460 640 800
Four aces 160 320 460 640 800
Four 2s, 3s, or 4s 80 160 240 320 400
Four 5s through Ks 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 pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Pair of jacks + 1 2 3 4 5

Triple Double Bonus Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 200 400 600 800 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind – aces 2, 3, 4 kicker 800 1,600 2,400 3,200 4,000
Four of a kind – 2s, 3s, or 4s; A, 2, 3, or 4 kicker 400 800 1,200 1,600 2,000
Four of a kind – aces 5s – Ks kicker 160 320 460 640 800
Four of a kind – 2s, 3s, or 4s, 5s – Ks kicker 80 160 240 320 400
Four of a kind – any other 50 100 150 200 250
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 5 10 15 20 25
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Pair of jacks + 1 2 3 4 5

Deuces Wild Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Four deuces 200 400 600 800 1,000
Wild royal flush 20 40 60 80 100
Five of a kind 12 24 36 48 60
Straight flush 10 20 30 40 50
Four of a kind 4 8 12 16 20
Full house 4 8 12 16 20
Flush 3 6 9 12 15
Straight 2 4 6 8 10
Three of a kind 1 2 3 4 5

The key question that you have to ask when dealing with the twist on play in Ultimate Aces video poker is whether or not it improves payback percentage. Payback percentage is the measurement of how much you can expect to make from a given machine based on its payback and probabilities. When playing video poker for a short time, your luck will have a lot to do with the outcome but, over time, the payback percentages will be accurate.

In most cases, the extra twist does indeed increase payback percentage. For example, the Triple Double Bonus poker pay table listed above sees a jump of more than a full percentage point when you use the twist. The only pay table where the payback drops using the twist is the Jacks or Better, and it is only a slight drop at that.

All of this will only matter to you if you’re planning on making Ultimate Aces video poker your regular video poker game and putting a lot of money into the game over time. For a short session or two, your liking for the game may be based on how willing you are to bet 30 coins per round. If you don’t mind that expense and like the idea of big, quick-strike payoffs, this game could be just what you want.

Ultimate Aces Video Poker Strategy

When developing a strategy for playing Ultimate Aces video poker, the first thing you should do is decide which pay table you prefer playing. Learning perfect strategy requires a lot of memorization or practice. Narrowing down your focus will help ease your work load.

The reason that you need to beef up your strategy for Ultimate Aces video poker is that incorrect choices about what to hold or discard will negatively affect your payback percentage. If you only play a few hands here and there, you might be able to get away with making mistakes thanks to the luck of the draw. But making the mathematically correct play for each and every hand is the only way that you can max out your payback percentages.

How can you do that? Here are the two ways that we recommend:

  • Video Poker Trainers: Trainers are software that you can download that let you simulate gameplay on a particular pay table. When you make an incorrect decision on a particular hold or discard, you will be alerted to the right play. By playing with a trainer for a long time, you will eventually figure out the right hold and discard in every circumstance.
  • Strategy Charts: Strategy charts are easily found online for the pay tables listed above. They are a ranking of all the possible combination of cards that you can receive on the deal in terms of their expected value. By matching your hand up to the combination that has the highest ranking on the chart, you can determine which cards are not essential to the hand.

Pros and Cons of Ultimate Aces Video Poker

Pros of Ultimate Aces VP

  • Multipliers can make big winnings out of basic hands
  • The impact of the multipliers is magnified with three hands at a time
  • In most pay tables, the extra feature actually improves payback percentage
Cons of Ultimate Aces VP

  • Expensive to play with extra feature
  • Several hands without aces showing up will quickly diminish your bankroll
  • Jacks or Better payback actually decreases with twist

Final Words on Ultimate Aces VP

Ultimate Aces video poker, if you can find it in a casino or on a top gambling website, brings some serious excitement to the table if you are willing to pay a little bit more per bet to put the extra feature in play. When you do, the aces in your hand and the multipliers that they create can really allow for big payoffs in a hurry. Even if it seems a little rich for your blood, you should consider trying to fit the extra bet into your budget to max out your winning opportunities in this game.