World Series of Poker Video Poker

World Series of Poker video poker manages to infuse elements of the famed Las Vegas tournament into the video poker world. Using a bonus round that can be activated by certain cards, it mimics the final table of the World Series of Poker. And it does so while bringing more chances of winning to the player at the machine.

World Series of Poker Logo Inside Blue Chip

Video poker has created its own impressive niche in the casino world. Players who know the game will tell you how advantageous it is to gamblers. After all, you can play at your own pace like you would at a slot machine while still using strategies found in table games.

If you’ve played normal video poker games like Jacks or Better, you likely know that the game bears little resemblance to the game known as Texas Hold‘em. Texas Hold‘em, which shot up in popularity when tournaments started being televised, requires players to battle to win chips from each other. You can do this by getting the best hands or by using bluffs and gamesmanship.

Video poker, on the other hand, requires just one person at a machine. All that person has to do to win is to make one of the winning hands that are found on the pay table. They can do this by taking a five-card deal then exchanging cards in a subsequent draw round to make the best hand.

Due to the popularity of Texas Hold‘em and the famous World Series of Poker tournament held each year in Las Vegas, it makes sense that some crossover game would be attempted. World Series of Poker video poker turns out to be the game that combines the two worlds.

Players have to essentially double whatever bet they’re making to take part in the Texas Hold‘em portion of the equation. If they do, they will play their video poker hand as they always do. But they will also be dealt two Bonus Poker cards.

They can gain multipliers depending on what these extra two cards are. If the cards are a pair of jacks or better, they can then move into a simulation of the WSOP, specifically the final table of that event.

When players make it to this point of World Series of Poker video poker, they will get two cards just as if they were playing Texas Hold‘em. They can keep them or trade them in up to twice until they get the pair they want. At that point, they enter into direct competition with a simulated player who receives their own two-card hand.

Video Poker Logo

Following that, the hand plays out just as a hand of head-to-head Texas Hold‘em. Five community cards are revealed, and the player with the best hand out of the five and the two that they have wins.

If you happen to be the winner, you go on to play another head-to-head round. This process can take place up to nine times until you’re the last one standing at the final table of 10.

Depending on how far you get in the group of 10 for World Series of Poker video poker, you will be awarded bonus coins. The more coins you get, the higher the amount of coins.

What it all means is that you are playing a version of video poker where you have multiple ways of winning. And when you can combine a solid base winning hand with a multiplier and a bonus from the Texas Hold‘em round, you can really amplify your profits.

Of course, the downside of all this is that you need to bet pretty heavily to take part in all of this action. If you do make those bets and can’t get to those bonus rounds, you can find your bankroll falling fast.

In the following article, we will take you step-by-step through the game known as World Series of Poker video poker. We’ll go through the base hand, the multipliers, and the Texas Hold‘em rounds, explaining how they all work. And we’ll talk about pay tables, payback percentage, and strategies for this one-of-a-kind version of video poker.

Combining Video Poker and Texas Hold‘em

Video poker, in its most basic form, makes for fun and often lucrative casino entertainment. It also translates well to the world of online gambling. After all, playing on a small screen doesn’t differ much at all from playing in the casino.

But video poker has branched out from its normal Jacks or Better-style format to include a number of twists and variations. And World Series of Poker video poker might be the boldest of all those twists. The manufacturers found a way to include the trendy game play of Texas Hold‘em without requiring video poker players to leave their machine.

World Series of Poker stands as the most famous of all Texas Hold‘em tournaments. Every year, thousands gather in Las Vegas to compete for the massive prize money. And the goal of every player is to reach the final table, where you’re guaranteed to walk away with a ton of cash while also gaining immense recognition.

That final table excitement is simulated in World Series of Poker video poker. But it’s a relatively complicated version of video poker, at least compared to the most basic format of the game. Let’s walk you through every step of the process so you can decide if this is the kind of game you’d like to play.

Creating a Bankroll

This part of the process resembles what you do with any video poker game. To create a bankroll at a World Series of Poker video poker machine, you just need to enter some money. If you find a version of the game online, you can stake yourself by creating an account at the website in question.

The money that you put into a World Series of Poker video poker machine will be registered as credits, or coins. Each of those units will be equal to the denomination of the machine that you are playing. Denominations can range from smaller amounts like a penny or a nickel to larger amounts like a dollar.

To figure out how much you’ll have in the way of credits, divide whatever amount of money you enter by the denomination. In other words, if you put 5 dollars into a 25-cent machine, you would divide 5 by .25. You would have 20 credits to play with in that example.

Making a Bet

There are two ways to play World Series of Poker video poker. You can play the game as if you were playing a normal video poker machine, without the Texas Hold’em elements. To do that, you must bet between one and five coins per hand.

However, to play with the extra feature and all of the bonuses that come with it, you have to essentially double whatever you bet for the base game. In other words, if you want to bet three coins per hand on the base game, you would need to bet six coins to play the extra feature of World Series of Poker video poker at that level of wager.

In actuality, the best way to play the game in terms of maximizing your potential winnings is to bet the maximum amount per hand. This would be 10 coins (five times two). The reason you should do this comes down to the payout for the royal flush hand, which is the only hand in the game of video poker where winnings don’t go up in direct proportion to the size of the bet.

If you bet on a hand of video poker at the level of one to four coins, the payoff for the royal flush is 250 to 1. However, that payoff jumps to 800 to 1 if you hit a royal flush on a five-coin wager.

10 coins per hand can seem expensive. But you are short-changing yourself in the long run if you don’t play World Series of Poker video poker in this manner.

The Base Hand

For the base hand in World Series of Poker video poker, you will be playing as if you were playing any other variant of video poker. You get to choose from a variety of pay tables (more on that below). And you get to make choices about how to play your hand, as if you were playing Five-Card Draw Poker at home.

Once you make your wager, you will receive five cards on the screen. These five cards are your deal. Hopefully, you find some winning combination within those five cards.

What constitutes a winning hand in video poker? Well, each pay table is unique and some can either lower or raise the threshold for what you need to win some money. But for the most part, these are the hands you’ll be trying to achieve:

  • 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)

You may have one of these combinations right off the bat in your deal. But, if not, you still have an opportunity to win the hand. As in Five-Card Draw, you get to exchange some or all of the cards in your hand for others that will come from the same deck from which you were dealt.

For example, look at the following deal:

Four of Hearts, Five of Hearts, Five of Clubs, Six of Hearts, King of Hearts

There are no combinations in this hand that are winners right off the bat. But there are several possibilities you can follow. You have to decide which cards are worth holding based on the probabilities of making winning hands and the payouts those winning hands could bring back.

In this hand, you could focus on the pair of fives. By throwing out the other three cards, you could potentially draw to two pair or three of a kind. If the draw really goes your way, you could even end up with a full house or four of a kind.

You might also notice that you have four hearts on the deal. One more and you’ll make a flush. If you discarded the five of clubs, you would have a 10 out of 47 chance of making that flush (10 hearts left in the deck which has 47 cards total remaining).

Finally, you also have three consecutive hearts. You could throw out the five of clubs and the king of hearts and go for the straight flush. It’s a long shot that you will draw the two cards that you need, but the potential rewards are great.

You will be faced with difficult choices on every hand of World Series of Poker video poker that you play. Many won’t present as many options as this hand, and some could be quite obvious. But you’ll be balancing the risk versus the reward every time out.

In any case, once you make your decision, you’ll press the buttons on the machine below the cards that you want to hold (if any). The machine will replace them with the draw and the base hand will be complete.

The Bonus Cards Multipliers

If you play World Series of Poker video poker with your bet doubled, you will be activating the bonus feature of the game. The bonus feature will play out right after the completion of your base hand.

Right after your hand is finished, you will receive two more cards on the top of your screen. These two cards will come from a separate deck than the one which governed your base hand. As a result, it’s possible that you might get a card in the bonus pair that will be the same as something you received in your original deal and the draw.

If you receive at least one ace in that two-card deal, you will get a multiplier. One ace gets you a multiplier of three times and a pair of aces gets you a multiplier of nine times.

How do multipliers work? Well, imagine that you’ve just played a base hand that garnered winnings of 30 coins. If you had a 3x multiplier attached to that hand, the winnings would jump up to 90 coins, or 30 times 3.

But that’s just the first part of what these bonus two cards can do. You could also be headed for the Texas Hold’em final table in World Series of Poker video poker if you get lucky.

Texas Hold‘em Final Table Bonus

To qualify for the final table bonus when playing World Series of Poker video poker, you need to get a pair of Jacks or Better in your two-card Bonus Poker hand. If you do, you will begin a series of head-to-head rounds of Texas Hold’em against computerized opponents.

How does Texas Hold’em work? Well, if you’ve never seen the game, each player receives two cards from the same deck of 52 that belong to them and them alone.

There are then five cards, called community cards, which are turned over and belong to all players. Each player must make the best possible hand out of the two that they were dealt originally and the five that belongs to both. The best hand, based on the rankings in that list of winning poker hands above, wins.

The five community cards are turned over in piecemeal fashion. First, three are turned over all at once, then a fourth (the “flop”), and a fifth (the “river”).

When playing Texas Hold’em against actual opponents, the way these cards are revealed presents extra opportunity for betting. But there is no extra betting that takes place in the bonus round of World Series of Poker video poker. You just are hoping to win as many of these head-to-head matchups as possible to move up the leaderboard.

You will start out in 10th place at the final table. Each time that you win or tie with your opponent, you move up a place. The ultimate goal is to win or tie nine rounds in a row and finish first.

Each place in the final table comes with a bonus coin amount attached. Those amounts are:

  • Tenth Place: 5 coins
  • Ninth Place: 10 coins
  • Eighth Place: 15 coins
  • Seventh Place: 25 coins
  • Sixth Place: 50 coins
  • Fifth Place: 100 coins
  • Fourth Place: 150 coins
  • Third Place: 225 coins
  • Second Place: 350 coins
  • First Place: 650 coins

The good news is that you have a built-in advantage against your opponents in this bonus round of World Series of Poker video poker. You can refuse the two-card deal up to twice before you have to take what is given you. Your opponent, on the other hand, has no control and has to accept what is given to them on the first two-card deal.

The other good news is that you get to take the two cards which earned you the Texas Hold’em bonus in the first place into your first head-to-head matchup. Since those cards have to be at least a pair of jacks or better, which is an outstanding starting hand in Texas Hold’em, you’ll have a real good shot of winning that first matchup.

From there, it’s more a matter of determining which two-card deals are worth holding and which are worth scrapping and starting over. We’ll talk more about that in the strategy section.

Some other notes on gameplay of World Series of Poker video poker:

  • There are special bonuses that can be awarded if you are playing the Double Bonus or Double Double Bonus Pay Tables. You need to attain four of a kind on your base hand and make the final table round to get them. If you do, your base win will be doubled in Double Bonus and multiplied by four in Double Double Bonus.
  • There is also what’s known as a Bad Beat bonus available if you are playing the final table. If you should end up with four of a kind or straight flush in your head-to-head matchup and still lose to your opponent, you will receive a 10,000x multiplier on the size of your bonus bet. For example, if you bet the max 10 coins, you would receive 10,000 times 5, which is the bonus half of the bet for a total of 50,000 coins.
  • You only get to carry the two bonus cards over on your first round of the final table. After that, you will receive two new cards from a fresh deck for each subsequent matchup.
  • Even if you don’t receive the necessary pair of jacks or better in your two bonus cards, you can still make the final table. This is a so-called “free” seat that the game will randomly give out. However, it only occurs rarely during gameplay.

Pay Tables for World Series of Poker Video Poker

World Series of Poker video poker also provides players with the opportunity to choose from many of the top pay tables in video poker for their base game. It allows them to choose the style of play that suits them the best. They can also choose based on the video poker format they’re most familiar with, so they won’t have to learn new strategy.

Each of these pay tables come near to, but a bit short, of the full-pay versions that can be found in casinos. By full-pay, we mean the version of the game that provides the highest payback percentage.

As a result, playing only the base video poker format won’t quite earn you what you might expect. That’s why it’s better to double your bet and go for the bonus.

Betting the 10 coins for the bonus makes World Series of Poker video poker more volatile. That means there will be more drastic swings between wins and losses in your bankroll.

But it does increase the overall payback percentage for the game. If you’re planning on playing World Series of Poker video poker over the long haul, that’s what you should be seeking.

Here are the pay tables you can expect to find on a World Series of Poker video poker machine.

Jacks or Better

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 of Better 1 2 3 4 5

Bonus 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 (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

Double Bonus 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 (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

Double Double Bonus 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 (Aces w/ 2, 3, 4) 400 800 1200 1600 2000
Four of a Kind (2s, 3s, 4s w/ Ace, 2, 3, 4) 160 320 460 640 800
Four Aces 160 320 460 640 800
Four 2s, 3s, 4s 80 160 240 320 400
Four 5s through Kings 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 Pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Jacks of Better 1 2 3 4 5

Payback Percentages for World Series of Poker Video Poker

When we talk about payback percentage, we are talking about the amount of money you can expect to return from World Series of Poker video poker during an average session. This number varies slightly depending on the pay table.

Your own personal payback percentage may vary from the quoted one. This can occur because you haven’t played the game often enough for anything but luck to decide the outcome. Or it could be because you’re playing with a strategy that is less than optimal, which brings down your payback.

The longer you play the game with the right strategy, the more your results will resemble the payback percentage. As for World Series of Poker video poker, the highest payback percentage you can expect is for the Bonus Poker pay table at 98%. Joker Poker brings back only 96%, the lowest of the group.

Ideally, you should want a video poker machine to pay you back at a level of 99% or more. That would mean your average losses are 1% or lower. And those are the kinds of losses you can overcome through casino rewards or loyalty programs at top gambling websites.

However, you can still choose World Series of Poker video poker if you are the type of gambler who likes big paybacks in a small amount of time. Think of all of the different bonuses you can earn on top of a successful base hand. You can walk away with more on this game in a single round than most other video poker variations can offer you.

Strategy for World Series of Poker Video Poker

If you like more strategy to be involved, World Series of Poker video poker will fit the bill. Those looking for an easier game might want to choose something else.

After all, World Series of Poker video poker requires you to know two sets of strategies. First, you have to know what cards to hold and discard when you are playing the base hand. On top of that, you have to know which two-card deals you should be sticking with and which you should be exchanging when entering the Texas Hold’em side of things.

As for the base game, you need to choose the right combination of cards to hold and the right ones to discard for every possible deal. This may change depending on the pay table you’re playing.

For that reason, you should first decide on a pay table that you plan to play. Trying to learn all the right mathematical plays for every single deal is hard enough. If you tried to do that for all the pay tables listed above, you might never get to actually play the game.

Once you’ve done that, there are two resources you can use that will ensure you can play perfectly in the base round of World Series of Poker video poker:

  1. Video Poker Software: This software can be customized for any pay table you plan to play. You can then simulate play as if you were actually playing for real money in the casino. Whenever you make the wrong mathematical choice about which cards to hold and discard, the software will let you know your mistake and tell you what you should have done.
  2. Strategy Charts: Strategy charts work a little different than training software in that they give you the answers beforehand. You just have to commit them to memory. By ranking all of the possible combinations of cards you might receive on the deal in terms of potential value, you’ll know automatically which cards to discard when you get your deal.

Once you have the strategy worked out for the base hand of World Series of Poker video poker, you then need to concern yourself with the two cards you’ll be using in the final table round. As we said above, that decision is easy in the first head-to-head game, since you’ll always want to hold the pair of Jacks or Better.

But if you win that round, it gets trickier. You’ll have two chances to throw back your two-card deal. Once you receive the third deal, you have to go forward with it.

That means your standard for what to keep and what to throw away will be different on the first deal than it will on the second. It also means you’ll need to learn which are the best two-card deals in Texas Hold’em.

Luckily, Texas Hold’em has gained such popularity over the years that you can easily check online to see rankings of two-card deals. You just need to balance that knowledge out with some common sense about when you should take your chances on another deal and when you should live with what you have. That’s a bit of an inexact science, but you’ll get better at it the more you play World Series of Poker video poker.

Conclusion on WSOP Video Poker

World Series of Poker video poker takes two exciting variations of poker and stirs them together. The result is one of the most unique video poker games to come down the pike. But while it may be enjoyable, it isn’t easy to learn how to play it just right. If you’re looking for a challenging variation of video poker, this could be the one for you!