Understanding the Games. Part two: PAY TABLE

March 26th, 2008

Understanding the Games.
By Charles Jay

Part two: PAY TABLE

The pay table applies to video-based games such as slot machines and video poker games. It is, in effect, a “schedule” of payouts and describes the relationship between the amount of coins or units the bettor puts into a wager and the amount of units he or she will get back with a win. When you are playing at Superior Casino, for example, you are going to be able to access the pay table for any video slot or video poker game easily, simply by clicking a button.

The pay table also serves an important function, particularly in the area of slot machines, in that, ideally, it clears up things quite a bit, as it gives the player all the payout possibilities. Remember, there are a lot of pay lines on a video slot machine, and a wide number of possible ways to win. Imagine 40 pay lines, going in every direction, with dozens of symbols to account for, which pay off to different degrees, not to mention the various ways the player can score jackpots, supplemental payouts and qualify for bonus rounds. The pay table outs all of that information at the player’s fingertips.

Although we are most concerned about the pay tables as they appear in the interface of Superior Casino, you will find it as well on a physical slot machine or video poker game in the casino, where it appears in front of you. Find it, read it, and pay attention to it, so that there is no misunderstanding as to your payouts, and use it as a guide for betting, so that you can achieve your desired payouts.

Part three: PERCENTAGE PAYBACK

You often hear about video poker games or machines with a 99.5% payback – this would be, for example, a 9/6 Jacks or Better game (that which pays 9-1 on the Full House and 6-1 on the Flush). These are supposed to pay put $99.50 for every $100 played on them. The house would be operating on a .5% advantage in these cases. That would be not too much different as the house advantage when you play Basic Strategy in blackjack. Here’s the “rub,” as they say – of course, that payback and those percentages only hold up if you are able to learn a strategy for video poker and implement it perfectly. If you play foolishly, or say, as an experiment, deliberately go out of your way to discard potentially winning cards, your disadvantage will go up considerably and the payback on the game will go DOWN considerably.

Percentage payback is going to be different according to what kind of game you play. An 8/5 Jacks or Better game (that which the player gets paid 8-1 on the Full House and 5-1 on the Flush) has a payback of 97.3%, giving the player a 2.7% disadvantage, even with perfect strategy play. A 6/5 Jacks or Better game, which pays just 6-1 on a Full House and 5-1 on a Flush, has a payback of 95%. Obviously, no one would be advised to compete at a game with a 5% built-in house advantage, when there are better games available. But check out ALL the games over at Superior Casino!

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