# How Do I Calculate The Expected Return In Video Poker?

If you’re wondering “How do I calculate the expected return in Video Poker?” you’ve come to the right place! Video Poker is a popular casino game that combines elements of poker with the thrill of slot machines. But understanding how to calculate the expected return is the key to making informed decisions and maximizing your chances of winning big. In this article, we’ll break down the process step by step, so you can take your Video Poker strategy to the next level.

Now, before we dive into the nitty-gritty of calculating the expected return, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. Expected return, also known as expected value, is a mathematical concept that represents the average amount you can expect to win (or lose) for each wager you make. It’s a powerful tool that can help you evaluate the profitability of different Video Poker games and determine which ones offer the best odds.

Ready to crunch some numbers? Calculating the expected return in Video Poker involves analyzing the payouts for each hand and factoring in the probability of getting that hand. By considering all the possible outcomes, you can determine the average return over the long run. Now, let’s get into the specifics of how to calculate the expected return in Video Poker and start stacking the odds in your favor! So, without further ado, let’s begin our journey to uncover the secrets of Video Poker’s expected return.

## How to Calculate the Expected Return in Video Poker

Video poker is a popular casino game that combines elements of poker and slot machines. It offers players the opportunity to make strategic decisions and potentially maximize their winnings. One key aspect of video poker is calculating the expected return, which is a measure of the average amount a player can expect to win or lose over the long run. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of calculating the expected return in video poker, providing you with a comprehensive guide to improve your understanding of the game.

## Understanding the Basics of Video Poker

Before we delve into calculating the expected return, let’s first understand the basics of video poker. Video poker is played on a computerized console that resembles a slot machine. The objective of the game is to create the best possible five-card poker hand. Players are dealt five cards and have the option to discard any number of cards in exchange for new ones. The final hand is then evaluated, and payouts are determined based on the strength of the hand and the paytable of the specific video poker variant being played.

### 1. Analyzing the Paytable

The first step in calculating the expected return in video poker is analyzing the paytable. The paytable displays the payouts for different winning hands, typically ranging from a pair of jacks or better to a royal flush. Each winning hand has a corresponding payout, which is expressed as a multiple of the initial bet. By carefully examining the paytable, you can determine the odds of achieving each winning hand and calculate the overall expected return of the game.

When analyzing the paytable, pay close attention to the payouts for specific hands such as a royal flush, straight flush, or four of a kind. These high-ranking hands contribute significantly to the overall expected return. Additionally, be aware of any variations in the paytable for different video poker machines or online platforms, as they can greatly affect the game’s expected return.

For example, a paytable that offers a higher payout for a royal flush will increase the expected return, while a lower payout will decrease it. Understanding the different paytables and their impact on the expected return is crucial for making informed decisions and maximizing your chances of success in video poker.

### 2. Utilizing a Video Poker Strategy

Calculating the expected return in video poker also involves utilizing a video poker strategy. Developing a strategy is essential for making optimal decisions based on the specific hand you are dealt. The strategy takes into account the probabilities of forming different hands and suggests the most statistically advantageous course of action. By following a well-established video poker strategy, you can minimize the house edge and increase your overall expected return.

Various video poker strategy charts are available for different video poker variants, outlining the recommended actions for each possible hand. These charts consider factors such as the discard strategy, the chances of achieving certain hands, and the corresponding payouts. By consulting the strategy chart and making the correct decisions, you can significantly improve your chances of winning and increase the overall expected return.

It is important to note that employing a video poker strategy does not guarantee winning every hand or session. However, it minimizes the impact of luck and ensures that you are making mathematically sound decisions that have a positive long-term impact on your expected return.

### 3. Calculating the Expected Return

Now that we have covered the basics of video poker and the importance of analyzing the paytable and utilizing a strategy, let’s dive into calculating the expected return. The expected return is a theoretical calculation that represents the average amount a player can expect to win or lose per unit of wagered money over an extended period.

To calculate the expected return, you need to multiply the probability of achieving each winning hand by the corresponding payout and sum up the values. For example, if the probability of achieving a full house is 0.038, and the payout for a full house is 9 times the initial bet, the contribution of the full house to the expected return is 0.038 multiplied by 9. Repeat this calculation for each winning hand and sum up the results to obtain the overall expected return of the game.

Keep in mind that the expected return is based on mathematical probabilities and applies to the long run. In the short term, there will be natural fluctuations and deviations from the expected return due to the element of luck. However, as you play more hands and extend your playing sessions, the actual return is likely to converge towards the expected return.

## Video Poker Variants and Their Expected Returns

While the process of calculating the expected return remains the same for all video poker variants, the actual values differ based on the gameplay and paytables of each variant. Let’s explore a few popular video poker variants and their corresponding expected returns:

### 1. Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better is one of the most common video poker variants, where the minimum winning hand is a pair of jacks or higher. With optimal strategy, Jacks or Better offers an expected return of approximately 99.54%, making it one of the most favorable video poker games in terms of expected return.

### 2. Deuces Wild

Deuces Wild is a video poker variant where all twos (deuces) function as wild cards, substituting for any other card to form winning hands. This variant offers various paytables, but with optimal strategy, the expected return can be as high as 100.76%, providing a theoretical advantage for the player.

### 3. Double Bonus Poker

Double Bonus Poker is a video poker variant that offers enhanced payouts for certain four of a kind hands. With optimal strategy, Double Bonus Poker can provide an expected return of around 100.17%, making it an attractive option for players seeking higher payouts.

### 4. Joker Poker

Joker Poker is a variant that includes a wild card in the form of a joker. The presence of the joker introduces additional winning combinations and increases the overall expected return. With optimal strategy, Joker Poker can offer an expected return of around 100.65%, depending on the specific paytable in use.

## Tips for Maximizing your Expected Return

Now that you understand how to calculate the expected return in video poker and are familiar with popular variants, let’s explore some tips to help you maximize your expected return:

### 1. Study the Paytables:

Take the time to thoroughly study the paytables of different video poker machines or online platforms. Understanding the payouts for each winning hand will give you valuable insights into the expected return and enable you to make informed decisions.

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• Pay close attention to the payouts for high-ranking hands such as royal flushes and four of a kinds.
• Compare the paytables of different machines and platforms to select the most advantageous option.
• Avoid machines with significantly lower payouts for key hands, as they can diminish the expected return.

### 2. Learn and Implement a Strategy:

Consult video poker strategy charts for the specific variant you are playing and follow the recommended actions for each hand. A well-implemented strategy can significantly improve your chances of winning and increase the overall expected return.

### 3. Practice with Free Play:

Many online platforms offer the option to play video poker for free. Take advantage of this opportunity to practice your skills and test different strategies without risking any real money. This way, you can refine your gameplay before playing with actual wagers.

Proper bankroll management is essential for long-term success in video poker. Set limits on your wagering and avoid chasing losses. By managing your bankroll effectively, you can ensure that you are playing within your means and maximizing your expected return.

By following these tips and strategies, you can enhance your overall video poker experience and increase your chances of achieving a higher expected return. Remember to approach the game with a disciplined mindset and enjoy the unique blend of skill and luck that video poker offers.

Conclude with a paragraph summarizing key points or offering advice without a specific heading:

Calculating the expected return in video poker is crucial for understanding the average amount you can expect to win or lose over time. By analyzing the paytable, utilizing a strategy, and considering the specific payouts and probabilities of each variant, you can increase your overall expected return. Remember to study the paytables, implement a strategy, and manage your bankroll effectively to maximize your chances of success in video poker. Enjoy the game, make informed decisions, and may the cards fall in your favor!

## Key Takeaways: How to Calculate Expected Return in Video Poker

• Expected return is a way to estimate how much you can win or lose over time in video poker.
• To calculate the expected return, you’ll need to know the paytable of the video poker game you’re playing.
• Expected return can be calculated by multiplying the payout for each hand by the probability of getting that hand.
• By comparing the expected return of different video poker games, you can choose the one with the highest potential payout.
• Keep in mind that expected return is just an estimate and doesn’t guarantee actual winnings or losses.

When playing video poker, calculating the expected return is essential for understanding your potential winnings. Here are some common questions and answers related to calculating the expected return in video poker.

### 1. How is the expected return calculated in video poker?

In video poker, the expected return is calculated by multiplying the probability of each winning hand by the payout for that hand and summing up the results. For example, if the probability of getting a Royal Flush is 0.002% and the payout for a Royal Flush is 800x your bet, you would multiply 0.002% by 800 to calculate the expected return for a Royal Flush. Repeat this process for all possible winning hands and sum up the expected returns to get the total expected return for the game.

Keep in mind that the expected return is an average value and doesn’t guarantee that you will win or lose a specific amount of money in the short term. However, over the long run, playing with a higher expected return can increase your chances of ending up with more winnings.

### 2. Can I calculate the expected return for any video poker game?

Yes, you can calculate the expected return for any video poker game as long as you know the probabilities of each winning hand and the associated payouts. These probabilities and payouts are usually provided by the game’s manufacturer or can be found in a video poker strategy guide. By plugging in the numbers and following the calculation process mentioned earlier, you can determine the expected return for that specific game.

Calculating the expected return allows you to compare different video poker games and choose the ones with higher potential returns. However, keep in mind that the expected return is based on perfect play, so it’s essential to learn and apply the correct video poker strategy for the game you’re playing.

### 3. How does the expected return affect my video poker strategy?

The expected return directly affects your video poker strategy because it determines the best course of action for each hand. If you’re aiming for the highest expected return, you would choose the actions that statistically yield the highest payout in the long run. This might involve holding certain cards and discarding others based on the probabilities of achieving different winning hands.

By understanding the expected return for each possible play, you can make informed decisions that maximize your chances of winning. However, it’s important to note that the optimal strategy can vary depending on the specific video poker game you’re playing and the payouts it offers, so it’s crucial to study the correct strategy for that particular game.

### 4. How can I improve the expected return in video poker?

To improve the expected return in video poker, you can follow an optimal strategy that maximizes your chances of winning. This involves learning the correct decisions to make for each hand based on the probabilities and payouts of the game you’re playing. By making the statistically best moves, you can increase the overall expected return of your gameplay.

Additionally, practicing proper bankroll management techniques can also help improve your expected return in video poker. Setting win and loss limits, as well as playing within your budget, can prevent excessive losses and improve your chances of coming out ahead in the long run.

### 5. Is the expected return the only factor to consider when playing video poker?

No, the expected return is an important factor to consider when playing video poker, but it’s not the only one. Other factors like the game’s volatility, your personal preferences, and your risk tolerance should also be taken into account. Volatile games may offer higher potential returns but also come with higher risks.

Ultimately, finding a balance between the expected return and your individual preferences can lead to an enjoyable video poker experience. It’s vital to choose games that align with your goals and offer a combination of entertainment and potential winnings that suits your playing style.

## Summary

So, to calculate the expected return in Video Poker, you need to understand the paytable and use math.

The paytable shows you how much each winning hand pays. By multiplying the payout for each hand by the probability of getting that hand, you can calculate the expected return. Remember, this is just an estimation, and your actual results may vary.