How Do I Determine The Variance Of A Video Poker Machine?

Have you ever wondered how to determine the variance of a Video Poker machine? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of calculating the variance in Video Poker machines. So, if you’re ready to dive into the world of poker odds and probabilities, let’s get started!

Now, you might be asking yourself, “What exactly is variance?” Simply put, it’s a measure of how much the outcomes of a Video Poker machine can vary from the expected average. Understanding variance is crucial because it can help you make informed decisions about your gameplay strategy. So, whether you’re a seasoned poker player or just getting started, learning about variance is a valuable skill to have in your poker arsenal.

Determining the variance of a Video Poker machine involves a bit of math, but don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. By calculating the variance, you can get an idea of the risk involved and the potential rewards you can expect from playing the game. So, get your thinking cap on, because we’ll be exploring the formulas and techniques that can help you assess the variance of a Video Poker machine.

Join me on this exciting journey as we unravel the mysteries of Video Poker machine variance and equip ourselves with the knowledge to make strategic and calculated decisions. Whether it’s understanding the intricacies of poker probabilities or delving into the world of mathematical equations, we’ll guide you every step of the way. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the fascinating world of Video Poker machine variance!

How do I determine the variance of a Video Poker machine?

How Do I Determine the Variance of a Video Poker Machine?

Are you someone who enjoys playing video poker? Have you ever wondered how to determine the variance of a video poker machine? Understanding the variance can greatly impact your gameplay and strategies. In this article, we will explore what variance is, why it is important, and how you can calculate it for video poker machines. Whether you are a seasoned player or just starting out, this information will help you make more informed decisions and enhance your overall gaming experience.

The Basics of Variance in Video Poker

Before diving into how to determine the variance of a video poker machine, let’s first understand what variance actually means in this context. Variance refers to the level of risk or volatility associated with a particular video poker game. In simpler terms, it measures how often and how significantly your wins and losses can deviate from the average expected outcome.

Video poker machines are categorized into three main variance levels: low, medium, and high. Low variance machines tend to offer more frequent wins, but with smaller payouts. High variance machines, on the other hand, have less frequent wins, but with potentially higher payouts. Medium variance machines fall somewhere in between.

Understanding the variance level of a video poker machine is crucial, as it directly influences your decision-making process when it comes to choosing which machines to play and how to adapt your strategy. Let’s now explore how you can determine the variance of a video poker machine.

1. Analyzing the Paytable

The first step in determining the variance of a video poker machine is to carefully analyze its paytable. The paytable shows the payouts for different winning combinations and reveals important information about the game’s potential returns. Look for the payouts for specific hands like royal flush, straight flush, full house, and flush.

A machine with a higher variance will typically have higher payouts for rare hands, such as royal flushes, while offering lower payouts for more common hands. This means that you are more likely to experience longer losing streaks but have the chance to win big when you do hit a winning hand.

On the other hand, a machine with lower variance will have more evenly distributed payouts, with smaller discrepancies between the payouts for different hands. This results in a more consistent gameplay experience, but with lower jackpot potential.

2. Evaluating the Game’s RTP

Another factor to consider when determining the variance of a video poker machine is its Return to Player (RTP) percentage. The RTP refers to the percentage of the total amount wagered that is paid back to players over time. Generally, machines with higher RTP percentages offer lower variance, as they provide more frequent wins and smaller fluctuations in outcomes.

Conversely, machines with lower RTP percentages tend to have higher variance, meaning that wins are less frequent, but when they do occur, they may be larger in size. It’s important to find a balance between variance and RTP that aligns with your preferred style of gameplay and risk tolerance.

Keep in mind that determining the variance of a video poker machine is not an exact science, and it requires careful observation and analysis. It is always a good idea to test different machines and record your results to get a better understanding of their individual variances. This will enable you to make more informed decisions and choose the machines that best suit your gaming preferences.

Maximizing Your Video Poker Experience

Now that you know how to determine the variance of a video poker machine, you can use this knowledge to enhance your overall gaming experience. Here are a few additional tips to help you maximize your video poker gameplay:

1. Practice Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is essential for any casino game, including video poker. Set a budget for your gambling session and stick to it. This will help you avoid overspending and enable you to play for longer periods without significant losses.

Additionally, consider adjusting your bet size based on the variance of the machine you’re playing. For high variance machines, it may be wise to place smaller bets to mitigate the risk of losing your entire bankroll too quickly.

2. Learn and Utilize Optimal Strategies

Video poker is a game of skill, and employing the right strategies can greatly increase your chances of winning. Familiarize yourself with optimal strategies based on the specific video poker variant you’re playing and the variance level of the machine.

There are various strategy charts available online that provide detailed instructions on which cards to hold in different situations. By utilizing these strategies, you can minimize errors and make the most statistically favorable decisions.

3. Take Advantage of Promotions and Bonuses

Many online casinos and land-based establishments offer promotions and bonuses for video poker players. These can include things like cashback offers, free play vouchers, or loyalty rewards. Take advantage of these opportunities to maximize your potential winnings and extend your gameplay.

Keep an eye on the terms and conditions of these promotions, as they may have specific requirements or limitations. Always make sure you understand the rules before participating.


Determining the variance of a video poker machine is an essential aspect of understanding the game and making informed decisions. By analyzing the paytable, evaluating the game’s RTP, and considering your own risk tolerance, you can choose machines that align with your gaming preferences. Remember to practice proper bankroll management, utilize optimal strategies, and take advantage of promotions to enhance your overall video poker experience. With these tips in mind, get ready to enjoy the thrill and excitement of video poker while increasing your chances of hitting those big wins!

Key Takeaways: How to Determine the Variance of a Video Poker Machine

  • Variance is a measure of the risk and volatility of a Video Poker machine.
  • Higher variance machines have bigger payouts but also bigger losing streaks.
  • Lower variance machines have smaller and more frequent wins.
  • Calculating variance involves analyzing the pay table and understanding the probabilities of different hands.
  • Online resources and software can help you determine the variance of specific Video Poker machines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you curious about how to determine the variance of a Video Poker machine? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions to help you understand this topic better.

1. What is the variance of a Video Poker machine?

The variance of a Video Poker machine refers to the level of risk and the frequency of winning and losing outcomes associated with playing the game. It is an important measure to consider when deciding which Video Poker machine to play and can greatly impact your overall experience.

In simpler terms, a Video Poker machine with high variance means that you may experience long streaks of losing hands before hitting a winning hand. On the other hand, a machine with low variance will provide more frequent but smaller wins.

2. How is the variance of a Video Poker machine determined?

The variance of a Video Poker machine is determined by the paytable and the probability of each hand ranking. The paytable is the chart that displays the payouts for different winning hands, such as a Royal Flush, Straight, or Two Pair.

The probability of each hand ranking refers to the likelihood of being dealt a specific hand. By multiplying the payout for each hand by its probability and summing them all, you can calculate the expected value, which is a measure of the machine’s variance.

3. What are the differences between high and low variance Video Poker machines?

High variance Video Poker machines are known for their bigger jackpots and the potential for large winning streaks. However, they also come with a greater risk of losing, as you may endure long periods without a win. These machines are suitable for players who enjoy the excitement and are willing to take more risks.

Low variance Video Poker machines, on the other hand, offer smaller but more frequent wins. They provide a steadier gameplay experience and are preferable for players who prefer a more conservative approach or want to extend their playing time with smaller bankrolls.

4. Should I play high or low variance Video Poker machines?

The answer to this question depends on your personal preferences and playing style. If you enjoy the thrill of chasing big jackpots and don’t mind the potential for longer periods without wins, then high variance Video Poker machines might be a better fit for you.

However, if you prefer more frequent wins and a steadier, less risky playing experience, then low variance Video Poker machines would be a suitable choice. It’s important to consider your bankroll, risk tolerance, and the level of excitement you desire when making this decision.

5. Can I use the variance of a Video Poker machine to improve my strategy?

Yes, understanding the variance of a Video Poker machine can be beneficial in shaping your strategy. If you’re playing a high variance machine, you may want to adjust your bankroll management and be prepared for longer losing streaks. On the other hand, with low variance machines, you can adopt a more aggressive betting strategy, as the risk of losing big is lower.

By analyzing the variance, paytable, and your personal preferences, you can customize your playing style to maximize your enjoyment and increase your chances of having a successful session at the Video Poker machine.

Volatility? Variance? Payback percentage? Let’s EASILY breakdown how to evaluate a Slot Machine.


So, here’s what you need to know about determining the variance of a Video Poker machine.

Video Poker machines with higher variance have bigger swings in winnings, while those with lower variance offer more consistent payouts. You can find the variance by looking at the pay table and understanding the game’s rules. Higher-paying hands with lower probabilities contribute to higher variance. Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance between risk and reward when playing Video Poker.

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