Poker Dictionary  Terms and Definitions
Bonus Poker  Several Video Poker machines out
there today have larger payouts for some big hands. For example,
a larger payout is awarded for Four Aces. Of course, there is going
to be a smaller payout for some smaller hands in order to compensate.
A common example would be a smaller payout for holding two pairs.
These machines are usually games called Bonus Poker or Double Bonus
Poker.
Cash Out Button  Each Video Poker machine has
a Cash Out button that when pushed, the coins (credits) that the
player has accumulated will dump into the machine's hopper.
Complete Hand  A hand that is defined by using
all five cards. A straight, flush, full house, four of a kind or
straight flush are all complete hands.
Comps  Compensations (Comps) are rewards that
a Casino pays you for continuously playing at and staying loyal
to their casino. At land based casinos they will give you a plastic
card that you insert into the Video Poker Machine while you are
playing. The Casino can then track your play, and rewards you accordingly
(although you must ask for your rewards). Some examples of comps
are; cash back, free meals, and free rooms. Tracking players’
activity online is much easier as their technologies are very advanced.
By remaining a loyal patron with an online casino, typical comps
come in the form of free cash or free trips.
Credits  The Video Poker Machine doesn't dispense
coins each time you win a hand. Instead it keeps track of the coins
won, and displays on the screen the amount of credits (one per coin)
you have accumulated. When you put more money into the machine,
you are adding to your credits. For example, if you deposit $20
in a 25 cent machine, you will receive 80 credits. When you reach
zero credits (or you’ve “exhausted” your credits),
you will have to put in more money in order to continue playing.
Cycle  The statistically predicted average number
of hands per royal flush (or other top jackpot). In other words,
a "cycle" is simply the reciprocal of the probability
of obtaining a royal flush on the next hand. But remember, the games
are random, so don't expect to get exactly one royal flush per "cycle."
The Poisson Distribution tells us that there is only a 63.2% probability
of at least one royal in one cycle (but this is balanced by the
chances of two or more royals in one cycle).
Denomination  The denomination of each card is
its number from two through ten, or is Jack, Queen, King or Ace.
Discard Buttons  Under the display on the video
poker machine are five buttons, one for each card. By pressing these
buttons you are indicating which cards you want to hold and which
you want to discard. Press a button repeatedly to switch between
Hold and Discard.
Draw  In video poker, the draw is a set of replacement
cards for those cards not held from the original hand dealt.
Draw Dead  Trying to make a hand that, even if
made, will not win. For example, If you're drawing to make a flush,
and your opponent already has a full house, you are "drawing
dead". Of course, this is a bad condition to be in.
Edge  The advantage in a game based on mathematical
expectation. The house edge means that the house has the advantage
to win. And similarly, The player's edge means, the player has the
advantage to win the hand..
Flat Top  A video poker machine that does not
have a Progressive Jackpot. Therefore, the Jackpot amount remains
flat.
Full Pay Machine  A video poker machine where
the Maximum Average Payback is close to 100%. For example, a Full
Pay Jacks or Better machine has a Maximum Average Payback of about
99.5%, and a Full Pay Deuces Wild machine has a Maximum Average
Payback near to 100.7%
Garbage Hand  A bad hand, with which you will
win nothing.
Hand  Refers to a collection of up to five cards.
The cards you are dealt at the start of a game refer your original
hand. If there is more than one way to play your original hand,
then each combination of your cards is also called a hand. Your
goal is to pick the hand with the highest Average Payback.
High Card  A Jack, Queen, King or Ace (the top
cards). If you are playing TensorBetter Video Poker, then a 10
is also considered to be a high card.
Hold Buttons  Under the display on the video
poker machine are five buttons, one for each card. By pressing these
buttons you are indicating which cards you want to hold and which
you want to discard. Press a button repeatedly to switch between
Hold and Discard.
Hopper  The internal tray that holds the coins.
The hopper electronically counts coins to be paid and releases them
into the player's tray when the player “cashes out”.
Jackpot  A special bonus paid when you hit the
highest hand possible on a video poker machine.
Jacks or Better  With a Pair of Jacks as the
minimum winning hand, Jacks or Better is the original video poker
game. The Full Pay version of this game pays 9 to 1 for a Full House
and a flush receives a pay out of 6 to 1. This version of video
poker has a Maximum Average Payback of about 99.5%
Joker Poker  A Video Poker Game where a Joker
is included in the deck and is used as a wild card.
Long Run  The point where the machine's total
appearance of number values is what probability theory predicts.
For a player, the long run is to play often enough that probability
would even the outcomes.
Net Losses  The total amount lost after the total
amount wagered is deducted from the payout.
Net Winnings  The total amount won after the
amount wagered is deducted from the payout.
Odds  The likelihood that an event will happen.
Pay Off  The number of coins or credits paid,
for a particular winning hand. Often expressed on a "percoin"
basis. For example, obtaining a Full House in standard full pay
JacksorBetter with a fivecoin bet pays 45 coins, usually expressed
as 9for1. Expressed this way, you can calculate how much your
pay off will be for a winning hand on a 4coin, 10coin or 100coin
machine, etc.
Payoff Schedule  Usually in the form of a table,
the payoff schedule shows the number of coins paid for each possible
final hand depending on the number of coins bet. Each video poker
machine's complete payoff schedule is posted on the glass front
or on the screen.
Payoff Table  The numbers correspond to the number
of credits that you will receive if you draw that hand. For example,
if you are playing five coins in a quarter machine with this Payoff
Table, you win 4000 quarters ($1,000.00) if you get a Royal Flush.
Typically, you get more credits for your money by playing the Maximum
Credits.
Payout  The actual dispensing of the coins by
a machine. Some of the older machines will still pay out the coins
immediately for every win, however, most will accumulate credits.
The actual payout will occur when the player presses the Cash Out
button. And in some cases, coinless machines exist, where the payout
is in the form of a printed cash voucher.
Play Maximum Credits  Each Video Poker Machine
has a Play Maximum Credits button. Pushing this button will automatically
deal a new hand and bet the maximum amount of coins allowed. If
you don't play maximum credits, you don't qualify for the big jackpots.
On most 25cent video poker machines, the maximum credits you can
play is five. Always play maximum credits if aiming to win the Jackpot.
If you are playing a machine with a lousy payout, then play the
minimum.
Progressive Jackpot  This is a Jackpot, usually
for hitting a Royal Flush, that grows as players play. Several machines
are linked together so that each bet at any of them increases the
jackpot. When a player hits the Jackpot, the Progressive Jackpot
is reset to a starting value, typically $1,000 for a 25 cent machine
with five coins played. Important: You can't win the Progressive
Jackpot unless you Play Maximum Credits.
Random  It is required by law that a Video Poker
Machine must draw cards at random from a single deck. This means
that no card is more likely to be drawn than any other. Casinos
do not try to cheat on this (there is no rational reason), since
legally, they can simply provide a poor Payoff Table or Maximum
average Payback.
Random Number Generator  RNG’s are a computer
program or algorithm used in a machine to generate a series of random
numbers.
Spill  When you win a high paying hand that would
put you over 1,000 credits, most video poker machines don't add
it to your credits. Instead they start spilling quarters directly
into the hopper to pay off that hand.
Strategy  A pattern or method for playing the
hands.
Strategy Card  A Strategy Table that is printed
on a card. It's a good idea to have a strategy card with you while
playing. You can purchase strategy cards for most any available
video poker game on the Internet.
Video Poker Machine  The use of a video display
to simulate the real game of poker. There are literally hundreds
of models of Video Poker Machines. Broadly, these may be categorized
into these types: Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker (higher payoffs for
certain hands), Wild Card Games (Deuces Wild and Joker Poker). It
is ordered by law that the Payoff Table listing the payout for each
winning hand must be posted on every machine. Also by law, each
machine must operate by drawing randomly from a standard 52card
deck. There is no motivation for Casinos to try to cheat on the
random draw, since there is no law against a Payoff Table with a
lousy Maximum Average Payback.
Wild or Wild Card  A card that may be used to
substitute for any desired card in the deck.
Winning Hand  A winning hand is one that you
get paid for. For most video poker games, a Pair of Jacks is the
lowest winning hand. In Deuces Wild Video Poker, the lowest winning
hand is a Three of a Kind.
