Royal Straight Flush Odds and Video Poker Probabilities

Many video poker variants offer the player an expected return of above 100% - but how often can you expect to hit those sweet royal straight flush hands? The video poker games offers the casino player the edge over the casino.

Royal Straight Flush Probabilities

Full Pay Jacks or Better video poker offers you an expected return of 99.50% if you play according to proper video poker strategy. However, statistically you will only hit a royal straight flush once every 40,000 hands.

Not many players sit down at a poker machine and play through that many hands, and without those nice royal straight flush hands your expected return becomes a lot lower then the 99.50%.

So what is the probability of getting those royal straight flushes? Well, the machine starts out by giving you 5 cards dealt randomly from a deck of 52 cards. From those 52 cards you have the possibility of receiving no less then 2,598,960 different hands. Only 4 of those hands will be royal straight flush hands - one for every suit. In other words. don't expect to receive a royal flush without drawing new cards to your poker hand. 4 royal straights every 2,598,960 hands adds up to 1 royal straight flush every 649,740 hands.

Luckily for you, video poker players are allowed to discharge cards from their original hand and receive new cards, which makes it a lot easier getting those royal flushes. Statistically, you should on average get a royal straight flush once every 40,000 hands played.

However that is an average - you might get lucky and hit a royal straight flush a lot sooner, or perhaps you will have to play through 100,000 video poker hands before you finally get that sweet royal flush.

In other words, video poker is a volatile game - in the long run your odds of beating the casino are about even. But your bankroll will go up and down like a roller coaster in the short run. I guess that is part of the reason many players prefer blackjack - a game that does not have this kind of variance in the payouts and short run expected return.

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