Progressive Video Poker Strategies

Strategies for Progressive Video Poker
by Marilee of

As you case the casino searching for the perfect video poker machine with the best possible paytables, you will see certain bays of machines topped with lights and numbers that increase by the minute. These are bays of progressive machines. The dollar amount that you see on the top usually indicates the payout for a royal flush.

Normally, on a quarter machine, a royal flush is worth 4000 coins with a max bet. A progressive means that a certain bay of machines is linked together and a percentage of the coins in to those machines will contribute to increase the progressive. These machines can be very lucrative when approached with a few basic rules.

1. Always play max coins on a progressive. If you don’t, you will not be eligible for the progressive payout and you will kick yourself if you win. Don’t play even one single hand at less than a max bet. Too rich for your blood? Try a progressive at a lower denomination.

2. Keep tax consequences in mind. You are required to pay taxes on jackpots in excess of $1199. An ordinary quarter royal is worth $1000 with max coins bet. Many progressives begin the pot at that $1000. As the progressive increases, it is best to play before the pot goes over the $1199 or after it is over at least $1300. In the area between $1199 and $1300, the taxes you pay on the enhanced amount plus the tip you give to the casino employee who pays you out will offer you no real total gain. Of course you still win, but it is better to watch that small window and play when the circumstances are the best.


3. The paytables still matter. It is typical for a progressive machine to have a somewhat reduced paytable. It is best to stay away from progressives that reduce the bottom line too much. You should never play a progressive that is reduced lower than a 9 coin return on a full house and 5 coin return on a flush or 45 coins on a max coin bet for a full house and 25 coins return on a max coin bet for a flush. If the progressive is high enough, use your judgment this is the rule of thumb.

4. Probabilities always reign supreme. The more that the progressive grows, the longer since someone hit a royal flush on that bay of machines. You can assume that the law of probabilities dictates that one of them will eventually hit and the more hands played, the better the probability. Do not assume that you will win just because the progressive is high. I watched one man play all night long for a progressive that had climbed over three times its normal payout a whopping $3500 for a quarter bay. He won more than that by hitting a series of four-of-a-kinds but was determined to win the progressive. He put thousands of dollars into that machine and did not win. Don’t let the progressive drive you crazy.

5. Pick one machine and stick to it. Switching machines will not increase your probability of hitting the progressive but you will feel like a clown if you switch seats and watch the guy next to you hit the jackpot on your old machine. If your intuition demands that you switch machines, make the move and don’t look back.

6. It is no more or less likely for a royal flush to hit twice in five minutes as it is for it to hit at all. Just because someone hits that progressive jackpot, it doesn’t mean you won’t hit a royal on your next hand. The probabilities are the same either way.

7. Some bays of machines have lesser progressive pots for four of a kinds. Again, watch the paytables, but these games can offer higher payouts on the top and more fun as you desperately seek a progressive jackpot.

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