Two Ways Royal Video Poker

Published on: September 8, 2010 

Video poker games are known to offer low house edges of around 0.5%. But Playtech online casinos offer a video poker variant that offers the ridiculously low house edge of 0.2%. This online casino game is called Two Ways Royal. As its name suggests there are two ways of hitting the royal flush poker hand in this game. The first is the usual way of getting a suited 10, J, Q, K and A, which is designated as the Hi Royal Flush. The second is the Lo Royal Flush, which is a suited 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. This article examines how Two Ways Royal video poker offers a reduced house edge and how and where it can be played.

The Jacks or Better variant of video poker has a house edge of 0.5%. This means that in the long run with optimal play the player can expect to win $99.5 for every $100 wagered. Two Ways Royal video poker introduces one more poker hand in the payout table. This is the Lo Royal Flush. The Lo Royal Flush pays 800 to 1 with five coins wagered. (Incidentally this is the same as the payout for the Hi Royal Flush.) The probability of a Lo Royal Flush being dealt is 0.0023% and this leads to an increase in the average return to the player by 1.8%. Since the house edge of Jacks or Better is only 0.5% this change will make the house edge negative and spell doom for the casino. Therefore in Two Ways Royal certain other payouts are tweaked in order to level the playing field. The payout for the Full House is reduced from 9 to 1 to 6 to 1 and the payout for the Flush is reduced from 6 to 1 to 5 to 1. The payout for the Four of a Kind is increased from 25 to 1 to 40 to 1. The net effect of all the above mentioned changes is that the house edge for Two Ways Royal falls to 0.2%. This means that in the long run with optimal play the player can expect to win $99.8 for every $100 wagered.

It is important to note that the above calculations hold only when wagering with 5 coins. If less than five coins are wagered then the payout for the two royal flushes fall from 800 to 1 to 250 to 1. This reduces the average return to the player and increases the house edge.

Two Ways Royal is played in exactly the same manner as other video poker variants and therefore players will adapt to it instantly. The players first need to select the coin denomination, which varies from 0.05 to 5.00. Players who want to wager with 5 coins should click the Bet Max button. This automatically deals the hand as well. Players can select the cards they want to hold by either clicking on the cards or on the Hold buttons below the cards. The strategy for Two Ways Royal largely follows the normal Jacks or Better strategy, except that what applies for Hi Royal Flush applies for Lo Royal Flush as well. After selecting the cards players should click on the Deal button to get the final hand. Two Ways Royal is offered at all Playtech online casinos such as Casino Tropez, Casino Del Rio and Omni Casino.

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