Video Poker Royal Flush Odds

Don't let video poker royal flush odds confuse you. The biggest misconception is that a slot machine or video poker machine will hit a jackpot after a certain number of hands. Nothing is further from the truth.

A video poker machine is not programmed to run a certain number of hands and make sure the casino wins a certain amount of money. No. All possible hands are programmed so the RNG (Random Number Generator) will pick one at a time and the odds paid for each winning hand are adjusted to whatever the manufacturer or the casino want their machines to pay (and win).

This leaves the gambler playing a game that has a house-set edge, just like all games the casinos offer. And like the other games you just might get lucky and beat the odds, or get beat by them. A video poker machine uses a standard 52-card deck. Based on all the possible five-card hands that can be dealt, the odds of having a royal flush dealt to you are 649740 to 1. Because video poker allows a player to draw additional cards (one time per hand), the odds of hitting a royal flush on a standard Jacks or Better game are about 40,390.
Simple Example
If you play 300 hands per hour of video poker, you will hit a royal flush about every 133 hours. If you play 10 hours a weekend, you will average one royal flush every 3 months. However, with a hand that only hits one time out of 40,000 your variance can be quite large. You might not hit a royal for a year or you could hit one twice in an evening.

Think of this like a bucket of sand with 40,000 grains in it. 39,999 of the grains are white. One grain is black and pays the royal flush.

One grain pops out of the bucket every time you bet, and after the hand it is put back in the bucket and the bucket is shaken and a new grain pops out. It's statistically fair, and it's still 40,000 to 1 the next grain is a royal.

Would you be surprised if you saw 1000 grains without the black royal flush, or even 10,000? Of course not. Unfortunately, after seeing 20,000 grains without the royal you are not really any closer than you were after the first grain, because the odds are still 40,000 to 1 against getting that crazy black royal flush grain. Every bet is always 40,000 to 1.