Crush All American Video Poker With Two Key Adjustments

All American Video Poker is a very atypical game. In fact, it may be the most atypical form of non-wild card video poker. What makes this game so interesting is that flushes and straights both have high payouts — much higher than usual. Jacks or better along with two pairs pay a 1x payout, three of a kind is 3x, and flushes/straights/full houses all have an 8x payout to round out the bottom end of the pay scale. Then four of a kind earns 35x with a 200x pay for straight flushes and the typical 800x for royals.

In most forms of non-wild card video poker, there’s a very distinct hierarchy of hands. It goes like this: high pairs, flush draws, low pairs, open-ended straight draws. In All American, one of the two main adjustments you have to make is for the fact that flush draws are worth more than high pairs, and this is especially true when there are high cards available in the flush draw. This is really hard for most players to intuitively understand because the 8x pay doesn’t seem like a big difference over the typical 6x. What you have to realize is that single pair hands are worth less because of the lower two pair payout as well, so the flushes do better AND the high pairs perform worse.

Another adjustment you have to make is how you play open-ended straight draws. In most forms of non-wild video poker, they’re pretty weak hands. In fact, the KQJTT hand with no flush draw is usually the only time they’re stronger than a small pair. In this game, however, they are better than high pairs as long as there’s at least one high card in the drawing hand. Even when there is no high card, they’re only very slightly worse than a high pair.

These two adjustments have to do with the placement of the two main types of draws on the hierarchy. Other typical rules still apply like three to a royal being stronger than four to a flush and things of that nature. Overall, playing All American requires you to think critically about how the hand values have changed and make the two key adjustments we have described here. If you refuse to do this, or if you don’t know that you’re supposed to change your play accordingly, then you will not have good results.

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