What is ‘Full-Pay’?
Full-pay is a term often associated with video poker. It refers to a variant of the game that pays out the most amount of cash for every stake placed. For example, should a player take on a game with a 99 per cent payout rate and place a $100 stake, they would only lose $1 if they were able to play each hand in the best possible way. Many payback rates for full-pay games often linger around 99%, but some are even higher, with others even drifting above the 100% mark.
Not all video poker games are created equal. Payback schedules can often vary between different variants of the same game and, as you can imagine, it pays to know your way around it all. The inclusion of a highest-paying common variant or “Full-Pay” game has been part of the modern video poker experience since video poker machines first burst onto the gaming scene.
While the term is still widely used today, it is sometimes not as strictly defined. For instance, a variant of a game may be called ‘Full-Pay’, but in practice may not carry the highest percentage payback.
Finding the best deal in terms of payback percentage can be tricky and often requires a bit of research on behalf of the player. Casinos themselves do not usually advertise the payback percentages of their games, nor are they under any obligation to do so. It is therefore up to the player to seek out the best schedules and consequently, the best deal.
There is a widely held perception that the best possible full-pay deal can usually be found in Deuces Wild games, following the success of world-famous video poker player Bob Dancer, who used the game to great effect on his way to earning millions alongside his wife Shirley.
Deuces Wild is where all two’s are wild cards, meaning that if for example you get two kings, a four, an ace and a two, you earn yourself three of a kind – the minimum hand – instead of just a pair. While it may be harder to win, a full-pay Deuces Wild game can carry a favorable payback percentage that can often exceed 100 per cent.
The only downside is that Deuces Wild, mainly due to its surge in popularity, has become increasingly rare across many casinos, which have done their best to keep a lid on what games and machines offer the best winnings.
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