Hold, Draw, Win: The Best Atlantic City Casinos For Video Poker

best video poker in New Jersey
Nevada may be known as the capital of the video poker universe, but Atlantic City clocks in at a close second.

Compared to its neighbors to the immediate south and west, Atlantic City casinos offer video poker payout tables that are considerably more favorable to the player. We’d even go as far to say that low-stakes gamblers might be better off burning their money than playing VP in Delaware or Pennsylvania over the Boardwalk City.

But just as not all AC casinos are created equal, neither are their video poker offerings.

Here’s a look at a few of the best.

Which NJ online casino has the best video poker?

As good as the video poker is in Atlantic City, it’s arguably better at NJ online casinos. Most websites offer favorable single line versions of Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus.

Tropicana Casino and Virgin Casino go a step further, rolling out three and five play versions of the game where the payouts match their single line counterparts. They also offer multi-line Not-So-Ugly-Deuces Wild, a variant that returns 99.73 percent, thanks to augmented payouts on straight flushes (10 coins) and five-of-a-kinds (16 coins).

It’s also worth noting, that players will receive full payouts on Royal Flushes, regardless of the stakes. Yes, even at the $0.10 denomination, royals pay 800-1.

It’s for this reason that it’s difficult to recommend playing video poker anywhere that isn’t behind a computer or NJ mobile online gambling enabled device.

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Borgata

Leave it to the one Atlantic City casino that seems to do everything right to have the most eclectic blend of high-return video poker terminals.

Borgata wins points for supporting the largest variety of 9/6 Full Pay Jacks or Better terminals. According to video poker tracking site vpfree2, the casino boasts 54 of these machines, with stakes ranging from $0.25 per coin, up to $25 per coin in the high-limit area.

It’s also one of the few casinos in the world to have 9/6 JoB games in the bar area, where typically, the trade-off for free top-shelf alcohol is tremendously bad payout tables.

9/6 Jacks or Better returns 99.54 percent to the player (more with comps), is one of the lowest volatility video poker machines available anywhere, and has a top-end payout of 800-1 on a Royal Flush. It’s also one of the easiest games to master — making it a perfect choice for casual gambling types.

Interestingly enough, 9/6 Jacks or Better isn’t the Borgata’s highest-return game. That distinction belongs to 9/5 Super Double Bonus, which returns 99.69 percent to the player.

Super Double Bonus is similar to its less “super” counterpart in that two pair hands only pay even money, offset by increased payouts for quads. The primary difference is that the payouts for straights, flushes and full houses are slightly lower, while quad Jacks through Kings payouts are inflated.

It’s also a much easier game to play than regular Double Bonus. Just be warned: the game is highly volatile, with big swings the norm. This game is available at stakes ranging from $0.25 – $1 per coin at the Borgata.

Rounding out the Borgata’s best New Jersey video poker games, are 8-5 Full Pay Bonus Poker and 9-6 Double Double Bonus. These games return approximately 99 percent to the player (Bonus Poker returns 99.17 percent), with the latter being among the most popular video poker variants in the country.

Stakes for Double Double Bonus range from $0.25 – $5, with Multi-Strike, Super Times Pay, and Ultimate X variants available.

Caesars AC

All Atlantic City-based Caesars’ properties boast solid video poker offerings, but Caesars AC differentiates itself by supporting the highest-return game on the east coast.

Double Joker Wild, featured in the casino’s new video poker area, returns a whopping 99.91 percent to the player. Better yet, because these machines are linked to a progressive jackpot, the game is often positive for the player.

Couple of drawbacks:

  • The strategy can be difficult to master, especially when dealt exactly one joker.
  • The payout table is heavily weighted toward the Royal Flush. So while the theoretical return is typically around 100 percent, most casual players won’t achieve that.
  • Double Joker Wild is only available at the $0.25 level

That being said, for hardcore players looking to grab a Total Rewards Diamond card or better, without really siphoning any of their bankroll over the long-haul, there is no better choice.

Caesars also offers a rather vast array of 9/6 Jacks or Better games. At the $0.25 level, the game is a progressive, which pushes the return above the already generous 99.54 percent marker. Unfortunately the loyalty point earn rate is diminished for this variant ($50 per point).

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Harrah’s AC

Harrah’s AC might not have any machines that can return 100 percent or more, but it does have one of the largest selections of 99+ percent games on the east coast.

In fact seven of its video poker games offer at least a 99.11 percent return, with an eighth coming in at 98.98 percent. Full Pay Jacks or Better leads the pack at 99.54 percent, and is available at denominations ranging from $1 – $10. (Worth noting is that the $0.25 full-pay JoB machines were recently removed.)

Slightly behind is Double Double Bonus Aces and Faces (DDBAF). Players shouldn’t let the unwieldy name discourage them; this is a high-return (99.46 percent), albeit volatile, game.

DDBAF mostly resembles Double Double Bonus, except instead of paying out more for baby quads, only Jacks – Aces have enhanced payouts. Big kickers on these hands doubles the payouts.

Harrah’s also offers good payout tables for its Joker Wild (Kings or Better), Bonus Aces and Faces and Double Bonus Aces and Faces games, with returns ranging from 99.2 – 99.3 percent with optimal playing strategy. These games can be played for as little as a quarter per hand.

The lone snag of playing a high-return video poker machine at Harrah’s is that instead of earning one Total Rewards point per $10 of play, it’ll take $20.

Same goes for playing equivalent games at Bally’s, where it’ll take $20 to earn a point at higher stakes machines, and $50 coin-in at the lowest denominations.

So what about Deuces Wild?

Oddly, the one game Atlantic City gamblers won’t find too many favorable payout tables for is Deuces Wild. Contrarily, Las Vegas offers tons of Full Pay Deuces Wild games that return over 100 percent.

For the most part, AC players will find the 4/4 version of the game where straight flushes pay 10 coins, five-of-a-kinds 12 coins, and royals with deuces just 20. This game returns a scant 97.58 percent.

The one exception we’ve seen is at the Golden Nugget, which offers the LV Airport/Illinois version of the game. This iteration pays out 25 on royals with deuces, and 15 on 5OAK, bringing the payback up to to 98.91 percent. It is a Multi-Strike game however, which does require a more advanced strategy.

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Image credit: Chris Goldberg / CC BY-NC 2.0

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Robert DellaFave

About

Robert is a game designer and avid poker player. He is a contributor to numerous online publications focused on legal online gambling sites in New Jersey. He also writes about the legal US online poker market.