All American video poker is closely related to the traditional Jacks or Better format, with a few subtle yet significant variations to the payout chart. Here, we will show you why this US favourite ranks among the most player-friendly online video poker styles, and where online punters can play All American poker games on the Web for real money.
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How to play All American Poker
All American works like most other forms of online video poker: you place your bet, receive five cards, throw out your undesirable cards for fresh ones, then see if you’ve hit a winning hand. The pay chart here ranges from a pair of Jacks (pays 1 for 1) to a royal flush (pays up to 4000 for 1). Like most other electronic poker styles, there is a jackpot on the royal flush when you bet five coins per hand – so always play the maximum number of coins.
The All American payout scheme is similar to that of 9/6 Jacks or Better, in that all the same combinations are available. However, there are a few unique aspects of the AA pay scale that affect both the ideal gameplay strategy and the house edge.
Payouts & house edge
Have a gander at the image below, taken from Microgaming’s Web-based All American game:
While at first glance this game appears very similar to full-pay Jacks or Better, there are in fact six key discrepancies between the two pay charts. Most of the differences in All American are beneficial to us: the straight and flush pay well over standard odds at 8 for 1 each; the four of a kind payoff is jacked up to 34 from 25; and the straight flush pays a whopping 200 for 1, as opposed to the regular 50 for 1 return.
All these changes point to a game that stacks the odds in the player’s favour. However, it is the two least obvious alterations that have the biggest impact: the full house and the two pair. These hands pay only one unit less than they do in Jacks or Better, but that is enough to undercut the advantages of the other increased payouts.
The chart below compares the theoretical returns of All American and Jacks or Better poker. Note that all payoffs listed are for each coin wagered, assuming we always bet the maximum five coins per turn. For instance: a royal flush pays 4000 for 5, which equates to 800 for 1.
|Hand||All American payout||Jacks or Better payout|
|Four of a kind||34||25|
|Three of a kind||3||3|
|Jacks or better||1||1|
As you can see, All American actually has a higher house edge despite boasting larger payouts on four hands. The reason for this is quite simple: the two pair comes up far more often than the straight flush or four of a kind, and so the decreased payoff for that hand has a greater overall effect on our potential long-term returns.
That is not to say All American is a bad option for online cash gambling – quite the opposite, in fact, as it outranks most other forms of Internet video poker for theoretical returns. Take Microgaming’s popular video poker releases, for example: only Jacks or Better (0.46%) and All Aces (0.08%) come with a lower house edge. So if you want good value for every buck you bet online, real money All American poker is a solid choice. Try it out now for free at one of our recommended casinos in the table above.
Online All American strategy
Below is the traditional strategy chart for All American games that use the Microgaming payout format. When deciding which cards to hold and which to discard, always play for the highest ranked option on this list. Following this system to the tee will create the lowest possible house edge, which means higher returns in the long run.
- Royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind
- Four cards to a royal flush
- Four cards to a straight flush – no gap
- Full house, flush, straight
- Four cards to any straight flush
- Three of a kind
- Suited 10 J Q, 10 J K, 10 Q K, or J Q K
- Four cards to a flush
- Two pair
- Unsuited 9 10 J Q or 10 J Q K
- Suited J Q A, J K A, or Q K A
- High Pair (Jacks or better)
- Suited 9 10 J, 10 J A, 10 Q A, or 10 K A
- Four cards to a straight – no gap
- Three cards to a straight flush – one gap maximum
- Four cards to a straight – three high cards
- Three cards to a straight flush – high card
- Four cards to any straight
- Three cards to any straight flush
- Low pair (Tens or less)
- Suited J Q
- Unsuited 10 J Q or J Q K
- Three cards to a flush – two high cards
- Two suited high cards
- Suited 10 J or 10 Q
- Unsuited 9 10 J, 9 J Q, 10 J K, or 10 Q K
- Three cards to a flush – one high card
- Unsuited J Q A, J K A, or Q K A
- Unsuited Q J, K J, or K Q
- Suited J 8, J 9, Q 9, K 10, or A 10
- Unsuited A J, A Q, or A K
- One high card
- Three cards to a straight – no gap
- Three cards to any flush
- Two cards to a straight flush – one gap maximum
- Discard all