Royal Flush Cycles Explained
The Royal Flush is the pinnacle of success and luck for a video poker player - the best and highest paying hand in the game. Many readers have sent us questions about how often they should expect royals, and how many hands it should take to hit a royal flush. This article is going to discuss "Royal Flush Cycles", which are measurements of how long it should take to hit royals in different types of video poker games.
What is a Royal Flush Cycle?
The first thing you should know is that a royal flush cycle is the average amount of hands it takes to hit a royal flush for a specific game while playing with perfect strategy. If a cycle is 40,000 hands, that is the long run average of how many hands it will take to hit a royal.
However, because of variation you could easily hit a royal flush on your first hand, or not hit one until your 120,000th hand. The more you play, the closer you'll get to averaging one royal flush per one royal cycle worth of hands played.
Cycles for Different Games
The next thing you should know about royal flush cycles is that they vary from game to game. This has nothing to do with the machine or it's odds of hitting a royal flush - it's all about the strategy you use. Some games call for holding more two and three card royals, while other games say you should discard them to attempt other draws.
Jacks or Better Royal Flush Cycle
In Jacks or Better you can expect a royal flush every 40,391 hands. This is based on playing with perfect Jacks or Better strategy and playing a full pay game.
Deuces Wild Royal Flush Cycle
In full pay Deuces Wild you can expect a royal flush every 45,282 hands. In 15/10 Loose Deuces you can expect a royal flush every 45,236 hands. The difference between the two cycles comes from the strategy changes for the different pay tables.
Double Bonus Royal Flush Cycle
In 10/7/50 Double Bonus you can expect a royal flush every 48,048 hands. In 10/7/80 Double Bonus you can expect a royal flush every 46,727 hands. The difference comes from the strategy changes for the different pay tables.
Joker Wild Royal Flush Cycle
In 20/7/5 Joker Wild with a 4,000 royal flush, you can expect royals every 41,214 hands. In 20/7/5 Joker Wild with a 4,700 royal, you can expect one every 38,614. The difference comes from the strategy changes for the different pay tables.
Why do Pay Tables Effect Royal Cycles?
After you saw the odds above, you probably were wondering why the pay tables would effect the royal flush cycles. Well, in all actuality, the pay tables don't effect the machines' odds whatsoever. However, they do effect how you play the game.
For example, if you're playing a 20/7/5 Joker Wild game with a 4,700 coin royal, you're going to chase the royal more often than a game with a 4,000 coin royal. Since you're chasing the royal more often you'll hit it more often, and thus the shorter cycle.