2nd Chance Royal Video Poker

2nd Chance Royal video poker enlarges the chances of video poker players achieving the most coveted hand in the entire game, the royal flush. In most cases, that hand is extremely rare during gameplay. While it is still rare in this variation of the game, on certain occasions, you might actually get two cracks at it.

One of the ways that video poker manufacturers provide variety to gamblers is by creating concepts that can be added to existing games. In this way, the player can choose what kind of game and pay table they want to attack. The twist is laid on top, no matter what the choice.

2nd Chance Royal video poker works in that kind of fashion. You can play the game using a simple Jacks or Better pay structure, which is well-suited for beginning players and those who like conservative action. Or you can play the game with bonus poker pay structures, or even with wild cards in the deck. These games are perfect for those who like some extra spice in the action.

As for the concept of 2nd Chance Royal video poker, the name gives it away. Like other video poker games, play mostly consists of two rounds: a deal and a draw. In most cases, the draw round finishes the hand and you are scored at that point as a winner or loser.

When playing 2nd Chance Royal video poker, however, you might get a second chance at the draw. This occurs when you get four cards out of a royal flush, which is achieved when a player gets ten through ace of the same suit. If this occurs, you essentially get a second chance at the rare hand, as you will draw one more card to see if it completes the flush.

Keep in mind that if you do achieve the royal flush with the second hand, it will pay only 25% as much as if you would have achieved the hand on the first deal. In addition, pay tables will usually be depressed from where they might normally be in the underlying games. That means that you are sacrificing something for the chance to possibly grab that royal flush on the second deal.

The following article explains the basics of video poker before going into the second chance twist of the game. We'll talk about the different types of games you can play while using the 2nd Chance Royal video poker twist and the concepts of payback percentages and strategy so you can get a sense of whether this game is for you.

Basic 2nd Chance Royal Video Poker Gameplay

Video poker offers gameplay that is extremely easy to learn, even for beginners. This is the case for 2nd Chance Royal video poker as well because the game essentially plays out like any other version you might see in a casino, or if you were playing at an online casino site. It doesn't require much new knowledge beyond the second chance notion; something we'll get to in a bit.

First of all, let's talk about the basics of video poker. If you are at all familiar with five-card draw, you'll have a head start. But even if not, video poker doesn't take very long to learn.

Let's walk you through the process, step-by-step:

  1. Establishing Bankroll: The bankroll is essentially the money that you put into the machine. This will let you know how many credits you have to play. You will determine those credits by dividing the amount of money that you inserted by your chosen denomination. (Example: $10 in the machine divided by a .25 cent denomination gives you 40 credits.)
  2. Making Bets: Each hand requires you to make a wager to play. You can choose between one and five credits, but it is generally recommended that you play the full five credits. This is especially the case with 2nd Chance Royal video poker because it triggers the extra feature on the game that gives you the second chance at a royal flush.
  3. Judging Your Deal: The machine will deal out five cards, which you will see on our screen. These cards are based on the cards that can be found in a standard 52-card deck, just like you would use to play at home. Your goal is to make a hand that matches one of the winning hands listed on the pay table.
  4. Deciding What to Draw: You have one chance to improve your initial hand, and that comes with the draw. With the draw, you can discard any cards that you don't think are helping your hand in exchange for, hopefully, cards that will help you win. Remember that the probabilities of receiving those cards are just the same as if you were using a single deck of cards at home.
  5. Continuing or Quitting: The machine will score your hand and add any winnings. At that point, you can play another hand, or you can walk away from the machine with whatever bankroll you have left. This process can continue as long as you haven't lost your bankroll.

Pretty easy, right? The process for playing online is essentially the same. You would just need to create an account with a gambling website to get the process started.

The cool thing about video poker, in addition to how easy it is to play, is how it captures the finest qualities of both table games and slot machines. Like slot machines, it can be played at your own pace without any pressure. That's why you can usually find it in the same section of the casino.

But the probabilities that can be found in video poker are absent from slot machines. While you can have a rough idea of how often to expect winning hands to come around in video poker, you have no idea how often winning spins will show up on a slot machine. Plus, the fact that you can make decisions in video poker gives you some control of winning or losing, something that isn't the case with the slots.

As mentioned above, video poker can be played far away from the hustle and pressure of the table games section. The sheer variety of video poker variations far outstrips what you can usually get from other casino games like blackjack or roulette. Plus, the payback you can get from video poker is often more profitable than what you can get from either table games or slot machines.

Now that you know how to play video poker and why it is so beneficial that you do, you are ready to learn about the 2nd Chance Royal video poker twist. It's one that can bring the excitement of the hardest hand in the game much closer to your reach.

The Unique Twist of 2nd Chance Royal Video Poker

Video poker players know that the hardest winning hand to get in the entire game is a royal flush. There are only four possible five-card combinations, out of the thousands you can possibly get on the deal or the draw, that satisfy the requirements of the hand. In fact, many video poker players, even those who play on a semi-regular basis, can go months or even years without ever seeing one.

Of course, because it is so rare, most video poker games prioritize the royal flush and make it the most lucrative hand in the game. The generally established odds for a royal flush is 800 to 1 for the hand with five coins played, meaning a payout of 4,000 coins. In most games, that is at least ten times as much as you can achieve with any other hand.

In the case of 2nd Chance Royal video poker, the payout still stands at 800 to 1 if you manage the hand on the deal or the normal draw. But there are certain draws that will trigger a special second draw that will allow you, you guessed it, a second chance at the hand.

Let's play out a sample hand to see how this might work. Here is the deal:

Six of Diamonds, Eight of Clubs, Nine of Spades, King of Hearts, Ace 
of Hearts

This hand doesn't have much going for it at first glance. There is no pair, no sustained run of consecutive cards, and no more than two cards of the same suit. However, it does include a connected pair of high cards, which gives it a little bit of potential.

Knowing that, you decide to hold the king of hearts and the ace of hearts while discarding the rest. Here is what comes on the next draw:

Jack of Clubs, Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, Ace 
of Hearts

First off, you have a pair of jacks. That is a winning hand in most games (except for ones with wild cards, where the requirement for payback is usually higher). You normally get back even money for this hand, meaning your initial bet would be returned to you.

Because you are playing 2nd Chance Royal video poker, you also have a hand that qualifies for a second draw because you are only missing the ten of hearts for a royal flush. As a result, you can make a second draw in an attempt to get that card.

Here is the good news: You have nothing to lose by making this second draw. You will still get paid the even money for the pair of jacks if your pay table allows that. And you don't have to make an extra bet to trigger this feature; you just had to have bet five coins on your original wager.

If you bet less than five coins, this hand would play out as normal and you wouldn't get to have that second draw. You would be paid for the high pair and that would be it. But those who made the maximum wager would then get their second draw, with the jack of clubs discarded.

If you don't get the ten of hearts on the draw, it's not necessarily a complete loss. That's because you would also cash in on those winnings with any other winning hand achieved on the second draw.

Keep in mind that this extends beyond the royal flush. For example, let's say that on the hand above you draw a two of hearts on the second draw. That would give you a flush.

That means that you will get paid for both the pair on the first draw and the flush on the second. Let's say you were playing a pay table where a flush pays off at 6 to 1. That adds up to:

5 Coins (for pair of jacks) 30 coins (for flush) equals 35 coins total

Obviously, you'll take anything you can get with that second draw. But, ideally, you are hoping for the royal flush. You just have to realize that a royal flush achieved with the special second draw pays off at 200 to 1 instead of 800 to 1, meaning that your payback for the hand is 1000 coins for the five-coin bet (which you would need to trigger the feature).

Even though it isn't as high as the royal flush payout would be if achieved by normal means, it is still a nice boost. Considering that it doesn't require an extra bet on top of five coins, as many video poker games do, it's a fair payout. The only drawback comes in terms of the pay tables, which we'll discuss now.

Various Pay Tables For 2nd Chance Royal Video Poker

The pay table is the chart that can be found in all video poker machines explaining which hands are winners and how much you will be paid for each. It is crucial that you understand pay tables, since they will tell you about strategy. They will also help you discover what the expected payout from a video poker game might be.

What you must understand about a 2nd Chance Royal video poker machine is that it will generally give you access to a wide variety of video poker games. This includes:

  • Jacks or better, which features a pay table based on basic five-card draw probabilities
  • Bonus games, which often reward four of a kind hands at a higher level than normal to give players more chances at jackpots
  • Wild card games, which include cards designated as a wild that can be used as any card in the deck to improve your hand

Among these basic categories are still more specific games (like double double bonus or deuces wild bonus), which feature their own unique pay tables. And then, among these games, there are several pay tables available, some of which are more profitable than others.

It might seem confusing, but let's take a look at a single pay table so that we can figure it all out. This is a pay table you can find on a 2nd Chance Royal video poker machine for what is known as 8/6 jacks or better:

Royal flush 800 1600 2400 3200 4000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pair 2 4 6 8 10
Pair 1 2 3 4 5

If you need to know how to read this table, simply match up a winning hand with the amount of coins played. For example, a straight hand achieved with a five-coin bet would yield 20 coins. Minus your original five-coin bet, you would be walking away with 15 coins profit.

This is the best payout you can find for this game on a 2nd Chance Royal video poker. But let's compare this with the highest-paying version of jacks or better that doesn't include any second chance at the royal flush:

Royal flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pair 2 4 6 8 10
Pair 1 2 3 4 5

You might notice that in the second pay table the full house pays off at 9 to 1, higher than the 8 to 1 in the one above it. What you'll see is that most games have pay tables that give a little bit more for hands like that if they don't have the second chance element added to it.

What should also be noted is that the payback percentage for the 8/6 jacks or better version of video poker played with the second chance feature pays out slightly higher than normal 9/6 jacks or better. The 2nd Chance Royal video poker comes in at 99.96%, compared to 99.54% for a pay table with the higher-paying full house without the extra draw possibility.

Speaking of payback percentages, let's explain that a little bit before moving on to strategy.

Payback Percentages

We mentioned above that the payback percentage for 8/6 jacks or better on a 2nd Chance Royal video poker machine (or played online) comes in at 99.96%. Imagine that you put $10,000 into the machine playing this pay table. You would walk away, on average, with $9,996, or a $4 loss.

That doesn't mean that your results will be that way every time. In fact, you might not ever have a single session where your payback sits exactly at 99.96%. Your luck and skill will factor into a small sample size of gameplay.

But, over time, the probabilities involved with the game, along with the pay tables, will render the results in that manner. The good news is that there is an excellent percentage for games of chance that can be found in a casino or on a top gambling website. As a matter of fact, anything over 99% is excellent.

The only problem is that the 2nd Chance Royal video poker machine that you find in your local casino might not give you access to 8/6 jacks or better. It might instead be the 7/5 version of the game, which pays the full house at only 7 to 1, and the flush at only 5 to 1. That will reduce the payback to an extent.

The same goes for the bonus and wild card games. Each will come with payouts that differ depending on what machine you play.

It's up to you to look at the pay tables

Usually focusing on the middle-price hands like the full house and flush. By doing that, you'll be able to compare one pay table against another.

Casual players might not worry about going into this kind of detail. But, if you're serious about playing 2nd Chance Royal video poker at a winning level, you really should know the pay tables and the payback percentages that they create.


We mentioned that skill will factor into the payback percentage that you can expect. Whenever you see a payback percentage listed online for a specific game of video poker, you have to realize that it is a figure based on perfect play. That means that the player can achieve that amount if they make the mathematically correct decision every single hand that they play.

The mathematically correct decision on what to hold and discard can be hard to figure out for certain hands. On top of that, you might play certain deals differently depending on the pay table. For example, bonus games require that you work harder for four of a kind hands, which pay off lucratively in those games, rather than common hands, which you might work for if you were playing jacks or better.

How can one person know the right play for every hand in every game available in 2nd Chance Royal video poker? Well, they probably can't. Which is why you should probably pick a version of the game that suits you.

Those who like to play long, sustained sessions should settle on jacks or better. If you want more chances at big payouts, the bonus games are probably for you. If you want the excitement of getting rare hands, wild card games would be best for you.

Once you have settled on a game that fits your temperament and bankroll, you then need to focus on the strategy for that game. There are several ways that you can hone your strategy for those games:

  • Free Play: Find a site that allows you to play the game of your choice without having to go for real money. That will allow you to work out your strategy before actually risking actual money when you play.
  • Video Poker Trainers: Software that is specifically created to teach you video poker can be found online. Once you download it, you can play hands as if you were actually in the casino. When you make an incorrect choice about what to hold and what to discard, you will be notified.
  • Strategy Charts: Found online, these charts basically contain all the possible seeds of winning hands you might receive in a deal. They then rank those hands from most to least beneficial, based on mathematical probability. If you memorize an accurate video poker strategy chart for the game that you desire to play, you can be assured of perfect play.

Keep in mind that knowing how to play each hand perfectly doesn't automatically set you up for immediate winnings with 2nd Chance Royal video poker. A player can actually play a hand incorrectly and do better on a hand than one who played it correctly depending on how the draw plays out. But, over time, your best chances of making significant winnings playing video poker is if you have the correct strategy down pat.

Advantages of 2nd Chance Royal Video Poker

  • Access to many different varieties of video poker games
  • Play is no different than basic video poker
  • You have a much better chance of getting a royal flush with the second draw option

Disadvantages of 2nd Chance Royal Video Poker

  • Payouts for some hands will be less than the same hand in games without the second draw option
  • You must play five credits per game to max out winnings, making the game expensive
  • Many different types of pay tables can cause confusion


2nd Chance Royal video poker puts the rarest of all hands into play much more often than if you were playing normal video poker. It will help relieve those frustrating occasions when you nearly miss making a royal flush, and it adds an element to the game that improves payoffs in the long run.



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