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Aces & Faces Video Poker

Most video poker games are just variations of Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild, and Aces & Faces video poker is no different—it’s based largely on Jacks or Better. What distinguishes Aces and Faces from other video poker games are the bonus payouts on the 4 of a kind hands. These bonus payouts apply to any 4 of a kind made up of aces or of face cards (the jack, queen, or king).

On this page we’ve explained the basics of how to play this video poker game. We’ve also provided some information on the payouts this game returns, along with the average payback percentages you can expect. In order to help you get the best possible return, we’ve got some advice on the optimal strategies too.

How to Play Aces and Faces Video Poker

You play Aces & Faces the same way you play Jacks or Better or any other video poker game. You first insert your money, and the machine displays the available credits. You then decide how much you want to bet per hand (1 to 5 credits). Then you press the “deal” button.

The game deals you a 5 card hand from a virtual 52 card deck with no jokers. You can then decide which cards to keep and which ones to throw away. You can keep (or discard) any number of cards from 1 to 5.

Important
There’s a mathematically optimal move to make in every situation you’ll encounter, based on what has the highest expectation. We’ll cover that in more detail in the strategy section below.

After you’ve discarded the cards you don’t want, you get replacement cards. You then are awarded a payout based on the strength of the poker hand you’re left with. There are no wild cards in this game.

One strategic insight we can offer you up front is this—always play for 5 coins per hand. The payout for the best possible hand in the game (the royal flush) is 500 to 1 if you play for less than 5 coins, but it’s 800 to 1 if you place the max bet. That hand only comes up rarely, but it makes up a big part of your payback percentage.

Aces & Faces Pay Tables

Like all other video poker games, different versions of Aces & Faces are available with different pay tables. Some hands have a consistent payout from game to game, while others vary. Being able to recognize the best possible pay table will help you achieve the best payback percentage possible.

The best possible version of this game is 8/5 Aces & Faces.

The 8/5 refers to the payouts for the full house and the flush. As with Jacks or Better, when the video poker manufacturers want to adjust the payback percentage for this game, those are the 2 hands where they change the payouts.

Here are the paybacks you can look for based on the various hand rankings:

Royal Flush
This is the best possible hand in most video poker variations, and Aces & Faces is no exception. The hand pays out at 500 to 1 if you bet less than the max coin, but it has an 800 to 1 payout if you’re playing for 5 coins per hand. As we mentioned earlier, you should ALWAYS bet max coin.
Straight Flush
This hand pays 50 to 1.
4 of a Kind (Aces)
Here’s the best of the hands with the bonus payouts. Four aces pays off at 80 to 1.
4 of a Kind (Face Cards)
This is the 2nd kind of bonus payout hand. If you get a 4 of a kind consisting of any of the face cards, the jack, queen, or king, the payoff is 40 to 1.
4 of a Kind
Any other 4 of a kind, deuces through 10s, pays off at 25 to 1.
Full House
This is one of the 2 hands that determines which pay table you’re playing. On the best possible version of this game, it pays off at 8 to 1. On lower payback versions of the game, you might see 7 to 1 or 6 to 1 payouts on a full house.
Flush
This is the other hand in the 8/5 descriptor. It pays off at 5 to 1 most of the time, although there is a version of the game, 7/6, in which it pays off at 6 to 1. It’s important to realize that even though a flush is more common than a full house, the 6 to 1 payout isn’t good enough to make the 7/6 version of the game superior to the 8/5 version. (There’s also a 7/5 version.)
Straight
Pays off at 4 to 1.
3 of a Kind
Pays off at 3 to 1. You should notice that you don’t get a bonus payout for face cards or aces with a 3 of a kind. You only get the bonus payout if you hit the 4 of a kind.
2 Pairs
Pays off at 2 to 1.
A Pair of Jacks or Better
Pays off at even money.

Here’s what a full pay table for the 8/5 Aces & Faces video poker game looks like:

Pay Table for Aces Faces Video Poker Game

The 2 lines to look at when deciding which game to play are the lines for the full house and the flush. 8/5 is the full pay version of the game. Anything less than that is a lower paying version of the game. In either case, the payout for Aces & Faces video poker is almost always way better than the payouts on any of the slot machine games in the casino.

Payback Percentages

The payback percentage is based on which version of the game you’re playing. You should keep in mind that this figure is a theoretical payback percentage based on the assumption that you’re making the correct decision (mathematically) on every hand that you play.

Based on the various pay tables you’ll see, here are the theoretical payback percentages:

  • 8/5 Aces & Faces – 99.26%
  • 7/6 Aces & Faces – 99.2%
  • 7/5 Aces & Faces – 98.1%
  • 6/5 Aces & Faces – 97%

Notice that the worst potential pay table still has a payback percentage of 97%. That makes it one of the best games in the casino, even though you should try to find a better pay table if you possibly can.

If you want to figure out the house edge for the game, that’s easily done, too. Simply subtract the payback percentage from 100%.

In the full pay version of the game (8/5), the house edge is less than 1%. It’s only 0.74%, making it comparable or even superior to many versions of blackjack.

Aces & Faces Strategy

A video poker cheat sheet or strategy chart consists of just a list of potential hands in order of their desirability. To use the Aces & Faces strategy chart below, just start at the top. When you get to a hand that matches yours, stop, and keep the cards indicated, discarding the rest.

The strategy for Aces & Faces is pretty simple compared to some other more complicated games. It has much in common with the correct strategy for Jacks or Better.

  • Royal Flush
  • 4 of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • 4 card draw to a Royal Flush
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • 3 of a Kind
  • 4 card draw to a Straight Flush
  • 2 Pairs
  • A pair of Jacks or Better
  • 3 card draw to a Royal Flush
  • 4 card draw to a Flush

Up Arrow

Down Arrow

  • Unsuited 10JQK.
  • Any low pair.
  • 4 cards to a Straight draw.
  • 3 cards to a Straight Flush.
  • AKQJ unsuited
  • 2 card draw to a Royal Flush
  • 3 cards to a Straight draw
  • KQJ, QJ, KQ, or KJ (unsuited)
  • 3 cards to a Straight Flush
  • JT or QT suited
  • Unsuited hi cards
  • 1 high card.
  • Discard everything


You’ll notice that you’ll almost always hold onto a winning hand. One of the only exceptions are when you have 4 cards to a Royal Flush. You’ll always go for the Royal Flush in that situation.

The other exception is 4 cards to a Straight Flush. You’ll keep that hand rather than going for any hand less than 3 of a Kind.

If you’ve mastered the strategy for Jacks or Better, Aces & Faces should be a breeze to play.

Also, even if you’re not interested in mastering the strategy above, you’re still playing one of the best games in the casino. You’re not giving up more than probably 2% by just using good card sense. That makes this game much better odds for the player than almost any slot machine on the floor.

Aces & Faces Video Poker Online

Playtech casinos offer 2 different versions of Aces & Faces that you can play for online for free or real money. The single hand version is the standard full pay version of the game, but the 25 hand version has a sub-optimal pay table.

Unless you’re playing for free, we recommend that you stick with the single hand version of Aces & Faces when playing online at a Playtech casino.

Summary

Aces & Faces video poker is a fun and easy variation of Jacks or Better video poker. The payback percentage on the full pay (8/5) version is excellent, and the correct strategy for playing is easy to learn, too. Aces & Faces is a big improvement, odds-wise, over almost any slot machine on the casino floor.