Barnyard Poker is a video poker variant from IGT which gives you the opportunity to win multipliers to your payouts. IT’s actually a variant of multiple video poker variations. The only difference is the multiplier bank feature.
One of the things that distinguishes this variant from others is that it’s impossible to determine the exact payback percentage for the game. We’ll get into that further later on this page.
Also on this page is a short guide to playing the game, along with information on the odds and payback percentages. There’s some strategy advice too, and detail of where you can play the Barnyard Poker online for free.
How to Play Barnyard Poker
All video poker games share certain similarities. They all emulate a 52 card deck, for example. This has significant implications for the player.
Compare video poker with a slot machine game, for example. Any symbol on any reel could have literally any probability of showing up. You have no way to ascertain the odds of hitting a particular result.
But when you’re dealing with a deck of cards, you know what the probabilities are. Here’s a couple of examples.
if you have a pair of jacks, and you’re discarding 3 cards, hoping to draw 1 or 2 more jacks, you know that there are only 2 jacks left in a deck of 47 cards. The odds of getting 1 of them are 2/47 X 3, or 6/47.
You have 4 cards to a flush. You discard a card hoping to fill your flush. You know there are 13 cards in each suit, and 4 of them are spoken for. So you have 9 cards out of 47 that can complete your hand.
Since the odds can be calculated for everything, you can calculate the payback percentage for a particular video poker game. You just multiply the probability of getting each hand by the payout for that hand. Then you add them all up to get your return to player, which is expressed as a percentage.
But here’s the difference between Barnyard Poker and other video poker games—you cannot determine the payback percentage for the game. That’s because the rate at which the multipliers are awarded can vary from game to game, and there’s no way to determine exactly what that percentage is.
Other than that, the game plays just like other video poker variations, with a few changes. You still insert your funds before playing, and the screen still shows how many credits you have available. You still get 5 cards with the option of discarding and replacing between 0 and 5 cards. You still have a pay table which shows you how much you win if you get a particular hand.
But one significant difference is that this is a “triple play” game. That means you’re playing 3 hands at once, but the initial deal for each of the 3 hands is the same. The cards that are dealt after you discard are handled separately though.
This means instead of betting 5 coins per hand, you’re betting 15 coins per hand, one for each hand.
But that’s not the only difference.
This feature only gets activated if you double your bet per line, which means you have to bet 10 coins per line on 3 lines, or 30 coins each bet.
This activates 2 multiplier banks. When you place your bet, the game determines, at random, whether or not to apply one of these multipliers to your hands. There’s no indication on the screen of how often these multipliers are awarded.
According to calculations done by Michael Shackleford on his site, the Wizard of Odds, the probability of getting awarded a multiplier on any given hand is roughly 20%, but it varies based on which game you’re playing.
This multiplier is always a number divisible by 3, because it always has to be divided between your 3 hands. For example, if the multiplier is 27, you’ll see your winnings on each of the 3 hands multiplied by 9.
The multiplier is banked on either side of the screen, and every time you’re dealt a pair or better, the amount of the multiplier in your bank increases. It returns to the minimum after it’s awarded. The maximum multiplier is 36.
Barnyard Poker isn’t really a single video poker game at all. It’s actually a multiplier feature that’s added on top of a standard video poker game. The games with the Barnyard Poker feature available on them include the following:
- Bonus Poker
- Bonus Poker Deluxe
- Deuces Wild
- Deuces Wild Bonus Poker
- Double Bonus Poker
- Double Double Bonus Poker
- Jacks or Better
- Triple Double Bonus Poker
The pay tables are based on the individual game being played. You can find pay tables for each of those games on our site, as we cover them all in our video poker games section.
Odds and Payback Percentages
The payback percentage for Barnyard Poker (and all other video poker games) is just a percentage of each bet that you’re expected to win back over the long run. For example, if we say that a game has a 98% payback percentage, that means if you play a close to infinite number of hands, you’ll eventually win 98 cents for every dollar you bet.
The house edge is the opposite of that. It’s the amount of each bet that the casino mathematically expects to keep. To calculate that figure, you just subtract the payback percentage from 100%. In this example, the house edge becomes 2%.
The odds and payback percentages are based on the pay table for the individual game at the core of whatever Barnyard Poker variant you’re playing. So if you’re playing a Barnyard Poker Bonus Poker game, you’d just look up the appropriate pay table on that page to get the payback percentage.
But the banked multipliers do provide you with a tiny bit of an improvement on your payback percentage. You can opt to play without activating the multiplier, and if you do, then you’ll see the standard payback percentage for that game and that pay table.
But you don’t have any way of knowing exactly how much or how little the multiplier increases your odds. In that respect, Barnyard Poker is similar to slot machine games. A lot of gamblers don’t really care too much about the exact odds and payback percentages, but if you’re one of these full disclosure types, you’ll want to avoid this game—or at least the version with the multiplier bank.
Barnyard Poker Strategy
You’ll use the appropriate strategy for the variant that you’re playing. In other words, if you’re playing Deuces Wild Barnyard Poker, you’ll just follow the strategy presented on our Deuces Wild page. The addition of the multiplier doesn’t affect how you’ll play each hand.
When looking for a Barnyard Poker game to play, look at the multipliers that have already been banked. If you can find a game where the multiplier is higher rather than lower, you can increase your return because another player has funded that multiplier before you got there.
For example, you’d be better off playing a game with a 15X multiplier in the bank already than you would playing a game with a 3X multiplier in the bank.
Where to Play Barnyard Poker Online
You can play Barnyard Poker here, but you cannot play for real money at that site. It’s a great preview of the game, though, and you can see exactly how it plays out in practice when you’re getting ready to visit a real casino to play.
One of the nice things about this free online version is that you can see the silly barnyard themed animations that give this game its name.
Barnyard Poker is a cute video poker variant with banked multipliers. It’s appropriate for players who enjoy seeing random bonuses, but players who feel like they should have exact odds when playing video poker will want to shun this one.
Rather than being a unique video poker variation, Barnyard Poker is a feature that’s laid on top of other traditional video poker games Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild. The same strategies and payback percentages apply, although the multiplier feature improves the payback percentage by a tiny amount. It’s impossible to determine that amount for sure, as the game doesn’t provide details about how often you’ll be awarded a multiplier on your hands.