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Big Times Draw Poker

Big Times Draw Poker is a video poker variation where you can bet additional coins in order to trigger a multiplier that increases the size of your win on any given hand. Like many of these newer games, it’s not really a new game so much as it’s a bonus feature attached to a base game like Bonus Poker or Deuces Wild. It’s normally played in a multi-line version (3, 5, or 10 lines).

How to Play Big Times Draw Poker

Big Times Draw Poker plays like most other video poker games. You’re dealt a 5 card hand, and you get to decide whether or not to keep any and/or all of the cards you’ve received. The computer then deals you replacement cards for the ones you discarded, and you get a payoff based on the value of your final poker hand.

Most of these games allow you to bet between 1 and 5 coins per hand, but gamblers in the know always wager the full 5 coins. This triggers a bonus payoff on the game’s best possible hand, the royal flush. Normally it pays off at 250 to 1, but when you’ve played the maximum number of coins, the hand pays off at 800 to 1 instead.

One of the aspects of video poker in general that we like is the transparency of the game. Unlike slot machines, we know what the payback percentage for a video poker game is. After all, it’s just a function of the payoff for any particular hand and the probability of getting that hand.

When you’re playing a slot machine, you have no way of knowing what the probability is that you’ll get a particular combination. So even though you know what the payoffs are for the various combinations, you’re in the dark as to the actual probability of winning this game.

This is NOT the case in video poker. The odds and probabilities for this game are based on a 52 card deck (or in some cases a 53 card deck).

These games are also played in single line or multi-line versions. The difference is the number of hands you’re dealt. If you’re playing a multi-line version of video poker, you’re dealt 5 cards on each line—and each line costs 1 to 5 coins to play. The initial hand on each line is the same, but once you’ve discarded your cards—which are also the same across all the lines—the computer deals randomly to replace those cards individually on each line.

In the case of Big Times Draw Poker, you’re playing a base game—Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, or some other variations—but you get to multiply your final win by a multiplier that’s determined by the highest card in your hand.

The lower the card, the bigger the multiplier.

To trigger the multiplier effect, you have to place an additional wager of 1 to 5 coins on top of your normal 5 coin bet. And for purposes of determining your multiplier, aces are low.

Big Times Draw Poker Odds, Pay Tables, and Strategy

The pay tables for Big Times Draw Poker are based on the base game. The multiplier is then applied, and it’s a function of your highest card in your hand and the number of coins you bet. Here’s an example of a Bonus Poker pay table that might be in use on a Big Times Draw Poker game:

  • Royal flush = 800 to 1
  • Straight flush = 50 to 1
  • 4 aces = 80 to 1
  • 4 deuces, 3s, or 4s = 40 to 1
  • 4 of a kind, any other card = 25 to 1
  • Full house = 7 to 1
  • Flush = 5 to 1
  • Straight = 4 to 1
  • 3 of a kind = 3 to 1
  • 2 pairs = 2 to 1
  • A pair of jacks or higher = even odds

The multiplier is based on how many coins you bet compared to the highest card in your hand. The lower that card is, the better your multiplier. Here’s a table with the multipliers:

Card/Coins10 Coins9 Coins8 Coins7 Coins6 Coins

One of the obvious strategic decisions you need to consider is how much additional you should bet in order to trigger the multiplier. It doesn’t take a mathematician to notice that the best multipliers are available when you wager the most money. The payback percentages bear that out, as they improve based on how many coins you’ve bet.

On the Bonus Poker game we used as an example, the base payback percentage for the game is 98.01%. When you factor in the multipliers, the payback percentages look like this, according to the number of coins you’ve played:

  • 6 coins = 98.03%
  • 7 coins = 98.27%
  • 8 coins = 98.32%
  • 9 coins = 98.34%
  • 10 coins = 98.46%

You can see easily that the payback percentage increases with the number of coins played. The optimal choice is to play for the maximum number of coins on each hand.

In terms of strategy, you simply use the appropriate strategy for the base game in question. Big Times Draw Poker is available based on the following base games:

  • Bonus Poker
  • Deuces Wild
  • Double Bonus
  • Double Double Bonus
  • Super Aces Bonus

You can find strategy tables for the base games on our pages devoted to each of the base games. The way those strategy tables work is simplicity itself. The tables are presented as a hierarchy, with the best possible hands at the top. You start at the top of the table and work your way down it until you get to the hand that you’re holding. Those are the cards you keep.

Here are some additional details to keep in mind:

  • The payback percentage varies from between 95.5% and 100.2%, depending on which variation you’re playing.
  • Your maximum bet varies based on how many lines you’re playing—30 coins for 3 lines, 50 coins for 5 lines, and 100 coins for 10 lines.
  • The highest possible jackpot is also based on how many lines you’re playing—108,000 coins for 3 lines, 180,000 coins for 5 lines, and 360,000 coins for 10 lines.
  • This game is available in the following denominations: 25 cents, 50 cents, and a dollar.

Where to Play Online for Real Money or for Free

Big Times Draw Poker hasn’t exactly caught on in the world of real money online casinos, but you can still play online. VideoPoker.com has a free version you can try. In fact, we often recommend that you try the free versions of these various games so that you can get used to the gameplay before risking real money on them.

But on a consistent basis, we recommend sticking with video poker for real money. It never made much sense to use to spend a lot of time playing a gambling game where it’s impossible to win money.


Big Times Draw Poker is an interesting twist added to a standard video poker game. It’s one way of playing a game with a potentially really large jackpot without having to deal with a progressive game. The main thing to remember about the strategy for the game is that you should always play for the maximum number of coins.

Unfortunately for low rollers, this usually means putting a lot of money into action at one time. At the 25 cent denomination, you’re looking at putting $2.50 per hand into action. On the 3 line machine, which is the smallest one, you’re betting a minimum of $7.50 per hand. On a 10 line machine, played for a dollar, you can be betting as much as $100 per hand.

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