Video Poker

A video poker machine deals you five cards. You decide which you want to keep and which you want to discard. Once you’re dealt replacement cards for your discards, you win if you have any of the traditional poker hands shown in the paytable printed on the machine. Of course, the rarer the hand, the more you’re paid. Below is a paytable for a common variety of VP, Jacks or Better.

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Video poker is similar to slot machines in that you play by yourself at a machine, and that you can win a lot of money on just one bet. The return on video poker is usually much better than slots, usually over 98%, but that requires that you play the proper strategy, AND that you hit the Royal Flush, which accounts for about as much 5% of the overall return, depending on the style of VP you’re playing. Since you’ll only hit the Royal Flush once every 40,000 or so hands idman Azərbaycan (several days of continuous play), playing without getting it reduces your return to something similar to that of slots, maybe even less.

Unlike slots in which the return for a given machine isn’t usually known, the return for Video Poker can be ascertained by looking at the pay table for the สล็อตออนไลน์ได้เงินจริง machine. For example, the machine above is called a “9/6” Jacks or Better machine because it pays 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush. The return in a 9/6 machine is 99.54% with property strategy. An 8/5 machine returns 97.3%. Remember, this includes about 5% for the Royal Flush which you probably won’t hit unless you play for several days, and another 5% for the Four of a Kind which you’ll get only about once per hour.

Of course, you can only count on getting the full return if you play properly. Proper play means knowing which cards to keep and which to discard depending on the makeup of your hand. It’s not that hard to learn, and you can always keep a play card with you from one of the popular books or websites.

Other websites have covered video poker in depth, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here. Let me just refer you to the best websites on the subject.

The Wizard of Odds. The wizard has come up with simplified strategies that are very easy to play and remember, and which work almost as well as professional strategies. He’s also got a bunch of other useful stuff on video poker.

Jeff Lotspiech’s VP. Strategies, risk of ruin calculator, practice on the web, more.

Skip Hughes. One of the VP columnists for Casino Player magazine, so you know he knows his stuff. Good articles on VP.

When I was a young man there was a very popular saying that was seen and heard in bad songs and TV shows. It was “In any given population, there is a heterogeneity both of valid goals and of methodologies with which to bring about their fulfillment.” Well, come to think of it that was the Bill Buckley version. The rest of us just said “Different strokes for different folks”. Louie Anderson put it another way, the first time I ever saw him in Las Vegas. The huge comic walked out on stage, stood and looked around at the crowd and said, “What’s this one size fits all crap!”

In the population of video poker players this truth holds, regardless of how you state it. We are a group of people with a common interest but with very diverse goals which demand different ‘strokes’. Yet, most of us that write about video poker ignore this fact. We often like to write ‘myth busting’ articles about video poker or gambling in general. I have been considering this for a while and I offer here a few myths and truths concerning people who play (and read about) video poker.

MYTHS and TRUTHS for video poker writers:

MYTH #1: Most players that read video poker articles are either (A) fairly expert players who play a lot and derive income from their play or (B) are not yet ‘A’s, but want to be and need to be educated and trained to get there. Players who are not interested in learning how to play perfect strategy are foolish and should stick with slot machines.

TRUTH: Most players do not have the interest, time, or dedication to becoming a pro-level expert player. When considering the visiting player, who comes to Las Vegas or A.C. every so often for fun and relaxation, it is hardly surprising that they are not interested in burning the midnight oil to learn obscure penalty card situations. Yet they do want to enjoy their time in the casino and in order to do that they would like to learn as much as possible about the game (without making it a lifestyle.) They still need to know which games are the best ones to play and how to play them. They need strategies that are easy as possible to learn without giving up a lot of expected return. They still need good VP ‘trainer’ software (even though they may no have time to practice as much as they should.)

MYTH # 2: It doesn’t matter much whether the reader is a local or visitor (the game is still played the same.)

TRUTH: What is ok for a visitor may be suicide for a local and what’s smart for a local may not be worth considering for a visitor.

Example A: A recreational local player may value a place that has only about 100% return at best, lousy rooms and no cash back. Why? Because the food is good and the meal comps are so generous that they can eat there several nights a week with only moderate play. This is a good play for the local, but a lousy play for the visitor.

Example B: An expert local player frequently plays at a place that is rather ugly, often smoke-filled, has only adequate restaurants (at best), and the guestrooms are alive with critters that never heard of Black Flag. Yet the video poker is outstanding. This play makes sense for this guy, but it’s not anyone’s idea of a place to spend a vacation.

Example C: A visiting recreational player likes a place that has no game over 100% (but an adequate supply of games right at or just below that level), and with adequate play he gets VIP treatment, a luxury room, gourmet food and a beautiful resort experience. Might appeal to some locals, but for most it doesn’t make sense.

These examples are only the obvious differences. The local, “everyday” player has to take bankroll considerations much more seriously and for survival’s sake has to become more proficient at the games he or she plays. Why? Because the famous “long run” talked about so much in video poker literature is likely to take place over a much shorter chronological period than for the visiting player (who may never reach the mathematical “long run”.) For this same reason, the local player needs to be much more selective when choosing a game to play. That leads us to….

MYTH # 3: Players should always play 100% machines. Those who don’t, do not need to be bothered with by video poker writers.

TRUTH: There are many reasons why a knowledgeable player may play a less than 100% game. Sometimes the best game available is under 100%. We always tell them “wait until you get to Las Vegas”, but that’s hardly sufficient. Again the problem is the writer often forgets what both Cyndi Lauper and Sheryl Crow told us – a lot of people (not just girls) just want to have fun! That doesn’t mean they want to throw their money away. They still want to learn a good strategy for playing the games they play. Yet it’s hard to find strategies for these games.

Another reason for dipping a little* under 100% is described in the third example under myth #2. The amenities and complimentaries just outweigh the small expected loss.

*By a little, I do not mean you should go out and play Double Double bonus. There is no reason to play this game. To paraphrase “Field of Dreams”, if we ignore them, they will go away.

MYTH # 4: Players should always follow the bankroll guidelines figured out by mathematicians.

TRUTH: For a very large percentage of recreational players, the mathematical bankroll considerations are not relevant. Most people who come to Las Vegas to play do not have a fixed gambling bankroll – they have in essence as much bankroll as they are willing to allocate to recreation. For them, a mathematical recommendation of a session bankroll is more relevant, but even that is usually misguided. To a pro player, “risk of ruin” means big trouble. His (or her) earning power has been destroyed and he is in serious financial straits. For the visiting recreational player, it means the trip is probably not going to be much as much fun as they had hoped. Yet for some “going for the gusto” is the MOST fun and if that’s your cup of tea, they have a right to move on up the food chain. They’ll probably get eaten, but every so often they prey will turn into predator. The only true bankroll requirement for the recreational player is – don’t bring more than you can afford to spend on entertainment. That will vary wildly from person to person but to risk any more than that is folly and very dangerous to one’s financial health.