Video Poker for Fun and Profit
This page delves into video poker for non-professional players, especially those whose gambling has been limited mostly to nickel or quarter slots. By seeking out the good games and following just a few simple playing rules, you can cut the house edge to one half of one percent or less. And this brings us to the most unique characteristic of the game. It is the only casino game where you can gain a real edge over the casino on every play, even on some nickel machines.
If you are looking a quick get-rich scheme, then look elsewhere. Maybe you are looking for a way to overcome the house edge that is built into nearly all casino games. I will offer nothing to build your dreams upon. Say you want to know how to find a hot machine, you will only be disappointed to discover that there is no such thing (but, happily, there is no such thing as a cold machine, either). Plus, if you want a guaranteed win, then buy a casino. But if you want to learn how to achieve a small but real advantage on certain games (and have fun doing it), then this is for you.
Video Poker is extremely popular
For nearly three decades casino visitors have been fascinated by poker machines. So why do some slot players switch to these card machines and stay with those games? Why do others try them and then go back to the no-brainer reel slots? We can also wonder why many never try the poker games at all?
They may try video poker simply because it is intriguing. Maybe they have heard that the payback is higher than reel slots (which is generally true). Maybe it’s just to try something new. The more intelligent players probably like the challenge of making decisions instead of just pulling a handle.
After a short try, however, many move back to the one armed bandits. Why do they give up so quickly? Are the games too difficult? Are they losing even more than they did on the reel slots? Is it the five coin requirement to qualify for full payoff on the royal flush jackpot? Or is it just that they have a very small budget for gambling? Are there thus too few nickel poker machines available?
Most players’ “intuitive” decisions will yield about 1% to 5% less than a game’s maximum payback. Statewide statistics from Nevada casinos show an average payback on video poker of about 2% less than what it would be if everyone played perfectly. This is why the casinos are able to offer some games with over 100% payback potential. This makes it possible for us to gain a small but real edge on some games.
The video poker advantage
In casinos that don’t have 100% games, video poker generally offers a higher return than other low stakes games. Plus of course, a good slot club or promotion may boost your total expectation above 100%.
The big advantage over the “no brainer” reel slots is that the maximum payback can be determined from the payoff schedule on the front of every machine. No, you don’t have to do any math. In just a few minutes you can learn how to read a machine’s payoff schedule to select an attractive game. Then, after only a few hours practice with an easy video poker strategy can make you an expert. Together, these skills will give you a real edge on some games.
Video Poker Strategy
Accurate strategies are computer-generated and proven by professional players, yet they are simple enough for a novice to use. By following just a few clear rules, you can become a favorite to be a winner in the long run and have fun at the same time.
But already I hear you say, “I don’t want to be bothered with rules. I’m on vacation, and I just want to have some fun.” But isn’t it more fun if your limited bankroll lasts longer, and even better when you’re winning? Of course it is!
You can cut the house edge to less than one-half of one percent on the most common poker machine game, Jacks or Better Draw Poker. If you want to play that game, look for a machine that pays 45 for a full house with a five coin bet.