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Best of Henry Tamburin

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Optimum video poker

27 April 2013

My good friend Dan Paymar has an excellent software training program that he markets called Optimum Video Poker (OpVP). You pop the CD program into your home computer and you can practice playing any video poker game. The program alerts you when you make a playing mistake and keeps track of your playing accuracy. The program also does a lot more, and rather than having me describe all its features and how he came about to develop the program, I’ll let Dan do it.



I started writing about video poker strategies in 1992, but there was no good analysis program available at the time so I started working on such a program for my own use. The initial work was on a Mac, using a programming language called FutureBasic. That was fine for my own use, but it would build an application only for the Classic Mac platform.

About that time, I met a professional video poker player and contributing writer to Henry Tamburin’s "Blackjack Insider Newsletter," Frank Kneeland, and little did I know how the course of the development would be affected by the fortuitous meeting. The first thing Frank did was introduce me to the Linux operating system and help me upgrade my REALbasic to a current version. However, more importantly, Frank had been manager of the biggest video poker slot team ever in Las Vegas in the '90s, and Frank and his mother had developed highly effective techniques for training prospective team players.

But how could those specialized techniques be used in a computer program? After much discussion, we came up with the concept of displaying a strategy chart next to the game window and checking the player's choice of held cards against the chart. For each play, the program would scan down the chart to find the first chart entry describing a hold that was available in the dealt hand. Then, when the player selected the cards to hold and pressed the Draw button, it would check whether those cards had been held. If so, then play would continue as on a casino video poker machine.

If the player had not made the correct hold, however, it would continue down the chart to find the hand type that had been held. It would beep and highlight the best play in green and the player's hold in red; or, if the player's hold were not found in the chart, it would highlight "Not a valid hold" at the bottom of the chart. The player could then change his hold if desired and press Draw again to actually make the play, but the History would still tally the original error. Other features were added, such as the strategy generator, strategy chart evaluator, and Cost of a Royal calculation.

Although the game can still be played just for fun, OpVP is designed to provide all the tools you need to improve your skills and protect your bankroll.

Note from Henry: Think of OpVP as a video poker trainer and analyzer that will also allow you to do bankroll calculations. Two other nice features about this program is that Paymar provides the technical support for the software and he will send users updates to the program, and OpVP is available for Windows and Mac operating systems. For further details on this terrific program for players who want to learn how to be skilled at video poker, read Paymar’s article in issue #146 of BJI (go to www.bjinsider.com, click on Newsletters, then scroll down and click on issue #146).

Henry Tamburin is a blackjack and video poker expert. He is the host of the smartgaming.com website and the editor of the Blackjack Insider newsletter.
Recent Articles
Best of Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

> More Books By Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

> More Books By Henry Tamburin