Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of Henry Tamburin
Video poker for dummies, part II29 June 2013
Greater than 100 percent return on video poker means what?
In order to receive the greater than 100 percent return on the games I mentioned in Part 1, you need to hit the royal flush since it contributes somewhere around 1.5 percent (depending upon the game) toward the overall payback percentage. The chance you’ll hit a royal flush is about once every 40,000 hands, or about 80 hours of play for most players. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and hit more then one royal flush during this time, and sometimes you won’t hit any. Over time, however, you’ll average hitting the royal about once every 80 hours. So, during the 79 hours of play on average when you don’t hit the royal flush, your return will be less then 100 percent.
What this means in dollars and cents is that most of the time you are playing video poker, your bankroll will go south. It’s not uncommon to have several losing sessions in a row even though you are playing a full pay machine expertly. In fact, with video poker, you will lose more often than you will win, then get it back when you hit the royal flush.
Optimum playing strategy
I encourage you to read the video poker books by experts such as Jerry "Stickman" (his great new book is "Everything Casino Poker"), Bob Dancer, Jean Scott and Dan Paymar to become familiar with the optimum playing strategy for whichever video poker game interests you.
However, here’s a tip that will get you started playing like a pro. Purchase an inexpensive set of video poker strategy cards and take the cards with you when you play. As the hands pop up on the screen, refer to the card so that you will always be making the correct play. And don’t be embarrassed if you have to use it; even the pros carry and use them. Playing this way will be slow going in the beginning and cut down on your hourly win rate, but it’s a way to get started with minimum study time. You should also consider practicing your playing strategy on your home computer using one of the video poker software training programs (see tip 10 below).
1. Always use your slot card when you play video poker. Casinos will reward you with a combination of cash rebates, comps and mailings of free offers just for playing. Often the total return for these rewards equals 0.25 percent (or more) of your total play.
2. Always play max coins to get the maximum payback.
3. Only play video poker on full pay machines. If you can’t find any full pay machines, then only play on machines with the highest pay schedules that you can find. (Go to www.vpfree2.com for a list of full pay games at your favorite casino.)
4. Always play with your handy strategy card in hand. (I recommend the strategy cards by Bob Dancer and Liam Daily. For information on them, go to my Web store at www.smartgaming.com.)
5. When you scout the casino’s inventory of video poker machines, don’t forget to check out the multi-game machines for hidden full-pay games.
6. Play only when the casinos offer special promotions like double or triple points. That will considerably boost your overall return.
7. Be especially careful with the pay schedules on the multi-hand video poker machines (10, 20, 50 play) where you play more then one hand at once. Because the amount of money that you play is so much greater on these machines, playing one with a short-pay schedule can be murderous to your bankroll.
8. If you have a computer and want to practice the playing strategies before you hit the casino, consider purchasing either of following video poker training software: Video Poker For Winners (Bob Dancer) or Optimum Video Poker by Dan Paymar. (Details about these programs can be found at www.smartgaming.com.)
9. Consider subscribing to Strictly Slots Magazine and Casino Player Magazine, where you’ll find some excellent articles on video poker for beginner and experienced players, often written by Jerry "Stickman."
10. Keep in mind that playing a full-pay machine with expert strategy is no sure thing over the short term. In fact, in any one short playing session, you are more likely to be a loser then a winner. However, if you continue to play full-pay machines with expert strategy and have enough bankroll to weather the short-term fluctuations, then over the long term (about 250,000 hands) you can win more money then you lose.
Henry Tamburin is a blackjack and video poker expert. He hosts the smartgaming.com website and is the editor of the Blackjack Insider newsletter.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of Henry Tamburin