Video Poker – Basics and Choosing the Best Game

If you ask Video Poker players “what is the best video poker to play?” don’t expect an answer before they ask you some questions. It’s not a black & white answer – there’s a lot of grey area in consideration. Some questions might include:

  • What’s your bankroll?
  • Have you played before or are you a newbie?
  • Do you prefer volatile games (bigger payout possibilities with an expected quicker loss in bankroll) or do you prefer to play longer with less volatility?
  • Are you interested to learn the correct strategy to maximize your time and reduce the house advantage or do you just want to play for fun and figure it out as you go?

So Many Games to Choose From. Each game has different pay tables, denominations and can be played on a single line or multiple lines. Let’s use Jacks or Better as our base game for this post.

The deal – A FEW BASICS

The solitary play of a video poker player.

If you are new to video poker, the first thing you should understand that while it uses poker card rankings for the basis of pay out, that’s really where the comparison ends. You can’t bluff the machine or figure out OPTIMAL STRATEGY by yourself.

So, how does this game work?  A Random Number Generator (RNG) deals 5 cards from a 52 card deck. (Some games use more, such as Joker Poker). The player chooses the cards to keep, presses draw to get replacement cards for those discarded to make the second and last 5 card hand which decides the payout. Most VP machines deal the draw cards from the continuous RNG.

I refer to 888Casino concerning three major differences from slots, real poker and video poker:

  1. Unlike slot players, video poker players have a say in the outcome of the game.
  2. Because the player has a choice in video poker play, it is possible to play the hands in a way that is most beneficial to the player.
  3. Only a mathematically derived video poker playing strategy will get you the most from your video poker play.

Considering Denomination & bankroll

This is where your bankroll comes into play. Remember, a bankroll is a totally separate amount of money dedicated to casino gaming – not to the money to pay bills, or even the amount in your pocket. It’s a totally separate amount!

.You can play single line games at nickel (hard to find outside of Nevada), quarter, fifty cents, $1, $2, $5, $10, $25 and even $100 machines.  Keep in mind that this depends on your bankroll and, in this player’s opinion, playing max bet of five coins. For more info on playing Max Bet, click on “Video Poker &  Max Bet.”

If you are interested in multi-line games, such Triple Play, Five Play, Ten Play, Twenty-five Play, Fifty Play or One Hundred Play, you may want to drop down from quarters to nickels or even pennies, depending on the number of lines.

Super Times Pay Video Poker

Super Times Pay Is an example of Multi-Line Video Poker

So, you probably want to know how much is needed to give you the best chance of a winning play.

According to 888Casino, “The first rule of thumb most players hear when it comes to video poker is that for the long term you need about three to four times the amount won when you hit a royal flush on your game and denomination of choice. Specifically, if you are planning to play a 25 cent Jacks or Better game (standard game, not a progressive) where the royal flush pays 4,000 credits (which comes to $1,000), you need three to four times that amount or $3,000 to $4,000 dollars………If, instead you plan on playing a standard dollar Jacks or Better game where the jackpot once again is 4,000 credits, you will need $12,000 to $16,000 since the dollar amount of the royal flush is now $4,000.”

Please note that this for standard JOB. The higher the volatility (Bonus Poker, Double Bonus & Double Double Bonus as examples), the higher your bankroll should be.

The Draw

A very simple rule when looking for the best video poker game for your play is to look at the full house/flush payouts. Those two numbers with the specific game will usually determine the expected payout %.  Another part of the payout structure to look at is the pay for four-of-the-kinds (quads). You will find that the higher the quad payout is, the more volatile the game can be, and so, a larger bankroll is needed.

Recreational gambling is about being prepared and having fun. Video poker can be a grind, so if it’s not fun, move on to something else. But the more prepared you are, the more fun it will be.

Related articles:

Video Poker Considerations for Lower Pay Tables – Jerry “Stickman” Stitch

Video Poker Players – Don’t Rush the Royal Flush

Slot Machine & VP Etiquette – Final Part

Binbin – Remember, “When gambling, embrace the math, not the myth”

 

TRIBUTE TO THE ORIGINAL FOUNDER OF VID-POKER.COM – SKIP HUGHES

“THE MONDAY LINK”

Video Poker Expert skip hughes

Skip Hughes was inducted into the Video Poker Hall of Fame in 2006. He was incredibly important to recreational and advantage VP players alike – actually more important to the latter. As an expert video poker player. Skip’s writings are more oriented toward the recreational rather than professional player. Here are a few things we are grateful for that had a direct connection to Skip’s work:

  • He was the founder of the VPMail Video Poker Mailing List which pioneered internet communication among members of the video poker community.
  • He producing strategy cards for players in 1997.
  • He later released “Frugal Strategy Cards” in cooperation with Jean Scott and Jim Wolf designed for recreational players who aim to win. They were the easiest to read, learn and to use at that time.
  • Hughes coined the phrase “Not-So-Ugly” deuces video deuces to differentiate it from full pay deuces. Full-pay deuces pays back 100.76 percent with perfect play strategy, while the ugly versions only pay back 98.91 percent and less.
  • He published a monthly magazine, named “Video Poker Player,” together with John Kelly, which was delivered via e-mail as a subscription. VPP included information on where the best machines were found, and dedicated sections to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
  • He developed the early video poker forums and communities.

Courtesy of vpFree2

Skip Hughes passed away in March, 2010 and many of his innovations have influenced video poker players for over twenty years. As a follower of many VP Hall-of-Famers, I am grateful for the legacy of Skip Hughes. Our beginning of a Video Poker week is dedicated to Skip Hughes  I hope you enjoy our Monday Link from Vid-Poker.com :

Tribute to the original founder of vid-poker.com – Skip Hughes

Let’s Make a Casino Travelogue

There was a time when your choices to visit a casino were Nevada and Atlantic City. Forty years later, many Americans have access to gambling venues within 60 miles or less.

So, the phrase “So many casinos, so little time” has never been as true as the present. In New England, we have eight casinos all within a six hour radius.

“So many casinos, so little time.” California, Washington State, Deadwood,  Biloxi, Florida, Maryland, Oklahoma …… just a few of the many casinos across the country.

NETimeGambling is wondering about your casino quests. Add the names of the casinos that would fit, “in your opinion.”  It can include any American Casino, or even any outside the country. Then we will post all the answers giving you a casino travelogue.

The largest casino in the USA is Windstar

Easiest way would be through our Facebook account NETimeGambling.com

Only ten questions. I’m very curious to hear from all of you.

  1. CASINO I HATE IS:
  2. CASINO I THINK IS OVERRATED:
  3. CASINO I THINK IS UNDERRATED:
  4. CASINO I LOVE IS:
  5. CASINO I COULD VISIT REPEATEDLY:
  6. CASINO AREA I STILL WANT VISIT:
  7. CASINO I THINK HAS THE MOST APPEALING INTERIOR:
  8. CASINO I THINK HAS THE MOST APPEALING EXTERIOR:
  9. CASINO I FEEL IS MY GUILTY PLEASURE:
  10. CASINO AREA I SHOULD HAVE VISITED BY NOW BUT HAVEN’T:

I’ll start. My answers would be 1. Slots of Fun, Las Vegas; 2. MGM Grand, Las Vegas; 3. Main St. Station, Las Vegas; 4. Mohegan Sun, CT;  5. Red Rock Resort, Summerlain, NV;  6. Biloxi, MS; 7. Bellagio, Las Vegas; 8. Ocean Casino Resort, AC ; 9. Ellis Island, Las Vegas; 10. Windstar (largest US casino), OK.

What are your opinions?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Binbin