Today’s post is for those Video Poker players who yearn for that elusive Royal Flush. Some will want it so badly they will roam away from perfect strategy, but I say “ney, ney.” Don’t Rush the Royal Flush!
Don’t Rush the Royal Flush!
Give it time, it’ll happen when you least expect it – so don’t expect it at all. Work on your perfect strategy, find the best pay tables for longevity, and let it come to you. Now, take a deep breath, and let’s take a look at what it is and what we can do.
While we are tempted at times to keep two or three cards to the Royal, ultimately it will be your demise if it isn’t part of the proper strategy for that game and that pay table. You might win a battle, but the cost of waging war before that battle will be far more costly and a much shorter war in the long run.
The Video Poker Player
The serious video poker player is usually an introvert. A methodical gambling predator who combines science, math, and patience to whittle away at the house’s edge with perfect, or near perfect strategy. To increase your chances, here’s 5 things you should do:
- Identify the game you wish to play the most
- Learn the perfect strategy for that game
- Use an online tutor. I suggest VideoPoker.com because with the Gold Membership for only $9.00 a month it gives you special customizing tools, such as pay table variations and corrections in your play when mistakes are made.
- Don’t stray from the strategy you’ve learned and don’t believe in VP myths.
- Play for enjoyment. Embrace those 4-O-A-K’s, and play to win.
You Can’t Really Rush the Royal Flush!
Many recreational players seem to get impatient for the big prize to appear. I heard a discussion on one of my favorite podcasts – You Can Bet On That that was upsetting to hear. It started when a caller asked “why not change from perfect strategy and “help” the Royal Flush appear? ” Well, here’s the answer.
Each play is a single play on a slot or VP machine, and has nothing to do with the next hand, the next 40 hands, or the next 40,000 hands. A Royal flush has the probability of appearing once every 40,390 hands – probability means probable, not definite. And, this is the flaw in the “help the Royal” strategy.
The truth is anyone, even a trained monkey, can get a Royal Flush dealt to them. The probability of a dealt Royal is once in 650,000 hands. Is it possible to get one before then? – YES. Is it possible never to get one dealt? -YES! Is it PROBABLE that it will occur around 650,000 hands – YES, but don’t count on it, just like you shouldn’t expect a Royal after the 40,000 hand. Probable doesn’t mean “it’s due.”
Consider this: The Random Number Generator deals with one game at a time. It has no memory of who played before or how long you have playing that day. The RNG doesn’t remember your previous play on its cousin machine down the row. It is all about possibility, probability, and not about “due” or “definite.”
Possibility vs. Probability
That’s the key – possibility vs. probability. Video Poker is all about reducing the house edge to lengthen your bankroll. Perfect strategy is mathematically designed to increase the probability of lengthening your bankroll. By lengthening your bankroll, you improve the probability of the bigger payoff hands to appear, thus allowing more hands to be played. This gives you a higher probability chance for that Royal.
To my friends in the Podcast community and even those of us lowly bloggers, here is my suggestion. Actually, I can’t take credit, even though it’s something I have practiced for years. So, to Cousin Vito (Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast), Dr. Mike (You Can Bet On That ), Tim Lawson (The Bettor Life) and Chris DiMauro (Art In The Game), and too many others to mention, here is my suggestion.
Play multiline video poker. Try it at $.05 denomination. Even if it’s a nickel denomination Royal, IT’S STILL a ROYAL! I have had 23 Royal Flushes at nickel, dime and quarter denominations and at different games in the last 5 years. Break the ice with this suggestion. It’s worked for me many times. If playing Ultimate X with multipliers (watch out for the volatility) a Royal with a 10X multiplier gets you 40,000 nickels, or $2000.
The bottom line
If you always try for the Royal Flush, you decrease the length probability of your session. It might slightly increase the draw for a Royal on that hand, but how long will you be able to play using that strategy? ………the answer is NOT VERY!
Video Poker Strategy is a skilled game that can give you longevity with the correct strategy. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Stick to it. Even if you don’t get the Royal Flush, it will increase the probability of playing longer, losing less, and increasing other perks such as more reward points and increasing your Average Daily Theoretical.
ONE NOTE – THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO VIDEO POKER TOURNAMENTS OR VIDEO POKER PROGRESSIVES (especially when the progressive return has made the game a positive EV.)
Also, I suggest listening to the podcasts mentioned above:
- Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast
- You Can Bet On That
- The Bettor Life
- Art In The Game
- and the best Advantage Player Podcast by Richard Munchkin & Video Poker Guru Bob Dancer – Gambling With An Edge
Related Post – Choosing Video Poker Games – Which is Best For You?
Hope this has been a help. Thanks to Eric Rosenthal, friend and colleague.