Here are Reasons to Play Video Poker Beyond the Pay Table. These are things to consider when sitting down at a video poker machine. Recreational play should make you happy, but there are many things to ponder if you want to give yourself the best chances to win, play longer, and/or earn more comps as well.
Why Do You Play Video Poker?
Maybe it’s some of these many reasons:
- “playing games with a low house edge.”
- “I like playing with no casino “heat” “
- “playing only what’s available in my local casinos.”
- “I prefer to play at a certain pace.”
- “Free Drinks”
- “social time with a friend.”
- “I like playing by myself instead of a community setting.”
- “The skill and strategy involved.”
- “I like to pass the time slowly (low denomination, no max bet, relaxing)
- “To play off my free slot play.”
I’m sure there are more. The fact is, recreational gambling has many reasons that enter into your decision besides beating the game, no matter what the game is.
Brief Story About VP Contentment
One of my best friends enjoys playing 8/5 JOB on one credit at a bar top at Mohegan Sun to relax while his wife plays slots. He recently hit his first Royal Flush on $0.25 and was proud of the accomplishment. No remorse, no regret because he was comfortable with his choice – a 97% game without Max bet (diminishing the % to 95%) with little comp earnings & no extra multipliers or promotions. He just enjoyed relaxing play with a bigger payout than usual. His priorities are comfortably set, enjoying video poker on his terms. No judgment here.
Reaching Your Personal Video Poker Nirvana
There are many aspects to your video poker choices to ponder, such as:
- What games are available at your casino that you prefer? -This could be a major reason beyond the paytable. JOB, Bonus, DB, DDB, Ultimate X, etc……
- How large is your bankroll? – bankroll does matter, depending on what game you are playing. For example, the money suggested for a successful Double-Double Bonus session is more than Jacks-or-Better (JOB) because of the higher volatility. Also, denomination complicates it further depending on if you are playing nickels, quarters, or dollars. Finally, playing multi-line machines like Triple Play, 5-Play & Ten-Play changes the denomination and alters the game chosen.
- What are you willing to compromise? I enjoy playing at Foxwoods Play bar in the Cedars Casino. It has decent nickel multi-line games and quarter single line games, but not great. However, the service is great, and the bartenders make you feel like you just entered “Cheers.” It’s a compromise I’m willing to make for the enjoyment aspect of the session. Do you make compromises playing lower percentage games for your enjoyment? Many of us do.
More Reasons to Play Video Poker Beyond the Pay Table
- What is your “casino currency”? This term refers to the value placed on other things besides the game itself. It may be that a worse paytable gives your more comp points. If tier credit, tier level, and comps are as important (or more) than the game itself, it is part of your casino currency. Video Poker is notorious for earning 1/2 to 1/3 of the points slots accrue because casinos make little money off the best full pay tables. Considering what the machines cost to run, usual casino costs, and very little money made off of you, there is nothing in it for them.
- Low rolling full pay brings little to the player – consider this: playing full-pay JOB at the quarter level may not earn as much as playing one or two credits on a $1 8/5 JOB machine. Also, according to Bob Dancer, be careful of single-line machines with many games. A machine that has a full pay game may earn the same minimal pittance in tier and reward points on other non-full-pay games such as 8/5 DDB or lower pay Deuces Wild. It might be better to check for multi-game machines or single game machines that will accrue a higher reward.
- Should you play with/without a card? I have a confession to make – sometimes my sessions are short, or even worse for player’s EV, I play…..wait for it…..VIDEO KENO! When that occurs, I play without a card to damage my ADT (Average Daily Theoretical). I may know that time is short or my bankroll is small, so why not? Consider doing the same and using your card only when playing big.
- What? Practice? – Yes, practice. If you truly want to win more, give yourself a chance to win more by practicing on the many apps, software, and websites that provide instruction. Without perfect strategy on your favorite game, the EV/ payout % will be decreased – even if it’s full pay!
Compromise is Thy Middle Name
Here are examples of where I play and why. Notice it isn’t full-pay or nothing:
Encore Boston Harbor – Single line Full Pay $5 JOB, but that’s beyond my bankroll. However, lots of 8/5 multiline games, with new games like Stack The Deck multiline.
Mohegan Sun – Bars that include 9/6 JOB ($1), Cleopatra Video Keno ($.25, no rewards card), Triple Play 9/5 DDB & 8/5 JOB ($.25 or $1, depending on bankroll) Ultimate X 10 play ($.5) . Good service, decent payables, and full pay for big plays. Especially good on multiplier days.
Foxwoods – 9/5 Ultimate X 5 Play ($.5), 8/5 JOB & 9/5 DDB TP($.25 & $1) Great service at Play bar. Cedars casino also offers nickel Ultimate X Tp, 5-Play, & 10-Play (only 10-play at nickels at all bar tops)
MGM Springfield – Not much here to offer. Compromises abound. 7/5 JOB ($1) and 8/5 DDB ($.25). 9/6 Double Bonus is available at $.25, and they have added many multi-game machines that include Ultimate X, Powerhouse Poker, and 6-Card Poker.
Plainridge Park – Ultimate X DDB 10-play ($.5). Not much to play here, but I do find this casino fun. DDB at the quarter level is 9/5.
Tiverton Casino – talk about compromises; I love this little place – but not for the VP. The VP is horrible, just like its parent company Twin River Casino. But one thing separates it from the rest – the iPourIt Wall. 26 self-serve beer & wine taps served by the ounce. This makes 8/5 DDB a winning compromise in my book.
Play what you enjoy – casino, location, bar, craft beer, great drinks, bartenders, etc., may mean more than just the best pay tables. And remember, even the best of us compromise our paytable play at times. So chill out and enjoy putting the “recreation” back into recreational gambling.
Related Post – Choosing The Best Video Poker Game For You
Binbin and NETimeGambling.com
Robin T. Aubin (AKA Binbin at NETimeGambling) has been a guest on Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast, The Bettor Life Podcast, The Art in the Game Podcast featuring all that is Springfield, Massachusetts. as well as ZorkCast with Michael Trager. As the founder of NETimeGambling.com, he has tried to provide a resource for recreational gamblers featuring New England’s expanding casino market events, gambling promotions, and entertainment. As a professional musician for over 50 years, he has performed in some of New England’s best venues, namely Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den, Foxwoods’ Atrium Lounge, and Twin River’s Lighthouse Bar & Lounge.
The goal of NETimeGambling is to provide a service and resource for any recreational gambler visiting New England’s expanding casino market and interested in gambling tips, news, advice, and the latest in events, gambling promotions, and entertainment.
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