Video Poker Mistakes and Myths

Video Poker Mistakes and Myths are so prevalent, I hear something interesting every time I’m at the VP Bar.

The VIDEO POKER PLAYer / Gambler

Many views of a gambler paints a bleak, hopeless picture of reckless behavior leading to someone who risks loss or injury in the hope of gain or excitement. Addiction is a major concern, but I prefer to think a true gambler is someone who wagers money on the outcome of games or sporting events with strategy, knowledge, and experience to get the best chance to win by diminishing the house edge.

However, there are those who cling to gut feelings, myths, and false knowledge while whining about losing and casino edge.  If you are superstitious, or even a “Little”-stitious, read on…… Remember, for every rule, there might be an exception.

Mistakes

Not Joining the Slot Club –  Get over the fact that you think big brother is watching you and can get an extraordinary amount of information from your rewards card – it’s not as much as you think.  Also, having your card inserted does not give someone (upstairs in the secret button room) the ability to change whatever it is your playing. So, get credit for your play. Comps playing video poker are hard enough to earn. Use the card, and no, using the slot club card  won’t tighten your machine. The exception? – small play or short play sessions.  For example, I play without the card when my play might diminish my Average Daily Theoretical.  For more info on that, check out ‘“Casino Comps & Your “Average Daily Theoretical”

Playing the Wrong Games – this means a couple of things.  First and foremost, it means playing games that you don’t practice.  I don’t play “deuces wilds” because i wouldn’t play it close to perfect strategy – but that’s just me because I prefer to lower the house edge by playing only games I know well. Wrong games also includes playing highly volatile games with high variance like Triple Double Bonus or Multi-line Multi-Strike Poker which have slightly different hold cards. It should be said that the vast majority of multi-line games (Triple Play, 5-Play, 100-Play, etc) should be played exactly as the single line version.

A Low Bankroll – Different games with different denominations need different amounts of moolah to play with perfect strategy to give the player a good chance at winning. For more specific information on bankroll, go to the 888Casino and read DETERMINING BANKROLL REQUIREMENTS

Be careful With the Free Stuff

Drinking too much / playing distracted – find the balance between enjoying casino amenities and playing the game.

Not Checking the Pay Table – the pay tables vary depending upon the game, denomination, and casino. Even machines side by side may be different. Look for better paying machines.  But remember, just because one game has a better paying pay table doesn’t alone increase your chance of winning, correct strategy is a bigger factor.

Playing on a problem machine / Playing a Machine with “Sticky” Buttons – some machines are just not fun because of malfunctions with buttons or rewards card entry. Bar top machines especially fall into this category.

Not Betting Max Bet – You cant win if you don’t play – and that includes Royal Flushes & Progressive Jackpots.  However, maybe you prefer a smaller denomination, or a slower pace. As long as you realize the pay table payback % has been diminished without max play, play what makes you comfy. After all, recreational gambling is for fun, isn’t it?  No judgement here.

Video Poker Myths

Following Hunches & Superstitions – here are some of the ones I hear the most:

MYTH – the cards are programmed to win or lose when you press deal. TRUTH – The infamous Random Number Generator (RNG) takes care of the randomness of VP play making the game of video poker a skill game based on the math and probabilities. Check out Video Poker Math at CasinoNewsDaily.com .

The 4 is the kicker.

MYTH – “Kicker” cards, cards that increase a four-of-a-kind, should be kept. TRUTH – yes, but only when the strategy dictates it. For example, when dealt three aces with a kicker like 2,3,4 in Double Double Bonus, only keep three aces. But when playing Triple Double Bonus, you’d keep the kicker. Some think you always go for the high pay combination, but correct strategy is more about keeping you in the game longer.

MYTH – Games that offer big jackpots on four Aces deal fewer four-Ace hands. TRUTHNo. Refer Slot Machines – Myths & The Random Number Generator  concerning the “RNG.” 

MYTH – When you discard just one card, it’s usually replaced with a card of the same denomination. TRUTH – No. Refer Slot Machines – Myths & The Random Number Generator concerning the “RNG.” 

Does a dealt Straight Flush mean the game is “hot?”

MYTH – “Hot” and “Cold” machines / “Streaks” – TRUTH – These are human perceptions over a short period of time. For more info, refer to “RNG” above.

Have you heard These myths?

MYTH – I’ll change games and change my luck” and “The machine is “due” – TRUTH – it doesn’t matter.  If the games are the same, including paytable, switch if you want. But, it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that the game, seat, casino area, etc is more desirable to you.

MYTH – Faster is Better – According to this theory, if you can increase your speed to complete one hand every three seconds, forcing the machine to cycle through 20 hands per minute rather than just 10, you’ll work twice as quickly toward the threshold required to trigger big winners.  TRUTH – It may get you closer to the “expected” number of hands needed to approach a certain big pay, the “RNG” could bring the wanted pay out with fewer or many more hands than the expected amount.

MYTH– Higher Denomination Machines Pay More. TRUTH – While this may be true with slot machines (typically, higher the denomination, the higher the pay out %), Video Poker machines with the same pay table, whether $,5, $.25 or $5, will have the same expected RTP (Return To Player), also called EV (expected value).

CONCLUSION

Can You Make a Living Through Video Poker?  Yes, but it is increasingly harder with every year as casinos lower paytables and eliminate “full pay” video poker. Now, it has to include promotions, multipliers, comps and anything else that can increase the value of grinding play on the very few full pay machines left. It’s tough to do.

So, let’s keep recreational gambling in the area of enjoyment and reality. Embrace the math, not the myth, and have fun.

Binbin

Your Casino Bankroll Requires Planning – Questions and Answers

$100 Funny Toilet Paper

 

Your Casino bankroll requires planning. How much money to bring to the casino depends three questions:

  • what games will you be playing?
  • what denomination will you be playing at?
  • how long do you expect to stay?

I am often asked, “How much money should I bring to the casino?”  In other words, what should your bankroll be? Think of it this way – “Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.” — Jonathan Clements. If you think about it, every time you visit the casino, that’s the goal. To enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you deplete your bankroll.

Consider these before your next visit 

1)  “How long am I going to stay?”  Decide before you go.
2)  If using bus transportation, “Do I have plans on how to spend my free time?”  (Time without bankroll)
3)  “If I get ahead on a slot or video poker machine, how will I establish a stop value to cash out?”
4)  If it’s a longer visit that spans over a meal time, “Do I have a plan for dividing your sessions?”  and “Am I taking enough money to include downtime, tips, and meals?”
5)  MOST IMPORTANT – “Does my allotted bankroll equal the allotted time for my visit?”  In other words, will your time expectations match the $$ you brought?  (If not, be careful not to make that ATM your friend)

Related Post – Your Bankroll is $250 – What New England Casino Would You Visit?

Bankroll Suggestions

Keep in mind that the following are suggestions.  While a suggested bankroll might give you the best run at a certain percentage of lasting, the opposite is also true. The house edge might not change in your session, but your success can get crazy bad or crazy good in a short session – after all, it is casino gambling. Remember, your casino bankroll requires planning.

SLOTS – John Grochowski says, “….as a general rule of thumb, to have a 90% chance of staying in action for three hours on the slots, your bankroll should cover 250 bets. If you’re betting 40 cents a spin on penny slots, a $100 bankroll gives you that 90% chance. If you’re betting 75 cents on quarter slots, the bankroll need rises to about $187.50, and when you bet $3 per spin on dollar slots, it’s $750.”

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

BLACKJACK – according to CountingEdge.com, “….always buy-in with at least 50 times the minimum bet. No exceptions. In other words, to play at a $5 minimum bet table you need to buy-in with $250. At a $10 table you need $500, and so on.

CRAPS – Its my understanding to bring to the table 7 to 10 times the amount you are betting. So a $5 table with 3-4-5x odds pass line w/ odds only ave betting $25.00, so $175 to $250.

VIDEO POKER – 150 bets to cover 400 decisions per hour (average player with perfect strategy).  In other words, playing quarter VP and five coins per single line, $1.25 X 150 = $187.50 (round up to $200).  Of course, the lower the pay table pay out, the more you will need.  Also, higher the volatility (Triple Double Bonus Poker as compared to Jacks or Better) would me a higher bankroll.

Related Post – Playing Video Poker is More Than Video Poker Pay Tables

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as real money.

OTHER TABLE GAMES – Casino Player writer Basil Nestor, from “Casino Player” writes “…Blackjack and other table games are best played with a minimum of 50 bets. The only exception to this rule is Let It Ride, which requires 150 bets. For table poker, it’s 100 bets.”

Remember, my fellow recreational gamblers, it’s great to win.  But if you lose, only lose the bankroll you bring and the money you can spend for fun.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Improve Your Video Poker Etiquette

As with most behavior in public spaces, behaving properly usually helps provide a better experience for you and for those around you.  No where in the casino could that be true than the winding rows of slot machines and video poker machines, where you could find yourself shoulder to shoulder with a variety of others.

Playing Video poker and enjoying the solitary play of one vs. machine could bring a need to make new friends during  your session. Well, consider the following suggestions:

Video Poker Etiquette.

  1. Common sense etiquette suggests that you should never touch the slot machine of another player. You should also not lean on their chair or shoulder as this motion could cause them to jerk and hit the wrong button concerning denomination or number of credits.
  2. Video poker etiquette frowns on those people that pound the buttons on a  machine as if it needs to be punished. Not only does it wear the game out over time, most importantly, it’s incredibly distracting to the other players around you.  Besides, you’d have to punish the RNG for your bad luck.
  3. If you are going to watch a person play, do not sit in the chair next to them unless you plan on playing yourself. This especially includes bar top VP, since it takes a seat away from another player.
  4. Understand the rules before you sit down. Don’t be lazy and expect others to teach you on their time. Be prepared before you play.
  5. If someone has leaned their stool or chair up against the machine, this usually means they haven’t finished playing, or maybe took a restroom break. Usually the person playing the slot machine has just went to the bathroom or to get a drink.
  6. Do not watch others play over their shoulder if they do not know you, that’s just creepy !!!! In small casinos it seems to be accepted to do that once your money runs out…just wander over and watch a total stranger play. Like I said – CREEPY!!
  7. Don’t be a slob! – Ashes, spilled drinks, coughing without covering, sticky hands from food – these are just some of the things that annoy your fellow players. (Suggestion – always have hand sanitizer when playing.  It comes in handy)
  8. Don’t share your superstitions, myths, or ignorance of how these machines work with those around you. Denomination, rhythm, which buttons to push, whether your rewards card is used or not – these are all just ignorant nonsensical notions of those players who just want attention.  Ig
    nore their suggestions.  The random-number-generator runs the machine, period.
  9. If you need to use the restroom, put your service light on.  As long as you are not taking a 15 minute break, slot attendants are around to help you out in this area.  DON’T ASK THE PLAYER NEXT TO YOU TO WATCH YOUR MACHINE!  Let them have their fun without feeling like a hostage until you decide to come back. My response to strangers who ask is “No, thank you.  I don’t know how long I will be here.
  10. Don’t “hover” over a machine you want to play.  Some people watch a person’s credits and watch until the player is done so they can “POUNCE!”  If I feel that kind of pressure from someone, I will use my phone, check my wallet, stand and stretch – basically anything to waste time to let them know that no kind of predatory pressure will make me succumb to their creepiness.

That brings us to the last point when it comes to behaving properly while playing video poker machines  – tipping.

Service with a smile? – Tip!

When to tip? While tipping is a personal decision there are certain times where it’s customary to tip. For example, when you’re receiving a jackpot payout that a floor attendee must help you with, it’s customary to tip them (Granted, if the service is lousy and the attendant is incredibly slow to pay you out or perhaps not professional, you can think twice about tipping.) The rule of thumb is usually to tip around .5 – 1% of the jackpot amount, make sure to keep this in mind when working on your bankroll management budget.  Concerning beverages, yes they are free in many casinos, but tip the staff as you would in a restaurant. Again, if the service is lousy, don’t.  But if you especially make a specific request, be sure to tip.

With a little respect towards fellow gamblers and adherence to the golden rule, you’ll be able to improve the experience of other players, as well as your own. Use common sense, and be courteous to those around you. Bottom line is have fun, stay healthy, enjoy recreational gambling – but not at somebody else’s expense.

Binbin