Video Poker – 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.

First Consideration – Denomination & HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED?

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.”

Super Times Pay Video Poker

Super Times Pay Video Poker

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.

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.

new TO VIDEO POKER? 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.

Again, 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.

VIDEO POKER LEARNING AIDS

John Grochowski. In one of the many publications he writes for, suggested the following software programs to help improve your strategy and speed.

To practice hundred’s of Video Poker games, and the newest multiline games, go to VideoPoker.com. Subscribe monthly and you will get a trainer to help you play most games with correct strategy.

The staple to any VP beginner’s book library would be John Grochowski’s “The Video Poker Answer Book.”  It’s a great place to start.

Want to know what casinos have the best Video Poker, or if they have any playable VP?  Go to vpFREE2, the “preeminent online resource for serious video poker players.” Their goal is to provide a complete inventory of the best video poker games available and make that information available for free to our users. Check out all eight New England casinos and the video poker they offer, as well dollars in for points, where the games are in the casinos, and more

Strategy Cards 

Strategy cards are available and legal.

Steve Bourie’s American Casino Guide offers free strategy cards you can print at home. The ACG website covers all of America’s casinos, games and strategies. The annual American Casino Guide also offers coupons for gambling & dining for casinos all over, with the vast majority to be used in Las Vegas. It’s a wonderful resource. For free VP Strategy cards, click HERE  Remember, strategy cards are easily available and legal to use in the casino.

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 & Max Bet

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”

 

5 Reasons Why Craps Players Have the Most Fun

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner!

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner, but it always sounds like the players have the most fun.

Ever play slots next to the craps tables?  How distracting…..all that noise…..and smiles…..and camaraderie……and fun…….and, hmmmmmm?

It always seems like it’s a band of warriors, or the underdogs beating the champs. A group of Davids trying to bring down Goliath together, and whether they do or not,  the banter, the laughter, the “high 5’s” and the joy of making that long roll supersedes all losing.  Together they have made the good fight.

There’s got to be more to it, right?

Let’s inspect this more deeply….. here are five reasons craps players have more fun than any other table games.

1) It’s not just about a beating the house, it’s beating the house TOGETHER! The community, the friends – the kind you bring or the kind you make, and it’s not only OK to vocally yell for their success, it’s encouraged.  Even the dealers at the table seem to get into the fun, or they should – it’s encouragement personified – a battle together against the casino.

Fun at craps

2) It’s about tolerance.  Yes, there are those nay-sayers that believe in the anti-point – the “Don’t-Pass” bettors. But, if they behave, even they are allowed to bring their bad karma to the Spartans fight for the point to be made.

Don’t Pass Bet in Craps. Not the favored bet on the table.

3) It’s about the “stick man” – a dealer that actually announces what’s happening.  A craps stickman is the casino staff member who calls out the dice rolls and then returns the dice to the shooter. It’s like having your own color commentator.  Wouldn’t that be cool to have behind you at a VP machine (“four to a Royal…. draw the three of hearts, no Royal, side out”   ……hmmm, maybe not…..)

Stickman to the left, boxman in the center, dealer to the right makes for a well-oiled machine.

4) It’s about playing at different levels of proficiency. For a game that looks so complicated – it’s really not hard. And while asking for advice at other table games usually results in grunts and grumbling from players and dealers alike, your new friends are more than happy to help you.  Go with a buddy who does play craps is even more fun.  “Pass line” – that’s all a craps newbie needs to know to join the fun.  All that other stuff on the table? There’s plenty of time to learn about that.  K-I-S! (Keep It Simple)

5) It’s about throwing the dice – to throw the dice means you control the fate of the table.  As Star Trek’s Spock once said, “”With great power comes great responsibility” – but don’t let that bother you. On no other table game do you have the control – YOU’RE THE ONE TO THROW THE DICE!  The roulette dealer never let’s me turn the little ball in the wheel, and the BJ dealer doesn’t even let me touch the cards, never mind deal!  (Yes, I know you hold the cards in single deck BJ, but try finding that game.) You can make money just by riding along with a good shooter.

 

Larry Edell, from Casino City Times writes, “Are you are tired of the hassles and changing rules at the blackjack tables? Are you tired of getting no profits and no comps at roulette? Maybe you should give craps a try! It gives you real player control, the possibility of very high profits, a very low casino edge, the ability to ride along with someone else’s skills, lots of easy-to-get comps, occasional long money-making streaks, and the ability to determine how the table is going by talking to the other players. Where else can you find a better game than that?

Shooting the dice everyone gets the chance.

I think the best way to learn is to ask a real craps player to take you to a real craps table in a casino.  Everything I know I can thank Mark Devol and Dr. Mike from “You Can Bet on That” and Cousin Vito from Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast. In New England, all casinos have real craps tables, except Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway, which sports an electronic version like “bubble craps.”

Want to practice, or learn on your computer or iphone? There are programs and apps galore.  Here are some places to start:

Websites: Gambling Teachers – http://www.gamblingteachers.com/craps.html

Software: WinCraps (Online Casinos also offer free craps play)

Books: “Craps: Take the Money and Run” by Henry Tamburin &

“Craps Made Simple” by Tomas B. Gallagher

Apps: “Aw Craps!”

Craps Dice

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…….keep those dice a-rollin……..
That’s all for now.
Binbin

7 Tips for Gambling Health and Safety

downloadIt’s Flu Season again. Germs are everywhere in the casino – on the felt, on the dice, on all the machine surfaces….I mean everywhere. But not only that, accidents happen, and people can get hurt.

So here are some tips, not only to keep you from getting sick from your visit to the casino, but also from physically getting hurt at the casino.

Smoke Free

1. If you have breathing problems, casinos are providing more and more smoke-free areas.  Both Plainridge Park and MGM Springfield are completely smoke-free. Twin River Casino, in Lincoln RI, has their entire 2nd floor smoke-free.  Tiverton Casino and both CT tribal casinos have non-smoking areas, and each have a non-smoking casino – Hall of the Lost Tribes at Mohegan Sun and Rainmaker Casino at Foxwoods.

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2. WASH YOUR HANDS!!! as much as possible. Take hand sanitizer for those long plays, or hand sprays that will help clean your hands after playing at the tables and machines. Think of the following happening – coughing, sneezing, tapping and wiping machine glass… and then, you come along. Guess who’s going to commune with previous players DNA? So, WASH YOUR HANDS.

3. Be aware of others while walking around the casino. A casino is no exception to sudden injuries considering that with all the distractions, guests don’t look where they are going.plainridge-park-casino

4. When walking, stay off your cell phone. You might as well be in a maze blindfolded.

5. Be aware of maintenance staff around you trying to keep the casino clean and running. Vacuum cords, unleveled carpet, audio visual equipment, and carts of food, glass-ware and garbage that could run you over.images

6. Beware of non-rug surfaces – the combination of free drinks, wait staff, and players causes spills. Many accidents happen concerning high polished marble, mopping without warning, melting ice, slippery stairs, and escalators.

7. Many kids and adults are hurt every year when their parents don’t supervise their kids or leave them unattended. Please don’t put your kids in harm’s way – safety first.  Meanwhile, watch out for those little rascals – they know not what they’re doing.

And did I say WASH YOUR HANDS?!

Stay healthy out there!

Binbin