Video Poker – When To Play Fast

Video poker is not like slot machines – there is skill to it. It’s knowing the probability of the dealt hands, memorizing the strategy and holding what gives the best advantage for the best winning hand.

Video Poker machines often have a button where the player can set the speed of the cards dealt. Mostly, it is about where your comfort level is with your speed of play, but there is a reason when playing as fast as you can is suggested, as long as it’s accurate perfect strategy.

One time, I sent a question to noted Video Poker Expert, Bob Dancer.  For great software to practice your Video Poker Play, go to bobdancer.com. I asked him, “When do you suggest to play as fast as you can?”

His answer – “Always.”

From his stand point, it was the correct answer.  However, he insists on only playing advantage games – full pay, or very close to it. That means he plays games such as:

  • Jack or Better – 9/6 **
  • Bonus Poker – 8/5 **
  • Double Bonus – 10/7 **
  • Double Double Bonus – 10/6 **
  • Full Pay Deuces Wild – 9(StrFl)) /5 (40faK)
  • NSUD (Dueces Willd) – 9(StrFl)) /4(40faK) / 4 (FH)

** Please note – The first number = payout for Full House, second number = payout for Flush in these games

 

Jacks or Better best paytable (called 9/6 because of the full house and flush pay out). Notice the jump in pay out from 4 to 5 coins.

These games are seen as full play because they have a pay out of 99.7% to over 100% with perfect strategy. Because Mr. Dancer plays perfect strategy on full pay VP, his answer is correct – full speed ahead always.

Playing Video Poker as fast as one can should only be played when the player has the advantage, as in the above VP paytables. For more information about which games are FULL PAY, go to vpFREE2 and the Wizard of Odds.

But, the rest of us have a few considerations that many advantage players don’t. Consider these:

PRACTICE

Whatever video poker game you play, you need to practice, and practice. Advantage players can play over 15 hands per minute. They only play full pay VP, and learn to minimize the time for each deal/hold play. Practice teaches AP’s what patterns of cards to memorize for whatever strategy is needed, no matter in what order the patterns are in on the deal.

Playing full pay VP also needs a technique that alleviates excess movement.  I average 400-600 hands if needed by using my left hand for the holding of cards and my right hand for the deal/draw.  By rolling my left hand slightly, I can hold whatever button is needed without looking down, keeping my eyes on the screen.

LACK of FULL PAY VIDEO POKER

No matter how good, or how fast you play video poker, the fact remains that full pay options are increasingly hard to find. Many casinos offer playable (like 8/5 JOB or 9/5 DDB) to incredibly bad (6/5 JOB, 7/5 DDB).  The only full pay video poker in New England can be found at Mohegan Sun – 9/6 JOB.

SPEED CAN KILL (your Bankroll, That Is)

Since most casinos in the country don’t offer full pay VP, playing fast is not a template for success. Playing any casino game – slots, tables, VP – with a higher house edge should be played accurately first, speedily second.  Playing slow can be a friend to your bankroll. Besides, if you play fast and make mistakes – don’t play fast.  Unless you are playing full pay VP, there is absolutely no reason to speed.

ACCURACY IS #1

The primary strategy is knowing the optimum strategy for the game you are playing.  Even with JOB (Jacks or Better, remember?) basic strategy, or the cards you hold, is different depending if the pay table is 9/6 or 8/5.

BOTTOM LINE

Jerry “Stickman” wrote the following in his post “How Fast Should You Play Video Poker?” in Casino City Times.

“First and foremost, if you are playing a machine where the house has the edge, you are best off pacing your play. The more you play, the more you will lose. Sure you may hit some big winners, but the more you play, the more the house will take your hard earned money. So if you don’t have an edge (including slot club points and possibly comps), take your time playing. Don’t rush to give the house any more money than you must. Only play as fast as you can be accurate. When playing with an edge, Wyatt Earp probably said it best when he quipped, “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” Don’t get killed. Make sure you are playing correctly.”

Now, go get that Royal Flush!

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Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast

There’s a new Gambling podcast on the horizon and it’s taking the casino airwaves by storm.  It’s “Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast.”

What’s so special about this podcast compared to all the others?  His passion!  Vito wants you to share in his experience of learning everything there is to learn about gambling, casinos, Vegas, ……. the works.

His purpose, starting with episode 1, is all about maximizing the experience for the recreational gambler.  Now, I have been listening to some of the best gambling podcasts for years.  (Check friends of NETimeGambling for examples!)  I have never heard someone learn so quickly how to entertain and bring it to his audience in such a short period of time.  Vito is intent on bringing the recreational gambler good information, and also engaging the listener with every episode.

I feel lucky to be a listener from episode #1. He reminds me of your best Italian East Coast gambling friend who sincerely wants you to have a good time.  Not stuffy, not “full of himself,” just the kind of fun guy you wouldn’t mind meeting at your local casino to play some craps.

And he’s a New England native – Connecticut raised.

While Vito himself is quite a character, it wouldn’t be a great podcast without great content.  Here’s some of the fantastic guests he has had already on his podcast: (their expertise is included)

  • The Wizard of Odds – Michael Shackelford (Gambling statistics & strategy extraordinaire)

    Mike Shackelford of The Wizard of Odds

    Mike Shackelford of The Wizard of Odds

  • Richard Munchkin of “Gambling With an Edge” (Advantage Players, Blackjack)
  • The Annoyed Pit Boss (Stories from the casino Pit)
  • Greg “Fossilman” Raymer (Poker)
  • Mark DeVol of “You Can Bet On That” (Craps)

That’s just a few of the many great guests Vito has interviewed. With 41 episodes, the spread of important gambling topics has been no short of amazing.

New episodes come out every Thursday. How do you follow Cousin Vito?  Easy.  

Subscribe first, then you’ll have his podcast delivered free to you every week.  More?  here’s from his website:

Call the show!

1(747) CASINO-1 or 1(747) 227-4661

Email the show! – CousinVito@Gmail.com

Tweet the show! @vitoscasino

As he always ends his podcast, Cousin Vito wants to help you “make luck happen!”

Check him out.

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13 Essential Gambling Websites

Rated #37 in 2017

By the way, NETimeGambling was recognized last year as the one of the top 75 Gambling Blogs, rated at #37. Our following has doubled every year, and in September of 2017, we were added to the TravelZork Team with a monthly post about New England Casino News, Events, Promotions and more.

Mark Gruetze of the Tribune-Review, or Trib-Live, posted an article last year about websites for Gambling fans.  It’s a great list, with some additions from your favorite Northeast gambling blog.

Many gambling websites cater to either beginners, AP’s (Advantage Players) or a special place.  There is a plethora of Las Vegas websites, for example, and caution is suggested since many Vegas websites are driven by entertainment and dining sales.

One thing is for sure, if you like swapping gambling stories, or gambling strategy, there are plenty of sites out there to help you.

Mark lists his favorites below.  You will also see NETimeGambling’s suggestions added as well.

General Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

“An original: Las Vegas Advisor, the brainchild of Blackjack Hall of Fame member Anthony Curtis, started in 1983 as a monthly newsletter, focusing on all things Vegas for people looking to get the most from Sin City through smart gambling and cut-rate deals. The recently updated website, www.lasvegasadvisor.com, features an encyclopedic guide to any type of Las Vegas offering, including 27 restaurant categories plus details on casino buffets; a rundown of shows and concerts; and blogs by gambling experts including Jean Scott, James Grosjean and Bob Dancer. A subscription, which costs $37 or $50 a year, gets you the monthly newsletter either online or hard copy, plus an annual Las Vegas coupon book that can easily cover the subscription cost and access to online forums.”

TravelZork – Complete with Vegas news, travel reports, loyalty program & hotel reviews.  A Vegas travel site within an up-and-coming travel site.

VitalVegas.com – owned and operated by Scott Roeben, who happens to be the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Freemont Street experience.

EatingLV.com – run by John Curtas, this is one of the quintessential blogs for foodies visiting Las Vegas and features numerous reviews and write ups of everything food.

Cheapo Vegas  – Around for years, it’s your guide to Las Vegas on the cheap.

The Vegas Solo! This is THE website for solo travelers headed to Las Vegas. What you’ll find on this website are pages of information to help you plan your solo trip to Vegas.

Las Vegas Advisor, For nearly 30 years, Anthony Curtis and his team have provided hundreds of thousands of visitors with all the information they need to get more out of Vegas than it gets out of them.

Playing strategy and advice

Blackjack Strategy Card

www.wizardofodds.com, started in 1997 by current adjunct professor of casino math Michael Shackleford. Shackleford sold his site in 2014 but remains the main content supplier. WizardOfOdds offers the best strategies for virtually every casino game…. The free site includes odds calculators that account for rule variations in blackjack and other games.

www.888casino.com/blog, operated by the world’s largest online gaming venue.  The 888 blog, also free to all, is relatively new but boasts an impressive lineup, including Henry Tamburin’s “Ultimate Blackjack Guide” and the AP Heat blog by gambling mathematician Eliot Jacobson, which analyzes ways that advantage players can attack a variety of games. The content gets updated frequently.”

GamblingSites, a trusted guide to help ensure safe online gambling and betting, they also rovide an abundance of gambling-related advice and information, written by experienced and knowledgeable experts. We cover sports betting, casino gaming, poker, bingo, daily fantasy sports and more.

Poker News, PokerNews.com is the world’s leading poker website. Among other things, visitors will find a daily dose of articles with the latest poker news, live reporting from tournaments, exclusive videos, podcasts and so much more.

Casino City Times – Gaming Gurus like Frank Scoblete, John Grochowski, Jerry Stickman, and John Robinson (only to name a few) have hundreds of posts for game strategy, facts & suggestions for all games and all players.  Their archives are listed as well, which include a wealth of information.

Casino news

www.cdcgamingreports.com provides news stories and analysis by its own writers and aggregates reports from publications throughout the United States. For a scholarly approach, check it out.

The Center for Gaming Research site, gaming.unlv.edu, fathered by Dr. David Schwartz at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a fantastic source for “casino math…..casino revenue figures from across the country, [&] offers podcasts and publishes research papers such as “Of the Rat Pack, Ashtrays, Cocktail Napkins and Grateful Losers: The Making of the Las Vegas Experience as a Historical Process in the 20th Century” and “Elvis Who? Understanding, Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation of Las Vegas Customers.”  Dr. Dave also has publishes some of the most amazing historical resources of the recent decade with  Roll the Bones: The History of GamblingSuburban Xanadu: The Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond, Cutting the Wire: Gaming Prohibition and the Internet, and Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas.

Dr. Dave Scwartz, Professor at UNLV

World Casino News – As well as great content, it includes information concerning casinos from all over the world.  Just ignore the onlinje commercials if that’s your thing.

Casino.Org – Latest Gambling & Casino News. Discover the important stories from around the world since 1995.

There are many specialty gaming sites on the net, and Mark lists a few in those areas. However, there are many sites for newbies and AP’s for all games – table, carnival, slots & video poker.  It would be a good idea to check out forums in each area you are interested in and ask for the preferred sites.  Let the experts in the forums lead you to the best advice on a particular game.

For the entire article by Mark Gruetze, just click on the title below. It’s a great article.

“Gambling fans should bookmark these websites”

That post should keep you busy for a while!

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