Video Poker, Like Jazz, Is Not For The Masses


Playing Video Poker  takes skill based on mathematics.  Yes,   of course there is luck involved – but luck is just the perception of the best probability occurring, and bad luck is the  perception of the worst probability occurring. Unlike slots, where you have no idea of the payback % according to the random number generator programmed at the factory, in Video Poker, you do.  The pay table is right there in front of you.

When I first started visiting casinos in the 80’s, even CT had Ugly Ducks Deuces Wild.

Now, before I continue, if I have to explain what Ugly Ducks Wild is, then either look it up as would any interested improving VP player, or wait for my next post in a few days.

Why are Full-pay Video Poker games becoming extinct?  John Grochowski has a an opinion that I totally agree with.

John was telling a interesting story in his recent column post at Casino City. He once asked a representative of a game manufacturer if he thought players noticed the differences in pay tables. He said that only a small minority of players could distinguish the games at a glance, but that players noticed their bankrolls disappearing faster on the lower-paying games.

I will often hear from VP players complaining about how the games at Mohegan Sun are tighter than Foxwoods, and vice versa.  And, often they are referring to machines with the same game, same pay table, same manufacturer.  How could that legally be?  They might attribute it to the casino tightening the machine by making winning hands come up less often, or to the casino being an unlucky place for them. But players notice when their bankrolls are disappearing faster, and that affects where and how often they play.

But once players are in a casino, especially a busy casino, most don’t notice which have the higher pay tables. So, why shouldn’t casino operators put lower-paying games on the floor. What does it matter?  The masses will play anything put in front of them.

Slots make more money – no strategy needed, and the take for the casinos is 10 – 15%.  Why keep a game like full-pay JOB or Double Bonus that’s holding less than 2 percent when most of the growth in gaming is in video slot machines that hold 10 to 15 percent?

Simply put, too many poor video poker players with poor strategy who will play anything are single-handedly making the good pay tables extinct.

I don’t fault the industry for the lack of the availability of good pay tables.  I don’t fault the the industry for 6-5 Blackjack, either.  It’s a money making industry, isn’t it?

I love jazz. I play jazz-piano, and I have learned it’s special – not for the masses.  Full pay VP is not for the masses either.  But, unlike jazz, we may never see full pay Deuces again.


That’s all for now.




One thought on “Video Poker, Like Jazz, Is Not For The Masses

  1. Dominic Purcell says:

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