Video Poker Play – That Speed Feature Could Be Your Friend

Full Pay VP

Here is a fact that we should all know before gambling at the casino – the faster you play, the bigger the advantage you give to the casino.  There are very few exceptions to this fact, and one is Full Pay Video Poker.

When I first started playing video poker, it was at a time when casinos, especially in Las Vegas, had “Full Pay” games. Full pay means paying back over 100% or just under over the long life of the machine. Games that included “full pay” pay tables included Jacks or better, Double Bonus, and Deuces Wild.  But. let’s face it, full pay Video Poker definitely is on the endangered species list.

If you are an advantage player and play video poker, you know it’s all about the pay table, which varies depending on the game available in whatever casino you visit. That is an entire post on its own, so let’s just say a bad pay table can make a big difference to your bankroll and be critical to decreasing the time spent for your recreational gambling.

Casino CityThis post was a inspired by Gaming Guru John Grochowski, featured at the website Casino City Times (included in links to the right) called “The Importance of Speed at Video Poker.” Thanks again, John.

John points out that speed is good with perfect strategy because it can increase your theoretical win. With full pay Deuces, a speedy player could increase his expected profit by up to $3.00. But that same speedy advantage player playing a game with an EV (remember our post on EV?) of only 2% less! according to the given pay table, can actually add to casino advantage up to 8%!

What do New England Casinos offer?  Here are the only Full Pay options in New England, according to

  • Mohegan Sun – 99.95% Pick EM at $1, $5, $10, $25 denominations;  99.54% Jacks or Better (JoB) at 25¢, 50¢, $1, $10, $100 denominations  (Full Pay VP does not accrue players points at Mohegan Sun)
  • Foxwoods – 99.54% JoB at $1, $2, $5, $10, $25 denominations

Yup – that’s it! And I’m sure so many of you play at that $100 level, like me…………….LOL

So, if you’re playing VP in New England, or anywhere that includes “crappy” pay tables, that speed button can be your best friend, especially if you typically play fast.  The speed feature is usually on the lower left hand side, next to more games button and is on the each VP machine and adds has the variation of playing slow, medium or fast. Playing on slow, or even medium, will help diminish the expected loss, and diminish mistakes you can make as well.  Every casino has video poker machines that have the capability of the speed feature, but you may also find machines at designated speeds, usually fast, and unable to be varied.  Remember, unless you are joined to the hip with that machine, there are many others in the casino, and they might have the speed feature.  Play slower, enjoy a decaf coffee or water and have more enjoyable casino time.

One final thing – a pro or advantage player ( not necessarily the same ) can play 600 to 800 hands per hour – or more!  At my best, playing a VP Tournament, I played over 800 hands per hour, but probably filled with mistakes due to the speed needed for a tournament. But here’s the bottom line:

Speed of play in Video Poker should never be the goal – ACCURACY in perfect strategy should be the goal! That’s what gives you the best mathematical chance to win.

Practice, use teaching software – check out Bob Dancer’s excellent software – or become a member of  Learn the best strategy for your favorite game and get the best possible return on your play.

That’s all for today – and have some Royal Flush fun out there.



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