Some video poker machines are good to play, while others need to be avoided at all times. Knowing which machines to play and which machines to avoid is the best way to start lowering your losses.
Video poker can be the best game in the casino, but it can also be one of the worst. After you locate the best machine, your work isn’t done. You still have to play a certain way or you’re going to lose more money than you should.
Here are six ways you can stop losing so much money when you play video poker.
1 – Stop Guessing
If you’re playing Jacks or Better and have four cards of the same suit and a pair of queens, do you know which play is the most profitable in the long run. Do you know how to run the math to see which play is the most profitable?
I’m going to explain how you run the math to see which play is better, and I’m going to show you an easy way to never have to guess about the best play when you play any video poker game.
To see which play is the best, look at the profit from each of the remaining cards in the deck. Then, add up all of the profits. The hand that you hold that adds up to the highest profit based on each of the 47 cards left in the deck is the best choice.
There’s also another option. Keep a strategy chart with you for every online video poker game that you play. This way, you always have the most profitable play in hand until you learn them by heart.
2 – Narrow Your Focus
If you want to be a master video poker gambler, you only have one choice. You have to pick one version of video poker and focus 100% on it. This means that this is the only version you should study and play.
When I say a version of video poker, I mean a specific variant. For example, you could focus on Jacks or Better or Pick’em Poker. You can pick any version of video poker to focus on, but there are two that are better than others. The reason why these two versions are better than others is because they’re easier to find.
Jacks or Better is the version I recommend most often, but Deuces Wild is also a good choice. The version you pick should be based on whether you like games that have wild cards or not.
Of course, after you master one version of video poker, you can start mastering a second version. But never try to master more than one version of video poker at a time. This leads to mistakes, and every mistake you make playing video poker costs you money.
3 – Risk a Little and a Lot
If there’s a video poker rule that you shouldn’t break, it’s this rule. When you play any video poker version at all, you need to bet the maximum amount of five coins. I know it might seem cheaper to bet one coin, but when you don’t bet five coins, you miss out on a big bonus if you hit the best possible hand.
If you didn’t realize that there’s a bonus involved when you bet five coins, look at the pay table for the royal flush on a Jacks or Better machine. You get 4,000 coins for a five0-coin bet, but only 1,000 for a four-coin bet.
Online and mobile video poker play has pretty much eliminated this issue. But if you prefer to play in a land-based casino, it’s a challenge to find good pay tables combined with low cost wagers.
4 – Become a Pay Table Guru
If you follow my advice and focus 100% of your attention on one version of video poker, this step is going to come naturally.
This step is about becoming a video poker pay table master. You have to know how every available pay table influences your return for every video poker variation you play.
Pay tables are responsible for the range of possible returns that you can get. The range of possible returns will vary quite a bit based on how you play your hands. But since we’ve let you in on the strategy chart, you’re always going to be playing them the best way.
What’s most important is that some pay tables have a higher top return than others. And you need to make sure that you’re always playing on a machine that offers this high return. Otherwise, you’re wasting time and money by limiting your top return number.
5 – Refuse to Play in Bad Situations
Everything that you just learned is going to help lower your video poker losses. But none of it is going to help you if you don’t find a good machine and pay table. We don’t recommend just playing on whatever machine you see first.
Personally, I refuse to play video poker unless I can find the right game and pay table. And you need to start doing the same thing. I play two video poker variations, and I only play them when I can play with a full-pay table. In every other situation, I won’t even go near the machine.
When you become a pay table guru, focus 100% of your energy on one or two video poker versions. And don’t forget to always use the best strategy to get the highest return possible.
I know it can be disappointing when you want to play video poker in a casino and you can’t find the right tables. But you can’t afford to give in and play in a bad situation. Instead, learn how to play blackjack with a high return so you have at least one other option in the casino.
6 – Speed Mistakes
When I first started playing video poker as a beginner, I played as fast as I could. Then, I learned how important strategy was, so I slowed down my pace to make sure that I didn’t make any mistakes.
If you can’t get a 100% return to player, it means that you’re losing a small amount on each wager on average. This means that the more wagers you make, the more money you lose. Even if the percentage you’re losing is small, like .25%, it still adds up to real money eventually.
I like playing video poker because I can play with a high return, but anytime the return is under 100%, I’m still losing in the long run. Video poker in the right situation can get close to a 100% return, but it’s still designed to make money for the casino.
If you want to gamble with a return of 100% or higher, you need to learn how to play regular poker games at a high skill level or learn how to count cards when you play blackjack.
Master Video Poker
The days of needing to guess which play is the most profitable when you play real money video poker are long gone. With a simple strategy card, you always know which play provides the most profit.
When you focus on one video poker variation, you have a better chance to become a master player. This guarantees that you get the highest return possible and minimizes your costly mistakes.
You need to risk the maximum amount on each video poker hand you play, but you want to find the machines with the lowest coin amount that also have a great pay table. This can be challenging to find, but it’s the only way to reduce your losses.