7 Common Video Poker Fallacies Exposed

Closeup of a Video Poker Sreen

Video poker was once among the most exciting new games to debut in the casino. As technology became available, video poker games were pioneers in the world of electronic gaming machines.

Over the years, there have been some significant peaks and valleys for video poker. Today, the game is still available in most casinos.

Sadly, the more profitable versions of the game have been relegated to warehouses or placed in museums. Still, there are enough video poker players online and in land-based casinos to keep the misinformation surrounding video poker alive.

Here are 7 common video poker fallacies exposed. Knowing how to separate fact from fiction could put you on a path to winning more on the classic game.

The Misinformation Surrounding Video Poker

Misinformation is nothing new in casinos. Since the first casinos opened their doors in the Nevada desert, players have tried to convince one another that they have the secret formula for winning.

Standing juxtaposed to those players are the losers that cry foul and demand that the casinos have somehow rigged the game. It’s the only rationale the players can find for why they continue losing session after session.

These fallacies aren’t unique to video poker. However, in a game with such a low house advantage, the lies can be more damaging.

I’m going to share some of the most egregious bits of information I see online and hear in gambling circles. We’ll get to the truth and clear the good name of video poker.

More importantly, you will become a better gambler in the end. Learning to use logic and math to debunk bogus casino gossip is valuable for all gamblers.

1 – The Royal Flush Is a Player’s Only Hope of Making Money

Many losing video poker players will preach that you should only focus on the Royal Flush. It’s hard to ignore the massive payout of 4,000 credits by making the top hand.

However, there are several problems with taking a strategy that fixates only on the Royal Flush. For starters, you’re going to be throwing away plenty of good hands that get you paid.

A huge part of gambling is taking the incremental wins to keep your bankroll alive. When you can stay in the game long enough, you’ve got a much better chance of hitting that rare hand that offers massive payouts.

Royal Flush of Diamonds

Another issue you should account for is the RTP. Royal Flushes make up a small piece of the total return on video poker.

So, you’ll be doing more harm than good by only chasing the big pots. I’ve watched players regularly break up pairs and straights trying to complete their Royal Flush and win nothing.

Don’t buy into the notion that the Royal Flush is your only chance of winning. The best approach is to match the game you’re playing to the best strategy.

Following those principles precisely is your best shot at winning on video poker.

2 – Advantage Gamblers Get Rich Playing the Game

Many players believe that because some advantage gamblers enjoy a positive expectation on a game, they must be getting rich.

That’s not at all the case. The fundamentals of video poker virtually ensure that nobody is getting rich from the games.

You have a predetermined maximum wager with well-defined payouts. Today’s video poker machines usually max out at $1, which prevents you from making much money.

Assuming you can find the best games and gain an edge through perfect strategy, you’re still only enjoying a minor advantage. Since the edge only benefits you on the amount of money in play, the limits hurt advantage gamblers.

When betting max credits, an advantage gambler is at the max making $40 per hour. That may beat having to work for a living, but I’d hardly call them a Rockefeller.

But there was a period when the casinos had $5 machines where gamblers could gain an edge. That would boost the hourly profit to $200 per hour.

I’m not sure if that’s what I’d consider rich. But with a 40-hour workweek, that’s over $400k annually.

The fact is casinos have begun making it more difficult for advantage gamblers by offering games with lower RTP and worse pay tables.

3 – Bet the Max or Find a New Game

The same players who will scold you for not playing primarily for the Royal Flush will also berate you for playing anything less than max coins. The best strategy does involve playing max coins because it triggers the massive bonus for the top hand.

However, the game still has one of the lowest house edges in the casino. So, take away the bonus payout for the Royal Flush, and you’re looking at a return to player of around 98%.

Video Poker Screen Displaying Royal Flush

When you compare that to other electronic gaming machines, players almost can’t afford not to play video poker. Considering that you can play the game for as little as one credit per hand, your bankroll will go to new lengths in the casino.

Many players get so consumed with making money in the casino they forget to have fun. I can assure you that spending six hours playing video poker is more enjoyable than sitting in the room or watching your friends gamble because you’re broke.

4 – Loyalty Members Will Earn Less to Offset the Comps

Some of the video poker fallacies sound plausible. The idea that casinos change the RTP on players earning rewards points is not one of them.

This casino myth doesn’t make any sense. Still, some players are convinced casinos are out to get their loyal customers.

So, instead of allowing the players to earn comps to use at the casino on an even playing field, the machines are designed to pay less to these players.

The casino already has your money; they don’t need to turn the knife by adding to your losses. Don’t lose sight of the fact that casinos offer comp programs to keep players gambling.

They aren’t going to tarnish that by increasing your losses.

5 – Multi-Hand Games Are More Profitable

Multi-hand games are a tactic used by the casinos to make players believe they can win more by playing more. In some instances, players will benefit from playing multiple hands.

Card counters can use multiple hands to maximize profits when the count goes in their favor. But when you’re playing a game where the casino has the edge, playing multiple hands will speed your losses considerably.

The issue facing most players in multi-hand games is their bankroll. You need three times the money to play for the same period on a three-hand game.

Video Poker Odds

That’s a big ask for some casino gamblers, and they burn through their money without understanding why it’s disappearing so fast.

If you’re convinced you have the edge, play single-hand games at a higher denomination.

6 – The Casino Can Change the Return to Player

Some gamblers believe the casino can change the RTP while players are in the games. That’s the only justification these players can find for how they suddenly go from winning to losing.

In reality, they are experiencing the effects of the house edge. The math in casino games is designed to work slowly over time.

Players win or lose in the short term, but eventually, they lose more than they win. That’s what keeps gamblers coming back to the casinos again and again.

If players overstay their time on a game, they’ll eventually lose. Casinos aren’t flipping a magic switch that’s causing you to lose your winnings.

Your lack of gambling fundamentals is more at fault. Set yourself up with a solid set of limits. That will allow you to walk away from the video poker machine before the house edge can swipe your wins.

7 – The Machines Pay in Cycles Making Them Predictable

The odds of making a Royal Flush in video poker is 40,000:1. Some players take this too literally and assume the game will pay them at precisely the 40,000 mark.

Yet, that’s not the way odds or probabilities work. All this means is that you can expect to see a royal flush in the game approximately once for every 40,000 hands.

Video Poker machines on Casino Floor

That’s not specific to the machine that you’re playing. You may play over 100,000 hands and never see a Royal Flush.

Meanwhile, another player could sit down and draw a Royal Flush on their first hand at the machine. It’s gambling, and there’s nothing predictable about the games.

Our Conclusions About These Fallacies

These 7 common video poker fallacies need to be exposed. Many players feel like they must play the games a specific way to have any chances of winning.

It robs them of the fun that’s available in video poker. More concerning is that many players will then head to worse games out of fear or frustration.

Video poker is an excellent game with fair RTP and a chance to make small wins. Don’t let the rampant misinformation scare you away.