Video poker gets regularly overlooked by casino guests. The game typically sits in a corner near the bar, somewhat segregated from the other casino games.
Unfortunately, many of the gamblers who stroll past the game would greatly benefit from taking some time to learn video poker.
If you’re new to casino gambling or just new to video poker, I want to let you in on a few secrets and strategies. Check out the top seven hacks for crushing video poker.
Why Is Video Poker a Great Game?
Video poker is one of the best games in the casino. Since it splashed onto the casino floor, the game has clawed its way to the forefront as one of the true leaders for savvy veterans and advantage gamblers.
For starters, the game has one of the lowest house edges on the entire casino floor. So, players can gamble at their favorite machine for hours without depleting their casino bankroll.
Then, there are the payouts. Some games offer massive progressive jackpots, but even classic ones can bump you into another tax bracket.
Finally, the game provides a relaxed and anonymous gaming atmosphere. You won’t be burdened by casino staff or fellow gamblers dissecting every move you make.
If you prefer to avoid crowds, video poker is your best option in the casino. So, let’s get down to the top seven hacks for crushing video poker.
1 – Don’t Ever Not Bet Max
The first lesson you need to learn for crushing it at video poker is to always bet max lines. It doesn’t matter what variation you’re playing, how long you’ve been playing, or whether Mercury is in retrograde.
You always bet max lines playing video poker. You’ll never get the best return to player by not betting max credits.
The most crucial role of the number of credits played is the impact it has on the paytable. When a player plays only a single credit, the payout for a decent hand can remain low.
However, bump up to max credits, and the payout jumps into the realm of remarkable. You can check the paytable for a game before you play, but I’ll get into that later.
I want to look at an example of how the credits played will affect your overall success in video poker. The royal flush remains the holy grail of poker hands, and that’s no different in video poker.
On many games, the payout for a royal flush on a single credit is 250 credits. So, if you’re playing for $0.50 per credit, the payout would be $125.
However, for a play of 5 credits, the payout skyrockets to 4,000 credits; the difference is staggering.
Obviously, the casino wants you to bet max credits. Still, you should absolutely accommodate them when it comes to video poker.
The key to breaking down the house edge as much as possible begins with betting max credits on every hand you play.
2 – Pay Close Attention to the Payout
I mentioned above how the payout tables play a vital role in your session at the video poker machines. This small table will give you the payout for each hand based on the number of credits you’ve played.
The paytable will sometimes give you the actual return to the player of a game, but not always. So, it’s handy to know the 9/6 equation.
If the machine pays players at least 9:1 for a full house and 6:1 for a flush, you’ve found a game with a high RTP. Therefore, you’re at a game with a theoretical low house edge.
The paytable is also vitally important because it will help ensure that you’re using the best strategy to maximize the hands you’re dealt.
Learn to read and understand the different paytables, and you’ll have an easier time navigating the video poker games.
3 – Understand that Bankroll Management Is Paramount
Every gambler on the planet benefits from sound bankroll management principles. The ability to properly manage your money pays dividends regardless of how the games are going.
In video poker, money management becomes critical because the house edge is so low. That means if you can stay in the game for long enough, you may be able to squeak out some profits.
The volatility of the game will have a considerable impact on the ebb and flow of your video poker session.
Low volatility games will pay you more for low-level wins that come more frequently. These small wins help to float your bankroll without ever digging too deep of a hole.
The high volatility machines will be much more top-heavy. You may go on long spells where your bankroll begins to deplete.
Yet, a single win can get you right back into the black, and all will once again be right with the world. The volatility of a machine isn’t something that will be plastered on the device; you’ll have to check how the paytable is weighted.
Still, the volatility of a machine could have crippling effects on your bankroll if you’re not prepared for losing streaks.
4 – Play Progressives
Progressive jackpots draw players to games with their massive prizes that are sometimes in the millions. In a single hand or spin, players’ lives may instantly be changed.
Unfortunately, you’re not going to find any seven-figure progressive jackpots in video poker. However, you can still find games that will make your gambling trip a tremendous success.
You should always check the pay table of the game, but this becomes of more importance on progressive games. Video poker progressives will often have a much lower payout for the lower hands than a non-progressive game.
Doing your due diligence before you leave for the casino is always a best practice. Progressives offer players the opportunity at huge paydays, but often at the expense of sustainable wins.
5 – Exclusively Play Games With the Best RTP
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the return to player drives everything in video gaming machines. This is as true for slot machines as it is for video poker.
Return to player is the amount of money a machine takes in over the course of its lifetime that it is designed to pay back to the players.
More critically, the RTP determines the house edge. So, a casino slot machine with an RTP of 90%, like most penny slots, has a house edge of 10%.
Luckily, the RTP for video poker machines is much higher. There are actually games you can play in casinos that will pay over 100%.
That makes video poker one of if not the best games in the entire casino. It is one of a few casino bets that offer 100% RTP! Even poor games will be in the 98% to 99% range.
To get those returns, you’ll have to play perfectly under the right conditions. So, strategy is a key to your success playing video poker.
6 – Always Implement Basic Strategy
Few casino games allow players to implement the best strategy to lower the house advantage. Blackjack is one of the most notable examples.
Basic blackjack strategy allows players to make the best possible decision based on their hand and the dealer’s up-card. When implemented perfectly, the house edge is diminished by 50% or more.
Many players are unaware of the valuable strategy, and even fewer players are familiar with the basic strategy for video poker.
Putting the best strategy to work on every hand and betting max credits could see you enjoying an RTP of over 100%.
7 – Slow It Down
People get themselves into unnecessary trouble playing casino games too fast. On electronic gaming machines, players are mostly allowed to play at their own pace.
However, players have a tendency to blow through spins or hands as quickly as possible. Slot machine gamblers will soon burn through their bankroll by spinning as quickly as possible then wonder why they lost so fast as they look for something to kill time until they leave.
Gamblers implementing the best strategy to gain an advantage will want to play as fast as possible to maximize profits. Slowing down can preserve your bankroll for the average player trying to hit a progressive on a game with a low RTP.
Real money video poker is a fantastic game for anybody interested in using strategy to flip the script on the casino and their house advantage. My top seven hacks for crushing video poker could very well turn you into an advantage gambler.