Almost every video poker player I know falls into the same pattern. They find a game they like and they sit down and hope they hit a royal flush. If they play long enough they eventually hit one, but it costs them too much money along the way.
Video poker offers a high return to player percentage if you know what to look for and how to play, but it’s like other casino games. In the long run, it’s almost impossible to beat video poker.
Here are five tips for real money video poker players that you can use to improve your odds every time you play.
You Have to Be a Picky and Patient Gambler
If you want to get better results playing video poker than most gamblers get you need to do things differently. And this starts with being picky and being patient.
The only way to get the highest video poker returns is to play on machines that have good pay tables. This is the only way, and no matter what anyone tells you, there’s no way around this.
This means that you can’t play on any video poker machine that you see. You have to be patient and refuse to play until you find a machine with the right paytable. This is not how most video poker players operate.
They might look for a good machine for a little bit, but they get impatient and just accept the best paytable they can find. This is what the casinos want you to do because the casino makes more money when you play on a video poker machine that doesn’t have a good paytable.
The second thing that can help is to make a list of the location of every good paytable you find. This helps you find good video poker machines in the future.
Another option is to simply play at an online or mobile casino that offers good pay tables.
One thing is clear though. You should never play on a video poker machine that doesn’t have the paytable you want. Every time you do this it costs you money.
Using Your Gut or Proven Casino Math
When you play video poker do you guess what the best way to play a hand is, or do you use a proven mathematical formula that tells you exactly what the best play is?
The majority of video poker players use their gut feeling when they play. This is one of the main reasons why they lose so much when they play.
But video poker returns are based on your long term results. If you’re not making the best possible play on every hand you’re losing more than you need to over time.
You need to stop doing what other video poker players do and start using video poker strategy. You can learn how to play every video poker hand for any machine by using a strategy chart designed for the game.
Old Video Poker Games
Are new video poker machines better than old video poker machines? The answer isn’t exactly straightforward, but overall the older video poker games tend to be better than new machines.
Casinos operate based on how much money they make, and most casinos track how much they make per square foot on the casino floor. When they introduce new games of any type it’s in hopes of increasing their profits.
I like to check out new casino games, but I also know that the odds of a new game offering a higher return than a game it might replace are small.
In addition to this, the best video poker games tend to be the ones that have been around a long time. Jacks or Better was the original video poker game and it’s still one of the best games you can play. Deuces Wild video poker has been around forever, and it’s also one of the best variations you can play.
When you find a new video poker game variation, do your research about the return numbers, best pay tables, and the best strategy before you play, or you risk playing a game that’s not as good as some of the older machines.
Taking It All
Some video poker games offer a high return percentage, with a few of them coming in over 99.5%. This places these games in a rare group of casino games that only includes some blackjack games.
You can use a few different strategies to help offset your losses. You can use one of these strategies or a combination.
- Comps schemes – A comps scheme is a club that casinos run that tracks how much you play video poker and gives you rewards for your play. The rewards vary based on where you play and how much you play, but comps are basically free things that you get for playing video poker.
- Bonuses – Casino Bonuses are something you can get when you play mobile or online video poker. You make a deposit and receive a bonus that you can play with just like cash. Video poker bonuses help your bankroll, but they rarely help you win in the long run.
- Promotions – Special promotions can include entries to special tournaments or drawings or free play. Ask the player’s club about promotions every time you play video poker.
- Coupons – Coupons come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them give you free bets and some give you entry into special games or tournaments. Look for coupons in gaming publications and at the casino.
- Free stuff – Anything that you can get from the casinos for free that hasn’t been covered fits in this category. It can be free drinks, free hats, free shirts, or anything else. If the casino is offering something for free, take it even if it’s not something you want.
With the right combination, you might be able to offset your losses enough to effectively break even. This is more difficult than it sounds, but you need to get everything that you can to offset your losses, no matter how small the losses are.
The Only Good Option Is Online or Mobile Video Poker
When you take everything you’ve learned so far in this article into account, the best option for most video poker players is to play either online or in a mobile casino. Online and mobile casinos are basically the same when it comes to video poker play.
It’s easier to find video poker games with good paytables, the bet size is usually smaller than in land-based casinos, and you can get bonuses to build your video poker bankroll.
The only thing that land-based video poker offers that’s hard to find online is a comps scheme. And a few online and mobile video poker casinos do offer comps.
In the long run, you’re probably not going to beat video poker games no matter what you do, but online and mobile video poker offer the best odds and options to let you play with a high rate of return.
If you want to maximize your returns playing video poker you have to learn to be picky and you have to be patient. And you have to start using the proven math behind strategy charts instead of relying on your gut to play hands.
Everybody likes to check out new games when they come out, but older video poker machines are usually the safest bet. Even when you play the best video poker you can, the casino still holds a small advantage. This is why you need to take everything you can get.
In the end there’s a clear choice for video poker players.