Unlike slot machines, video poker games offer clear indications on every possible payout, giving you a significant edge. If you choose to play with acceptable pay tables and opt for a more skill-based approach, you will most certainly generate a fair income and enjoy playing.
Video poker is rather simple, and it is similar to regular poker, except for the fact that when playing this game, you are assuring yourself with a more steady return. As well as in regular poker, you will be given five cards, which you should use to get the best hand possible. In order to do this, you need to keep certain cards and toss others away to be able to get a new winning combination. So the rules are really simple.
To become the best video poker player, you have to stop playing like a gambler and start treating video poker more seriously. So follow the next video poker tips and tricks and improve your video poker strategy:
- Choose Your Version of Video Poker and Stick to It
- Play Maximum Bets
- Understand Video Poker Probabilities
- Be Familiar with all Possible Paytables
- Take Advantage of Casino Bonuses
So let’s get right into it and see how to play video poker effectively.
Choose Your Game and Stick to It
Video poker machines consist of plenty of variations, with Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bally’s American, and Tens or Better being the most popular ones. Each variation has its own advantages and set of rules, and it would be good to opt for one of them and get deep into the rules book. Not being able to see the difference between these versions may result in significant losses.
There are plenty of demo versions of online video poker where you could choose one of the above and practice your skills before you get into further improving your video poker strategy. No matter if you prefer online video poker or enjoy playing the land-based ones, you should take your time, explore the rules, and get a grasp of what every version of this game entails.
Play Maximum Bets
This varies from one machine to another, however, you can drastically increase your winnings when you play with the maximum number of coins. The video poker machines allow you to bet anywhere from 1 to 5 coins per poker hand. So if you choose to go after the highest payout, you should always be investing 5 coins instead of going for the minimum bet. This is the most popular step in updating your video poker strategy. When you get to compare pay tables, no matter which version, you will be able to see that the higher your wager is, the higher the payout. The logic behind this is rather simple and straightforward.
Another essential video poker tip is to you pay attention to your bankroll. If you are incapable of affording any losses, you really shouldn’t be playing in the first place.
However, there are exceptions to this strategy, and quite important ones. If you get into further research, you will encounter many articles and strategy sources that insist on playing the maximum coin bet. But what happens if you really cannot afford to bet on the max all the time?
Well, the answer is simple — know when not to bet the maximum.
The explanation behind this is that you will get the royal flush hand 1 out of 40,000 hands, and this is why you shouldn’t be worrying about missing out on those extra 3,000 coins. The rest of the payouts are approximately 97% of the total winnings, and since all of them gradually increase when you raise your bet from 1 to 5, your losses are reduced to a minimum.
Either way, we still suggest going for the maximum wager any time you are able to do so.
Be Familiar with Poker Statistics
Every professional poker player will tell you that it is essential to be familiar will all possibilities of losing and winning. For example, let’s use the probability of getting the royal flush. The chances of winning with that hand happen once in 40,000 hands. In contrast, a four of a kind will come up once every hour. That means that the probability of you getting that is set to .24%.
Also, it would be smart to learn all about your possible losses since you’ve already found yourself in poker statistics. This way, you will start your gameplay with more realistic expectations. So to be able to get the average number of potential losses, you need to multiply the house edge by the bet size and by the number of rounds played within an hour. Let’s use an example.
When playing 9/6 Jacks or Better, you should be multiplying .5% by five coins by 400 (hands per hour). This will get you to a $2.50 loss an hour in the long term. However, if you are more of a short term player, you will, unfortunately, lose more — around $6.50 an hour.
In comparison, your losses are much higher when playing a slot machine in a regular casino. The average loss per hour comes to $40, proving that playing video poker has much more favorable odds for the player than playing a regular slot machine.
Understand All Pay Tables
Confusion and uncertainty on what to do next could reign in case that you are not familiar how every hand pays out. First of all, you need to do your part of research since some video poker machines tend to offer better odds than others. Your research should bring you to the level where you can recognize a player-friendly video poker machine. You have to admit it is pretty awesome to get a list of possible combinations, as well as how much they pay out, so you should really take advantage of that information. Moreover, since the casinos are transparent about it, why not use that?
Now, even though the pay tables are readily available, the payback percentages are not taken into account. The most simple guidance we could provide is that you should pay attention to the number that is being used to indicate the odds when the maximum bet is placed. Let’s see it on an example: 9/6 Jacks or Better suggests that the payout for a full house is 9 times your initial wager and 6 times for a flush. This is what players call ‘full pay,’ making this the highest paying version of that game. In addition, you will be able to find many portals publishing the payback percentages for every version of video poker.
To cut the story short, make sure you do your part of research and keep looking for full-pay games.
Take Advantage of Casino Bonuses
Playing well is not the only way to become a regular winner — you need to practice. There are plenty of online and land-based venues that offer all sorts of variations to video poker.
It is well-known that if you choose one venue and commit, you have a lot of benefits coming your way, especially if you choose an online casino. Besides daily promotional offers, welcome bonuses, and demo versions, there is one thing that could help you save your bankroll in the long run — membership programs. These schemes are always well-crafted to provide you with benefits if you remain a loyal customer.
You will be able to accumulate points for your gameplay and be eligible for various promotional offers, discounts, or in case you’ve committed to a land-based venue — free show tickets, open rooms, and much, much more. The free meals, drinks, and accommodation are fantastic. However, the best part for you as a video poker player is that you will get free rounds, incentive programs, and discounts that could help you save your bankroll while you practice. After all, practice makes perfect!
Overall, video poker is one enjoyable game that gives its players a chance to be observant, calculative, and actually see some results. This game can be even more enjoyable when you cover all the basics, such as pay tables, max-coin bets, and the payback percentages of every hand.
Once you are familiar with these concepts, you will be able to develop tools that can increase your odds of winning. Just remember — always start with a strategy chart and then move on to further improvements based on it.
Everybody wants to win, and everybody wants to win big, but you should be aware that such huge winnings can only happen over time. In the meantime, try following these video poker tips and tricks, and you may be able to become an effective video poker player who will profit in the long run. One step at a time!