5 Easy Video Poker Tips That Every Casino Player Should Know
TIP #1: PLAY MAXIMUM COINS
Playing maximum coins gives you the full value for the royal flush --- typically 800-for-1. Playing fewer coins gives you less for that hand --- typically 250-for-1.
You won’t get that royal flush very often (usually once every 40,000 to 45,000 hands on average), but you NEVER know when the next one is coming. So playing maximum coins gets you paid well when the royal comes.
TIP #2: CHECK PAY SCHEDULES
For Video Poker games where you get your money back for a pair of jacks or better, every additional unit you receive for a full house or flush returns an extra 1.1%.
Compare these two Double Double Bonus games.
The first one returns 99.0% with perfect play. The second one returns 97.9%. Most of the plays are the same over the two games, but your money will last longer on the first one. Often you can find both games at the same casino. It’s up to you to know the difference or you’ll be taking the worst of it
If you don’t know how much each pay schedule returns, a good source of this information is my Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner.
TIP #3: KNOW THE STRATEGY FOR THE GAME YOU ARE PLAYING
Say you’re playing deuces wild and you’re dealt 4♠ 4♥ 6♣ 6♦ 7♠. How do you play it? Do you hold one pair or both pairs?
Actually either could be correct. Consider the two games below, both of which return approximately 98.9% when played well. In the first game you just hold one pair (it doesn’t matter which one). In the second game you hold both pairs.
How can you tell which is which? Look at the amount you get when you receive a full house. In the first game, you get paid 3-for-1 (15 for a 5-coin bet). Whenever you see that in Deuces Wild, you hold one pair when you’re dealt two.
In the second game you get paid 4-for-1 for the same hand (20 for a 5-coin bet). That’s when you hold both pair.
TIP #4: PRACTICE BEFORE YOU PLAY
Computer software is available to tell you how to play any hand. The images you see today are inspired by Video Poker for Winners, which is the one I recommend, but there are other good ones as well.
Here we see a hand dealt in a Bonus Poker game. The player held the jack and the ten to go for the royal flush --- certainly a play that looks reasonable. The computer, however, tells you that’s a mistake. Holding the queen and jack is actually better.
After you get corrected a few times, you won’t be making this mistake any more. A little bit of practice can make a big difference in your results!
TIP #5: PLAY FOR STAKES YOU CAN AFFORD
Everybody wants to win, and everybody wins some of the time. But we all lose some of the time as well, and we can’t know what’s going to be the result today until we actually play.
If losing a few hundred credits will be a disaster for you, you can’t afford the stakes you’re playing. If you play for a modest amount compared to your overall bankroll, you’ll be able to absorb the swings, both plus and minus, and enjoy the game.
I wish you lots of royal flushes!