Video Poker Winner


Expert Video Poker
The Long-Term Approach to Winning Expert video poker strategies and machines offering 99% long-term payback can make you a life-time winner at video poker. But playing games offering 99% payback does not mean that for every 100 coins you feed into a machine you’ll get 99 coins back! The key is “long-term” which means thousands of hands. Plus, to achieve that 99% plateau you must have the highest level of proficiency and make exactly the right decision as you play each and every hand. No human is capable of playing that perfectly. Another even more crucial catch is that the 99% payback calculation also includes the Royal Flush bonus pay-off! You have an additional 2% disadvantage if you don’t get to collect a 4,000-coin Royal Flush win.

These are the realities: Only computers play with absolute accuracy all the time. We humans are not that flawless. We’re bound to make mistakes, not to mention that we probably have not completely mastered the rules of perfect video poker play. Therefore, the actual results you will receive will be based on your personal skill level. The more expertly you play, the better your chances of becoming a winner in the long run.

Let’s be realistic and accept that because we don’t play with computer-like precision, our expected return percentage will be reduced by at least one percentage point. From 99% to 98%, providing we get our fair share of Royal Flushes. That translates into the machine keeping 2% for the casino! If the Royal Flush shows up only half as often at it is statistically supposed to appear, add another 1% and the casino’s edge becomes 3%. And this is based on playing games with favorable pay-tables.

Most video poker games are designed to return less than 99%. Play such machines over extented periods and you will never be a long-term winner. To have any chance of success you need to know how to play good basic strategy and pick machines with decent pay tables. Your day to day results will still be erratic but you will do alright over the long term.

Whether online or in live casinos, you should not play any machine that does not offer the following minimum payouts. Avoid games where the payout for any hand is lower than what’s shown here:

Jacks or Better (rated 99.54% payout)

Royal Flush 4000
Straight Flush 250
Four of a Kind 125
Full House 45
Flush 30
Straight 20
Three of a Kind 15
Two Pair 10
Jackor Better 5 

Deuces Wild (rated 98.91% payout)

Royal Flush 4000
Four Deuces 1000
Wild Royal 125
Five of a Kind 75
Straight Flush 45
Four of a Kind 20*
Full House 20*
Flush 15
Straight 10
Three of a Kind 5

*If Four of a Kind pays 25 and Full House 15, you have found a “full-pay” machine, returning 100.7%. Such pay tables are rare, even in Las Vegas

Jokers Wild (Joker Poker) (rated 99.07%)

Royal Flush 4000
Five of a Kind 1000
Royal with Joger 500
Straight Flush 250
Four of a Kind 100
Full House 30
Flush 30
Straight 25
Three of a Kind 10
Two Pair 5
Kings or Better 5

If games with paytables as good as the above are not available, but you want to play anyway, my advice is risk only a relatively small amount and hope to get a big payout in short order. Do not keep feeding coins into machines with bad pay tables for extented periods.

On average, a Royal Flush occurs about once every 40,000 hands, but there is absolutely no guarantee. You could go 100,000 hands and not hit one. Some calculations to ponder: If you play maximum coins at a moderate speed of 400 hands per hour, it takes 100 hours to play 40,000 hands. At five quarters, or $1.25 per hand, times 400 hands that’s $500 going through the machine each hour.

At only a 3% long-term hold, the machine keeps an average of $15 per hour. Play 100 hours, (40,000 hands) and your loss will total $1,500! Even if you are lucky enough to hit a Royal Flush during that stretch, the pay-off would be 4,000 quarters or $1,000. You’re still down $500, or an average of $5 for each hour of play

So how can you possibly hope to at least break even playing video poker? In live casinos the slot club benefits can make the difference. Exploit the slot club freebies to the maximum. Keep a record of the value of everything the casino gives you for free and include that sum in your winnings. If you received free accomodation, restaurant meals, show tickets and other complimentaries, add up the estimated dollar value. Chances are the amount will be about equal to what you lost on the machines. And if you are lucky and hit more than your fair share of Royals, you will even show an overall net cash profit.

Online casinos don’t have slot clubs, but you have a pretty good chance of ending up on the plus side if you exploit the sign-on or welcome bonuses offered by practically all online casinos. To find out exactly how to do that click here. The instructions are based on playing Deuces Wild, which happens to be my favorite game, but the scheme can equally well be applied to Jacks or Better, Jokers Wild and other video poker games.

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