Video Poker for Beginners

Most online casinos insult you with popups and spam, and they give you the hard sell even if you just want to try their free-play games. Most every other online casino makes you give up your email address just to play the fake-money games – ugh. Lessons. See my page on how to play the proper strategy for Jacks or Better. I recommend Jacks or Better because it’s the original VP game, it’s widely available, and most importantly, the strategy is pretty easy. I can’t stress strongly enough that it’s essential to learn the proper strategy. Proper play is essential. No registration required. Most casinos let you play for free with fake money, but there’s a catch: They make you register an account first. Just close any registration boxes that appear, and then you can play without registering. To find the good machines at lower limits, you have to go downtown or to a locals casino (which is one of my tips on How to Be a Smart Gambler), or play online at a casino like Bovada, which has offered 9/6 at low limits for years.

Using that site you’ll see that there’s slim pickings on the Strip for 9/6 Jacks or Better except at very high minimums. So you can see why I’m so eager to switch you from slots to VP. Recently I played a bunch of video poker and recorded the results, which you can see in the table at right. Best video poker on the strip. But for what it’s worth, here’s a good list of the best video poker on the strip. Video poker offers some of the best odds in the casino. But it’s actually pretty easy, because the readers of a website called VPFree2 scout out the best machines and post their locations on the site. So it really pays to hunt out the good machines! The first one pays 9 & 6 for the full house and flush respectively, and the second one pays only 8 & 5 for those hands. Your odds of hitting a royal flush (the top jackpot) are about 1 in 40,000. At 600 hands an hour and 8 hours a day, you can expect to hit a royal once every 8.3 days on average. But I estimate the odds of hitting a slot jackpot to usually be at least 1 in 262,000, so you’re far more likely to hit the jackpot with video poker.

It’s a good alternative to slot machines since you still have the chance of hitting a big jackpot, but you’re about five times more likely to actually get it. Compare this to slot machines, where you have no clue as to what payout you’re getting. In general, the Strip casinos have the worst machines, and everywhere else it’s better-off-strip, downtown, and locals casinos. And I would have preferred the royal! For example, let’s say you have 9, 9, 2, 2, 5, you throw away the five, and then you get another five. There are five columns in the paytable because your winnings depend on whether you played 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 “coins”. Right after learning the proper strategy, the most important thing about playing video poker is to choose a machine with a good paytable! The return on a video poker machine is determined by the paytable. Bob Dancer’s site. Bob is the most famous professional video poker player around, and his site shares his insights.

Play video poker instead. He’s also got a bunch of other useful stuff on video poker. Pick a game. There are dozens of varieties of video poker. This is kind of a misnomer, like trying to pick the tastiest of all the various mud sandwiches. Incidentally, a Four of a Kind happens about once per hour. I played that down to zero again, and then I hit Four of a Kind again. Here again, VPFree2 can help you find good-paying machines. Find the good games. Those machines are hard to find. Other strategies. The Wizard of Odds has come up with simplified strategies that are very easy to play and remember, and which work almost as well as professional strategies. Works on Macs. The play-in-browser games are MacOS compatible! Casinos don’t like to put games on the floor that potentially lose money. If you choose the machine on the right, you’ll lose your money six times faster! So if the casino gets 3% of all money bet, the players get back 97% of all money bet. That’s the main reason Bovada is the only online casino that gets advertising space on my site. He also sells useful VP-related software on the site.

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