Video Poker Strategy Chat with Scott
Scott Roeben, founder of the Vital Vegas blog and podcast, asked me some questions about video poker strategy, during my interview at the live broadcast of Vegas Confessions Podcast in November. He followed up by interviewing me for the Vital Vegas Podcast and we spoke off the record about his quest to hit his first Royal Flush.
The Video Poker Bar
He plays casually at the video poker bars in Downtown Las Vegas. I suggested that he pick the best game available at a bar top that pays double your bet if you get two pair. This won’t insure that you’ll hit more Royal Flushes, but your money will last longer.
Two pair hits frequently and you’ll have more money so you can hang in there and wait to hit the Royal. He hit his first Royal shortly after the interview. That wasn’t because of the tips I gave him, but if you improve your game selection or strategy accuracy, it will help you in the long run.
That Got Me To Thinking
That got me to thinking, that for those that don’t want to study strategies and practice at home on a video poker trainer, relaxing at a video poker bar with a strategy card and gradually learning to play one game perfectly could be the way to go.
I have a friend, that we’ll call the Cocktail Master. She used to play alongside of me, at just one coin to save money, so we could chat and sip cocktails. Well, over time I could see that she was playing pretty accurately and she was asking me questions about advanced holds. She got to that point with no study and without referring to a strategy card.
If you’re going to play at a bar anyway, why not get a written out Video Poker strategy for the best pay table (the best odds) for a video poker game at that bar and play slowly and refer to the strategy frequently. This accomplishes two things. First, you don’t want to play fast when you are not playing accurately. You don’t want to speed up the house edge. Secondly, part of your payback is the drinks you are getting comped. If you’d be drinking anyway, why not drink for free as you’re learning? As you play, there is a tendency to play faster and faster (even if your skill level does not justify it). If you’re purposefully playing slow, to work on accuracy, you’ll save bets, but still have a chance to hit a Royal.
Related: Learn Video Poker | How to Get Started
I Do Love A Good Cocktail – Video Poker Bar
I do love a good cocktail while I’m playing video poker, but sometimes I play at the bar tops because there aren’t any other machines available, when I need to earn points for a promotion.
Video poker tends to be a solitary game, but I notice that a lot of socializing occurs at the video poker bars. This too works in one’s favor to slow down the play so that you’ll keep checking your holds against a strategy card. It might even start a conversation.
It would be best if you play at a bar top that has 9/6 Jacks or Better or 8/5 Bonus Poker, but if you MUST play Double Double Bonus or some other game, please print out or buy a strategy card for that particular pay table on that specific game. If you learn one game perfectly, you can adjust more easily to different pay tables.
Be sure to review these articles if you are new to video poker:
Learn Video Poker | How to Get Started
Playing Video Poker is More Than Video Poker Pay Tables
The Truth About Video Poker – Jacks or Better
One Last Thing – Comp Earning
One last thing I would like to add is that video poker earns less comps than slot play or table games, so playing slow at the bar is not going to give you a good ADT (Average Daily Theoretical). If you can get comped drinks without inserting a slot card, that might be the way to go. If this video poker play is the only play you do, then go ahead and insert a slot card and earn what you can (unless—this is the first time you are playing at a new property. Play as big and as much as you can afford this first time and leave the slow, learning play for another day.)