Churchill Was Right
Winston Churchill was the British Prime Minister during much of World War II. Unlike modern politicians and their political correctness, he smoked a big cigar and enjoyed drinking alcohol in public — sometimes too much so.
There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, that Churchill was in his cups one night about 75 years ago. Some disapproving woman reproached him for being drunk.
“You’re correct, Madam,” replied Churchill. “I am drunk and you are ugly. The difference is that tomorrow I will no longer be drunk but you will still be ugly.”
I was reminded of this story after one of my video poker classes at the South Point. I was approached after class by a woman whom I’ve known for several years. She holds a responsible position at another casino I frequent and I’ve been inviting her to my classes for a long time. She’s always been too busy, didn’t have the day off, was not interested, or something. But this time she came, perhaps mostly because one of my assistants also invited her.
Ignorance Is Curable
“Georgia” told me she couldn’t believe what an idiot she was. “I thought I knew video poker but it turns out I have a lot of misconceptions. I always hold ace-ten suited, generally mis-evaluate 3-card straight flushes, and some hands are always a guess. I didn’t think it mattered very much. I see now that I’ve thrown away tens of thousands of dollars over the years needlessly.”
I told her there was a difference between being ignorant about a subject and being an idiot. Ignorance is a curable “disease.” If you’re bright enough (she is) and motivated enough (we’ll see), the tools are available to improve your video poker skills. It takes a certain amount of dedication, but the path to improving her results isn’t a particularly difficult one.
Idiocy (using the term loosely) isn’t very curable. If you lack basic intelligence, video poker study probably isn’t going to help you very much. You might learn enough to lose less over time, but you’ll never be very good. Anyone who claims that everybody can be successful at video poker is mistaken.
Even saying “intelligent or not” is misleading. You need to have the right kind of intelligence to do well at video poker. It takes a high degree of a certain kind of intelligence and a high degree of knowledge to be a master mechanic, chef, interior decorator, etc. Such people may or may not have the ability to become good video poker players. Being good at one thing bodes well for your chances to become good at something unrelated, but there’s no guarantee.
What You Need To Play Video Poker
If your results aren’t what you’d like them to be at video poker, you’re the one who is going to have to determine whether you are ignorant (very curable) or not very smart (not very curable). The tools to eliminate your ignorance are readily available at nominal cost. (Players sometimes object to paying $49.95 for software but regularly lose thousands of extra dollars in the machines because they make easily-fixable mistakes over and over again. Go figure.)
One thing Churchill neglected to mention in this particular anecdote is the will to succeed. How unattractive this particular woman actually was we’ll never know (Ugly is in the eye of the beholder, after all.) It’s possible that most people would judge this particular woman’s appearance “acceptable” whether Churchill agreed or not. A high percentage of people have the ability to become acceptably attractive if they put their mind to it.
The same is true of video poker. You buying my books is great for me— please buy two sets! But buying the books and studying them are two different things. Curing your ignorance is something that takes time and diligence.
Perhaps surprisingly, a certain lack of intelligence can be cured as well. Playing video poker doesn’t take genius. It takes learning a technique and applying it diligently. Once players get the hang of it, not-so-smart players can at least become competent — if not great. For those people who love the game, “competence” is not a bad end result.
Learn more about video poker:
How To Play Video Poker The Smart Way – Part 1
How To Solve The Video Poker Puzzle – Part 1
Video Poker | Listening To My Mentor – 10x Points At Borgata
Why You Might Be Disappointed With A Straight Flush Jackpot
Be sure to check out some of our other articles on casino loyalty programs & casino gaming:
Casino Loyalty Cards are Similar to Those of Airlines and Hotels — But Not the Same
Video Poker vs. Regular Poker
Why I Prefer Video Poker To Slots
Video Poker vs. BlackJack
Bob Dancer is the premier video poker writer and teacher in the world. He has created a number of how-to-win products available at bobdancer.com. He co-hosts a weekly radio show called Gambling with an Edge, which is also archived on his website. (The show is also available on iTunes.)