There is considerable overlap between blackjack players and video poker players. Let’s look at why.
The personality skills of successful blackjack players and successful video poker players are quite similar. Good players in both games are bright, have excellent memories, and can sit and play for hours. Each player is playing a winning game, although certainly not every session.
Memorizing the strategy for 9-6 Jacks or Better is approximately as easy (as difficult?) as learning basic strategy in blackjack. Memorizing how to play Double Bonus Poker is as difficult (as easy?) as all the matrix numbers in a 3-level blackjack count system.
In blackjack, the strategy changes as you go through the deck. In video poker this is generally not true. Each hand is independent of the last one. Getting four aces in a video poker hand does not affect your chances of getting them again the following hand.
Video poker is always played off the top of a single deck. “Penalty cards” in video poker have similarities to top-of-deck plays made in blackjack. For example, a good blackjack player, at the start of single deck, would hit a 16 against a K if the 16 consisted of a 9 and a 7, but not if it consisted of 3,3,5,5. In the best version of Jacks or Better, with K♥ J♦ T♦ 5♠ 3♣ a good player plays JT. But with K♥ J♦ T♦ 5♠ 3♦, that same player would play KJ. The blackjack player varied his play because there were fewer low cards remaining in the deck. The video poker player varied his play because there were fewer diamonds left in the deck.
Break Points versus Matrix Numbers
Break points for video poker progressives are analogous to matrix numbers in blackjack. That is, you play more aggressively for a royal flush as the progressive increases just as you double more frequently in blackjack as the true count rises.
You can stop and talk to someone while playing video poker without losing your place. Whenever you get back to the game, it will be ready. In blackjack, this distraction may well cause you to lose the count, although the best players practice so they can do this successfully.
Winning Blackjack versus Video Poker
In winning blackjack, the bet size varies with the count. That is, as the player’s advantage increases, so does the amount of the bet. In video poker, the bet- size is constant at “Max Coins” every time. The only way to increase your bet is to change to a higher-denomination machine.
In blackjack, expert players are watched a lot more closely than they are in video poker. Probably this is because blackjack players can vary their bets a lot more and cheat a lot more easily. In video poker, the machine itself has a lot of security built in so there doesn’t need to be as much human surveillance.
Stay tuned for Part II which goes a bit deeper including the discussion regarding risks and surveillance of advantage players, casino conditions and strategy.
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 – Part I
Casino Loyalty Cards are Similar to Those of Airlines and Hotels — But Not the Same – Part II
Casino Loyalty Cards are Similar to Those of Airlines and Hotels — But Not the Same – Part III
Video Poker vs. Regular Poker
Why I Prefer Video Poker To Slots
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.)