people have now switched from regular slots to
video poker in the last ten years since video
poker was introduced. Video poker is a form of
slots, but for many reasons, it is considered
to be more than just another slot machine. Players
who switch from slots to video poker often find
that their gambling sessions become both more
interesting and more profitable once they have
Although many players have switched to video poker,
there are still a lot of players who are uninformed
about the differences between the two and see
no reason to switch. As a result, they lose out
on the enjoyment that playing video poker provides
If you go to either Atlantic City or Las Vegas,
you will notice that most of the locals are playing
video poker. This should be an indication to you
of which is more profitable. If the slots were
more profitable, the locals would be playing them.
Once they discover that they make more money playing
video poker, most of the locals abandon the slots
Casinos are getting more video poker machines
all the time in order to keep up with the demand.
The Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City now has
four times as many video poker machines as it
did when it first opened.
Here are some things you should know about video
poker if you currently enjoy playing the slots.
Hopefully, after reading this article you will
be convinced to give video poker a try.
Not Just Slots
One difference between video poker and slots is
that the payout for video slots is often much
better. Video poker machines pay out 96% to over
100%, while regular slot machines normally pay
out 90% to 97%.
Because of the higher payouts, you have a much
better chance of doing well playing video poker.
Many people play for years and remain at break-even
or better, counting comps and benefits. Plus,
it is pretty easy to locate the best machines
in video poker.
Video poker includes an element of skill that
makes the game more challenging as well as more
interesting. It also increases the level of satisfaction
you will feel after playing, whether you win or
Before playing video poker at the casino, you
should try to learn as much as you can about the
game first. There are many resources available
that can help you learn. You can find books, magazines,
videos and even computer software to help you
learn. That way, you can get good at playing before
you go to the casino.
There are three things you need to learn before
you play video poker. First, you must learn which
machines to play. Then you must learn how to play
them. Last of all, you must have a realistic idea
of what results to expect.
Deciding Which Machines to Play
Video poker machines bring up cards randomly,
and since we know how many and what kind of cards
are in a deck, it is possible to determine the
payback of each machine by looking at the pay
schedule. Each video poker machine must have a
pay schedule attached to it. A player can determine
from this information what the odds are for winning.
With slots, this is not possible because the wheels
do not always stop randomly. You never know what
is happening with slot machines.
Here is an example of a typical pay schedule for
video poker. This is for a game called Draw Poker.
Royal Flush 250/800
Straight Flush 50
Four of a Kind 25
Full House 8
Three of a Kind 3
Two Pairs 2
Pair Jacks or Better 1
This chart shows the number of credits paid out
for each one played. If two credits are played,
you would double the amounts to get the payout.
The royal flush offers a bonus of 800 credits
in this example if you play five credits at a
With the use of a computer, you can figure the
payback percentage for different machines. There
are many charts online that show the paybacks
for typical pay schedules. In this example, the
payback is 97.3% and the bonus for the royal flush
with 5 coins adds another 1.1%. You can use this
information to choose the best machines to play
Strategy for Playing
In order to maximize the payoff in video poker,
you must know which cards to hold and which to
discard in the pre-draw hand. In many cases, this
is obvious when playing draw poker. In about 25%
of the pre-draw hands, however, there are several
possibilities for how to play the hand. For these
hands, you need to know which option is most likely
to result in a winning hand.
For example, if the initial cards are 6D 7D 8D
9H 9S, there are three possible ways to play it.
You could keep the 6D 7D 8D, hoping for a straight
flush, or the 6D 7D 8D 9H (or 9S) to try for a
straight, or hold the pair of 9’s. To make
this decision, refer to a “ranking table”
to help you with your strategy.
There are ranking tables available for every version
of video poker worth playing. You can purchase
them online for a reasonable price. Once you have
studied the table, you will know which move gives
you the best chance of winning. In the example
above, you are better off to keep the pair of
It is common for beginning players to take the
strategy table to the casino with them and consult
it while playing until they learn the strategy
well enough to play without the card.
What Results to Expect
Once you know the pay schedule and payback for
the machine you are playing, you can determine
some additional information that will help you
in playing video poker. You can determine how
often each winning hand will occur, the streaks
that are likely to show up and the percentage
of hands that will lose. You can also determine
how large your bankroll should be when you play
The royal flush will appear approximately once
in every 40,000 games and about 55% of all games
will be losers. Approximately 21% of the games
will just return the amount of the bet.Knowing
these percentages will give you a good idea of
what to expect while playing the game. This will
keep you from getting discouraged when normal
streaks appear during game play.
Now you know the basics of playing video poker.
Take some time to learn how to play well, and
you will have a much better chance at winning.