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What Return to Expect When Playing Video Poker

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Whether you are playing at home or in the casino, video poker can be a lot of fun. It can also be profitable if you know your strategy and play on machines that offer a good payback.

There are many different varieties of video poker, and they do not all offer the same returns. The pay schedule for each machine is posted on the machine, so you can use this information to determine how well the machines pay out. There are pay tables available all over the Internet where you can find the payback percentage for the most popular video poker games. Playing the games that offer the highest payback schedule will offer you the best chance at profiting from the video poker machines.

Besides making sure you are playing at the right machines, you need to make sure you have the right strategy for winning at video poker. You need to know which cards to hold in order to increase your chances of earning a payout for each hand. Sometimes this is easy because there is only one possibility that makes sense. However, at other times there may be more than one winning hand that could result from the cards you initially draw, and you need to know which one is most likely to come up.

Here is an example to help you understand why you need to have a good strategy for deciding which cards to keep.

Let’s say that you are playing a video poker machine that pays out 6 for a flush and 4 for a straight. If you have a hand that could give you either four cards for a flush or four for a straight, you must decide which hand to go for. There are nine cards left in the deck that could complete your flush out of the remaining 47 cards in the deck. So your odds of winning the flush are 9/47.

Your odds for getting the straight are lower. If the cards you have available to use toward the straight are all consecutive, there are eight different cards that could make the straight (8/47). If the cards are not consecutive, but instead have a gap (such as 2-3-5-6), then your odds for the straight are only 4/47.

You can also convert your odds to a percentage that takes into consideration the amount of return expected for each payoff. The formula for this is to take the odds times the payout times 100 to convert it to a percentage. So you get 9/47 x 6 x 100 = 115% for the flush or 8/47 x 4 x 100 = 68% for the straight.

This might make video poker seem confusing or overwhelming, but if you are serious about winning, you need to learn the strategies that will help increase your chances. Fortunately, you can do this without your calculator. There are cheat sheets available from many sources that tell you which hands are the best bet. You can purchase them online and take them with you when you play.

If you want to win at video poker, you need to be able to determine what the best play is for each hand. There are 32 possible ways to play each hand in video poker, and you must play each hand in the best possible way. You will not do well in video poker if you make mistakes.

Now that you know how to figure the expected return for each hand, or how to access the information if you prefer not to figure it out yourself, you are ready to start playing video poker. Find a machine that pays well and get started playing today.
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