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Video Poker Resolutions

Tips to help you enjoy more wins and more fun in 2011

You should never play less than five coins. The reason is that the royal flush pays 250-for-1 when playing one to four coins, and 800-for-1 with five coins played. By not playing the full five coins, payback is reduced about two percent.


The New Year is here. It is a time for putting the old year behind us, and looking forward to 2011 with renewed hope and resolve. Many of us make resolutions for the upcoming year, so in keeping with this tradition, here are some suggested resolutions for your video poker play in 2011.

video poker

Locate and play only the best-paying video poker games. Gone are the days when positive (greater than 100 percent) payback games were common., but there are still enough very good-paying games to make it worthwhile to seek them out. There are still positive games such as 10/7 Double Bonus and full-pay Deuces Wild available in selected areas of some casinos. When these games aren’t available, look for games that pay at least 99 percent—such as 25/16/10 Not So Ugly Deuces (99.73 percent); 9/6 Jacks or Better (99.54 percent); or 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.1 percent). Playing only the high-paying machines will give you the best chance of winning, or at least losing less.

Learn the playing strategy for one or two of the best games. In order to maximize wins (or minimize losses), not only must you choose the best games, you must also play them properly. To do that, learn the playing strategy. Strategies are available in books, software or even online. Pick one or two games and learn the strategy perfectly. I recommend 9/6 Jacks or Better, or Not So Ugly Deuces. Their strategies are fairly simple, and the games have decent payback.

Play at your pace. Playing video poker is not a sprint or a speed contest. There is no need to play fast. Instead, play at a relaxed, comfortable pace. The faster you play, the greater the chance that you will miss something and make an incorrect play. While many incorrect plays won’t cost you much, some can be downright expensive. Remember—slow and steady wins the race.

Play only when rested and sharp. Similar to playing too fast, playing when you’re become tired—or after a few too many drinks—causes mistakes in strategy that cost you money. It’s natural to want to continue playing; maybe the next hand will be a royal flush. However, if you become tired, stop. If you find you are not thinking clearly due to consuming a few drinks, stop. If you catch yourself making more than one mistake every half hour, stop. Actually, after you catch yourself making your second mistake it may be time to take a break. It makes no sense to work so hard to learn the proper strategy, and then give a big chunk of it back to the house by making avoidable mistakes.

Play the full five credits every hand. Many people have some sort of “method” of determining how many coins to play. Some play one coin each hand until they win a few credits before they increase the number of coins. Others play a series starting with one coin, then two, then three, etc. But really, you should never play less than five coins. The reason is that the royal flush pays 250-for-1 when playing one to four coins, and 800-for-1 with five coins played. By not playing the full five coins, payback is reduced about two percent. If you can’t afford five coins of a certain denomination, play a lower denomination game. Your bankroll will benefit.

Have an adequate bankroll. Bankroll is critical for any casino trip. Even when  you only play the best games, use perfect playing strategy, and only play at a relaxed pace while rested and sharp, there is no guarantee that you won’t lose.

In any random game, there are fluctuations. You may win more than you lose for a while, and then lose more than you win for a while. Sometimes you lose a lot more than you win, and sometimes you lose more than you win for a very long time. All of these happenings are part of the natural flow of a random game. To enjoy your trip to the casino, you must have enough money to last through the losing times. Make sure you have enough—and make sure it isn’t your next mortgage payment you are using. A losing streak doesn’t have to end at any particular time, so make sure you can afford to lose what you are putting into the video poker game.

Always use your player’s card. While some believe that inserting a player’s card changes the outcome of play, there is no truth to this whatsoever. Inserting your player’s card tracks your play for future comps such as food, drink, rooms, free play or even cash. Take advantage of these additional incentives by always inserting your card. It’s also a good idea to periodically check the display to make sure it’s still recording your play. Sometimes after a period of inactivity, the card will “time out” and no longer record any of your play. Simply extracting and reinserting the card corrects the situation and you once again will get full credit for all your play.

Have fun! This is the most import resolution. First and foremost, play video poker to have fun. By getting the most from your gambling dollar, you will also have the most fun. Follow these resolutions and have a great 2011.

Video Poker Resolutions.

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