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Video Poker How do you know ALL the video poker strategies?

Discussion in 'Video Poker' started by Bigacito, Sep 26, 2014.

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  1. Bigacito

    Bigacito Tourist

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    I am going on my annual trip to Vegas next week and I am an almost exclusive video poker player. The way I like to gamble is to walk around a lot, find a bar top machine (thanks Triglomane!) I like, play a little and when I lose the right amount of money, get up and move to the next bar or casino and repeat the process.

    All year long I practice on various smart phones and computers trying to get my strategy down. The trainer programs are very good at telling you are good you are doing and I have gotten good at Jacks or Better and decent at Bonus Poker.

    But the problem is that I am not smart enough to learn the strategy for more than one or two games. And some games, like Bonus Poker, the strategy changes a lot when the pay tables change. Since I don't want to have to spend my entire trip chained to the one machine that has the game I have learned or having to play only one version of video poker, I inevitably would find myself playing triple bonus poker or some other game and having no idea what the correct strategy is.

    Last year when I went, I printed out and brought with me various strategy charts I found online but I only had 5 different ones and of course very often the bar I sat at wouldn't have the game or pay table I had with me.

    So what do you guys do? Do you print out bunches of strategy cards? Walk around until you find the machine that you have perfected and stay there? Or is every one else smarter than me and has the wizard of odds entire website memorized?
     
  2. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Learn the Jacks or Better strategy... thats pretty much it.

    Other than the games with wild cards the Jacks or Better strategy will pretty much work fine for all the different variations of video poker...

    No, you won't have absolutely perfect play in doing that, but realistically in most cases you will only be giving up a fraction of a percentage here or there by doing so and because you are just playing casual short sessions the ''long term" doesn't really come in to play, but even if it did you are really only going to be costing yourself about $1-2 per hour, which you should be able to make up in comp drinks.

    The other thing to consider would be: if you are playing at bars you are likely playing games with poorer pay tables than on the casino floor. You are most likely giving up more to the house edge that way than you would be playing a worse strategy on a game with a better pay table.
     
  3. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    I don't have them all memorized either. I have JoB nearly down cold, and Bonus is nearly identical to that (one change I can think of offhand: break Aces full at 6/5 Bonus only). After that I have the major changes that apply to DDB, Triple Bonus Plus, or Bonus Poker Deluxe familiarized. Note: The list below is NOT exhaustive.

    Major deviations from Jacks or Better/Bonus Poker strategy:

    -----------------------------------------------

    Double Double Bonus/Triple Bonus Plus:

    Straight/flush draw changes:
    Inside straight draw better than garbage
    Inside straight draw with 2 high cards better than two offsuit high cards. (e.g. QJT8 is better than QJ offsuit)

    If flush is 6 for 1, 3 to Royal is better than 4 to flush UNLESS Royal draw has Ace AND Ten in it
    KQJ suited and QJT suited is better than KK, QQ, JJ (except when DDB flush pays 5 for 1)

    Ace high changes:
    Ace only better than AH offsuit or KH offsuit (H=high card)...you still hold QJ offsuit vs. Ace
    Break two pair with Aces
    Break Aces full
    ***7/5 TB+ and 7/5 DDB only: Break Aces, 2s, 3s, 4s full
    *** TB+ only: Outside 4 to a Straight Flush is better than a dealt straight or flush

    -----------------------------------------------

    Bonus Deluxe:
    See Straight/Flush draw rules for DDB/TB+
    EXCEPT
    High pairs are ALWAYS better than 3 to a Royal

    Offsuit high cards follow JoB.

    -----------------------------------------------

    And I would avoid this last game unless it's clearly the best option (it usually isn't on the strip, thank god)...but for completeness (if anyone notices a big omission of a strategy change, lmk, this isn't really my game of choice).

    -----------------------------------------------

    Double Bonus:

    Follow ALL of DDB/TB+ straight/flush strategy plus...

    IF flush is 7 for 1:
    4 to a flush is ALWAYS better than 3 to a Royal
    3 to a flush is better than garbage
    3 to a flush with a high card is better than high card only
    3 to a flush with 2 high cards is better than 2 to a Royal

    If flush is 6 or 7 for 1, KQJ suited and QJT suited is better than KK, QQ, JJ

    If the straight draw is 5 for 1 (you shouldn't be playing the game otherwise):
    Outside straight draws are better than low pairs.
    Inside straight draws with one or more high cards is better than 2 offsuit high cards. (e.g A345Q hold A345 vs. AQ offsuit)
    QJT offsuit is better than QJ offsuit

    Offsuit high cards follow JoB.

    Break Aces full.

    When the full house is 9 for 1:
    Break Two Pair with Aces.

    When the full house is 10 for 1 (never at a bar):
    Always hold 2 pair.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    If you use 9/6 JoB strategy and insist on not changing anything, it costs you:

    0.60% at 7/5 Triple Bonus Plus.
    0.54% at 9/5 DDB
    0.63% at 9/7 DB

    vs.

    0.034% at 8/6 Bonus Deluxe
    0.008% at 6/5 Bonus

    But I think my tweaks cover a lot major things that cost you equity between the different variants. I would assume my suggestions would get you close to 0.1% error at DDB and TB+ at least.

    Deuces, of course, is a completely different strategy that has to be familiarized. Playing JoB strategy on this game is just asking to throw your money away.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  4. aaisack

    aaisack High-Roller

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    I print a bunch of strategy sheets off before I leave for Vegas, more than one copy for each game I might play. When you play multiple games it's easy to mix up certain plays or second guess yourself. There's no shame in double checking.

    Some trips back I was dealt aces full on dollar level double bonus. I was glad I had my strategy card. I made the correct play, only holding the 3 aces, and hit the $800.

    Lots of little mistakes add up over time.
     
    First time staying at the Flamingo
  5. jackincols

    jackincols Guest

    "But the problem is that I am not smart enough to learn the strategy for more than one or two games. And some games, like Bonus Poker, the strategy changes a lot when the pay tables change. Since I don't want to have to spend my entire trip chained to the one machine that has the game I have learned or having to play only one version of video poker, I inevitably would find myself playing triple bonus poker or some other game and having no idea what the correct strategy is."

    Don't be so down on yourself. Not many know the perfect strategy for more than a few games, themselves. Very few know perfect strategy for all of the VP games. They are the "advantage players" like Bob Dancer, who plays VP more to suppliment an income than to play recreationally.

    Also, JMO, but going to a game that you have "no idea what the correct strategy is", Is wasting your valuable gambling money. Stick with what you've learned. If a machine goes "cold" you can always find the game you were playing on another machine.

    I personally play DDB for the premium quads or BP if I'm upping my bet and want less volativity. Regardless, play what you like and at the amount you are comfortable with.
     
  6. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    You've got the right approach in general. So don't sweat your supposed lack of skill. What you lose by playing slightly incorrect strategy at a well-paying game is not important compared to what you would lose by playing a bad game or by having no strategy at all, which is what happens with the majority of gamblers. Take a two-step approach before your next trip.

    Step one: Consult the VP Free website and do some serious scouting of casino bars to see which bartops have better paying games- 99% or above. Print out sheets listing their locations in the casino. On the same sheet, write in the exact pay schedule for each good game so you can make sure you're playing the right machine.

    Step two: Practice two of the well-paying games that you found, and get as good at them as you can. One should be full pay Jacks or Better. You can play identical strategy for full pay Bonus Poker and lose very little expected value. Also practice one other 99% or better game that showed up on several bartops. The version of Deuces Wild known as NSUD, sometimes called DW44, pays 99.73%, which is better than FPJOB, and is one of the easiest games to learn. That would be a good choice if you can find it.

    If you play the right games with the best strategy you can master, you will lose less and have more fun.
     
  7. Hawaiianmark

    Hawaiianmark Low-Roller

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    Good advice!
     
  8. Bigacito

    Bigacito Tourist

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    Thanks guys, I do feel better now.

    I am going to put together a basic cheat sheet based on Tringlomane's suggestion, adding the exceptions he gives for each game. It helps knowing that I am not giving away that much by mostly using Jacks or Better strategy.

    And another advantage of using a cheat sheet is it slows me down when gambling. I truly believe that the best way to limit your losses in Vegas is to just slow down how fast you bet. When sitting at a bar you have the bartender right there to make sure you are betting fast enough, and I have had a few say something to me in the past. But I think most bartenders think of the time consulting the cheat sheet as gambling time and they have never hassled me about it. That is also why every year I go to Vegas during the first week of the NCAA Men's basketball tournament. When I forget to bet because I am watching the game, the bartenders never get mad...now football is the exact opposite. Watching a play for 15 seconds, then gambling for 45 seconds sets up a rhythm that my bankroll can't maintain. I burned through $200 in an hour last fall playing full pay Jacks or Better at Boars Head bar in Main Street Station!

    I have also cut and pasted another cheat sheet together from Tring's breakdown of the percentages of return for each game based on pay table. Though I did go ahead and add some poorer return Jacks or Better because my wife insists that the lower variance of Jacks or Better makes up for a slightly smaller return rate on the various bonus games...
     
  9. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    $200 in an hour playing full pay JoB quarters? Damn you must have been playing fast AND running like crap. I would have been "on tilt".

    Jacks or better is definitely a great bartop choice to keep the variance down, but when 9/6 JoB is not available, bonus often becomes the better option based on return and the variance doesn't go up that much, and there are no major strategy changes. Only two bars downtown offer 9/6 JoB at the bar: Boar's Head and Oyster Bar at plaza. A few others offer 8/5 Bonus, and four Queens offers 9/6 DDB for quarters as their best bartop.

    DDB and Triple Bonus Plus are definitely the most volatile games listed. Any game where two pair is only 1 for 1, expect to gamble a lot more with your bankroll.
     
  10. da1chifan

    da1chifan High-Roller

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    I feel the same way, Bigacito! All the different versions are overwhelming, not to mention remembering the ideal pay table for each game. If I am playing VP, it is only at a bar and I am getting :drunk: JB/BP is all I can manage to remember at this point. ;)

    I am going to just stick with Trig's awesome sticky of the best bar tops. I can only play so much VP too before I get bored and head to the *reel* (see what I did there?!) one-armed bandits. LOL :)
     
  11. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    are you sure it wasn't DOUBLE double bonus??
    That doesn't seem correct, especially if the FH pays 10:1, and there's no possibility of a 400:1 payoff.

    And on the comment of losing $200 an hour playing 9/6 JoB 25c...Ive done the same at MSS, its par for the course when you're as unlucky as I am, in the casino.
     
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  12. aaisack

    aaisack High-Roller

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    I thought so too until I started checking wizardofodds more regularly.

    http://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/strategy/double-bonus/10-7/
     
    First time staying at the Flamingo
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    It's close, but AAA is better...

    10/7 DB:

    Full House: 10 units guaranteed.

    Breaking full House and discarding a pair:

    Making 4 Aces (160 units): 46 combinations: Last Ace plus any other card for 5th card
    Making Full House (10 units): 6 combinations for each of the 11 ranks with 4 cards remaining (suit combos: cd, ch, cs, dh, ds, hs), 1 combination for the pair you tossed and none for Aces = 67 total
    All others: 3 of a kind (3 units): 1081-46-67 = 968

    Total combinations on the draw: 47*46/2 = 1081

    EV: [968*3 + 67*10 + 46*160] / 1081 = 10.115

    I don't play these variants a ton (DB, DDB, etc.), but I have yet to make 4 Aces by either breaking 2 pair or a full house. Hope that day comes soon, so I feel like it's worth it...:evillaugh
     
  14. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Just testing myself at Triple Bonus Plus...I got the last 192 right at over 1000 hands per hr. So my strategy changes are probably okay. Yikes, I would be screwed if I played that fast with real money.

    But I did learn that KQJ, QJT suited are better than KK, QQ, or JJ thanks to the 100 for 1 straight flush in Triple Bonus Plus as well. And of course I got 4 7's dealt, 4 3's, and a straight flush in 430 hands for a 820 credit profit (i.e. $205 if it was quarters)...:grrr:.

    The program I used is a dated program "Frugal Video Poker"...but it's free...and likes to offer classical music while playing...lol

    http://www.wolfvideopoker.com/FVP.htm
     
  15. flyguyfl

    flyguyfl Low-Roller

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    I think you wise to ask about others about different VP play methods. I know JOB and DW pretty good but bring small cards for the others since I am too lazy to learn them properly.
     
  16. bluesdude

    bluesdude Low-Roller

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    I just want to add on to what trig and others have said. Be patient and don't be afraid to lose in order to get a few good wins. Stick with 2 games, JOB and BP until you are comfortable with these games and THEN move to another game. I always approach VP knowing that I will not come out ahead, but hopefully be entertained for an extended period of time. If I hit some 4oaks or better on the way, great. Most importantly, do not chase your losses! That is when the game isn't fun anymore. Practice, practice, practice!
     
  17. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    I do well with deuces wild and JoB, but sometimes dabble with other games. I always carry the video poker cards that I purchased from LVA in my pocket and frequently refer to them. They truly help with my decisions.
     
  18. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    First Tring, thank you for all the help you offer us in VP. It's great to have someone offer such good and quick advice! I was reading FXT's other thread on DDB and it lead me back here.

    My thoughts for 9/6 DDB differ from your comments above and I just wanted to check it out with you. I'd hate to think I've been using the wrong cheat sheet.

    KQJ suited (3 to a Royal) trumps a high pair. But I think a high pair trumps QJT. This is what I have in order of hold from best to least:

    3 to a Royal flush - KQJ
    High pair - (J,Q,K)
    3 to a Royal flush - AKQ, AKJ, AQJ, KQT, KJT, QJT

    Any ideas?
     
  19. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Sorry I didn't see this sooner. From the programs I have, the breakdown looks like this for 9/6 or 10/6 DDB

    3 to Royal KQJ
    KK
    3 to Royal QJT
    QQ, JJ
    3 to a Royal AKQ, AKJ, AQJ, KQT, KJT
    4 to a flush
    3 to a Royal AKT, AQT, AJT

    Now the KQJ, QJT suited draws also depend on no flush penalties, so if there is a four flush in the hand, then high pair is always better. I agree with you that it seems awkward to hold QJT in this spot vs. QQ or JJ, but there are a lot of straight/flush/straight flush opportunities as well as the royal chance. In real life, I play DDB so infrequently, I probably forget and play high pair anyway a lot of the time. It's definitely a "minor" error either way.
     
  20. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Thank you for this. I have JoB nailed down for the most part (about 98% correct on my trainer app over 2.5k hands) But I have stayed with JoB or Bonus poker if pay table is correct (which at my casino JoB is better), but I used to always play DDB but stopped when I learned of the variation between strategies. Would you recommend me learning the more difficult DDB when I play full play DDB or just stick with JoB, something I am good at and take the hit on the mistakes?
     
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