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Video Poker Video Poker for the New Player

Discussion in 'Video Poker' started by Ben Jammin, Jun 23, 2014.

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  1. Ben Jammin

    Ben Jammin VIP Whale

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    If you're on this site you'll see allot on Video Poker, But do you know how to play? Have no fear it's easier than you think. Here's some info for you.

    Basic knowledge and locating the best machines to play Part one.

    OK, so you've decided you want to try "Video Poker"! You might be a novice, but that doesn't mean you can't win as long as you do a some preparation. "Fortune favors the prepared mind."

    The first thing you need to know is that Video Poker is not like the poker you played with playing cards in the past. The strategy is vastly different. Many avid poker players think "I know how to play poker, so what's to know?" Well, here's how!

    There are literally dozens of different types of VP (Video Poker) games but there are only one or two you'll need to know something about to start.

    The easiest to learn is called "Jacks or Better". Now there are a few types of bonus poker but Jacks or Better is the game of choice for the novice, followed by Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker, or "DDB" which is the second most popular game due to the additional bonuses.

    Jacks or Better is easy to learn and offers more small jackpots that will keep you in the game longer on a smaller buy in. You might even be able to play for up to an hour on $20 bucks, which will get you free drinks while sitting at a machine or at the bar in most casinos. You're required you to have at least $20 in coin in (40 credits minimum) and be playing max coins per play which on a quarter machine is $1.25. (usually 5 coins) to be comped on your drinks of choice. When your cocktail waitress or bartender comes by they'll glance at your coin in to see that you have the minimum credits and are playing maximum coins per play. Then you may order any drink you want for the price of a tip. See, you're winning already! I can't tell you how many times I've walked away with over $100 dollars starting with a $20, and getting a few comped drinks in the process.

    How do you know it's a Jacks or Better Machine? It should say "Jacks or Better" right on it. But some machines will say "Bonus Poker", and the payout will be the denoting factor in determining the type of game it is. Many machines will offer multiple types of games so you may choose which game you'd like to play, what denomination of coins , quarters, dollars, and sometimes even nickels on rare occasion but the payback on nickels is usually bad for the player as the house advantage is higher.

    So, what's the best level to play? Quarters as the investment is lower and you can play longer on a moderate bankroll. For new player Quarters will do it unless you have a large bankroll and want to risk it while learning to play. Believe me, you will make some mistakes along the way so keep it simple to start.

    Do all machines pay back the same? NO! So, how do you find the best machines to play? Each machine by Nevada gaming law is required to post the pay scale right on the machine for all to see. But, knowing how to read it is the key.

    The devil is in the details so I'll refer you here to another site; "vpFREE2" which spells out the pay scale for each game. Just stay on Jacks or Better aka "JOB" to start. Just click on Video Poker Pay Tables, JOB at the top left. Then look at "Games and Machines" to find the best machines, and select JOB or "Jacks or Better". You don't want to get confused at this point. Make it easy on yourself as there is a plethora of information but you only need to know the pay scale for one or two games which will help you find the best machines to play as the better machines may be mixed in with identical machines with different pay back scales. The casinos do this to maximize their profit on the unsuspecting novice. But not you! Because you have done some research and now have a working knowledge of the game, and when it comes to gambling my friend, Knowledge is power.

    There are literally thousands of dedicated VP Players. The most knowledgeable Pro and Semi Pro players are known as "Advantage Players" as they find ways to beat the casinos. Yes it can be done but it requires a large ongoing bankroll to win over an extended period of time. But if you're the average part time player just play for fun and a few free cocktails. Just keep it simple to start, and you're guaranteed to have a great time when you hit that jackpot and watch those credits rack up. It's more fun that a barrel of monkeys let me tell Ya!

    Ok so now you've know how to find the best machines like a pro. Now what?
    Well, how to play! This is where the fun begins!

    The first thing you might like to do is obtain some video poker training software to practice at home before you hit those machines. I use Video Poker Strategy Pro. But there are many to choose from as well as some on line for free. You shouldn't need to spend more than around $20 bucks on line plus nominal shipping or find them at your local electronics/video store. They will pay for themselves many times over!

    Then there are optimal strategy cards, available on many web sites to print out for free, or you can buy them if you like. For each game they tell you which cards to keep and which combination is most likely to get you the highest possible return. You take these with you to play. I still use them every time I play. They have made me literally many hundreds of dollars.

    JACKS OR BETTER (9/6 MACHINE)
    For instance, should you keep a high pair as opposed to 4 to a straight flush? You should keep the 4 to a straight flush, even an inside draw. The straight flush pays 250 coins, where three of a kind pays 15, 4 of a kind pays 125 coins, and a straight pays only 20. Most novice players would keep the high pair for a guaranteed 5 coins. Even if you get a like suited card the flush pays 30!

    Last but not least I recommend setting a win goal and a loss limit. This is a matter of personal preference. Nothing makes me feel worse than having been up a sizeable amount only to put it all back in and then some. It's always better to leave with modest winnings. Especially after a few cocktails! Then you can always come back later for maximum enjoyment, and isn't that whay we do it?

    Best of luck to you, and many winning returns!
     
  2. Landshark

    Landshark Way into it...

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    Good thread. There are a couple of websites that feature free trainer apps. This really helped me internalize the proper hold strategies. Wizard of Odds, to name one. Recommend playing for at least an hour a day, if possible. In a month's time the strategy will come naturally.
     
  3. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    Thanks Ben

    I am a long time slot player, but when i go in Aug/Nov i plan on using my bankroll primarily on VP. Since i'm staying at PHO and PHO has the most variety at CET, this is a wonderful thing for long time Vegas gamblers but first time or people who want to get their feet wet on VP.
    I actually practice VP at home even though i only play slots in Vegas.

    And like you said, and what i do playing slots, is to make your bankroll last longer each day.

    I'm always psyched about my upcoming trips to the promised land, but i'm even more psyched about playing VP and at Planet Hollywood no less.
     
  4. fingolfin269

    fingolfin269 Tourist

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    Good discussion. I've been spending a lot of time on the Wizard of Odds JoB trainer and plan to give some DDP a shot soon. Interestingly I actually started with DDP on a real VP machine without knowing the basic strategy and have luckily broken even (not counting free drinks). The reason this is interesting to me is that in retrospect I had no clue what I was doing relative to a 'perfect' strategy. The more you know!
     
  5. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    This site is also good:
    http://www.videopoker.com/learn/do_and_dont/

    As a newbie player at VP, but an oldie slot player, it's good to know the do's and don'ts to get started. I also learned that playing at PHO is the best for VP at CET,
     
  6. Landshark

    Landshark Way into it...

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    This is the site I trained on. Looks and acts just like the Game King machine, but also has training and warn mode, stats, and you can customize the paytables. Training on just about every VP variant available in the casinos.

    http://www.freeslots.com/poker.htm
     
  7. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    That's my new favorite site to practice on using the training button. I love how it breaks down everything on the left and right screen but doesn't interfere with your play.
    I've gotten up to about 360 hands per hour and using the best capable hand odds. Just like quarters playing max.........i'm up to over 800 quarters.......LOL.
     
  8. winner

    winner Low-Roller

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    great thread one comment i have is about modest gains, example say you start with a $20.00 you hit for 250 credits (.25) pull the TITO out put it in your pocket and start again with another 20 if you lose the 2nd 20 you don't feel as bad as putting the wins right back in, looking forward to pt 2
     
  9. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    I would leave Double Bonus out of the mix for beginners. Much easier to learn Jacks/Bonus/Boner Deluxe/Double Double Bonus.
     
  10. Landshark

    Landshark Way into it...

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    Not a bad idea.

    I usually start with $50, max bet at .25. If I land a premium, I'll push the bets up a denom or two and set a loss threshold at which I either cash out or dial the bets back by a denom, repeating the process with each premium.

    I'll have to give your suggestion a go on the next trip.
     
  11. fossefritz

    fossefritz Low-Roller

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    Yes I used this in past just to get rid of my vp jitters waiting for trip to come
     
  12. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    Jacks/Bonus/Boner? Quick, where are those machines? I knew playing poker would have some benefits.........:wink2:
     
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Totally agree 7 for 1 flushes and 5 for 1 straights makes the game more difficult.. Also Double Bonus misleads people trained to look for higher full house/flush payouts but a 9/6/4 game pays a measly 96.38% and is all over the strip.
     
  14. Ben Jammin

    Ben Jammin VIP Whale

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    As far as Slots VS Video Poker, Slots carry a huge casino advantage compared to a good Video Poker Machine. Many of you may not know that the Casinos have increased their house edge on slots since the recession.
    check here
    http://www.americancasinoguide.com/slot-machine-payback-statistics.html

    So, a JOB Video Poker machine has a house edge of about one half of one percent, whereas a Quarter slot on the Strip holds 8.63% per play for the house.

    Don't take my word for it check it out for yourself.

    There are many sites that offer info on cost per hour to play at what level/percentage ETC.

    Bottom Line?

    There just ain't no Advantage Players that play slots. that's a lie!

    OK we all do occasionally, but we reserve the majority of our time and bank roll for Video Poker.

    Once you get the basics down you'll have a great time playing video poker which is a game you can Win!

    Have Fun!
     
  15. Ty

    Ty ?

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    I found an article that talks about using Jacks or Better Strategy on other games. Pretty interesting.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:geyyihdGOE8J:www.casinocenter.com/going-down-the-wrong-road/+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    I checked the variance on each (not adjusted for using the JoB strategy though).
    9/6 JOB 19.51
    8/5 Bonus Poker 20.9
    IGT 35/8/5 Bonus 20.69
    9/6 Bonus Deluxe 32.13
    8/5 Aces and Faces 20.95
    10/7 Double Bonus 28.26

    I'm not sure if all these games are available in Vegas.

    This might be a better link, http://www.casinocenter.com/going-down-the-wrong-road/
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  16. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Deleted post
     
    Christmas
  17. Ben Jammin

    Ben Jammin VIP Whale

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    Using JOB Strategy on Other Games

    No need to read the article. You should get a handle on the strategy for two games, Jacks or Better and Double Double Bonus Poker.

    The reason being JOB is the easiest to learn, and has the highest number of small jackpots to keep you in the game longer on a short bankroll.

    Double Double Bonus Poker has the most bonus jackpots thus you have a higher probability of hitting a Bonus Jackpot, not just the Royal Flush which comes every 4000 plus plays. (4250 to be close) but has a higher risk of ruin so you may need to play longer and with a more sizable initial investment. Not to worry, I've hit the bonus jackpots many times. That's much easier than the holy grail, the ROYAL FLUSH!

    If you go off half cocked and try to apply Jacks or Better Strategy to another similar Video Poker Game you will still do better than the average Joe however you will not obtain the highest payback, assuming you have located the better machine after referring to vpFREE2.com for the payback schedules and locations of the best machines to play.

    Good Luck!
    .
     
  18. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    There you go again, Ben, asking people to compare 0.46% house advantage to 8.3% house advantage. Suggesting they pay attention to pay tables. Asking them to sit down and learn to play correctly. My goodness, where's the fun in all that? Just tell 'em where the hot slot machines are located. :)
     
  19. supersimonIII

    supersimonIII Tourist

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    Thanks for the info. I am also learning on the jacks or better training app. What about Deuces wild, is that a good game
     
  20. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    All these games do exist in Vegas, but 35/8/5 Bonus (99.66%) is only at the Cannery according to VPFree2. It's too bad, that's my go to "grind" game at my local casino thanks to okay mailers. Strategy is very close to full pay JoB/Bonus.

    If you find a "full pay" machine (all off strip), it'll be one of the best returning games in Vegas (100.76% max). "Not So Ugly Ducks" (99.73% max) is pretty good too (again all off strip, but some are downtown). But you can also find many terrible Deuces games. At most CET bars in Vegas, for example, deuces pays only 94.82% max.
     
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