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Video Poker Hell

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Jimbucc, Jun 1, 2013.

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  1. Jimbucc

    Jimbucc VIP Whale

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    OK so if I need a video poker fix, I can now go downtown Cleveland to The Horseshoe. I live in a south suburb of Cleveland and can get there in 20 minutes. The cons are that it is downtown. It is the evil empire. All the VP Machines are of the newer variety. The pay schedules are not anything to brag about. I'm just not all that crazy about The Horseshoe in Cleveland.

    So for shits and giggles, I decide to see what The Racino at Thistledown race track is like. This is also run by the evil empire and you can use your Total Rewards card. These are the state run VLT terminals. Looks and acts like a slot machine but pays for shit. At least for me. No video poker. Even if they had it, it would be the lottery type B.S. Money goes real quick playing only slots. Had to check it out anyways.

    I was near the vicinity of Mountaineer in West Virginia. Haven't been there in a while and now I remember why. Terrible VP pay schedules but at least I can play. Or I thought I could play. The machines are set up to automatic hold cards. Now I can't even use my own brain to hold my cards. I can change what they hold if I want to, but it just plain out sucks. :grrr:

    That is why nothing compares to Vegas. If I don't like one place I move on to the next. Strip, Downtown, Locals, Full Pay, and everything in between.
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Please explain further, the automatically hold cards.
     
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  3. walylama

    walylama Tourist

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    This, plus I am unfamiliar with the lottery style? I'm going to an Indian casino for the first time in 2 weeks and would like to know what to look out for.
     
  4. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Lottery style...in some states, the gambling laws don't allow for any skill. Meaning your outcome has to be predetermined and set at a certain rate of return. You have exactly a certain chance of hitting certain payouts, but it doesn't really have anything to do with the actual cards.
     
  5. Jimbucc

    Jimbucc VIP Whale

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    Joe, the best way to explain it is like a VP tutorial. Say you are using a VP trainer. You can set the trainer to show you what cards you are supposed to hold so you can learn proper strategy. That is what the machines do at Mountaineer. Say you are dealt a pair of jacks and the other three cards are garbage. The machine will hold the 2 jacks for you. You can unhold them if you want, but the proper play would be to hold the 2 jacks. So now all you do is deal and check to make sure they are holding the proper cards. You become a VP Zombie just pressing the deal button and being a "fact checker".
     
  6. Jimbucc

    Jimbucc VIP Whale

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    You should be OK at the Indian Casino. They have their own set of rules and are not regulated by the state. I've been to Seneca Niagara and Seneca Allegany and they are just like regular casinos. That is not to say all Indian Casinos are alike.

    In Ohio, the state ok'd legislature to allow "Racinos" at some of the tracks. The machines are called VLT's. Video Lottery Terminals. It's kind of like playing a scratch off lottery ticket. The winning and losing tickets are predetermined. It still feels like you are playing a regular slot machine. I don't know if they have a RNG in these machines or how they work but I had no luck.
     
  7. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    \
    Wow, zombie is right. It almost becomes like a slot machine, just keep pounding the button. No thinking involved and the number of hands per hour goes up. Thus, the house take goes up also.

    Never heard of this. Very interesting, but I don't think I would want to play a VP game like that.
     
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  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Correct. This is the case in Washington state and New York state-run racinos. And then there is the whole Indian gaming confusion. Some tribes are allowed to have true slot machines and random video poker (known as Class III gaming), but this is only when they gained permission from the state they reside in. If they do not have permission from the state, then they can only conduct Class II gaming, which is technically electronic bingo. For slot machines, it will be difficult to tell the difference because machines are allowed to display the results however they wish, so they display the result as a slot machine would. But if you see a depiction of a bingo card anywhere on the machine, this is a sure sign of a Class II machine. Ironically, my first slot jackpot ever came on a Class II "Texas Tea" machine. Technically I hit ~22 numbers in ~48 calls on my bingo card, and the machine displayed 5 "Texas Tea" symbols on the screen.

    Class II gaming works well for slots, but for video poker, it is deceiving and humorous at the same time. Deceiving as in most Class II machine display full pay paytables to award their prizes while their actual return is significantly lower than this (~88-92% is likely). But they are humorous in the fact that the result is predetermined. Got a full house in JoB and accidentally threw away all your cards? No worries, you'll get it back. Have a gutshot in DDB and accidentally held all your cards instead? Well, occasionally a "magic genie" will come and award you the value of a straight. I always got a kick out of this and would often hold garbage while playing ~10c a hand to make her appear.

    Although Jimbucc said they didn't have VP anyway, there is a bit of good news if Thistledown did offer it. Ohio law makes VLTs behave like Class III (completely random) gaming. This is similar to Maryland, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Oregon VLTs. They are just called VLTs because the lottery is managing the game. Unfortunately, West Virginia also mandates auto-hold by law since they do not want skill to be a factor in the game. Autoholds are often common in Class II video poker as well since they don't want you to see things like "genies".

    http://www.wvlottery.com/videolottery/hb102.aspx#_Toc536333228

    Here are the technical standards for Ohio VLTs.
    http://www.ohiolottery.com/assets/vlt/Racetracks/Video_Lottery_Terminal_standards-1-1-13

    However, Ohio is lazy and just copied the gaming device standards of GLI 11 v. 2.1 (Nevada's standard) (With highlighting that Ohio requires 85% minimum payback vs. Nevada's 75%)

    http://www.gaminglabs.com/downloads/GLI%20Standards/Bill%20E%202011/GLI-11%20v2.1.pdf

    From GLI 11:

    3.3.6 Live Game Correlation. Unless otherwise denoted on the payglass, where the gaming device plays a game that is recognizable to be a simulation of a live casino game such as Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, etc., the same probabilities associated with the live game shall be evident in the simulated game. For example, the odds of getting any particular number in Roulette where there is a single zero (0) and a double zero (00) on the wheel, shall be 1 in 38; the odds of drawing a specific card or cards in Poker shall be the same as in the live game.

    3.3.8 Card Games. The requirements for games depicting cards being drawn from a deck are the following:
    a) At the start of each game/hand, the cards shall be drawn fairly from a randomly-shuffled deck; the replacement cards shall not be drawn until needed, and in accordance with game rules, to allow for multi-deck and depleting decks.

    In terms of payback though, you really should try to go to Horseshoe, imo, unless the Ohio racinos put good video poker at the racinos (unlikely). WV's payback is capped at 95% (terrible), 6/5 JoB (94.9961%) anyone?
     
  9. Jimbucc

    Jimbucc VIP Whale

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    Tringlomane, thanks for all the legalities. Now I know why West Virginia has autohold. So if I read this correctly, if Thistledown puts in video poker it will play like a normal VP machine. Northfield race track is supposed to be up and running in the fall. We shall see what unfolds.

    One thing I noticed about the newer VP machines at Mountaineer in West Virginia was that they didn't always hold properly. It kept you on your toes. For example, playing DB they would hold a jack instead of a low pair. They wouldn't hold 4 to a straight or 4 to a flush. The older classic Game King Machines were pretty much right on.

    Thanks again for the info. :thumbsup:
     
  10. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    You're welcome. :) Reading up on gaming law is a weird hobby of mine...lol

    But yes, if Ohio bothers to offer video poker with VLTs, they are unlikely to have auto-hold activated because that isn't part of the GLI 11 gaming standard. With Illinois's new "Video Gaming Terminals" (they aren't run by the lottery) in bars/restaurants, they are also Class III and don't have autohold either since they also had GLI (Gaming Laboratories International) write up their technical requirements. Most games aren't that great (94% to 96%), but they do offer 7/5 Super Aces Bonus with a $500 Royal (Illinois's max payout for bar/restaurant gaming) which is 97.92% max payback. Not terrible for a place that isn't a casino.

    As for WV machines not holding things right, that worries me a bit because all holds should be correct if it is a Class III game (there is only one optimal strategy for any given paytable). Considering max payback is 95% anyway, I would just stay away out of principle.
     
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