Not sure if I'm over- or under-thinking this, but I've always wondered. Example: I like DDB. How does 9/6 single play differ from, say, five-play? I know the pay table is the same, but are the percentages different in expected win/loss? It seems like the whole "being able to hold dealt cards for all hands" would affect the actual odds, but I guess it could also be some sort of "you're betting five times as often as single play, so somehow the odds don't actually change" scenario. Feel free to link to a good article if you have it, or reply with a simple explanation, if possible.

I rarely see 9/6 in multiplay. You can have good and bad streaks, where win quite a bit quickly or lose quite a bit quickly. Getting dealt a good hand can make your entire trip. I play lots of 3 & 5 play you can check my the VP wins on some of my play. I’ve had a couple times where I have had quads in a long time. If you’re playing with a bad streak at 750 hands an hour (my normal play) multiply that by 3 or 5 you can crash your bankroll quickly. If I have a bad streak now and playing 5 play I’ll switch to 3 play or even go to single play machine. Also when you’re a multiple hands your bankroll needs to be adjusted for swings. Otherwise just pretend that you’re playing single line. However if I have a multiple chances to win a big hand like a Royal I’ll go for it.

It doesn't affect the strategy or the "odds", but it does lower the variance. The effect is that it tends to smooth out the highs and lows a bit.

Someone more versed in statistics can answer this better, but my short answer, which may be wrong, is the odds are the same, but the more hands you play at once will reduce variance. The more you actually bet per hand dealt will impact variance, as you are betting more, but more hands you play with the same amount risked will be the same odds over time, but less variance. An exaggerated example would be if instead of you playing 1 hand at a time, or even 3, 5 or 10, you played 1,000,000 hands at once, with your bet per hand divided to a fraction of a cent to equal the same amount you would wager on playing 1 hand. Playing one hand, could net you 0 return, even money, or a multiple of what you bet for premium hands. Playing multiple hands reduces the odds of getting 0, but also haircuts the multiples you might see. Using the 1,000,000 hand example, you would be closer to the actual predicted returns on every hand dealt. The swings would be less, and you would net slightly less then what you bet, or slightly more than you bet, but the highs and lows would be less pronounced. Anyone who plays the 100 play VP sees that getting the Basket of F*ck, where you throwaway all cards, still nets you around 20 to 25 each time, and getting a JOB pair on the deal nets you around 120-150 each time, while the BOF playing 1 hand at a time will be 0's most of the time with sporadic saves where you get your money back or better on the draw. The Dealt JOB pairs playing 1 hand a time has the potential of doubling or tripling your bet some times, but when playing 100 lines, even with a 4OAK thrown in there, you fall short of that multiple. In short (too late) playing $5 on $1 JOB one hand at a time is the same odds as $5 on 1 cent JOB 100 hands, but your highs and lows will be more muted in the 100 hand. At the end of the day, assuming you play through to infinity, there will be no difference, but none of us play that long, so variance and guessing when to quit, is what makes us walk away up or down.

The short version is that a VP machine is required by law and regulation to mimic a standard 52-card deck, plus jokers if applicable. https://wizardofvegas.com/guides/video-poker/

While the strategy and house advantage are the same for one or multiple hands, the more hands you play at once actually increases the variance. The reason is that while the draws tend to get smoothed out, this is more than offset by the importance of the initial hand dealt. Check out this link from the site of all things video poker: https://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/appendix/3/

Here is a good written explanation too https://www.casinocenter.com/the-tough-truth-about-multiple-play-video-poker/ I used to be of the mindset too that multi-line decreases it

If playing the same demonization it increases variance, but if playing the same amount (total bet) it decreases variance. Example, if playing $5 denomination on a single line machine, $25 total after 5 credits, you can run through $1000 in no time at all. If playing 100 hand machine on nickels, after 5 credits per hand, total $25 bet, that $1000 will last you much much longer. The issue is if you are not getting some REALLY good deals, you are going to steadily lose lose lose lose. I sometimes use this strategy when going for Diamond, at least I know my losses will come very close to my expected losses.

Yes, it depends on how you structure your wagers between single line and multiline. To have a better grasp of how multiline VP will affect your results, it's useful to convert standard deviation (SD) numbers into dollars. An example is provided at the bottom of the page by the Wizard of Odds here. https://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/appendix/3/ Here's another example. Let's say you do $20,000 coin-in of single line dollar 8/5 bonus poker in a day. What is your daily standard deviation (SD) in dollars? The single line SD for 8/5 bonus is 4.572098 bets per hand. There are 4000 total hands and the SD scales with the square root of the number of hands. The bet on each individual hand is $5. SD for session in $ = $5 x sqrt(4000) x 4.570298 = $1445.26 Now let's look at quarter ten play. Now there are $20,000/$1.25 = 16000 total hands. With an SD of 6.323316 bets per hand played. So now the SD in $ is $1.25 x sqrt(16,000) x 6.323316 = $999.80. So playing 10 line quarters will have about 30.82% less standard deviation in dollars than playing single line dollars.

In case tringlomane lost you, I will try a simple explanation. Variance has nothing to do with the amount of each wager. It has everything to do with the type of game you are playing (plain vanilla 9/6 JOB has lower variance than DDB) and the total number of hands played. The more hands you play, the more likely your outcome will resemble the true odds. Variance in any game always stays the same, but the difference between what you lose and what the player sitting next to you will lose is likely to decrease if you both play multiline for an hour as compared to single line for the same hour. The more hands you play, the less effect variance has on your results. Think of it this way. If you sit down and play just one hand, you will win it or lose it. You either won or lost 100 percent of your bets. If you play a million hands, you will win or lose a percentage that is very close to the actual odds of the game, no matter what game you play. Variance, even in volatile games, smooths out eventually. You can get an idea of the effects of variance, which involves tringlomane's statistical term standard deviation, like this: Let us say that two games have the same odds. Every day for a month, you play 100 hands of one game and 100 hands of the other, and you keep track of how much you won or lost for each game and put your results onto a chart. At the end of the month, your chart for the game with higher variance can be expected to show bigger daily wins and bigger daily losses than the game with low variance. But if the two games had the same odds, when you compare how you did in each game your total losses for the month in the two games might be about the same. Now, a month of games is not that many, statistically speaking. Statistical predictions work better in the long run than they do in the short run. The more hands you played, the closer the average of your daily losses would come to what was expected. Things would even out. But the high variance game would continue to produce bigger daily wins and bigger daily losses. Of course, you are likely to lose more total dollars playing multiple hands than single line, just because you played more hands. But the casino will love you for it.

My definition of Variance is Luck Good or Bad You can do all the long term numbers you want but it boils down to giving yourself the best chance to win and LUCK. Plus sometimes you have to take a gamble because nothing ventured nothing gained. If you have chance for a Royal...