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HOME > > My Advice for Video Poker Play

My Advice for Video Poker Play

9 January 2021

By Jerry Stickman

Shortly after I started playing video poker, I read an article in a gambling rag about a great way to play the game. The article promised that the betting method detailed there would have an excellent chance of winning. It went on to promise that if you did not win, you would definitely be able to play for a very, very long time if you followed the rules.

The betting method went something like this.

• Bet only one credit on the first hand played.
• If it wins, bet one credit on the next hand.

• If it loses, bump the amount bet on the next hand to two credits.
• If it wins, go back to one credit on the next bet.

• If it loses, bump the amount bet on the next hand to three credits.
• If it wins, go back to one credit on the next bet.

• If it loses, bump the amount of the bet on the next hand to four credits.
• If it wins, go back to one credit on the next bet.

• If that hand loses, bump the amount of the bet on the next hand to five credits.
• Regardless of whether this hand wins or loses, bet one credit on the next hand.

I knew all about which games had the best returns. I also knew the value of using a player’s club card to increase my overall return from my video poker play. I also knew all the proper holds for the video poker game I was playing.

I was, however, fairly naïve about the effect of betting schemes at the time. I

I thought I would give this betting sequence a try. It made some sense to me (at the time) – eventually you will win one of the hands you are playing.

On average, a video poker player will win about 45 percent of the hands played and will lose about 55 percent of the overall hands played. I thought. “that is almost every other hand. Surely in five hands there will be a winning hand.”

So, I religiously followed the betting advice for one entire trip to Las Vegas. This was many, many years ago when video poker games tended to have very good returns. I was playing a game that had a return of 99.9 percent. Combining that return with comps received from my player’s club card should put me well into positive territory, I thought.

As you might suspect, my high hopes were completely dashed. I ended up nowhere near positive territory. After I returned home licking my wounds, I took a long and logical look at what actually happened.

I had some video-poker-playing-life altering revelations.

• Many of my wins came on one or two credit bets.

• Many times when I went through the entire betting sequence without a win - many more that I thought possible.

• While I knew that a video poker player should always bet the maximum of five credits in order to take advantage of the 800-for-one versus a 250-for-1 pay for a royal flush, I did not realize the effect of betting less than five credits on a very large portion of the hands. Instead of having a 99.90 percent return for my play, for a large majority of the hands it was 98.37 percent. I was giving the house $1.53 for every $100 played through the game.

I learned a valuable lesson (and not all that costly) this trip. Betting schemes cannot overcome the math of the game.

• Each bet must have the highest return possible.

• Random is just that – random. There is not a smooth flow of wins and losses. There can (and are) many wins in short order as well as many long droughts in winning hands.

From that time forward I always bet the maximum credits in order to get the full pay for all royal flushes. If I could not afford to play at that level on a particular denomination, I moved to a lower denomination game. Trying to extend the bankroll by making less than maximum bets on a game is not a smart move.

I am making this fairly embarrassing admission in order to help you, the reader, not make the same mistake. Betting schemes do not work. The math of the game will triumph every time. Please, do as I say here, not as I did then.

May all your wins be swift and large, and your losses be slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerry@aol.com


This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

 
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

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Jerry Stickman's Websites:
www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

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