If you want to gamble without losing, video poker is one of the two best choices. For same gamblers, it’s the best choice. But you have to do everything in a particular way or you’re going to lose money.
While this article is about what you’re doing now that costs you money, you’re also going to learn what you should be doing when you play video poker.
Even if you can’t achieve breakeven video poker play, you’re still going to lose a lot less than when you play most other casino games. Here are six ways that you’re losing money playing video poker now.
1 – You Pick the Wrong Game
Casinos offer hundreds of different slot machine games. The choices for video poker players are much smaller, but there are still many different base video poker games.
Every video poker game has a buit-in edge for the casinos, and some of the base games have larger edges than others. This means that your first mistake is often picking the wrong game to play.
When I say a base video poker game, I mean that Jacks or Better is a different base game than Pick’em Poker and that they’re different base games than Deuces Wild.
In the next section, you’re going to learn about the importance of finding the right machine to play on after you choose the best base game. These are two different things, and they’re both important.
You also need to consider something else when you choose a base video poker game: You need to consider how much you like the game. The simple fact is that you’re going to like some base games better than others.
If you like to play video poker with wild cards, Deuces Wild is probably your best base game choice. If you don’t enjoy wild cards, I recommend playing the base game of Jacks or Better.
2 – You Don’t Find a Good Pay Table
Finding the best base video poker game for you is only a small first step toward playing video poker at a breakeven pace. The next step is just as important, if not more important.
Just like every base video poker game is designed with a set minimum edge for the casino, each pay table that’s available also has a minimum and maximum edge for the casino. You have to know what the range is for each pay table for your base game before you play.
In truth, as long as you know what the best pay tables are for your base video poker game, then you can ignore all of the machines with other pay tables. And the important number to know for each pay table is how high the return is.
You’re going to learn how to get the maximum return in another section, so don’t worry about how you’re going to do it right now.
The pay tables with the best returns should be at 99.5% or higher. I don’t play on any video poker machines with a lower return, and you shouldn’t either.
3 – You’re Not Betting Enough
This is common knowledge for seasoned video poker players, but if you’re a beginner, you might not know. And the reason why you might not know is because the best strategy for most casino games is to bet the smallest amount that you can.
But when you play video poker, you actually need to bet the maximum amount when you play. This doesn’t mean that you have to play on a machine that has a high coin rate. What it means is that you need to bet five coins per hand instead of one to four coins per hand.
The only way to get the maximum return when you play video poker is by betting five coins. When you bet fewer than five coins, it actually lowers your return.
The best betting strategy when you play video poker is to bet five coins on a machine that has the lowest per coin settings that also has a good pay table. This way, you don’t risk too much on any hand, but you still get the highest rate of return.
I refer quarter video poker machines when I play in land-based casinos, because the total risk per hand is $1.25. When I play online video poker, I like to play on nickel machine for a total risk of .25 per hand.
4 – You Refuse to Use Video Poker Strategy
I mentioned in an earlier section that you’re going to learn how to get the maximum return every time you play video poker. This section tells you how to do this. And if you’re not doing this, you’re losing too much money when you play video poker.
What I’m talking about is called video poker strategy. It’s simply a way that you play each hand that you start with. When you play your starting video poker hand the right way you win the most money and lose the least amount of money.
The problem is that it’s not always easy to determine the best way to play a hand. I’ve got good news for you though. You can use a simple tool called a strategy chart that lists all of the best ways to play in order.
You need to get the right chart because each base game uses a different chart. For example, if you play Jacks or Better, you need a Jacks or Better chart.
Once you get the right chart, just start at the top of the list and find the hand you have. Then, follow the instructions. This is exactly how you get the maximum return every time you play video poker.
5 – You Play Video Poker Too Fast
I fall into this trap all of the time, so I know how dangerous it can be. And I’ve been playing video poker since the ‘90s, so I know better.
You can play video poker as slow or as fast as you can push the buttons. This is good if you’re an action junkie, but it’s also bad if you make too many mistakes.
It’s also bad if you can’t quite reach the breakeven mark when you play video poker. And the truth is that most video poker players don’t break even. If you’re playing close to breakeven play, but not quite getting there, it means that you’re still losing a little money.
And when you’re losing money, even if it’s a small amount, you’re losing more money the faster you play.
The first thing you need to do is play slow enough so that you can make sure that you never make a strategy mistake. Eventually you’re going to know all of the best strategy plays by heart, so you can play faster.
But you should still resist the temptation to play too fast. Slower play helps your bankroll last longer and reduces your losses.
6 – You’re Not Taking Advantage of the Casino
When I say, “take advantage of the casino,” I don’t mean that you should look for ways to cheat. What I mean is to take advantage of the casino the same way that the casino takes advantage of you.
You need to start taking advantage of everything that the casino wants to give you. In land-based casinos, this includes rewards clubs, free drinks, promotions, and anything else you can get. And sometimes, all you have to do is ask if you want to get something.
If you play in real money online casinos, you need to see if they offer a rewards club, get bonus offers, and take advantage of special promotions.
When you take advantage of everything that you can get from the casino when you play video poker, it can offset your video poker losses. If you play video poker the right way, your losses are going to be small already, so a small amount of comps or promotions can make a huge difference.
Video poker gives you the chance to gamble somewhere close to a breakeven game. But you have to avoid making the same mistakes that cause other video poker gamblers to lose. Eliminate these mistakes and you’re not going to lose much, if any at all.
Picking the right game and finding the right pay table are the two most important steps when you play video poker. Once you find these two things, all that’s left is using good strategy and betting the right amount on each hand.
The final factor is taking advantage of the casinos.
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