Poker Basics

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Winning Video Poker

by Roger McIntyre

Most video poker machines offer returns of over 95% and some even offer
returns over 100%! But you must play these machines correctly in order to
get these returns. Here’s how:

Learn the rules of the game.

Make sure you know the rules of the game before you sit down to play.

Learn the different types of payout hands.

Different video poker machines offer payouts for different types of poker
hands. Generally, the more wild cards there are in a game, the better the
poker hand has to be in order to receive a payout. Usually the games which
have no wild cards offer a payout for a pair of Jacks or better.

The Joker’s Wild games usually offer a payout for two pair or any hand with a joker.
The Deuces Wild games usually don’t payout unless you have three of a kind
or better.

Know who your opponent is.

You are playing against the machine, not other players. Your goal is to
get the highest payout hand possible. Therefore it makes no sense to try
to bluff the machine by keeping unwanted cards or discarding favorable cards.
You should always keep only the cards that have the best chance of yielding
the largest payout.

Pick out the machine that you are going to play.

All video poker machines are not equal. Different machines offer different
returns so it’s a good idea to pick a favorable one. Also, it is a good
idea to learn how to play one machine before learning another one since
the playing strategies are different between the machines also. So how do
you find out what the expected return is on a particular machine? There
is a video poker program that can do this for you.

Always bet the maximum amount when favorable.

All the progressive payout machines and even many of the others offer more
favorable payouts when the maximum bet is placed. On these machines, your
expected winnings will increase when you place the maximum bet. You can
tell if a machine offers a statistical advantage for maximum bets by multiplying
the payout for a single coin by five.

If the payout for five coins is greater than this then it offers a statistical
advantage. For example, if a Royal Flush offers a payout of 500 coins when you
bet one coin and 4000 when you bet five coins, 4000 is more than 500 * 5 = 2500
therefore you should always bet five coins.

Learn how to play the hands for maximum profits.

This is the hardest step because there are 2,598,960 possible different
poker hands in a standard 52 card deck. To make matters worse, the type
of game (Standard Draw, Joker’s Wild, and Deuces Wild) and the payout table
for each of these games can alter which cards are the best ones to discard
for maximum expected returns. Probably the best way to learn is to have
a tutor watching you play who tells you which cards are the best to discard.
There is a video poker program that can do this for you. This program also
can automatically create a set of rules that you should follow in order
to realize the maximum returns of a particular video poker machine.

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