Whenever you have the opportunity for a great hand in Video Poker that has a great payout, you should probably almost always take it. These opportunities to get the bigger payout cannot happen or be hit if you do not take the chance. Having small wins will easily dwindle your bankroll and leave you playing break-even poker… or broke poker anyhow. So what do you have to lose?
Keep in mind that your small wins will only benefit your mind, not your pocket so take the chance to go for big money is always recommended. The same approach can be taken for your losses as well as you should be thinking in terms of expected value over the long-term. If you have the opportunity for a full house or flush, you should play them accordingly to optimal Video Poker strategy.
Always bet Max Bet or Coins! Machines offer you a great bonuses for max betting, so chose a machine where you feel comfortable max betting at because that is how you make big money when it does hit.
Since regular card room poker is about playing your opponents’ hand ranges against your own , Video Poker is more about going for the luck of the draw and making the best possible poker hand. So if you look to rack up a good streak of “wins” don’t be concerned with the quality of each win. Know your reason and what kind of video poker you are trying to play. If you are just playing recreationally and want some casino comps and don’t want to go for broke, you can play safe and play your made hands or high cards in hops of breaking even… but if you want to play to win bigger, you should be willing to ditch the higher cards for draws to increase your likelihood of winning. This in the long term is actually the safer bet and optimal strategy.
You should always play video poker at optimal strategy or else you are just feeding the machine, and what fun is that? Leading us to our next heading…
Probably the most important strategy in any gambling game that people tend to overlook is bankroll management. You should never play or bet outside of your financial comfort zone, and this goes for video poker machines as well. The general rule in poker is to play at 40 times your buyin to ride out the variance. So if you have $400 in your pocket, you should only play at machines where you can deposit $10 and get about 100 hands in. So 0.10cents a bet. Since most machines are at least a quarter, you should have about $1000 in your video poker bankroll before depositing $25 into a video poker machine. This of course is for the professional player looking to win money over the long term. If you are a recreational player, this probably does not apply to you as it is more of an entertainment cost, rather than an ‘investment’.
Long story short, bankroll management simply means ‘Don’t play at a level where you do not have funds to ride out the variance / bad streak’. It is very common to go 8-10 consecutive hands without hitting any payout at all, so if this is too much for you, then lower your limits.
While the saying, “The house always wins,” is probably a true statement for almost all casino game, video poker may be the one of the few exceptions to this rule if you can learn and master optimal strategy. If you have patience to learn and practice the game, you just might come out ahead for once.
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