Tag: video pokerView All Tags
Perfecting skill and winning casino games isnít easy. In fact, perfection is impossible since the casino has a built-in advantage in every game. At best, we want to play games with a small house advantage and an easy strategy to learn in order to maximize how long we play. Playing longer improves chances of hitting a hot streak or a jackpot. Here are a few resources we use for honing our gaming skills:
vpFREE: vpFREE2.com is a great site for video poker players or people interested in learning how to play. vpFree2 lists how much optimal returns are for different video poker games as well as which casinos have those games. They also detail exactly where you can locate the games on the gaming floor. The information is updated every few months so it may not be 100% accurate, but itís pretty darn good.
Gambling / Video Poker / Downtown / Main Street Station / The California / Las Vegas Club / Downtown Vegas / Plaza / The D Hotel / Golden Gate / El Cortez / Golden Nugget / Fremont / Four Queens / Downtown Grand / La Bayou / Mermaids / → All Tags
Last week, we reported that Downtown Grand lowered its video poker pay tables shortly after they opened. Nobody was happy to see this reduction so quickly, but Downtown Grand's video poker only went from bad to worse. Most people concerned with playing good video poker games wouldn't have played the better option at Downtown Grand, anyway.
The reaction to Downtown Grand's video poker pay tables led us to check out how other downtown casinos compare. According to vpFREE2,†there are plenty of good video poker games to be found downtown. Here's a list of the best games in each casino with percentage of return. They're broken down only by the best game(s) offered. Click on each game listed to find details on how many of those games are in that casino, where they are located, and what other good video poker games are available.
Vegas Observations / Downtown Grand / Blackjack / Video Poker / Gambling / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
Things change in casinos. Thatís why VegasChatter exists. Things changed for the worse while†Downtown Grand†was still in their soft opening phase and don't look like they'll change for the better any time soon. When we first walked through the casino on the opening day, we found†good returns on blackjack, but not much elsewhere. 3-4-5 craps odds arenít bad, but they arenít good, either. When we checked, video poker the Bonus Poker game was 7/5 (pays 7-1 for full house, 5-1 for flush). Again, not the worst, but not good, either.
As the days past, we read a few Facebook and forum posts about Downtown Grand changing the pay tables on their video poker games, but we didnít see before and after pictures to confirm these reports. When we checked the video poker at Downtown Grand for a second time, the pay tables were, indeed, changed. The same Bonus Poker video poker pay tables that used to be 7/5 were downgraded to only pay 6 for a full house and 5 for flush.
OpenThread / Gambling / Video Poker / Blackjack / Craps / Mississippi Stud Poker / 3 Card Poker / Penny Slots / Slot Machines / → All Tags
Trips to the casino are filled with ups and downs. Sometimes, there's a winning session and, sometimes, there's a losing session. The casino has a few percentage point advantage on every game so losing a little isn't really a surprise. We can deal with losing by small percentages. It's part of the territory. The sessions, however, where there's no winning at all is what really grinds this writer's gears.
On a recent trip to the casino, I couldn't shake off a cold streak. I played every game to see if I could change my luck and nothing worked. The first session started out at the tables with 3 card poker where I was actually up for a little before losing. Later, I played craps and that was a loser, too, mostly on my rolls. Gasp! I switched to Mississippi Stud Poker and that was a loser. The only win was $10 while killing time on a penny slot before dinner. After the break, the losing continued with blackjack, video poker, higher denomination slot machines and Mississippi Stud Poker (again) before I just gave up.
Gambling / Downtown Grand / Blackjack / Video Poker / Slot Machines / High Limits / Baccarat / → All Tags
Downtown Vegas is known more for low-limit gambling than high limit rooms, but that's slowly changing.
When The D and Golden Gate renovated their casinos, they included small high limit rooms. These traditional high limit rooms have some blackjack tables for people that prefer a little privacy when they play with bigger money. The D even has baccarat available since thatís one of the more popular games that was only available on The Strip. Since The D opened with baccarat, the Golden Nugget has added a baccarat area to their casino. High rollers are being welcomed to Downtown Grand with a separate high limit room featuring slot machines, video poker and blackjack as well as an Asian gaming room which features baccarat.
Vegas Observations / Downtown Grand / Craps / Blackjack / Video Poker / Sportsbooks / William Hill / Gambling / Betting / Openings / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
Downtown Grand is a beautiful hotel. The hotel happens to have a casino. The casino is beautiful because itís new, but itís not very big and doesnít feel very comfortable for a gambler. But, letís begin with the good news.
Limits on table games are $5 (during the day) as the property's opening week kicks off. Blackjack pays 3:2 as itís clearly marked on all tables. The small casino only has about 10-14 table games with about half being dedicated to blackjack. All games are dealt from a shoe which is nice, too.
We didnít get to check all the video poker machines, but we saw 7/5 Bonus Poker available on most. Many are connected to a Royal Flush progressive which helps increase returns to a better level. The high limits room has better 8/5 Bonus Poker games, but youíll have to do so on $1 3-play games there (that's $15 per game with max credits). These arenít the worst video poker returns, but theyíre not the kind of returns that will make Downtown Grand a destination for video poker players.
Openings / Drinking / Bars / Whiskey Down / MGM Grand / Gaming / Blackjack / Video Poker / → All Tags
Whiskey Down, a "high-end gaming lounge," will officially open Wednesday, August 28. The 24-hour venue, able to seat up to 64, will offer six blackjack tables and seven bar-top video poker machines. Whiskies will include "American, Canadian, Irish and Scotch." And, that's all we have to say about that. (For now.)
Video Poker offers some of the best returns in the casino. Depending on where you play, you can find returns where the advantage is with you and not the house. According to vpFREE2.com, Circus Circus still has some Aces & Eights games that have 100.25% returns with perfect play.
While we all have our favorite video poker games, playing it all the time can get a little boring. If you're like this writer who mostly†plays Jacks or Better (the most boring video poker game with the easiest strategy), you need a little spice in your video poker life. Thankfully, there are many varieties in casinos now. I often trade a few percentage points on returns for fun, the price to pay for a little excitement.
Video poker and slot machines are just about everywhere you turn in Las Vegas. The first machines you'll see are about 100 feet from exiting your airplane. If you explore Las Vegas, you'll also see them in gas stations, supermarkets and every bar in town. No matter how many times this writer sees the games in "normal" areas, it still seems strange. There are always questions about these games because Las Vegas is one of the the few cities you'll see this. That leads to this week's fan question(s) from Benjamin B.:
This writer plays a lot of video poker. Scratch that, I play every game in the casino a lot, but the ubiquity of video poker everywhere in Las Vegas leads me to play that a lot, too. I've never played video poker in a gas station or supermarket, but those days canít be too far ahead even if itís just to say I did it.
With that being said, I've come across almost everything you could imagine in video poker. There was that time†I was chasing the white whale for a Royal Flush and realized that shouldnít be done. Then there was†the time I caught that white whale once and got paid, son. As awesome as that may be, there's never been a†Royal Flush dealt to me in a 100 play machine. Not yet, at least. There are so many video poker games that thereís always something better.
What's the best video poker hand you've been dealt? The best hand Iíve ever been dealt is the lovely straight flush above on a $1 three play Bonus Poker machine recently at Red Rock Resort. The probability of just getting a straight flush is approximately 0.000109, according to Wizard of Odds. A straight flush is dealt about once every 9,000 hands and here it was dealt so I could get paid three times!
The D Hotel / Video Poker / Bars / Long Bar / Vue Bar / Drinking / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
By design the D casino is a contrast in styles. The main floor of the casino is set up to draw customers enjoying the festivities on Fremont Street. The loud music, go-go dancers and bright TVs of Long Bar do a great job of setting the tone for people looking to keep the party going. Meanwhile, upstairs is a much more subdued vintage casino. The music is more mellow and there's no table games. The contrast is pretty great because it's the best of both worlds.
On a recent visit to the D, we played video poker and had drinks at both the Long Bar and the†Vue Bar. Not only is the atmosphere different at both, but so is the video poker and comp drink policy. While people that want to keep the party rolling will stay at Long Bar, video poker players and booze snobs will probably head upstairs to Vue Bar.
Gambling / Craps / Roulette / Video Poker / → All Tags
To really love gambling is to know that the casino has the games all tilted to their favor. A couple weeks back we looked at how much of an advantage the casino has in each game. Games with a low house advantage offer us the best chance to play longer and possibly win. We're in the casino for a good time, not a long time. Math isn't our friend but in order to find the better games we have to
understand†be aware of it. After all, the casinos are studying the math to take our money so why not be on the same page?
When you know the math behind casino games, gambling becomes more about playing a game than taking a gamble. At the end of the day, there may be good runs and bad runs but based on the house advantage the casino should win money in every game. Let's look at some of the terms behind the math that explains how we win or lose our favorite casino games.