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One of the fun things about playing video poker is that it's one of the few games in a casino that you can play at your own pace. If you get caught up in the fever, you can play fast. If you want to have a drink at the bar and chat with friends you can play slower. Regardless of the speed you play video poker, you have potential to be playing a game with the smallest house edge for the casino.
I say potential because in order to receive the best returns in video poker youíll A) need to play with perfect strategy and B) play with max credits. Letís take a look at Bonus Poker pay tables since itís one of the most popular video poker games.
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Between all of us Vegas Chatter contributors, weíre probably in a casino at all times of the day, especially this contributors who is always searching for new games to play. The game may be a slot machine (or 10) one week, a table game another week or even a video poker game. The games themselves may not be new to the casino floor, but they are new to me. Like Hot Roll video poker.
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Good gambling is getting harder to find every day. Thankfully, itís not gone altogether. While some casino operators are looking at new ways to generate revenue (i.e., bottle service) there are still some operators who still look to the casino to earn their revenue. These casinos often offer better odds in blackjack, craps and, in this case, video poker.
Better odds arenít all weíre searching for when it comes to video poker. Weíre looking for the best odds. Specifically, we're looking at games that return at least 100%. Playing video poker games with 100%+ returns and perfect strategy will allow for a rare positive when gambling, expected value. That represents the average amount you can expect to win per bet if the bets each have identical odds (like these games) and are repeated many times. When you have a game with positive expected value, youíre repeating a wager that will return more than you play over time.
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Most casino visitors know the odds are stacked against them. Still, itís fun to try and take on the house. Some players go for broke and play games like Megabucks, where the chances of winning are minute but the potential payout colossal. Others pick games like blackjack, where big wins are rare but the chances of leaving ahead arenít so bad. Whatever you choose, itís important to understand game selection alone doesnít determine your odds.
Gamblers thinking theyíll play things safe by sticking to conservative games like video poker and craps often overlook the fact that those games are only safer if played under the correct circumstances. Played incorrectly, either by using imperfect strategy or by making the wrong types of bets, these games can have a house edge as bad as the worst of slot machines. Additionally, even if playing optimally, casinos can change the rules such that the odds arenít as you would expect. Hereís a look at just how widely the house edge can swing on some of the most popular games:
IGT has partnered with the Golden Nugget to launch the first video poker interstate jackpot pool in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. SuperTimes Pay Poker Mega Progressive jackpots are similar to the large payouts you find in Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune slot machines.
The SuperTimes Pay Poker Mega Progressive jackpot (say that three times fast) is available in 3 play video poker machines in quarter and dollar denominations. SuperTimes Pay Poker machines often start with nickel denomination so make sure youíre playing the correct amount if youíre chasing the big money.
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Call us (me) simple, but thereís almost always something interesting when looking behind the numbers in gambling. Todayís example of being easily intrigued comes from looking at how often certain hands show up when playing Jacks or Better video poker.
Whatís fascinating today is the following:
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Unless you gamble frequently, you may not realize it isnít all the same. To the non-gambler, blackjack is blackjack is blackjack. Gamblers know that isnít true. Not only do many casinos offer different rules, odds and returns for games, you may even find different rules and odds for the same game under the roof of a single casino.
A casino may offer blackjack with different odds depending on if you're by the door, in the high limit room or in the party pit. This can be the case with other forms of casino gambling, from betting on sports to video poker.
Video poker is a funny thing. Most players fall in one of two categories: theyíre either a slave to only playing the best pay tables or they donít care about them at all.
I care about pay tables about 80% of the time and usually only play the best available. The other 20 percent? I donít care. I will play a game that features a random bonus round, one that sits atop a bar where I want to drink, or one that has a twist, like Ultimate Poker X. Nickel and penny video poker games often have awful pay tables so I didnít even bother looking when I first pull up a seat at a 3-play nickel Ultimate X game, which takes 30 credits.
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Last week, we told you about a pretty sweet low roller rebate at Casino Royale that's been running since the end of last year. VegasChatter reader @valleyman0505 wasnít familiar with how loss rebates worked and asked the following questions:
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Casino Royale†may not be for everyone, but it is one of the best casinos for low rollers on the Vegas Strip. What's not to like about low limits, good odds (especially for craps players) and $1 Michelob beers?? They may not need to offer more to lure gamblers, but they have a pretty good promotion currently underway, anyway.
Each game has a different pay table and that affects odds and returns. Reader @rickwozniak asked a fair question in the comments section†of the post that others have probably wondered as well, ďif video poker is random, 52 card deck, why would one game have a higher variance then another?Ē
First, hereís a definition of what variance is, as it relates to video poker from vpFREE2:
To beginners, all video poker games are the same. They look the same, so they must be the same. Right? Wrong. Video poker players know this to be far from the truth. There are different types of video poker games, different variations, different payouts, different odds, different strategies, games with different volatility and more. A video poker player doesn't just sit willy nilly down and play any ol' game. Here are some factors that go into choosing the right machine:
Returns and Odds: Video poker returns and odds you see posted online are based on perfect play. Anything less than perfect play will affect the expected returns for the worse. Even though it's rare there are still video poker games with positive returns. You can find where they are in Las Vegas†on vpFREE2.com. Iím okay playing with a small house advantage and I try to stick with 9/6 Jacks or Better which returns 99.54% with perfect play.