Video poker is a good gambling option for many gamblers, but it’s not the best choice for every gambler. In fact, there are certain gamblers who shouldn’t ever play video poker.
You have to know how poker works if you play video poker, and you need to learn strategy if you want to get the best returns. This makes video poker more challenging than many other casino games.
Here’s a list of six reasons why video poker might not be the best casino game for you. You’re also going to learn what you need to do if you want to give video poker games a try.
1 – Progressive Jackpots Are Your Thing
Most gamblers think of slot machines when they’re looking for a chance to win a progressive jackpot. And there’s a good reason for this.
While a few other gambling games have progressive jackpots, the slot machines are the games that have the biggest jackpots. If you’re looking for the chance to hit a big progressive, you should stick with slot machines.
While these machines are hard to find, there are a few video poker machines that have progressive jackpots. The problem with progressive jackpot video poker machines is that they almost always have a bad pay table.
And even when the jackpot grows high enough to make the return better, you still aren’t going to win a huge jackpot. The top-paying hand is usually worth 4,000 coins. If you’re betting $1 per coin, this is $4,000. $4,000 is a good win, but it pales in comparison to the top prizes on slot machines.
Even if a video poker progressive grows to 8,000 coins, it’s still just a win of $8,000. It might take 1,000,000 or more spins to win a progressive on a slot machine, but video poker progressives are almost always hit in 100,000 hands or less.
2 – You Don’t Enjoy Poker Games
If you don’t like poker, video poker isn’t the game for you. But if you think you fit in this category, you might try to determine why you don’t like poker.
Many games in casinos are poker based. Table games like Three-Card Poker and Let It Ride use poker rules, and of course, there’s also Texas hold’em and many others.
Poker is a fairly simple game to understand. The main things you need to understand is how hands are ranked and how the suits and ranks work in a deck of cards. The odds are that you already know how cards work and learning hand rankings is easy.
The reason why I’m telling you these things is because video poker is a better option than slot machines. The main reason why video poker is better is because you can play on machines that have a higher return when you play real money video poker.
I recommend learning more about poker and video poker to see if you can learn to like poker. If you find you don’t mind playing a poker-based game, you can make your bankroll last longer by playing video poker instead of slot machines.
3 – Strategy Is Too Hard
I mentioned in the last section that you can get a higher return playing video poker than playing slots machines. But it takes more work to get this higher return.
The main way you can get a higher return playing video poker is by playing each starting hand you get in a particular way. This is called video poker strategy.
For example, you can play each hand different ways. Playing Jacks or Better, if you start with the queen of clubs, jack of clubs, 10 of hearts, nine of clubs, and the six of clubs, you can keep the four clubs or four to an open end straight. But only one way gives you the highest return. The bet play is to keep the four clubs and draw to a flush.
Video poker strategy is learning what the highest paying way to play each hand is. This sounds complicated, but it’s actually easy if you have the right tool. The right tool is a video poker strategy chart for the game you’re playing.
Each video poker game has a unique strategy that is best. In other words, a strategy chart for Jacks or Better isn’t the same as the strategy chart for Deuces Wild.
If you think it’s too hard to use strategy when you gamble, video poker isn’t a game you should play.
4 – You Want to Bet the Minimum Amount
Most gambling games offer the same odds no matter how much you bet. This is why it’s usually the best strategy to bet the smallest amount that you can when you gamble.
But video poker isn’t the same as most other gambling activities. In fact, if you bet the smallest amount available when you play video poker, you’re making a mistake.
Take a close look at the pay table on any video poker game. You can see that all of the payment amounts follow a pattern except the top hand. When you bet two coins instead of one coin, you win twice as much.
But on the top payline, you can see that the jump from betting four coins to five coins is bigger than the rest of the pattern. This is a bonus amount, and it makes a big difference in your overall return. This is why you should always risk five coins on every video poker hand.
This doesn’t mean that you need to play on a video poker machine that has a high per coin value. In fact, you should find the video poker game with the smallest coin value that offers a good pay table. This way, you can make a five-coin wager without risking too much on each hand.
5 – You Enjoy the Social Aspect of Gambling
Casinos are filled with gamblers, and one reason why some people go to the casino is to visit with other gamblers. You can meet new people and benefit from a wide range of social interactions in casinos. But you’re not going to get much social interaction playing video poker games.
The first reason why you’re not going to get much social interaction playing video poker is because there aren’t going to be many people close to you. At most, you’re going to have a person on each side of you playing machines beside yours.
The second reason is because you need to pay attention to what you’re doing when you play video poker. You can’t afford to make strategy mistakes, and when you’re trying to talk to other gamblers, the odds are that you’re going to make some mistakes.
If you enjoy social interaction when you gamble, you might want to try the craps table or one of the other casino table games. Even regular poker tables offer more social interaction than video poker machines.
Of course, if you don’t like too much social interaction, video poker is a good choice.
6 – You Don’t Want to Memorize Pay Tables
You learned that using strategy is the best way to play video poker. But you also need to play on machines that offer the right pay tables.
This means that if you play video poker, you have to know which pay tables offer the highest returns. And you have to know the best pay tables for every video poker variation that you might play. This can get confusing.
If you don’t want to memorize the best pay tables for video poker machines, you have two options. The first option is to simply not play video poker. But there’s a better option.
I carry a small pocket notebook with me most of the time. If I’m going to play a video poker game that I don’t know well, I write down the best pay table or tables in my notebook. This way, I don’t have to memorize every possible pay table. I also keep strategy charts in my notebook so that I always have the best strategy for every game with me.
Smart gamblers know that some video poker machines offer returns close to 100%. But they also know that they have to find the machines with the right pay tables and make the perfect strategy play on every hand.
This means that you’re going to have to learn what pay tables are the best and learn how to play using strategy. If you don’t want to do these things, you should skip the video poker machines.
If you want to play for a progressive jackpot, video poker doesn’t offer many opportunities. Slot machines are a better bet.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …