Video poker made its entry to the casino in the seventies; and is today one of the most popular forms of gambling. For the player who likes a game of skill, a low house edge, the possibility of large wins, and the anonymity of playing alone there is nothing else that can compare to video poker. The rules of video poker are simple; you play 1 to 5 coins, the machine give you five cards, you choose which to hold and which to discard, the machine replaces your discards and pays you off according to the value of your hand.
You may have heard the adage that the “house always has the advantage.” Video poker is an exception to that rule. If you look for the most liberal pay tables, and play them properly, you can have a thin advantage. Some pay tables, which are slightly in the machine’s favor, can return over 100%, if you factor in incentives such as cash back, free play, mailers, and other comps.
Video poker is one of my personal favorites to play. It isn’t as strong as it was when I first moved to Las Vegas in 2001. However, good opportunities are still out there.
If you don’t want to learn proper strategy, or bother to look for the liberal pay tables, then video poker is not for you. Inferior pay tables and mistakes will make it an expensive form of gambling. You may as well play slots. Correct strategy is often not intuitive. If you try to bring your five-card draw strategy to video poker, like holding a high kicker with a pair, you will lose, and lose badly, over the long run.
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