How to Maximize Video Poker Payouts
Video Poker doesn’t get the same amount of love as blackjack or online pokies, but it is a game that allows players the opportunity to profit if they know what they are doing. While the house will have an edge in most games, you can greatly reduce and in some cases even eliminate that house edge by making some adjustments on how you play.
In this article, we will give you some tips on maximizing your profits in video poker. These tips are applicable for both live and online casinos and for the majority of video poker variants.
Pick the Best Video Poker Pay Tables
We’ve given this tip multiple times in the past, and it bears repeating because it is one of the key steps to improving your win rate. The pay table for VP games will tell you the percentage of bets that the machine will pay out over time.
When looking for video poker games, you want to pick games with pay tables no worse than 8/5. If you don’t know what that means, we recommend reviewing our previous article on reading video poker pay tables.
Sticking with 8/5 or better means you will expect no worse than a 98.39% return from a machine. The best machines are those considered “Full Pay” machines, which are games that return 100% of the money put into them, or more.
Learn Perfect Strategy for Your Preferred Games
Picking the best pay tables is a good first step in improving your win rate, but there is a catch. In order to achieve this win rate, you must play a perfect strategy. Perfect strategy means playing every single hand in an optimal fashion in order to maximize your return.
If you look around the internet, you will see a lot of discussions about simple and perfect strategy. You’ll even find cheat sheets at many casinos with simple strategies for playing the game. Simple strategy will help you improve your win rate over the average random player, but to maximize your outcome, you must learn perfect strategy.
This means learning how to play every potential hand that is dealt to you. Learning a simple strategy will get you about 75% of the way there, but there are nuances that you have to learn to win the most money. There are plenty of materials available online that will tell you how to play perfect strategy for your preferred game.
Notice we specific preferred game as every form of video poker is different. Perfect strategy for Jacks or Better will not maximize your return for Double Double Bonus Poker, and so on. If you like to play different variants, we recommend focusing on mastering one game at a time rather than learning perfect strategy for two games at once. This helps to prevent confusion.
Invest in a Video Poker Trainer
Practice makes perfect, but perfecting your strategies in a live or online casino setting can be costly. Playing free money video poker is also not a good test of your strategies. Many free money games you see on training websites are unnaturally loose.
Instead, we recommend investing in a video poker trainer. One of the best on the market is Video Poker for Winners by Bob Dancer. If you don’t know Dancer, he is one of the premier experts on playing the game. His software is an excellent trainer that will help you improve your game.
You pick your preferred game and you play video poker. When you make a mistake, the game will point it out and tell you the severity of your error. Those that know how to play solid basic strategy will seldom make serious errors but it will help you refine some problem areas and unusual situations that come up while playing.
This isn’t the only tool on the market, but it is one of the better ones. Investing in a video poker trainer will pay off over the long term. It will help program you to play your best game.
Take Advantage of Promotional Offers
If video poker is your game, you want to take advantage of casino promotions that allow you to cash in on your play. For online casinos, this may be a bit tough as many promotions don’t offer favorable terms for video poker play.
However, some promotional offers are offered exclusively for video poker players. When offered, this can be a great way to give you extra money for your bankroll. You can also build extra loyalty points that you can convert to cash in your account.
For live players, you’ll run into various promotions that can be linked to the game. Make sure that you sign up for any player rewards programs and always play using your rewards card. Your play will be tracked, and often, casinos will contact you with promotions that reward you for playing video poker. This can range from free play to free stays at the casino’s hotel, and more.
Video Poker may not have the same excitement as video pokies, roulette, or blackjack, but it can be profitable when you play using the strategies listed above.
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