Video Poker Are The Odds Against You

 Video Poker Are The Odds Against You

Video poker games are designed to be as random as humans can program a computer to be. The odds of drawing winning hands are the same as cards were dealt from a real deck.

Still, when odd streaks happen, players can’t help but wonder if something more is going on.

“Do video poker machines adjust and get tougher to beat for better players?” one player asked via email. “If the machine sees that you always hold a low pair instead of a high card, does it stop dealing cards that match your low pair and start dealing matching high cards, so you see you would have won with a different play? If you’re in a guessing game against a computer, you can’t win, can you?”

Answer: There is no guessing game. Cards are determined by a random number generator, and all it does is deal the cards. It has no strategy in doing so, and it neither knows nor cares what your strategy is.

Programming the game so that it adjusts its deal to beat your strategy is illegal in every U.S. gaming jurisdiction. You’re not playing against the random number generator and it’s not trying to beat you.

Several years ago, there was an attempt to introduce artificial intelligence in a video Hold’em game, but it never carved out a niche in casinos. IGT’s Texas Hold’em Heads Up had no pay table to beat. It was strictly player vs. machine. It used artificial intelligence and neural net technology to simulate a player, and that player WAS trying to beat you. It anticipated play, tried to read your tendencies, raised, checked, folded and bluffed. It slow-played some hands and tried to bully you on others. It even seemed to step up its game against better players.

But in traditional video poker games, you’re not playing against an opponent that’s trying to beat you. You’re playing against a pay table, and there is nothing in the programming that would subvert your attempts to draw a winning hand.

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