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By John Grochowski on Tuesday February 28, 2017
gaming-strategy, gaming-tips, strategy, video-poker, video-poker-machines
Sizing your bets properly and making sure you don’t overbet your bankroll are important parts of playing any casino game.
Sometimes there are tax considerations, too. A video poker player wrote to me recently to ask advice on playing $5 single-hand games vs. $1 Triple Play.
Those games are out of my own range. I shop for the best pay tables and stick to quarters and occasionally dollars on single-hand games, and keep it on quarters on Triple Play or Five Play.
But this reader was wavering between Double Double Bonus Poker options, with the same pay table on $5 single-hand and $1 Triple Play.
“I’ve had more royals on the Triple Play, and my money goes farther on the Triple Play, too,” he wrote. “On the other hand, royals on the $5 game are really something. A $4,000 payoff for a royal on one line on the Triple Play is nice, but when I drew a royal for $20,000 on the $5 game I was walking on air for a week. I could barely contain the butterflies in my stomach.
“Can you think of other reasons to go with either $5 single hand or $1 Triple Play?”
The obvious difference is that the max bet on a $5 single-hand video poker game is $25, and on $1 Triple Play it’s $15. You’re more likely to get extended play when your bet is $10 less than on the other game.
Another big factor is the payoffs on four of a kinds and straight flushes. Typically, a straight flush or four 5s through Kings will pay 250 coins for a max bet. On the $1 Triple Play machine, that’s $250. It’s just added to your credit meter and you play on. But on a $5 game, that’s $1,250 and exceeds the IRS reporting threshold. The casino is required to have you sign an IRS form W-2G before it can pay you.
The deal is similar with the 400-coin payoffs on four 2s through 4s, 800 on four 2s through 4s with an Ace, 2, 3 or 4 kicker or 800 on four Aces, no kicker. Payoffs are below the IRS threshold on $1 games and above it on $5 games.
The potential for tax paperwork is something to consider before choosing a $5 video poker machine.