Tag: video-poker

Stories from the Casino Floor: Triple Double Bonus Poker

There’s nothing quite like snatching victory from the jaws of defeat to make you feel good about a day in the casino. One big win at the end that erases previous losses and makes you a winner doesn’t happen anywhere near often enough, but it feels great when it does.

Activating the Bonus in Wheel Poker Deluxe

Video poker areas in casinos liven their mix with bonus games that can multiply your winnings when triggered by certain winning hands.

These games usually are variations on Triple Play, Five Play and Ten Play Poker, where you play three, five or 10 hands at once. And all such games require an extra bet to activate the bonus feature.

Is it worthwhile to activate the bonus, or does it reduce your payback percentage?

Video Poker Strategy: Partial Flushes

Video poker decisions frequently come down to choosing between two viable options. Players who want to get the most out of the games learn early that a low pair is more valuable than a single high card, to use one commonly occurring example. Recently, a reader wrote to ask about the situation with partial flushes.

Video Poker: Low Pairs vs High Cards

One of the most important strategy tips for video poker players to remember is that low pairs are almost always more valuable than high cards. You win more hands when you hold a Jack or higher, but have larger average payoffs and win more money when you hold low pairs instead.

A reader asked recently if that also applies to having two high cards in the hand.

When are Tax Forms Necessary in Video Poker Wins?

Unless they play at dollar level or above on single-hand games or quarter-level or above on multi-hand games, video poker players rarely reach the $1,200 threshold that requires a tax form before they’re paid. A royal flush with five quarters wagered brings a $1,000 jackpot — a nice bonanza, but well below the tax trigger.

Winning the Most Hands Does Not Always Win the Most Money

A play that will win the most hands isn’t always the play that will win the most money.  I was asked recently if there are other games where it’s better to make plays to win less often because they win more money.

Mississippi Stud Poker Straight Strategy

In any game where strategy makes a difference, there are fine points and there are players who struggle with small differences.

One such game is Mississippi Stud Poker, in which players must ante to start, then may raise by betting one to three times their ante after seeing their first two cards, again after seeing the first of three community cards and a third time after the second community card is exposed.

Are Video Card Games More Like Slot Reels or Card Tables?

One of the things that sets video poker and video blackjack apart from slot machines is that electronic games that use representations of playing cards must offer fair odds. Nevada took the lead, naturally enough, but Mississippi followed suit when its casinos opened in the 1990s, and so did other states.


Back to Back Jackpots a Reality

Regular readers know that I love to hear close encounters of the winning kind. Slot and video poker players have been great about emailing me their experiences in winning back to back jackpots, or at least jackpots within a few plays of each other.

The latest comes from Suzanne, a video poker player who wasn’t sure her story qualified because it involved royal flushes by two different players.

Super Double Bonus Poker Strategy

There is a seemingly endless variety of video poker games, each with their own pay tables and strategy nuances. One Interesting game is Super Double Bonus Poker. 

Back-to-Back Royals in Video Poker

Some of my favorite tales from readers are those of back-to-back jackpots – or at least jackpots within a few plays of each other.  They don’t happen very often. A 1 in 40,000 chance of drawing a royal flush in video poker translates to a 1 in 160 million chance of back-to-back royals. But given enough trials, anything that can happen eventually will, and there are plenty of trials in casinos.

$5 Single Hand Games vs $1 Triple Play in Video Poker

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.

Is Your Deal in Video Poker Random or is There a Pattern?

Video poker deals are as random as humans can program a computer to be, but one player thought he saw a pattern developing that could have worked in his favor if only there was a way to let it play out.

Chase the Flush vs Flushes Gone Wild

Most new table offerings are new riffs on familiar concepts. Every so often, that leads to different game developers hitting on similar ideas at the same time. This year, I tried out two games that paid off on flushes of varying lengths, American Gaming Systems’ Chase the Flush and Shuffle Master/Scientific Games’ Flushes Gone Wild.

Ultimate X Poker Bonus Streak

If you’re a video poker player, chances are you know Ultimate X Poker from International Game Technology. It’s the most successful multiline video poker game with an extra bet for bonus features.


Video Poker Players’ Favorites

One fundamental difference between video poker players and slot machine players is that video poker players are a loyal bunch, sticking with the same games year after year, while slot players are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest.

Extra Bets in Super Times Pay Video Poker

Most of video poker games we play today have been around for decades. Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Bonus Poker and others have stood the test of time. Most innovation in video poker comes in games that require an extra bet to activate a bonus feature. Of these, the most popular has been Super Times Pay.

Should You Play Off Your Credits When Lower Than a Max Bet or Cash Out?

Multi-hand video poker games are among my casino favorites, and have been ever since Triple Play Poker was introduced in the late 1990s. With the games, there is a temptation to players. On a quarter Triple Play machine, a maximum-coins wager is $3.75. What happens if your credits dwindle to less than that? Do you make a bet for less than full coins? 

Video Poker Pay Table Strategy

When you see a strategy table for any given video poker game, it’s almost always going to assume a royal flush pays 4,000 coins if you’ve made a five-coin bet. That’s the standard payout on machines that don’t have a progressive jackpot.

Slot Machine Payouts Coins vs Tickets

Among those who have been playing in casinos as long as I have, there’s a sizable number who miss being paid in coins clattering into the tray of slot machines.  On a September day when I cashed out by printing a ticket, the machine’s speakers resounded with an imitation of that sound, and a neighboring player told me she missed the real thing.

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.

A Betting Mistake Pays Off

We all make mistakes in the casino. Blackjack players stand when they meant to hit, slot players forget to check to see all the paylines are active and players at any game sometimes have a brain cramp and make a bet that’s larger than they’d intended.

Are Progressive Jackpots A Better Bet in Video Poker?

Video poker players in the know understand that on most games, payback percentages are changed by altering the returns on full houses and flushes. A “9-6” Jacks or Better game, where full houses pay 9-for-1 and flushes 6-for-1, returns 99.5 percent with expert play. If instead you see 8-5 Jacks or Better, meaning full houses pay 8-for-1 and flushes 5-for-1, then the average return is 97.3 percent with expert play.

However, when progressive jackpots are involved, even a game with a lower pay table can have high average returns.

Video Poker: Chance vs. Skill

Video poker is a game that mixes pure chance with a dose of skill. You don’t know which cards are going to dealt, but you need to know which ones to hold to have a fighting chance to win.

New Tap House Poker game from IGT

Video poker was the first massively popular coin-operated casino gaming using video screens and virtual images instead of spinning reels or other mechanical components. But one thing video poker hasn’t used is the kind of animation we’ve seen since video slots became the hottest growth area of the casino industry.

Video Poker Players Need to Watch for Straight Flush Opportunities

One of my video poker games of choice is Double Bonus Poker, especially on versions that pay 7-for-1 on flushes and 5-for-1 on straights. If full houses pay 10-for-1, then you have a full-pay 10-7-5 game that returns 100.17 percent with expert play. If they pay 9-for-1, then the 9-7-5 game is still a good one at 99.1 percent.

Reason #1 Why Closer Doesn’t Mean Better – Gaming

In Tunica, Mississippi, we appreciate good entertainment. After all, we feature plenty of it for just about every taste. So, you probably are not surprised that we chuckled at the attempt at humor in recent commercials by a competitor across the river. Clever, but we have to ask: Why don’t they talk about any benefits, just about a shorter drive (and that depends on where you live)?

In Tunica, we also appreciate the difference between fact and fiction.

  • Fact: closer doesn’t mean better.
  • Fiction: you risk alien abduction, chainsaw-wielding maniacs and organ harvesting if you drive to Tunica.

So, in the spirit of good, clean competition, we would like to focus over the next seven days on the Lucky 7 reasons why closer doesn’t mean better. Because when you compare Tunica to Southland, it’s not even close. And be sure to read on to find out how to receive $25 in free slot play and a $5 food credit when you trade up to Tunica.

Sequential Royal Bonus on Video Poker

A reader wrote recently to ask me about a wrinkle she’d seen on video poker games, a little attraction that’s been around for quite a long time, but isn’t always available in every casino.

New Video Poker Options from IGT

You always can count on International Game Technology for an interesting twist on video poker. In the coming year, the twists will include games with new Ace-based multipliers and a marriage of poker and keno.

Winning Streak Video Poker from WMS

WMS Gaming has long been an innovator in slot machines, with games such as Jackpot Party and Reel ’Em In becoming casino standards, and Lord of the Rings, the Monopoly series and others taking gaming in new directions. But WMS has not been a major player in video poker, a field dominated by International Gaming Technology. WMS is trying to change that with a couple of new products, and one I find particularly intriguing is Winning Streak Poker.

Why Some Four of a Kinds Pay More Than Straight Flushes in Many Video Poker Games

Neither straight flushes nor four of a kinds are exactly common in video poker. But the foursomes come up more than 20 times as often as the straight flushes, and in games such as Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Super Aces and more, all quads at least equal the straight flush payoff of 250 coins for a five-coin bet.

Casino Spotlight: Play Big at Blackjack and Slots at Roadhouse

I’ve been giving you some tips about how to have some biker-style fun at Roadhouse, but now I’m wrapping up the Roadhouse spotlight with its main attraction. Use this guide to gaming at Roadhouse to see if you can be like one of the casino’s latest big winners who won $72,000 at the slots.

A Reader’s Good Fortune: 10 Royals at Once on Ten Play Poker

When you play multihand video poker games such as Triple Play, Five Play and Ten Play Poker, part of the attraction is that you get multiple chances to make a high-paying hand on the draw. Hold two pairs, and maybe you don’t pull the full house on hand No. 1, but the possibilities are still there on the draw for the second hand, or third, or however many you play.

New Video Poker Game On Its Way From WMS Gaming

If you’re playing video poker, there’s about a 95 percent chance it’s on an International Game Technology machine. IGT is the only major game manufacturer involved in video poker in a big way. Former competitors Sigma Gaming and Casino Data Systems are out of business. Bally Technologies still puts video poker games on its multi-game GameMakers, but hasn’t released a new video poker product in years. New kid on the block Incredible Technologies does offer video poker, but its early inroads mostly have been with slot games.

Frequency of Royal Flushes in Joker’s Wild Video Poker

Nearly all video poker games are based on five-card draw poker. In licensed casinos, every electronic card in a 52-card electronic deck has an equal chance of appearing on every hand. That enables us to calculate odds telling us the big payoff on royal flushes occur once every 40,000 hands or so, depending on the game and our strategy.

Casino Spotlight: Gaming, Resorts-Style

Last time in my casino spotlight, I shared with you all of the ways that Resorts Casino Tunica makes your hard-earned dollars go farther thanks to their generous promotions. This week, I’m telling you how to spend that money on the casino floor. Resorts has 35,000 square feet of gaming space, so if you can’t find a game that interests you, you might just need to give up gaming. From video poker to blackjack, you’ll find all the action at Resorts Tunica.

Can a Video Poker Game be Manipulated so That it Shows a 9-6 Game but Gives a Reduced Payout?

My email recently brought a question from a video poker player who sounded like he’d probably had a tough run of luck. “Can a video poker game be manipulated so that is shows a 9-6 game but gives a reduced payout?” he asked. “Is there a legal way for the casino to lower the payout or restrict certain hands from appearing and still display the traditional pay table?”

Aces In the Hole? Don’t Press Your Luck – Video Poker Strategy

Double Double Bonus Poker is the game of choice for many video poker players, and it’s not hard to understand why. There’s a 2,000-coin jackpot for four Aces accompanied by a fifth card that’s a 2, 3 or 4. On a quarter machine, that’s a $500 bonanza, a nice payday for a $1.25 bet.

Let It Ride: 3-card Side Bet

Table games manufacturers love to spice up their products with side bets, something to add a little extra action, a little extra interest to play. And if there’s one thing casino table games manufacturers love to see, it’s more action, with more money on the table.

Should you Just Keep One Pair in Video Poker Games?

When my wife Marcy and I go to a casino together, we usually spend some time playing video poker side-by-side. Her real casino love is the penny slots, for the animation and entertainment, but video poker is next.

A 21-year-old’s Royal Streak

I recently was contacted by a reader who had a tale of extreme beginners luck. It seems the reader’s son drew a royal flush on a quarter video poker machine on his 21st birthday, on the very first hand he ever played. He played again the next day, and drew another royal, then did it again the next day. Three royal flushes, all within about 1,000 hands, starting from the young man’s first lifetime hand.

Should You Ever Disgard a “2” at Deuces Wild?

Ask any experienced video poker player, and they’ll tell you there’s nothing quite like seeing that “4000” light up for credits won on a royal flush. One of the most memorable days of my gambling life came when I drew a royal in spades on a $2 machine — an $8,000 bonanza. A woman and her daughter who were playing a few seats away added to the celebration when they went to the gift shop and bought me a lapel pin displaying a spade royal. I often wear it when I give seminars.

Double Up Feature

Optional features come and go in video poker, just as they do in many casino games. One that’s been with us for a couple of decades is the Double Up option on video poker games from International Game Technology.

Playing for Straight Flushes in Video Poker

The late Lenny Frome, one of the first video poker analysts, was a friend of mine, and we often talked video poker. He was a really sharp guy who had a long career as an engineer in the aerospace industry before semi-retiring to Las Vegas. He was a good friend to video poker players, one of the first to give the public strategies for when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

Betting Less Than the Max at Video Poker

An old friend of mine is an occasional video poker player. He likes to play the game, but he doesn’t really like to risk money. In his lifetime, he’s drawn three royal flushes, one on a dollar game, and two on quarters. Every time, he’d wagered only one coin, meaning his jackpot was 250 coins instead of the 4,000 that comes with a five-coin wager.

“9-6” Isn’t the Magic Number in Every Video Poker Game

The game that put video poker on the map in the 1980s was “Jacks or Better.” And as it gained in popularity, the word spread that the best games had “9-6” pay tables, meaning they paid 9-for-1 on full houses and 6-for-1 on flushes.

Going For Straights in Video Poker

Have you ever listened in as a couple of video poker novices tried to figure out just what to do with a hand? I couldn’t help but overhear one evening when a woman playing Bonus Poker was dealt 5-6-7-9 and a Jack.

“What do you do here?” she asked the fellow accompanying her.

He looked at the hand, and looked at the pay table. “Look here,” he said. “You’d get five coins back if you draw another Jack, but you have four parts of a straight. Straights pay 20. You probably should go for the straight.”

Holding Low Pairs in Video Poker

Payoffs in most video poker games start at a pair of Jacks, so many players underestimate the power of low pairs.

If you’re dealt a single Jack along with a low pair, such as two 5s, what are you going to do? It’s tempting to keep the single Jack and draw four cards, each with chance to bring a second Jack that’ll at least get you your money back.