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Video Poker That Sweet Edge And How To Find It

That sweet edge and how to find it
Dear Mark: Is there any point when the player actually has an edge in video poker over the house? Vic D.

There is, Vic, but you'll need to master this combination. Play on a full pay machine, use an optimal playing strategy against that select machine, play progressives over a certain amount, and take full advantage of the goodies casinos give away.

Full pay machines are machines that pay out more for certain winning hands than do other comparable ones. For instance, a full pay jacks-or-better machine pays (per coin inserted) 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush. This payout is better than what you get from a machine that pays only 8 coins for a full house and 5 coins for a flush, and is far superior to some paytables that you'll find out there today that pay only 6 coins for a full house and 5 coins for a flush.
You'll also need to learn an optimal playing strategy for the type of machine that you are playing on. What I mean by optimal playing strategy is that you must learn which cards to hold and which ones to discard.
A marriage of both, Vic, playing on full pay machines and using an optimal playing strategy, will get you pretty close to you that edge that you're looking for in video poker.
Then pile on the advantage you take of casino comps. For example, a video poker player playing a 9/6 machine and using optimal strategy can expect a 99.5% return. By getting cash back for your play by using your Player's Club Card, it's very possible for the overall return to exceed 100%.
One other possibility is playing on a progressive machine where the jackpot exceeds a certain amount, which creates the opportunity -- that is, if you hit the jackpot -- to have a payback that is temporarily over 100%.
For example, on a one-dollar jacks-or-better 8/5 progressive machine, the break-even point would be a jackpot of $8,800. When the jackpot exceeds that amount, there's your edge. On a quarter jacks-or-better 8/5 progressive machine, look for a jackpot over $2,200. Again, factored in, is your chance of hitting the royal.



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More Columns By Mark Pilarski
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Learn More On Video Slots

Video Poker What Cards To Hold
Playing 5-card draw with jacks or better, I draw a pair of 5s, a king, a 7 and a 2. Do I just keep the pair of fives, or do I keep the fives and the king?

Video Poker Stay Put ?
Many players erroneously believe that if they had stayed put and inserted just five more coins, or had pressed the play button on a coinless machine one more time, that royal -- that someone else fortuitously hit -- would have been theirs.

Your Odds Doubling Up Playing Video Poker
Like the odds bet in craps, the Double Up wager is one of the few casino bets offered that doesn't have a house edge.

Poker Blind Bets and Video Poker Odds
Poker blind bets how much they cost the players that are forced to pay them. Video poker the odds of hitting a Triple Play video poker machine vs. single-hand machine.


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