Winning Video Poker
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How To Win At Video Poker

Learning how to play video poker is one thing. Learning how to win at video poker is another. Most video poker machines payback about 99.5% to 101% and sometimes you can find games that payback even more. Unlike slot machines, where no decisions by the player will affect the outcome, video poker players can choose which cards to hold in an effort to achieve the highest payout possible. This is what makes video poker a popular game. Casinos make about 2% more on video poker machines as a result of players making poor playing decisions.

The payout schedule is often ignored by most video poker players. Most of their decisions are correct simply because they are obvious. But, when they need to make a decision between two possible winning hands, most rely on guessing or hunches. This is when the casino makes that extra two percent. Here are the most common errors that players make when learning how to win at video poker.

Playing Short Pay Video Poker

Most video poker machines payback less than 100%. This is the most common mistake video poker players make. Youíll often see people playing a short pay machine with an idle full pay machine nearby. Youíll even see people playing non-progressive machines when there are progressive machines with larger jackpots just waiting to be played. Video poker players need to understand payoff schedules and stay away from low pay machines. If a casino doesnít have full pay machines, play somewhere else. If more people did this, more casinos would carry full pay machines.

Betting Less Than The Maximum

Most video poker games will let you bet from one to five coins with a jackpot paid out on bets of five coins. Betting less than the maximum can reduce your potential winnings by over 1%. Why reduce your winnings at all. If you canít afford to play five coins per hand, then find a lower denomination machine with the same full pay schedule.

Always Holding At Least One Card

This is a common and potentially costly error, especially when it comes to wild card games. It might seem like a mistake to throw away all your cards, but if none of the cards in your hand can make a winning combination, the best thing to do is get five new cards.

Hanging On To A Kicker Card

If you play live draw poker, it is sometimes a good move to hang on to an ace or any high card, if you are trying to make a pair or three of a kind. In video poker, it can be a major blunder. Two pair will pay no matter what the rank of the cards and hanging on to that kicker will reduce your odds of making a better hand.

Drawing Cards With Three Cards To A Flush Or An Inside Straight

If you get dealt a bad hand with no high cards, many players will be tempted to do this. The best decision is to get five new cards. Remember this is no one strategy that works for all games. You must play the correct strategy for the game you are playing.

Breaking Up A Paying Hand

This is an important thing to consider in learning how to win at video poker. This can be a difficult decision and is sometimes successful at creating a royal flush, but in the long term, this can be a costly mistake. If the game has a high progressive jackpot on a royal flush, then go for it.

Missing Some Potential Draws

The most often overlooked draw is the double inside straight flush draw. Learn a good strategy, stick to it and donít play hunches.

Fast Play

When you are playing fast, itís too easy to make mistakes. Some machines have faulty buttons and you need to make sure you are holding the cards you want.

Slow Play

If the game you are playing pays over 100% back, you can increase your potential wins by playing faster. Donít play so fast that you make strategic errors.

Not Taking Advantage Of Comps

Your overall winnings will be higher if you take advantage of the complimentary items or ďcompsĒ offered by the land-based or online casino you are playing. Many offer a slots club with free membership. There may be small cash rebates, if any, but youíll often be eligible for other free items that will increase your profit margin.

If you understand and avoid making these mistakes you will soon learn how to win at video poker. Learning to recognize good machines and playing good strategy is not really that hard. Just remember to play high payback machines, play as perfectly as you can and take advantage of casino comps.

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