Video poker is a popular slots-style game with a large win potential. The only opponent is the computer, meaning players aren’t required to bluff their way through a hand – it is all down to skill, strategy and, naturally, a lot of luck.
But don’t throw in your chips just yet. To help get you started on your video poker journey, we’ve compiled a list of the key problem areas for newbies, along with advice on how to avoid them. You can thank us later…
Mistake 1: Lacking a solid money management plan
As with any casino game, it is crucial to only play with money you can afford to lose. After all, it is impossible to accurately predict the outcome of a hand, meaning players should always be mindful of any money going into their machine. This is called “determining your bankroll”, and is of utmost importance when playing video poker.
Instead of starting out big, ensure your bankroll is around 50-100 times the stake you plan to play per hand. In other words, to play five coins of a 0.50 denomination per hand, your bankroll should be no less than £125. By following this general rule of thumb, the risk of busting early on is significantly reduced; giving you greater staying power.
Mistake 2: Following hunches
Like other variations of poker, video poker requires logical thinking. As tempting as it may be, it’s crucial that players – especially first-timers – follow their head, and not their heart. In other words, players should have a strategy, and shouldn’t needlessly throw away credits simply because they get “a feeling.”
Instead, take the time to hone a playing strategy, and see how that works with your money management plan (above).
Mistake 3: Not knowing your pay tables
As we previously mentioned, each video poker game has its own pay table, meaning two video poker units, side-by-side, could have widely different returns per play. Jacks or Better, for instance, has a much lower pay table than, say, Double Double Bonus.
Pay-outs for hands will also depend on which variation of video poker you are playing. In most video poker games, the full house/flush odds shown on the front of the screen are the primary indicator of a machine’s payback percentage, so shop around for the machine you feel has the best return.
Mistake 4: Playing high-variance games
Variance refers to the swing (or volatility) in your bankroll as a video poker game unfolds. As previously mentioned, this means that if you haven’t already prioritised your money management plan, there is a possibility of running out of credits early on.
An effective way to keep your bankroll in check is to play low variance games, such as Jacks or Better, or Bonus Poker. These games allow players to ease themselves into video poker, which, while the jackpots are smaller, have smaller variance.
Now you know what to avoid when playing video poker, it’s time to get stuck in! Put your newfound knowledge to the test by playing Jacks or Better on Grosvenor Casinos.