August 29, 2014
Who Spreads These Superstitions, Anyway?
One of the aspects of video poker that people enjoy is the solitary nature of the game. If you’re looking for camaraderie, you’d probably be better off playing craps or roulette, where there’s a decided social aspect to playing. But sure enough, if you hang out long enough in the video poker section of a casino, some well-meaning but foolish person will start sharing video poker myths and misconceptions with you.
I’ve listed some of those myths here.
Video Poker Myths & Misconceptions
- Higher denomination machines have better payouts. There is a kernel of truth in this one, because higher denomination machines will usually have a better pay table. But the pay table is what determines the payout percentage, not the denomination of the machine. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that two machines with different denominations but the same payback table will pay out differently, because they will pay out exactly the same.
- Quarter machines are cheap action. At first it would seem that this is true, and they certainly offer cheaper action than dollar machines. But consider this: you’re going to play the max bet each hand, which means you’ll be betting $1.25 per hand. And you’ll probably play close to 600 hands per hour. That’s $750 worth of action in an hour!
- There are “good” machines which offer more royals than typical, and there are “bad” machines which offer fewer royals than is typical. This is conspiracy thinking. The truth of the matter is that once every 40,000 hands or so, you’ll see a royal flush. The machines have tightly controlled random number generators (RNG’s), and they’re licensed and regulated. The casino gets its advantage from the payback table of the machine, not from tricks with machines that don’t pay out correctly.
- A machine that just hit a royal is “cold” and not due for a royal anytime soon. And a machine that hasn’t hit a royal in a while is “due” and is a better bet than a cold machine. The RNG (random number generator) shuffles and deals from its virtual deck every hand, regardless of what the payout on the previous hand was. There’s no such thing as a cold or hot video poker machine, unless you’re referring to the pay tables.
Why Does It Matter?
Being aware of what the truth about the odds are in video poker make you a better player. If you’re spending your time and effort on something futile like finding a hot machine that’s “due”, or you’re playing high denomination machines just because you think they’ll pay out better based on the stakes, then you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
You’ll gain an advantage by learning what are good pay tables, and by learning how to play with perfect strategy. Focusing energy away from that is going to cost you more money in the long run.