Playing video poker, either in-person at a casino or on your computer or mobile device, is a fun way to enjoy the game without the poker table politics. Per an Oregon State University-Cascades survey, 71 percent of casino gamblers prefer video poker over other games.
That stat makes sense, really. The accessibility of being able to play any time of day, from anywhere, is a huge perk of video poker. Whether you play poker to pass the time, or because you have professional aspirations, the convenience of video versions of the game makes it simple to play a few hands without much hype.
While poker is clearly a game of luck, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of winning, particularly at video poker.
Here are four things you can do to come out winning when you're playing video poker.
Practice, practice, practice
Whether you're a novice or on the precipice of going semi-pro, at least in your dreams, practicing before playing rounds of video poker can always help. Today there is interactive computer software and websites that provide you with feedback on your plays. They give you a set up, ask for your play, and then give you autocorrect pointers. There are many programs like these under $100 that can help teach you how to play common video poker games while polishing your strategy. The money you spend to learn about the game can be won back through your knowledge and prowess.
Remember that playing poker takes savvy. You wouldn’t walk into a business, start working with no knowledge of the job, and expect to get paid. The same is true for video poker. Learn as much as possible before you put any money on the line and it will improve your odds of a payday.
Go for the max
Whenever possible, play the maximum amount. If you can’t afford the maximum bet on a video poker machine, then find a different one that is within your price range. Betting the max amount does not give you the green light to go over budget. This simply means that if you bet the max you'll be ready for the royal flush when it comes your way. It all comes down to efficiency. Find the machine that fits your budget but bet the max every time.
If you like playing video poker, you're in luck. There are for you to enjoy. It's just a matter of finding the one with the best theme and payouts to match your taste. Once you have a handle on the game you choose, the payouts, your budgets and your own poker instinct, you’ll find the odds are much more often in your favor.
Stick to two budgets
You probably already know about setting some spending boundaries for yourself before you start gambling. But did you know that it is equally wise for you to set some winning budgets as well? The reason for this is because after your winning streak, you're bound to start losing eventually. Naturally, you'll be inclined to recover some of your money and that's where it all starts going downhill. Unless of course you have that winning budget set and , even if you're on fire.
The allure of winning makes it difficult to walk away from a hot game. The best poker players know their winning limit though and stick to it. It’s better to walk away with guaranteed winnings, though, than to risk losing what you have already won.
Check the payout schedules
Not all video poker payouts are the same and if you don't research this little detail you may miss out on some big winnings. Some video poker games will straight up tell you on their display or help screens how much they pay out. Sometimes the returns are based on how well you play and sometimes they simply pay a certain percentage on second plays. Understanding what you are actually capable of winning will better inform your betting – and improve the chances that you come out ahead.
What are some of your best tips for playing, and winning at, video poker?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice. She has significant experience with the topic of small business marketing, and has spent several years exploring topics like copywriting, content marketing and social media.