ROYAL FRUSTRATION

The following is an excerpt from a section on “money mangement” in my upcoming book “Play video Poker or Else!”

Many casinos advertise a 97 – 98% payout on their best slot machines. This is about what the payout on a good video poker machine would be if the Royal Flush was removed as a winning hand. The difference, of course, is that with the slot machine there is no skill required to get the maximum expected return. You simply press the max bet button over and over. With video poker your expected return is based not only on the maximum payout of the machine but your skill in achieving the maximum expected return (ER). That’s why casinos can have machines that can actually favor the player. The overall return for the casino, taking into account that most players do not play nearly accurately enough is much better than the theoretical take. This fact is the only reason such a good deal is available for those who will take the time and trouble to master the art of accurate video poker play. In other words the inferior players are helping to pay the freight for the superior ones.
Bearing this in mind many players will expect that once they have achieved a sufficient level of skill, that they will almost always win if they spend enough time at a session. This is dangerous thinking and can lead to disappointment and poor play.
A skilled player will achieve a royal flush about once every 40,000 hands, the same as an unskilled player. In between those royal flushes, the skilled player is operating at a small disadvantage, the unskilled player at a very large disadvantage. Actually, if you play the right game (let’s say Deuces Wild, for example which depends on the RF for only 1.8% of it’s expected return) expertly and you get cash back and free meals that add up to another half a percent or so, you are operating at only about .5% disadvantage even without ever catching the royal flush. NOTE: the reason I don’t include a room or show in this reasoning is discussed in the chapter on slot clubs and comps.

This is what separates the roses from the thorns. Playing only the machines that are most advantageous to the player and whose strategy you are expert in; Slugging it out with your small pair, 2 card royal, 3 card straight flush or four card flush and even ‘draw five’ garbage hands, hand after hand, milking the cards for every percentage point of advantage you can; getting the maximum cash back and comps from your play; all these things add up to the life-raft you are paddling until the Good Ship Royal Flush comes along and makes your day.

The fact remains, however, that at 40,000 to 1, it only takes a minor variation from the average for you to go a hundred thousand hands without a royal. Video สล็อตมือถือ poker is a game that requires a great deal of play to smooth out the winning and losing streaks. My wife and I once had a streak of several hundred thousand hands with but a single royal flush between us. I have told the story often but what I usually don’t mention is that in spite of that we always had a good time during that streak and even came home winners quite a few times. In fact it was during this period that I caught quad aces on the “Royal Aces” machines at Arizona Charlie’s twice in about two hours. Since the aces paid the same as a royal flush ($1,000) I had the equivalent of two royals in a very short time. Another time (this was after the cold streak ended but it could just as well have been in the middle of it) I was on my way up to the room late at night when I decided to take the last $40 of the day’s bankroll and see if I could get lucky on the dollar 10/7 Double Bonus machines. I didn’t usually play dollar machines and with $40 I didn’t expect to last longer than about five or ten minutes (especially on Double Bonus.) A couple hours later my wife watched in amazement as I was spread 24 one hundred dollar bills on the bed in our room. A hot streak of quads, including aces twice and small bonus quads twice had turned me around in a hurry.

Still, it’s possible that during a low spot on the curve that you could suffer several consecutive losing weekends. These are the times that will make you wonder if you are playing the right machine; if the casino is cheating you; if GOD hates you; etc. You have to be prepared for these setbacks. The proper attitude is to view your video poker playing career as one long session (that spans years.) Following all of the above recommendations, there is really no particular money management system required for the visiting player. There are several strategies you can use however and which you decide on depends more on your personality than your income level.