Navigating Common Video Poker Mistakes To Increase Your Wins

min read
Casino video poker machine
BetMGM Jan 18, 2024, 9:20 AM

Online poker has captivated a legion of fans in the online gaming arena, brilliantly merging the intense mind play of poker with the exhilarating simplicity of online slots. It’s a digital playground that lures seasoned strategists and casual thrill-seekers alike. While the simplicity and conveniences are similar, some significant differences exist between video poker and online slots.

Exploring Different Variations of Video Poker

When asking, “What is video poker?” players often find themselves navigating a sea of variations. This online casino game has multiple variations, offering unique rules and payout structures. Some even combine elements of video poker with slot machines.

From the widely popular Jacks or Better to the wild-card-involved Deuces Wild and the bonus payouts of Double Bonus Poker, understanding these variations is crucial. It’s essential for players to choose the one that aligns with their skill set and preferences. This vast diversity, while being a source of endless entertainment and challenges, also opens the door to potential pitfalls.

The differences might seem subtle at first glance, but they can significantly influence the decisions you make during the game. For example, the strategy you’d employ in a game of Double Bonus Poker differs noticeably from a standard Jacks or Better game. The risk of error increases with the sheer excitement and pace of online video poker.

Common Video Poker Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

The rapid play and intricacy of these digital formats leave little room for caution and adjusting strategies, especially for those still getting their bearings. These nuances can be daunting, leading to mistakes that are as easy to make as they are costly.

Underestimating the Pay Table

Casinos offer a variety of pay tables for the same video poker games. Choosing the best one can theoretically save hundreds of dollars in a session. A higher-paying table means a lower house edge, which can significantly impact your winnings over time.

Pay attention to the full house and flush payouts to ensure the highest returns. For instance, a full-pay jacks or better game offers a 9/6 pay table (nine coins for a full house and six for a flush), known to give better odds than an 8/5 or 7/5 pay table.

Undervaluing Your Betting Strategy

Betting fewer than five coins can significantly increase the house’s advantage, especially in games with a progressive jackpot. For instance, the royal flush payout can drop dramatically when you’re not betting five coins.

If your bankroll permits, always opt for the maximum bet to unlock higher payout ratios for the best hands. It’s crucial in games with progressive jackpots, where the big prize is often only available to max bettors.

Poor Bankroll Management

Effective bankroll management is crucial in video poker. You should always play within your means and set limits to avoid faster losses. It’s about finding a balance between maximizing your chances of a payout and preserving your bankroll for future games. Have a bankroll strategy that can sustain you through bad streaks.

Playing outside of your bankroll can create many problems. It’s important to choose a denomination that suits your bankroll while considering the pay tables offered at different levels. Allocate a specific amount for each session and avoid the temptation to overspend in pursuit of losses. The rule of thumb is to set aside a bankroll equal to the payouts for three royal flushes.

Lacking Proper Video Poker Strategy

Video poker isn’t purely a game of chance. It requires skill and strategy. Each video poker game has a unique strategy, and knowing the correct strategy for your favorite games is crucial. For example, holding onto a low pair might be a better strategy in one game but not another.

Familiarize yourself with basic strategies for different game variations. Resources like strategy charts and understanding game theory optimal (GTO) can guide you in making the right decisions for each hand you’re dealt. These tools can suggest what to discard based on the hand dealt. Not understanding these can result in significant financial losses.

Controlling Emotional Reactions

Emotional control is most important in video poker. Players often chase losses or stray from optimal strategies because of frustration or overconfidence. Consistency is the key to long-term success in video poker.

Keep a level head and stick to your strategy. Avoid making impulsive decisions based on emotions. Taking breaks during losing streaks and setting winning and losing limits can also help maintain emotional control.

Additional Tips on How To Win at Video Poker

The first video poker tip for becoming a skilled player is acknowledging and preparing for challenges. Understanding that each game variant is a different beast to tame is crucial, and learning to adapt will get you far.

It’s not just about the cards you’re dealt. It’s what you do with them. It’s about knowing the specific rules, strategies, and payout structures of the game at hand. These video poker tips could be a valuable addition to your game strategy.

  • Understand hand odds in video poker: Each hand has specific odds of occurring. Knowing these odds can help you make more informed decisions about which cards to hold and which to discard.
  • Understand the roles of luck and skill in video poker: While luck determines the cards you receive, skill dictates how you play them. This blend makes video poker both challenging and rewarding.
  • Understand the difference between video poker and playing live: Playing video poker online differs significantly from live games. The pace is faster, and there are no physical tells, requiring a different approach to gameplay.
  • Trust your video poker strategy: Relying on gut feelings instead of mathematical probability and optimal strategy can lead to losses. In live poker, gut feelings are usually based on observations and player tells. Success in video poker online is based on numbers and probability.
  • Use video poker software tools: Various software and tools are available to help players practice and improve their video poker skills. These tools can simulate games and provide feedback on your decision-making.
  • Use a player’s card: Using a player’s card can get you valuable comps like free slot play, gifts, and food, enhancing the overall value of your gaming experience.
  • Check promotions: To maximize value, check the casino’s website or player’s card portal for promotions. These can include offers on specific days and are especially valuable in competitive casino markets.
  • Don’t play too long: Set a time limit for playing. Extended play without breaks can lead to fatigue, impairing decision-making skills, especially if alcohol is involved.

Outsmart the Odds With BetMGM

While the cards may be virtual, the strategies and pitfalls are as real as any felt-top table. In video poker, every click can be a step toward a win or a tumble of losses. Don’t let your gaming experience become a bluff or let your chances flush down the river. Whether you’re holding jacks or chasing a flush, play your cards wisely. Register with BetMGM and make every hand count.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.