Try a dose of reality

Mar 20, 2006 11:18 PM

What is it about the game of video poker that has the math people scrambling all over the place every time their theories are threatened with a dose of common sense?

I mean, take a look at their approach to the game: To them, it’s all about classroom theory in which perfection, fake money, infinity, and make believe casinos are all a part of a supposedly exciting curriculum. "Do this without error on only positive machines as often and for as long as humanly possible, and I promise that you’ll step into your grave years from now with a tiny win percentage."

Yes, that’s a synopsis of the typical video poker guru’s long-term strategy methodology. Textbook stuff as classroom theory goes. But is it REALLY the way things unfold inside a casino?

When I debate these issues online with players firmly sold on this "expert-play" baloney, it is not uncommon for them to first proclaim that they are feared "Advantage Players" who have come up with such a foolish justification for their compulsive style of play that they now say "I’m not a gambler. I only play when I have an edge!"

Well, sorry to disappoint these dreamers — and I do it on a daily basis — but the only advantages out there are owned by the casinos. Duh! But this is exactly what happens to people who actually play their video poker within a virtual reality world of theory, where when they lose — which is at least 70 percent of their sessions — they win their famous phantom bucks as well as nervously proclaim "I know I lost today, but I also know I’ll be OK tomorrow because that’s the way the numbers say it will be."

Oh really? And while the advantage player is licking his or her wounds and turned down at the bank when trying to deposit all those phantom bucks, are the machines out there just WAITING for them to play another session so they can return all their money to them?

The plain truth is, when someone insists on playing virtual reality video poker, they’re able to conjure up just about any type feel-good scenario imaginable in order to continue to justify feeding their incessant habit. I tried playing that game for more than six years, and I learned my lesson in reality well. Video poker is not a classroom-based game of make-believe.

It is as real as it gets, the ONLY time it counts is when you’re playing the machines in a casino, and the only thing that counts is how much money you have in your hands as you leave the casinos — and not how much you ”˜theoretically’ made because you played a machine along with sucker benefits that says you’ll be ahead 1.6 percent by the end of time. End of story.

Now I’m going to make those math people go a little more topsy-turvy once again. How? I’m simply going to tell them yet another undeniable truth about the game and why it is that way. Video poker is a time-based game. What this means is it is not in any way, shape or form ever in the hands of the player or what he does, that will determine how he does.

All expert-play enthusiasts claim that if they only play certain positive machines on certain special promotion days throughout their days, they’ll likely keep ahead of the math curve and be a winner sometime down the road. Of course, that ”˜sometime’ may never come — as most of them bluntly discover after years of play. And those who make the big mistake of moving to a town like Las Vegas just to be closer to the machines so they can play them more often — thereby theoretically getting to that heavily marketed promise land that much sooner — agonize over being slapped with reality more than the others.

The only determinant of a player’s results is not in his selection of positive games, sensational promotions, or how well he knows the math. It is solely a function of what kind of a cycle that one machine is operating in at that particular point in time. If the machine is going to be winning then it will win, and if it is in a losing mode then it will lose. But over the life of the machine, if it’s a 100%+ game and gets nothing but optimal play, it is very likely that it will give away more money than it takes in.

Obviously, no one plays perfectly, and most don’t even know how to. So ALL machines — positive or negative — are near perfect moneymakers for every casino around. Those who beat them during the machines’ lives are lucky, and those who don’t simply sat down and pushed the buttons at the wrong time. It has nothing to do with the classroom, and nothing to do with those silly strategy cards the smart video poker-marketing people like to sell unsuspecting buyers. It’s all got to do with timing.

You want virtual reality, go to any class and dream about winning. You want to win, then go to my site and read more truths WITHOUT spending any of your hard-earned money on video poker trinkets that were designed to keep gambling money in other people’s pockets. And don’t worry about what machine you sit down to play. Choose the proper strategy and you’ll see you can be a consistent winner.