Strategy for locals

May 8, 2006 1:24 AM

I get a lot of emails every day from players looking for a way of approaching their battle against the video poker machines. Many come from all over the country, but even more come from people living in and around Las Vegas.

By and large, most of these now thousands of folks tell me that they believe they are as good as any advantage player (AP) or the people who write the books and sell the strategy cards. And I don’t doubt it. I’ve met with hundreds of these players, and many of them are as savvy and intelligent as I or anyone else.

Most people contact me because they know I do not condone playing the machines with anything other than a pre-planned gaming-only bankroll that has zero to do with the expenses surrounding their daily lives.

They also know I have helped many players play successfully at mostly lower levels, and when a strategy includes progressions in both denomination and game volatility, it is important that they get the procedure correct.

Of my strategies, I advise the Romp Thru Town (RTT) or Advanced Romp Thru Town (ARTT) approach. Either one has a consistently high possible win rate and overall profit margin. On RTT, I am 35-5 with an average win of $960 over 40 sessions, and in ARTT I am 34-8 with an average win of $1,520 over 42 sessions.

My play usually begins at dollar machines with both strategies — which can be read/copied for free on my web site ( Even so, players can easily begin their play at 5¡, 25¡ or wherever they want. In RTT, there are several variations, and some players have even made their own successful adjustments to what I suggest.

In RTT, the staple game is Bonus Poker (BP). One way to play is to accumulate 100 or 200 (but no more) credits at three or more denominations, such as 25¡/$1/$5/$25 or 5¡/25¡/$1 — although when playing nickels I always suggest Double Double Bonus Poker or a similar advanced BP game. Many people choose to do the basic 25c/50c/$1 and are also successful — albeit to a smaller extent. The important decision is where to cash out.

On any Romp that included 5¡, nothing higher than $2 is recommended. Starting at quarters, I suggest $5 or at most, $10. And of course it goes up from there.

But when does one know where to call it quits for the day? Well, that depends on how smart a player is versus how greedy they are. The greater the greed the greater the risk. Set reasonable overall session win goals, and if you’re not sure contact me at [email protected] and I’ll always reply.

My favorite way of playing this strategy is using five levels from dollars to $25, but at times I play for far less stakes. The real beauty of this strategy is first, it is played mostly on BP — which pays 2-1 for two pair and therefore gives much more play since it is a less volatile game; and next, there are so many variations that the player can create in order to make it comfortable. And that, my friends, is a major part of becoming a successful gambler.

Once you’ve gotten a good understanding of the strategy, you’re ready to learn the advanced ARTT strategy. Here, the number of levels has a minimal effect. It’s the HIGHEST denomination you choose to play that’s the important aspect. Where you BEGIN your play is also important, but to a lesser extent.

The basis of ARTT is to first choose a denomination spread — such as 25¡/50¡/$1/$2/$5, or 5¡/10¡/25¡/50¡ — and all on BP unless you lose, and I’ll explain that shortly. What the denominations are really doesn’t matter.

For instance, on the first set of denominations, let’s say you lose your first hand on quarters. Now you go to 50¡ and lose that hand too. On your third hand you get a pair of kings — which is a push — so you play another hand and lose this time. It’s now onto $2. Here you get two pair, which equates to a win of $20. So what have you invested so far? That’s right: five credits each at 25¡ + 50¡ + $1 + $2, which equals $18.75. And that means you’ve won $1.25 or five credits of your lowest denomination. You’ve attained your first goal of the session.

Obviously, $1.25 won’t be won every time you win here. Many times the win will be a little more or a lot more — depending on what your winning hand is. And if this large winner puts you at or over your pre-determined win goal for the day — go home! The machines will still be there tomorrow for you to beat again.

But what about if you go through all five denomination and lose five hands? Here’s where the chances for big wins come in. At level 5 (in this case, the $5 level) you are to play a total of 100 credits of BP until you recover the lower level 5-credit losses as well as what you’ve spent on the current level, and when you attain at least a $1.25 profit you begin all over again.

And if you lose all 100 credits at $5 without recovery? Then you play 300 credits more at that level on any of the advanced BP games, such as Double Double Bonus Poker, Triple Bonus Poker Plus, Super Double Bonus Poker, etc. You can easily see that if a win does come here, usually it will be quite big.

And if you lose? Start all over again wherever you feel up to it. That’s why I suggest having at least three times 400 credits of the highest denomination you intend to play in your gaming bankroll for either of these strategies.

Tough to understand? Not at all. And these strategies make for some of the most interesting video poker play you’ll ever see.

Gone will be the requirement to sit all day at the same machine and same denomination, pounding away and playing right on through quads, royals, etc.

Gone will be the need to play as fast as your hands and eyes will let you. And gone is the quest to pile up the points — they will come automatically and as second fiddle to the money

Now tell me, doesn’t this make sense to you?