The second key point of Expert Strategy is knowing which games to play.
This in turn is comprised of two parts. Some have taken this to mean playing only the games with the absolute highest payback. If this were the case, everyone would be cramming to play the same types of machine, mostly Full Pay Deuces Wild.
In a perfect sense, this is what the idea would be about. You should target the game with the highest payback. But this would also mean leaving the human factor out of it. Maybe you just don’t like Deuces Wild. Does this mean you shouldn’t play? Of course not.
Factored into this leg of Expert Strategy is the realization that people like to play a variety of games. The goal is to play whatever you like at the highest possible payback. Admittedly some versions of video poker really don’t have a very good payback.
I would suggest these be avoided completely, but I’ll ignore those for the moment. If you like Bonus Poker, it’s okay to play it even though the payback might be less than full-pay Jacks or Better. Just make sure you search out full-pay Bonus Pokers!
You must learn the strategy for whatever variety of game you choose and the specific paytable. If you’ve learned full-pay Bonus Poker and play a short-pay one, not only will you be giving up payback based on the paytable, there may be strategy differences that you will play wrong.
And that as well means giving up even more payback.
This would also happen if you’ve learned to play a short-pay machine at a locale outside of Las Vegas. Then when you come to Las Vegas and have the opportunity to play full-pay, you use the strategy learned. Your short-pay strategy may cause you to not have the opportunity to take full advantage of the full-pay payback.
So, let’s assume you’re looking for full-pay machines like Double Bonus Poker. You’re heading to Las Vegas for a week, but have no idea where this game is offered at a denomination you feel comfortable. You can spend the first two days going from casino to casino looking for full-pay versions of Double Bonus Poker.
This really isn’t a very productive way to spend your vacation. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to look on the internet to find out which casinos have what machines?
Well, there is good news! There is a website that has actually done this.
The site is maintained by a lot of players who report on a fairly regular basis what machines are in which casinos. Given how often casinos change their video poker machine layouts and paybacks, always make sure you check the glass before you start to play. But this is an excellent place to start.
The database is part of a Yahoo group called VPFree. They have recently updated this part of the website to make the database searchable. The prior version allowed much less flexibility in how you used it and pretty much limited to searching by casino or machine type.
Now you can search by machine type, specific paytable, denomination and locale. If you go to the site (www.vpfree2.com) and put in Double Bonus Poker at 25 cents, it will return the roughly 30 casinos that offer this game. It will tell you all the denominations and whether it is a bar top or standard machine.
It is an excellent starting point to help you find your favorite game and with different paytables. Sadly, it is getting harder and harder to find full-pay machines for a lot of the versions of the games.
For full disclosure, I am not affiliated in any way with this Yahoo group or the database, nor receiving compensation for writing about it. In fact, the owner of the group has no idea I’m writing this particular column.
That said, I’d like to thank him (whoever he is) for taking the time out to create this database search tool, which I think is invaluable. After all, it doesn’t do you a lot of good to know which game to play or the strategy if you don’t know where to find it!
Try out your poker strategy with our new poker odds calculator.
You can also try out your strategy by playing our video poker game.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Elliot Frome