Royals to the rescue?

January 29, 2002 4:47 AM


Let me guess ”” it’s late November, you’re playing your favorite game inside your favorite casino, and you just can’t seem to get lady luck to turn in your direction. You’ve been playing expert strategy for eight years now, every single year has shown an embarrassing loss at the end of the 12th month ”” and this time around is no different. But wait! Here comes a dollar royal flush for $4,000 ”” your nineteenth of the year! Now for the bad news. Although you’ve accumulated $76,000 in W-2G winning tax forms, you are still behind over $10,000 for the year! A very frustrating situation to say the least ”¦ and not uncommon.

The sad part of the scenario is that it is far and away the rule rather than the exception. Just ask anyone who lives in Las Vegas. The problem lies in their method of play. For many years desperate players have been hounded by the words of those who do little more than serve up a plate of promises without substance, saying we must play to the mathematical models if we expect to ever win anything at all. We’re told the number of royal flushes is the key. Get more than your statistical share and you will post a win by December31.

Of course that is rarely the case. Get less, and you’ll be singing the same old tune. And at the same time we are subjected to these words of wisdom, we have another guru shouting into our other ear that it is taboo not to play with a slot club card. In fact, we are told this is akin to tossing away cold hard cash, while no shame is shown as this same person pays $850 for a cap, $350 for two slices of pizza, and $2,200 for $125 in bounce-back cash coupons that will arrive in the mail at the end of the month. “Play for the points” is the battle cry. “Where’d it all go?” is the nightmare.

Confusing? You bet, but such are the consequences for those who would rather hide behind a non-workable mathematical system than coming out in public saying how mistaken they’ve been to mislead players into thinking they should become winners. One of the significant aspects of playing often and fast and in-line with long-term strategy is that there is no real “money”  being shoveled into any machine during play. To those in this cult, their funds are nothing more than units of play while in the casino, and the shocking truth never hits until the player arrives home and begins to wonder how to make the car payment. And how do they live with this? They just do, even though many of them clearly understand the fallacy of expecting to defeat a computer.

Because of all the aforementioned, I was determined to develop an entirely new play strategy that would not have me be the walking wounded on at least 80 percent of my casino visits. Since royals were so very rare, I decided that I had to come up with a way to win nearly every time I played while never expecting to get one. And if a royal did line up in front of me it was a fantastic bonus. That was five years ago, and since then I’ve averaged one losing trip per year. 

So many players play on and on for the royal when they are winning. I’ve helped many players overcome this sickness by getting them to approach the game with a different mindset. Start with a firm plan, set realistic win and/or loss goals, and adhere to them all as if their life depended on it. Remember, only the most determined can win at the game of video poker, and everyone must understand that royals are nice, but not necessary for intelligent and winning players.