The allure of multi-games

Nov 18, 2002 10:52 PM

   At times people ask me if I ever play video poker on machines with more than one line. After all, since I play professionally, some think I should be a master of all that’s available. Although I am not the least bit interested in most games — such as Wild games, Jacks or Better, Pick ”˜em, All American, etc. —  the answer here is actually yes, I do play multi-plays.

   The one big difference is in whether I’m playing for profit or recreation. The bevy of multi-plays out there today really doesn’t impress me at all — 50- and 100-play machines make absolutely no sense to regular player.

   While there’s a small chance of getting ahead  — and an even smaller chance any player will quit at that point — it is far more likely to get behind and never catch up along with your bankroll being wiped out. When I decide to play a serious session using a multi-line game, it’s always and only on five-play machines.

   Why’s this? Because over a year of research has shown me that this is the only format in which a player can consistently win. Earlier this year I finalized my Multi-Play Strategy, and I’ve gone 5-0 with it since. True, it hasn’t withstood the test of time thus far. But the Strategy makes sense, it has a mathematically sound approach, it is expected to win at least 90% of the time, and it has yet to fail.

   When triple-play video poker arrived on the casino scene, it was an instant hit. Although today’s multi-plays really do not make a lot of sense to the purist, people seem to love them. The “experts” jumped on this scene with their usual quickness, as they rewrote their software programs, ran risk of ruin and bankroll analyses, and boldly announced that they now were able to play many thousands of hands per hour — where before they could not.

   They could now claim to have hit a dozen royals a week, and boast about the mega-points stacked up as well as their newfound Presidential or Platinum status at their favorite slot clubs. And the cash back? Hey, which way to the new car lot? But is it all really a bunch of hearts and flowers lining that avenue of dreams?

   First though, let’s see why it is that players are drawn to these multi-play games. When players sit down at a machine, they all want to see a royal flush. That means big money, and even though some of the gurus will habitually play right through royals until they can’t stay awake, they love that royal fix as much as anybody. The problem is they are still hard to come by.

   Getting to the bottom line, the more you play the more you lose especially in video poker. That’s a basic fact well-known to anyone who gambles without a firm plan in hand, and players pounding away on multi-plays make the casino’s work that much easier. Have you ever watched the expressions of players and heard them talking to themselves upon losing everything they have after being ahead on these monsters? It’s a good thing casinos are located on the ground floor.

   Multi-line video poker is here to stay, and it has dealt some life-changing jackpots to several players. And there are one or two players who should have changed their lives with those big hits, but instead chose to succumb to the continuing call of the machines and the points.

   But what about the rest? Based on the number of players on the penny and nickel multi-plays, however, I’d say it might bother them while they’re at home thinking about it, but it’s no factor once inside the casino. Big surprise.

   Learn the proper approach to multi-plays and you’ll learn how to have fun. Sitting at them for hours on end is for compulsive losers without goals. But oh boy! What you can do with all those points.