Casinos make it easy to win!

Mar 18, 2003 4:30 AM

In a time when many video poker players are feeling the pain of reduced benefits, many have been oblivious to the new opportunities out there.

My game is predicated on winning something before I get up and leave. If I play a professional session, I won’t leave until I win $2,500, lose my bankroll, or tire.

But whenever I play for recreation, I set small goals for each session that I play at a particular casino, or for each casino I visit.

Several of my "Video Poker Romps Through Town" articles have chronicled such play, and have shown that any player who is in control of his or her own sense is very easily able to take a little from anywhere they play ”” with the occasional big Âí­winner as an added bonus.

Why do I say the casinos have made it easier to win? Whenever anything new comes onto the scene in video poker, the very first issue we all get to read about is what the game EV (expected value) is and how we should play the game to have the best chance of beating it by the time we pass on.

Then the lurkers come out to tell us where we can find such a game. And if the game is 99.9%, we’re told how dumb we are to ever play it. Simple minds provide simple analysis. What players rarely hear about is what opportunity the new scene presents. It’s analogous to the words we hear from any successful business leader in America: Losers ask why, winners ask why not.

One of the most common additions to any casino’s inventory in recent years ”” and it is growing in popularity ”” is the coin-less, multi-game/multi-denominational video poker machine.

While the others were busy looking only at the pay schedules, I looked at the machine as multi-faceted opportunity. Do pay tables matter to me? Absolutely, but I’ve learned how to beat any machine, and game EV is secondary to my playing strategy.

Why? Because I play to win today, every time I play! Especially when I play to win recreationally, I can’t be bothered with worrying about the five extra credits I would have earned if I were playing 10/7 instead of 9/7 Double Bonus poker, or the 3 cents/hour this play cost me instead of making that play.

Similarly, I couldn’t be less concerned if some addiction-inflicted expert who plays hours every day has the opinion that 8/5 Bonus Poker is a losing proposition just because perfect play throughout infinity says the machine will turn a .83% loss.

Do I care what will happen tomorrow if I win a little today? Am I going to start shaking when I hear that the three cards I held to get that royal will cost me $458.77 in the "long-run" if I continually do that?

The fact is, winning a little each session is such an easy thing to do that the casinos truly would stop operations if most video poker players did it. But they won’t, and they never will.

The reason is simple. Players lose most of their discipline the moment they walk through those casino doors. One look at the cocktail waitresses can make many-a-player stay on for hours longer than they planned.

The sight of a neighbor being paid a jackpot keeps others glued to their seats. And then there’s the music, your friends, and the booze.

If you just think for a moment about how easy it is to slightly progress at various intervals through the 25¡/50¡/$1/$2/$5 multi-denomination machines until at least $5 is won ”” and then leave, you will rarely lose.

That big jackpot you wanted may yet show up at your next stop or in your next session. Anything can happen at any time, and good luck always awaits. All you need do is be prepared, stick to your plan, and learn to walk.

You say you’d rather stuff your face than get up and run around town? Then you might as well start smoking and drive a jalopy, because you’re acting like you want to be like most every other video poker player. The casinos have given all players an easier chance to win. Be a true advantage player, and take advantage of it.