The Undeniable Truth by Rob Singer | Video poker is one of those games that some canít and wonít get up from and leave for a moment or a day.
Its pull is one of the strongest any gambler will ever feel. When winning, the player feels confident and invincible. The game can at times offer extraordinary rewards, but it can also suck the soul right out from under your feet.
Because of this, preparation is word one for those about to get involved.
I call my column The Undeniable Truth for a reason. Iíve played the game for 18 years, and Iíve seen close to everything there is. Early on, I approached the game as an optimal-player only. After discovering that side of the fence had serious problems with credibility, I became an intelligent player who followed nobodyís advice or strategy but his own.
Success also happens for a reason. I used to listen and practice the words of those who said it didnít matter if you took a moment, hour, day or year off in between sessions. It would always be one long-term affair, whose outcome would be unaffected by time or space. Play negative expectation games and you will likely lose. Play positive expectation games and you will likely win.
It all sounded so simple Ė and mathematically perfect.
Compelling as that sounds and as much as I believed and lived by that seemingly straight-forward rule, I discovered how misleading and treacherous such a theory really was. After all, life itself is nothing but one long-term event bounded by math at every turn.
We make thousands of choices that guide us, just as we do when playing video poker. For the most part, much of life is good or else it just wouldnít be worth living.
Are most video poker sessions good? Simply put, no.
Most people lose the majority of the time. As a result, most players understandably end the day angry.
Is that how it always is with every player? No, absolutely not.
Understand that most of us are ahead in our play at one point during our casino visits. Yet, most players still go home losers.
Thatís where breaks in the action come in. Everyone knows my play strategies are based on that concept, but it is one that is also highly criticized Ė albeit by very few. There are several reasons why Iím closing in on a million dollars won lifetime with my personally-developed play strategies, while others just keep counting the losses.
My wins are almost always in a large denomination and on a highly volatile game. If I hit a $6,000 winner, that puts me up $3,300. If my overall win goal was $2,500, that sends me home to begin again at the lowest denomination and least volatile game on my next trip.
Is that smart? Letís take a look.
Of course the critics claim our play is all one lifelong event, but if you read most of what these folks have to say, what are they doing?
Breaks serve several very important purposes in my play strategies. The more one plays, the more one should follow my advice. First, going home a winner always feels great. It gives meaning to the effort. I also know that when I go back, Iíll be starting all over again on the lowest denomination. If I lose, itís not so bad. If I win, it still can send me home again.
Next, it eliminates stupid play and greed Ė two bankroll killers for those who just canít stop playing until they start to fall asleep at the machines. Immediately after winning a $6,000 jackpot on the $5 machines, human nature takes over and tells us how boring it would be to start playing 25c or even dollars again.
Most people need the continued thrills of high level play at that point. But come back a week later after enjoying the fruits of that last victory, and small winners once again have significant meaning.
In short, itís very effective money management at a level not previously seen in video poker play. And what do I say to those who assert that my many winners can be wiped out by one big loss? Obviously, they donít play much Ė and I can guess why. Those many winners to them include only the minimum win goals. Look at my first three trips of 2008. Iím up over $60,000.
Even though some donít want to admit it, many of the wins are much higher than the losses that supposedly would "wipe me out." Iíve been doing it since 1997. Big surprise, nobody has ever put their money where their mouths are.
I think that tells me, and my readers, how they really feel.