Play for the
right reason!

Apr 1, 2003 4:58 AM

Video poker can be a complex game ”” not in understanding it’s premise, but in realizing all its ramifications. There are the two very distinct groups who make up the entire population of players: Those that know what they’re doing ”” and those who really haven’t a clue.

The intriguing aspect of all this is that the hugely overwhelming number of players who have little to no idea of the steps to take so as to be a more-likely-than-not winning player, far exceed those who have taken the time to properly understand the game.

So what does this have to do with addictive gambling? More than plenty, and I’ll lay it out for you in simple black and white. First, those who make a conscious decision to go out and learn the mathematics of it all generally do better than others.

These players buy and read books by experts. They buy and practice the programs written by more experts. They comb the Internet video poker sites for knowledge. And they join chat groups for more knowledge. They look for every edge against the casinos they can get.

In the scheme of it all, these motivated players represent a very, very small portion of players everywhere. Thus, we have the continuing, growing, enormous success of casino-over-player in every corner of the country.

But let’s not continue to showcase those who have taken the time to understand the game’s ins and outs. Instead, let’s go over to the other side of the ledger, the side where more than 98% of all players reside. Here we find the very lazy, the unmotivated, and the tourist.

And there’s tons of casino profits waiting at the end of these player’s days. It’s also been said over and over that in the local casinos ”” where most of the positive EV (Expected Value) machines lie ”” there can be an entire bank of FPDW or 10/7 DB games with no players while the 9/6 or less DDB games are packed.

I’ve started to look at this claim my past several visits to Las Vegas recently, and it’s hardly a stretch of the truth. Although you’d guess that most local players know what they’re doing because of all the commercialization of the game by several of the famous names, you would have to agree that for a person to play a lower EV game out of choice or stupidity in the casino they visit, it’s either severe addiction or a total disconnect at work here. In hindsight, those who teach about this anomaly saw it before I did. Too bad the hoards of players in town have not yet woken up.

When I look at all this, it makes me take a trip down memory lane into the early 1990’s. But my story was even different. I followed the proper educational path about the game and I understood it very thoroughly ”” but I did not win. To make matters worse, the game of video poker was on my mind day and night.

I just knew I could beat it but I never did. I rejected my addiction, and I hid it well because of my constant travel status that came with a very good salary. I just could not wait to get home, get in the car, and drive to Nevada. My colorful array of slot club cards gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. I was totally and shamelessly controlled by the casinos.

But as I always like to say ”” and with an ever-increasing emphasis, "That was then and this is now." These days (since 1997), I go to Nevada casinos far more often than before, but at a hugely reduced rate of hands played per year.

I’ve learned that I do not like being in the casinos as I once did. The shows are fun, the dining is second to none anywhere in the world, and the girls are much more than cute. But I don’t smoke, I’m there only to win money, and the only route that makes sense in this regard is to win what I came in to win and leave.

The addiction I once had to play on and on until time ran out is now replaced with a burning desire to win or lose a pre-set goal and leave. Foolishly being led down the path of financial destruction by promotions, endless free drinks, or pleasurable atmospheric conditions have no place in my extremely successful Play Strategy. In the gambling world of casino percentages and player struggles, I play in the uncommon arena of common sense. And yes, we can become addicted to video poker. I’m sure you know that by now.