Go from losing to
winning sessions

May 6, 2003 5:51 AM

Learning how to break those nasty long-term losing streaks is imperative if you want to play, have fun while doing it and win something along the way.

Up until 1997, I had my share of let-downs with the game. All that theoretical/perfect play stuff gave me a whole lot of video poker knowledge and overconfidence, along with a thin wallet and one big headache.

But through disgust and determination I was able to separate the baloney from the bread long enough to allow common sense to go to work for me.

The first thing I had to do was learn to break the habit of sitting for ungodly long hours at any particular machine. That was a challenge, because video poker as we all know is very addictive, and just getting up and leaving after goals are met was not an easy thing to do once I started my new Play Strategy.

Next came a comparatively simple task because of the control I had over it: saving the proper bankroll. I had to learn that I would be frequently changing machines and/or casinos ”” until the multi-game/multi-denomination machines became plentiful in the early 2000s.

And finally, I had to learn to play without a loyalty card and all the benefits that come with it ”” just to have the best chance of not being tracked or watched by anyone anywhere when I play a professional session.

The results? If only I had learned to think this whole thing out for myself in the early 1990s!

How do I know this is the right way to approach video poker? Well, because I experience losing far less than I used to ”” and I have a lot more fun playing.

When you think about it, why would anyone want to bang away at Deuces Wild or Jacks or Better, when there are a bevy of much more interesting and exciting games to play at casinos everywhere?

When four Aces pays anywhere from 800 to 2,000 credits, I’d say that’s somewhat more exciting than 125 in Jacks or Better, and just a tad bit more fun than getting a whopping 25 for the same hand in Full Pay Deuces Wild. Is it any wonder that I base much of my strategy on chasing Aces, or that a good portion of my yearly profits comes from this powerful hand?

I can’t speak for every player, but I do know that most players really do go into the casino expecting to win before they leave. And how are they supposed to do that when some experts constantly tell them how they lose 70 - 80 percent of their sessions?

All players want to win every session. No one will argue that. But no one wants to go in thinking it’s okay to lose 75 percent of the time because some big hit down the line will cover the bad sessions.

My transition from loser to winner ignored all the mathematical babble while concentrating on doing the exact opposite of what the casinos expect players to do. Once I thoroughly learned that, I focused on how to play in a manner below their radar screens and within my own personal limits, enjoyment level, circumstances, goal-requirements and ability.

I control what happens because I always have a plan, I always stick to that plan, and I don’t live every day thinking about playing video poker any longer. Making the move to being a winner requires more than an open mind. It calls for a firm agenda for beating the machines, and the desire to see it through. I’d never be right without either one.