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What’s the ‘right’ way?

Apr 27, 2004 12:22 AM

One of the most misunderstood concepts of learning how to play video poker successfully is in coming to a clear understanding that there is not one single right way to play every hand. How could there be?

Of course, the mathematicians would have none of this ”” unless and until they finally come to grips with the fact that the scoop I came out with recently is accurate: That machines released by manufacturers in the past 4-5 years are not operating in a random format at all ”” but rather in hot and cold cycle programs that change whenever the player chooses a different game or denomination within the multi-game/multi-denomination machines’ menus.

Even without this new information, long-term strategists who theoretically fantasize that they have some sort of edge over the casinos, would remain tied down to the concept of there being only one mathematically correct way to play each and every hand.

Let me ask you this: Do you know ANYONE who has proven they have won playing this misleading method? What about yourself? And if you’ve been lucky enough to be ahead at this point in time, can you prove you’ve played nearly every hand absolutely correct?

The lesson here is not only should you rely on your developed skill of knowing when to stop after good luck shines upon you ”” there is absolutely no need to spend hour after hour in unhealthy casinos chasing someone else’s dream!

And the lesson here? Base your decisions and thoughts on common sense, and when you go into the casinos to play you will be like me: Not blinded by all the hoopla, promotions, and the $85 lunch buffets that some poor soul likes to tell you they got "for free."

One of the reasons why there are more ways than one to correctly play every hand is because no one knows what’s going to happen on the draw. Assuming everything is truly random — a concept I am quickly moving away from ”” when you go into the casino today to play, who’s to say three more aces won’t come up on the draw instead of that other high card that’ll give you a push? That’s the problem with expert-play: It’s boring, and everybody knows that. And what do bored players do? Yes, they make a whole lot of mistakes, and in the end the people who tell us they play certain games perfectly, without a doubt, make so many more mistakes than they either believe they do or will admit they do.

This is why I encourage an alternative method of playing. First, forget about playing for the points or those special gifts the casino is so kind as to give away today. Lose the thought about playing long enough to get that meal "for free."

And those tournaments where "the more you play the more entries you earn" for the big cash prizes? Only fools are blinded by those types of promotions. But what about those out there who claim the tournament prize pool calculates out to .05%, so it makes that negative machine they play a positive venture? Come on. Have I taught you nothing up to now? Do you not see they are nothing more than addicted players creating more ways to chase intermittent gratification yet again? It is SO simple to spot when you’re on the outside looking in.

Players who follow at least some of my methods will quickly learn that video poker can once again be the enjoyable game you thought it all was when you first discovered it. If you plan ahead and stick to that plan, you’ll also find you will win far more often than you did before. Moving around to play different machines in shorter spurts also helps break the monotony and zombie-like feelings most players get after spending too long a period pounding away at the same machine. Sure, your slot host will absolutely love what you’re doing. But what about you?

One reason I’ve had such great success at video poker is because I have a number of different ways to play various hands. Since I exclusively play games that pay large bonuses for quad Aces and certain other cards, in the short term (which is how everyone really plays the game anyway) it makes perfect sense to go after them when you’re not giving up too much of a chance to do so. Many times when the optimal play says to hold those two pair, my Strategies say absolutely not, because if you don’t try for that high-paying quad you have zero chance of seeing it!

Actually, the only way this method can be successful is if you are willing to go in with pre-set goals, and if you do hit one of these jackpots you’ll know what to do with it right away. But what you’ll mainly see is people who get the winner, take a sip or two from their drinks as some sort of self-reward, look around to see who’s noticing their win, and then they’ll admire the hand for a moment or two before they continue to play right through the big score — expecting another to come along at any moment. Certainly, you know what that recipe spells”¦