Is the media’s view
of video poker askew?

Dec 6, 2004 11:37 PM

Whenever it comes to gambling, the public wants to know more ”¦ more about what the correct and incorrect approaches are, and how in the world anyone can possibly win on a consistent basis doing it. They want to understand just how it is that some players write about getting virtually everything they do in gambling for free - when they themselves either always seem to have to go through an irritating process just for a free meal, or they have to pay for everything just for having the privilege of losing money. And they want to be able to read or hear the unwavering truth about the entire casino experience, so when their time comes they have an opportunity to know what to expect.

I’ve found the only way to even have a chance of people believing you is to tell the truth without EVER having to manufacture stories or exaggerate what truly did happen. Some writers get around all that”¦.for a while, anyway”¦.by purposely being nebulous and doing the two-step, hoping few if any will spot the dance. But as they all know by now, that’s the reason I am here.

As you travel all around Las Vegas looking at billboards or when you read numerous publications, how many times have we all seen casino ads touting "Voted No. 1 by this magazine or that newspaper?" Do you, like I, ever wonder how so many different properties can be voted ”˜the best of’ by a plethora of different editors? There’s so many different ”˜best of’s’ that sooner or later we’ll probably start reading about where the best shower is, where the most comfy pillows are, or which hotel has the easiest doors to open.

After a while, it all gets so diluted that we begin to wonder who really pays attention to any of this nonsense. I play video poker, but there’s apparently so many ”˜best of’ video poker palaces around town that if I were to actually believe any of it, I’d start to get roped into all the silly promotions casino signs tempt players with without really knowing why. What’s all this mean? Certainly, for players who desire to win rather than to play for the points, it suggests following my methods of play with an overall common sense approach. It’s sort of like free advertising, only I take money from no one who wants to know more about what it really takes to be a winner.

One of the more glaring anomalies in this business has to do with one of my favorite casino conglomerates — Harrah’s. Known more for their attracting tourists, slot-type players and vacationers, how often have we seen them voted ”˜best video poker’ when writers in the magazines given away for free in Harrah’s hotel rooms consistently have dissed Harrah’s video poker as being non full-pay and anti advantage player? I regularly play video poker at different Harrah’s properties, and in my opinion they have some of the best available anywhere. No full pay? HA HA HA! No cash back? Tough love. Maybe if the critics didn’t dwell on that stuff and instead concentrated on how to play to win, they’d have more money in their pockets than roomfuls of casino giveaway junk at home. And just maybe they wouldn’t be so bitter.

Maybe I’m missing something, but recently I read where a gaming writer doesn’t consider that they gamble when playing video poker an average of 20 hours a week or so. Say what? I’m certainly a gambler, and I may play five hours every other week - if that! In my opinion, that sounds to me like someone in denial about more than one aspect of gaming. And then to go on and blab about how this player has fat comp accounts ”˜all over town’ only exacerbates the extreme exposure on contradiction here. Readers aren’t THAT dumb, and most can figure it all out. That’s why I stick to straightforwardness without all the clouds. That’s why I tell the undeniable truth.

For many years now, various writers have made their living telling us all about the mathematics of the game, how to play this hand or that hand flawlessly, and which games to play and/or casinos to play them in. All right already! Haven’t you had enough of this like I have by now? They’ve had their chance to make believe millions of people, if they buy the paraphernalia on the shelves, can be the winners that the famous names are perceived to be by doing the same as them.

The fact is, most people continue to lose, and the ones who don’t have been very lucky, indeed. Robbie the Robot might have a fighting chance if the computer within his shell were updated, but everyone else appears to me to be a pawn in the game of sales. Just how many more times are we going to have to be subjected to someone telling us the best way to play 9/6 jacks or better, why holding these cards from this hand is theoretically worth .0045 cents more than holding those cards, or what pay tables to look for in order to win a teeny weeny percentage by the time we step into our graves? Can it get any more boring in an age where common sense is all that’s needed to get us through the day? Join in with me: enough is enough!

Yes, the media is a very strong tool players utilize in order to understand more about the casino games they strive to be successful with. And those who play video poker are particularly vulnerable. It is the most addictive game anywhere, and casino managers are always putting testing players with temptations. It’s a game few know how to be successful at, and a game where even fewer actually are. The media and Internet can help, but they can also be misleading. Let your own sense help you out.