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Best of John Marchel

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Differences Between Video and Live Poker

11 February 2012

Video poker is fun and entertaining and it can also be a profitable casino game. Video poker is one of only five games that a player can win at consistently. (The other games are blackjack, live poker, sports betting and horse racing).

There are many differences between video and live poker. Some are minor, while others are very significant. Study the list below and be sure you understand each point.

  • Bluffing, check and raise, sandbagging and other strategies of live poker do not apply or work with video poker.
  • Live poker includes several stud varieties, as well as high-low games that do not relate to video poker at all. The game of five-card draw poker is the only one that applies to both video and live poker.
  • In casinos that are licensed to operate 24/7, video poker games are available at any time of day or night, 365 days a year. Sometimes you may not have enough players to make up a live poker game. Video poker needs no other players. It's one-on-one, you versus the machine.
  • Hand rankings are similar and yet can be different. Every video poker game will pay more for a straight than for three of a kind. Some pay the same for straights and flushes, and straight flushes are not always worth more than four of a kind. In live poker, four 6s are worth more than four 3s, but in video poker they are usually worth the same.
  • You can't lose with a good video poker hand. If you end up with three of a kind, you are going to get paid. You can't lose out to another player getting a straight flush.
  • There is one decision point in video poker. Live poker will frequently have several betting rounds, and sometimes several decisions per round. In video poker, you make your one choice before the draw and that's it. After the draw the game is over.
  • In video poker, you know at the beginning what any winning hand is worth. In live poker, three-of-a-kind may or may not be a winner, and it could cost a lot of money to find out. This is not the case with video poker. The payout chart on the machine tells you exactly what you will receive for any specific hand.
  • n video poker, you know at the outset what any hand costs. The amount you put in a machine is the most you can lose. You rarely know this in live poker.
  • A good psychologist would play well at live poker, but a good mathematical mind will do well playing video poker.
  • Strategy charts or crib sheets can't be used at live poker tables. Strategy charts can be very useful at video poker, and most casinos allow you to use them.
  • You can call "time" in live poker, which will allow you a few more minutes to make a playing decision. In video poker you don't have to worry about time at all.

Bet You Didn't Know

  • In recent years, video poker has become a very popular machine game in casinos. However, the first poker-playing machines were originally introduced in 1891.
  • Professional video poker players have been known to play on average 60 hours a week.
  • In 1976 the modern video poker machines began to appear in Las Vegas. At first all the cards were black and white; colored cards did not appear until almost a year later.
  • If you play video poker at a normal rate of 500 hands an hour, you should average one royal flush every 65 to 80 hours.
  • The difference between a 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker machine and one that pays 6/5 is almost seven percent.
  • You will see many versions of video poker in a casino, but every one of them is based upon the poker game of Five Card Draw.
Recent Articles
Best of John Marchel
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

KISS Guide to Gambling

> More Books By John Marchel

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel