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Video Poker is THE Machine Game

20 December 2014

By John Marchel
Most visitors to casinos play slot machines. In fact the 25¢ slot machine has been found, from survey after survey, to be the most popular casino game for players. However, it is also one of the most profitable games for casino owners.

Current law in Nevada, for example, requires that casinos must return 75 percent of all monies back to players of slot machines. Looking it from another point of view the casinos are enjoying a 25 percent return on their investment on slot machines. Yes, many casinos will increase the return to players mostly because of competition by nearby casinos. What can a player do to help in this situation? Move to video poker!

Video poker is fast and fun but does require some work on the part of the player. To play the game the player has to think! Unlike regular slots, video poker is an interactive machine game because the player must choose which cards to keep and which to discard. It’s based on five-card draw poker, which is relatively easy to learn.

Very similar to slot machines, the player has a great amount of control in this game. The player can be selective which machine to play, select the amount to wager, and have an excellent edge against the house when playing the game skillfully. Again, similar to slots it’s only the player and the machine. There are no other players, no intimidating dealer and the speed, or slowness of the game rests entirely with the player.

You must play both the correct strategy required and the maximum coins to make this hand; other wise you’ll play losing game, like when playing slot machines. One of the ways to truly beat a video poker machine is to receive a high-paying royal flush. By playing the maximum number of coins you can get the maximum return. If playing dollars machine ($5 a hand) is too high, play a 25 cent game ($1.25 a hand) if that is too high play a 5 cent game (25 cents a hand), but play the max.

One of the best games to start your video poker career is a Jacks or Better machine. Use the payout schedule to select a best machine. You want to play machines that return your original bet for at least a pair of jack or better. Hence the name Jacks or Better. Next look down the first pay column until you come to Full House, look to see what it pays for one coin; you want it to be 9. Look to see what a Flush pays; you want it to return 6 coins for one coin. This is a 9/6 Jacks or better machine. It is designed to payback 99.5 percent. A great start to your video poker employment.

Next, you need to learn the strategy. You can go to any video poker book, or look on the internet and you will find plenty of charts that will help you with the correct strategy. Listed here is my chart. Make a copy and take to your favorite casino and use it while playing. Management will not bother you or care in any way that you are using it while playing.

Basic strategy 9/6 Jacks or Better
Initial hand Decision

4 of a kind keep all
4 card royal draw 1
Full house or flush keep all
Three of a kind draw 2
4 card straight flush draw 1
Straight keep all
Two pair draw 1
High pair (J’s or better) draw 3
3 card royal draw 2
4 card flush draw 1
Low pair draw 3
4 card straight (1 high card) draw 1
3 card straight flush draw 2
2 card royal (ace, no 10) draw 3
3 high cards (J,Q,K, no ace) draw 3
2 high cards draw 3
2 card royal (10, no ace) draw 3
1 high card (J,Q,K, or ace) draw 4
Mixed low cards draw 5

Do not keep a “kicker” when playing video poker

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at


The Art of Poker

25 October 2014
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Poker, Poker Everywhere

27 September 2014
Just how many different poker games are there? I've been able to identify at least 120 different games that claim to be poker, in one form or another. Chicago, five-card draw, five-card stud, Texas hold 'em, Omaha, low ball, seven-card, whiskey poker, and (of course) strip poker are just some of the variations. ... (read more)

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At last count there were at least 140 cruise ships around the world offering casino gambling. The cruise ship industry uses casino gaming as an added amenity for their customers, but casinos are not designed as the primary reason for a cruise. Although shipboard casinos are similar to land-based ones, there are differences. ... (read more)

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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.

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

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