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Player, Know Thyself!

22 August 2000

By Skip Hughes

By Skip Hughes

One of the more common mistakes made when deciding which casino to play in is failing to know which casino suits your personal needs. For example, if you ask a knowledgeable Las Vegas local where he plays, the answer might well be the Fiesta or Orleans. And excellent choices they are for him. But if you're from out of town, you will find these two casinos to be among the most difficult for room comps or room offers. That's why, when rating casinos, I tend to give them different ratings for different types of players. Here's how I define the different types of players:

Low-rolling visitor
Plays nickels, and maybe a little quarters, resulting in less than $3,000 play/day. Includes beginners, players with minimal bankrolls, players who are more inclined to play "just for fun" and players who are at least as interested in seeing all the sights as they are in gambling.
Goals: easy free or discounted room offers, a free buffet or two, comped or discounted rooms.
Ideal plays: Nevada Landing/Gold Strike, Fitzgerald's, Westward Ho.
When hitting a royal, says: "What's that noise?"

Mid-rolling visitor
Plays quarters, multi-plays, and occasionally dollars. $3,000-$15,000 play/day. Largest group, by far. Typically, husband and wife teams playing quarters four to eight hours per day.
Goals: free room offers at quality hotels and all meals (typically buffets and coffee shops) comped. Basically, a free vacation. Carries strategy cards and generally sticks to full-pay video poker.
Ideal plays: Sam's Town, Main Street Station, NYNY.
When hitting a royal, says: "WOOHOO! Do we get a t-shirt, too?"

High-rolling visitor
(Note: Nobody ever admits to being a high roller. $25 machine players say: "Oh, not ME. Now those $100 machine players..." But, I have to draw the line somewhere!) Dollar players who play at least 6 hours a day, plus all $5+ players. $15,000 play/day+. Comes in two distinct seafood flavors, whales and sharks.

Goals: Whales seek the most luxurious accomodations, the tastiest food, and the best entertainment. May or may not play full-pay video poker.
Ideal plays: Bellagio and, before Steve Wynn announced he was closing the place, Desert Inn.
When hitting a royal, says: "You want furs or jewelry, hunnybunch?"

Goals: Sharks have a big bankroll and are out to win a lot of money. They play well and stick to full-pay video poker.
Ideal plays: typically Caesars, Rio, Golden Nugget, or Treasure Island, but will turn up just about anywhere they can get a better mathematical edge. Is somewhat more interested in cashback than comps, as they play enough for RFB anyway.
When hitting a royal, says: "I'm gonna buy me a convertible!"

Low-rolling local
Plays nickels or quarters, a few hours a week.
Goals: good mailings with lots of free or discounted buffets, movies, etc.
Ideal plays: Fiesta, Reserve.
When hitting a royal, says: "Don't tell my wife, okay?"

Mid-rolling local/semi-pro
Plays quarters and occasionally dollars 15-30 hours/week. Knows how to play and where to play. Goals: good VP, decent cashback, good promotions, high progressives, or quality comps.
Ideal plays: Orleans, Fiesta, Reserve, Santa Fe, Arizona Charlie's, etc, etc.
When hitting a royal, says: "Figures. As soon as I move down to quarters..."

There may be locals who play $1+ video poker a lot and don't know what they are doing, but they had better have a lot of money to lose. Otherwise, pros are those hardy few that remain in these days of ever-diminishing good $l+ video poker opportunities.
Goals: make a living. Maximize dollars/hour earnings while minimizing risk. Will chase high progressives and ill-considered promotions like piranha after a paddling poodle. Will drop down to quarters if conditions warrant it. Is concerned with comps only when they can be readily sold.
Ideal plays: they ain't saying and you're not gonna find out.
When hitting a royal, says: "You playing that machine?"

Reprinted by permission of Video Poker Player. Copyright 2000, Skip Hughes Enterprises.

For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

Video Poker Player e-zine from Skip Hughes Enterprises
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Video Poker Answer Book by John Grochowski

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


Video Poker: Myths and Truths

25 July 2000
By Skip Hughes When I was a young man, there was a very popular saying heard in bad songs and TV shows: "In any given population, there is a heterogeneity both of valid goals and of methodologies with which to bring about their fulfillment." Actually, that was the Bill Buckley version. ... (read more)

Skip Hughes Reviews Video Poker Software

26 June 1999
PC software reviewed: SAGE Video Poker 2.0 by Sage Software $25 from Sage Software Video Poker Strategy Pro 1.0.0 by Masque Software $29.95 from Compu-Flyers Video Poker Tutor 4.05 by Panamint Software $30.00 from The Gambler's Book Club software catalog A shareware version of VPTUTOR can ... (read more)
Skip Hughes
Skip Hughes is the pen name of a professional computer consultant, writer and expert video poker player. Skip's writings are oriented toward the recreational rather than professional, player.

Skip Hughes Websites:
Skip Hughes
Skip Hughes is the pen name of a professional computer consultant, writer and expert video poker player. Skip's writings are oriented toward the recreational rather than professional, player.

Skip Hughes Websites: