Of course, there’s nothing you can do to realistically predict the outcome, and the odds are always tipped in favour of the house. There are no guarantees you’ll walk away with a dime, and nor can losing your entire bankroll be ruled out of the equation.
But there are things you can do while playing video poker to give yourself a better chance of pocketing a prize. Or to put it another way, mistakes to avoid at all costs, unless you’re a fan of losing streaks.
Whether new to video poker or a seasoned veteran in the making, here’s how to scupper your chances of a successful and enjoyable experience:
1 – Playing Variants You Don’t Understand
Variety is the spice of life, and there’s a time and a place for experimenting with new poker variants. However, that time is not while pumping sizeable sums of cash into a video poker machine. If there’s a type of poker you’d like to try out, familiarise yourself with the basics before playing for real money.
Video poker in general is easy to get to grips with, but there are so many different versions of the game up for grabs. Not to mention, a whole bunch of weird and wonderful creative twists casinos put on their own video poker games.
Either way, the fact that you can play video poker online for free makes the whole thing a no-brainer. Get to grips with the basics first, then think about playing for actual currency
2 – Playing for Profit Instead of Fun
Why would you play casino games if not intent on taking home a profit? Because casino games are supposed to be about entertainment – not making money.
This has a tendency to be overlooked (or at least ignored) by most people playing video poker. Perhaps for the simple reason that poker is synonymous with money changing hands, you feel you simply must beat the machine. And if you do anything but, you consider it an unsuccessful experience, and a waste of money.
If this is the case, you’re playing for entirely the wrong reasons. You should be able to walk away from a video poker session with a smile on your face and your head held high, irrespective of the outcome. Otherwise, this definitely isn’t the game for you.
3 – Following Baseless Strategies
Like all casino games, video poker is rife with myths and misconceptions. Most of which concern the assumption that with the appropriate strategy, you can more or less guarantee a profitable encounter.
Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case. Logic dictates that if any poker strategy could guarantee wins, video poker machines wouldn’t exist. People would have been bleeding them dry for decades, and running their owners completely out of business.
The single most important thing to remember when playing video poker is that each and every outcome is random. Video poker machines operate by way of a random number generator, ensuring every card dealt is as random as it would be with a real deck.
Try as you might, you cannot and will not keep things in your favour will all the supposed strategies in the world.
4 – Playing While Distracted
Playing video poker is an entirely different experience than playing conventional slots. Nevertheless, it’s commonplace for video poker players to focus only about half of their attention on the game they’re playing.
This wouldn’t be a problem sitting at a traditional slot, where skill and intuition are not required. But when playing video poker, you need to be on the ball at all times.
Allowing yourself to get distracted means you’re not focusing all of your attention on what’s happening on screen. All of which could lead to poor decision-making, or you’re a complete misinterpretation of the cards dealt.
Playing slots can be a wild social experience – playing video poker calls for calmness and concentration.
5 – Spending Too Much on Progressives
Progressive video poker machines work in a similar way to progressive slots. Over time, they collect huge sums of cash to be paid out to the occasional lucky punter in the form of a massive jackpot.
All well and good, but the trade-off with progressives is the significantly lower likelihood of winning anything at all. True, the prospect of pocketing six or even seven figures on the turn of a card is appealing. Sadly, the odds of pocketing a fortune courtesy of a progressive video poker machine are about the same as winning the lottery.
Playing progressives on occasion can be fun, and there’s always the chance it could be your lucky day. Somebody has to win the jackpot eventually, so why not you? But if you find yourself spending a disproportionate amount of time chasing unicorns like these, it’s time to rethink your gambling strategy in general.
6 – Playing on a Malfunctioning Machine
Last up, there have been some real horror stories over the years concerning those who thought they could cheat the system. You rock up at your preferred video poker machine, only to find out something isn’t quite right.
For some reason, it seems to be dealing out cards in a suspiciously predictable manner. Either that or a software glitch he’s making it almost impossible for you to lose. At which point, there seems only one sensible option – bet the farm and extract as much money from it as you can.
Unfortunately, casino workers are constantly on the lookout for malfunctioning machines. The moment a glitch of any kind is detected, all pending payouts are cancelled and wins withdrawn. So not only do you stand to lose out financially, but you could also be banned for life for attempting to get one over on the casino.
Long story short – never play malfunctioning machines, however tempting it may be.
You might also find the following articles interesting:
- 10 Ways to Make Money While Gambling
- 8 Things Your Casino Doesn’t Want You to Know
- 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Remote Gambling