Maximizing Your Advantage at Video Poker

Maximizing your advantage at video poker

What does one look for to play with an advantage with VP?

1) Progressive Jackpots? What kind of progressive jackpots have you seen?

2) Cashback offers? What are the better cashback offers you have seen?

3) Other promotions one should look for? Examples of comps?

1) Yes, you can cherry pick progressive jackpots. Keep in mind it's a lot of long losing days and the rare big winning day. Especially if you know the strategy variations necessary as the jackpot increases. You're more likely to see better progressives in lesser-traveled destinations.

2) Yes, leverage cashback and bounceback cash to offset the house advantage you're playing into. Cashback used to be as high as 0.66%...but now you're lucky to find 0.2%. However, a casino may offer you another 0.2% in bounceback cash to come back for another visit.

3) Yes, whenever possible, play into promos like point multipliers and gift card promos. For example, I recently played a promo where 1% of action was returned in gasoline gift cards without expiration dates.

As for comps, remember casinos comp about 20-40% of your theoretical loss. The theoretical loss rate for each machine varies by casino...but let's just say a casino generously says your theo loss rate is 1%. Let's say you're playing $1 single line 9/6 Jacks for 6 hrs at 1000 hands/hr. You'll wager $30k per day, which the casino theoretically rates you at a $300 loss, so they'll comp you $60-$120/day. That's not that much for discretionary comps. You'll have free rooms, but it's not a road to riches.

*** A warning about being a video-poker AP ***...you will DEFINITELY hit a bad run where you'll LOSE a ton of money. I've personally experienced a downswing of over $100k...and my primary game in that time period was $2 3-line 9/6 Jacks. Video poker ABSOLUTELY requires the ability to take repeated losses without losing focus or discipline.

To be honest, I wouldn't recommend video poker to anyone without at least a $500k bankroll. First, playing lower stakes is an inefficient use of your money. Second, there's just too much room for error evaporating your edge. Third, you're wasting your time for mediocre comps. You should get to the point where you can give the casino $50k/day and be comfortable with having a >$10k loss on a trip. Otherwise, my advice is to forget video poker.


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