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Video Poker seems to be one of those games that people are a little dubious about until they give it a whirl, and the concept of it being worth it, of being able to gain an advantage is the biggest cause of this dubiousness.
I was recently assured of a way of gaining the advantage in a progressive jackpot video poker game: Of course strategies vary from game to game, particularly between wild and no-wild games. However, on a machine that pays out 8-1 on a full house and 5-1 on a flush, there is, or so I’m assured, a means of gaining the advantage.
First, locate a progressive jackpot machine whose jackpot is greater that the maximum bet x 1750; the reason that this is important is because it is only once the jackpot gets this high that the game is even with the house, therefore if the game isn’t even there is no way of gaining an advantage. Now, in theory, or at least this is what I’ve been told; with each 350 x max bet addition to the jackpot, the players advantage increases by 1%. Therefore if you come across a progressive jackpot with a jackpot 2100 x the maximum bet, you have a 1% advantage; if you find one with a jackpot 2,450 x the maximum bet you have a 2% advantage.
Unfortunately, getting to this stage of play requires a lot of time and a lot of money; more of both than most people have. Therefore short of building up the advantage as suggested above, it might be best to simply be familiar with the frequency of video poker hands, and from that determine the likelihood of gaining an advantage. The following statistics were given to me a by a guy in the industry, who claims they are the average frequency of video poker hands:
A royal flush, which is of course what we all want appears once ever 32, 680 hands; a straight flush every 10, 163 hands; four of a kind every 425 hands; a full house every 87 hands; a flush every 90 hands; a straight every 89 hands; three of a kind every 14 hands; two pair every 8 hands; and a pair every 5 hands. Now, in terms of timing, based on these statistics the average video poker machine will therefore produce a royal flush ever 60 hours of constant rapid play; a straight will appear every 6 hours or so, as will a flush; whilst a 4 of a kind will pop up on a more or less hourly basis.
Therefore the majority of the time the video poker player is playing at a disadvantage, however this will be somewhat compensated for by the more regular smaller hands. Is it possible to manipulate the outcomes, to create an advantage? In all honesty probably not, but isn’t it fun trying?