Why Play Video Poker?
Casinos today offer a wide array of gaming. Beyond the familiar Blackjack (21), Slots, Roulette, Craps, and Baccarat, there's 3-card poker, 4-card poker, Spanish 21, War, Chinese Poker, Pai-gaw, Catch-A-Wave, and countless others. Some are table games (like Blackjack), some are machines (like Video Poker). Some use cards, some tiles, and some spinning wheels or dice. With so many gaming options, why play video poker?
The short answer is that Video Pokers offers a unique combination of gambling excitement (large jackpots, high variance) and high return (often the best in the casino) with hundreds of playing options to choose from. The full answer on why to choose Video Poker over other casino games really depends on what you might be looking for when you gamble. Our focus at vpFREE2 is helping the casino gambler who is primarily concerned with overall return. While this gambler may want to optimize her return, she wants to do do so while balancing risk and having fun too! If we had to give this gambler a name, we'd call her the "recreational-slash-advantage player" or just the "vpFREE2 player". She's not a casual gambler. She's educated about gambling, well-practiced, and prepared-- and she chooses to play Video Poker, and play it well.
Wide Variety of Games
Video Poker offers a wide array of game choices. vpFREE2 tracks the choices by "game family".
We currently list 56 game families, such as
"Double Bonus Aces and Faces" or
"All American / USA".
Each of these different game families have distinct pay tables.
(A full list of the game families with links to their pay tables are listed in the table to the right.)
Full range of Denominations
Casinos offer Video Poker machines with a full range of denominations, from 1c to $100 (or more). The most common denominations are $0.25 and $1 (see current data here.
). There are games that allow 1, 3, 5, 10, 50, and even 100 hands
to play at once and the video poker player may wager even more then a thousand dollars per deal (see current data here.
). Players can often choose the Video Poker game they want at the per-hand bet they are comfortable with. By controlling the speed they play (a competent video poker player can play 800 hands or more per hour), a Video Poker player may have a total coin-in (action) of more then $100,000 per hour, thereby generating considerable "comps" (casinos comp players in proportion to the total amount wagered-- the coin-in for Video Poker)
Many game variations and options
Some Video Poker variations...
Besides the basic 56 Video Poker game families (with at least 268 different pay tables that vpFREE2 lists), there are wealth of new variations and options, and more Video Poker games are being developed every year. Some Video Poker variations are listed in the table to the left along with links.
Of the hundreds (or thousands) of variations of Video Poker games today, many have an outstanding return, generally better than all other casino games (unless you are a blackjack card counter). In fact, some video poker games-- when played with correct strategy-- return more then 100%. Yes, as unbelievable as it sounds, the casino would lose money on these positive Video Poker games if they were indeed played correctly-- by everyone that played them. At vpFREE2 we help players find the best returning Video Poker games. We sort video poker games by return, denomination and other options. vpFREE2 members can find 100%+ games with a single click (if they are logged in
Overall, there are thousands of common Video Poker game variations-- all designed, in theory, to appeal to the gambler so as to ultimately make the casino money as they are are played. Like slot machines, all of these Video Poker games offer relatively large jackpots as compared to other (non-keno/bingo type) games. For example, even the most basic Jacks or Better video poker game can reward a player 800-to-1 in an instant, for hitting a Royal Flush, while some other variations offer considerably larger jackpots
. (Compare this to BlackJack, where the biggest return is 3-2, Craps, 33-1, or Roulette, 36-1). These large jackpots and the seemingly endless array of game options clearly attract a large number of gamblers to Video Poker. More importantly, the characteristics (large jackpots, easy-play, and endless variations of the game) attract a wide range of players to Video Poker, most of whom do not play the game correctly, increasing the casino's hold. This over-hold
situation is important, as it allows good playing situations (for those who know how to take advantage of them) to persist. On the other hand, large jackpots are a sign of increased variance-- the price to pay for excitement. A large variance (relative to other casino games such as Blackjack or Craps) means that video poker players will experience larger bankroll swings, both positive and negative, even for games with more then 100% return. There's no such thing as a sure thing, especially for video poker.