Understanding the Role of Probability

Millions of merry gamblers frequent casinos all over the world every day without a clear understanding of one important concept – probability. Mastering one of the more complex branches of mathematics isn’t necessary for successful gambling. But an elementary understanding of probability is certainly helpful in making sound gambling choices.
Probability is the study of the laws of chance, the identification of how often certain events can be expected to occur. For example, to express the probability
that a coin will turn up heads, you can give the result in numerous ways, such as a
– Ratio – 1 in 2 times
– Fraction – Y2 or half the time
– Percentage – 50 percent
– Decimal- .50, which is the same as 50 percent
– Odds – 1 to 1

Odds expresses the number of times something won’t happen next to the number of times it will happen. So, 1-to-1odds means the event is an even money event; it has an equal chance of occurring or not occurring. This section looks a bit closer at probability’s role in casino gambling. Identifying independent events
Another important term to understand here is independent outcomes. Being independent has nothing to do with successfully ditching your loser boyfriend in the keno lounge. In gambling, independent refers to events (such as roulette spins or dice throws) that aren’t affected by any previous results. Craps and roulette are great examples. The dice and roulette table ball don’t have a tiny brain inside, so each new throw or spin is independent of all previous turns. In other words, the dice or ball doesn’t know what numbers are running hot or cold, so the probability of outcome for each and every spin is exactly the same.
Slot machines are also independent. Recent jackpots do not change the likelihood of the same combination coming up again. If your chances of lining up three cherries are 5,000 to 1and you just hit the jackpot, the three cherries have exactly the same chances of appearing on the very next spin.

Recognising dependent events
So you may be asking yourself, what constitutes a nonindependent or dependent event? Dependent events are occurrences that are more or less likely based on the previous occurrences. Imagine a bag of five black balls and five red balls. Before you pull a ball out, you know you have a 50 percent chance of pulling out a black ball and the same odds of pulling out a red ball. Then you reach in and pull out one red ball and toss it aside. Now the odds have changed – you no longer have a 50 percent chance of pulling either ball. Your chances of pulling out a black ball are now greater (56 percent).
So in some situations, the past does affect the future. Another classic example is the game of blackjack. Because cards are removed after they’re played, the remaining composition of the deck changes. For example, your chances for getting a blackjack drop dramatically when a disproportionate number of aces are used up.
Almost all casino games consist of cards, dice, spinning wheels, or reels. These games almost always yield independent events. Blackjack is the rare exception, which is the main reason for its popularity.

Taking safety into your own hands

The modern casino should be a carefree environment where you forget your troubles, spend money, and – with hope – win some money back. Although winning isn’t always possible, at the very least you expect a safe environment in which to gamble. Unfortunately, where innocent, naive, and trusting people congregate in great numbers – surrounded by huge amounts of disposable income – the predators of society gather as well. Thieves are on the prowl for ways to separate you or even the casinos from hard-earned cash.

Although casinos implement the most stringent security measures and the latest in state-of-the-art surveillance technology, you, as a prudent casino guest, should assume responsibility for your own safety. The following tips can help you avoid becoming a victim of a casino predator:

– Tuck your wallet in a safe, hard-to-access spot, such as your front pocket.
– If you carry a purse, take a small one that you can wear close to your body, preferably under a jacket or wrap.
– Guard your chips or slot tokens; these work the same as money, so treat them accordingly.
– If you go to the casino solo, be cautious about the overly friendly people you meet. Maintain tight control of your personal information, get your drinks straight from the cocktail servers, and keep your big wins to yourself so you don’t become a target.

Casino Management: Running the tables

In addition to the employees who ensure the smooth-running operations on the floor, a host of other casino personnel contribute to the success of the house. As a beginning casino player, you may not come into contact with any of these people. However, if you do, management employees, such as the casino host, may become familiar (and friendly) faces.

Casino hosts
Modern casino hosts best resemble a successful hotel concierge: They’re both at your service. Whether dealing with new guests, loyal customers, or high rollers, the casino host focuses on service, service, and more service.

Hitting the jackpot, baby!
For those rare but exciting payoffs when you defy the gods of gambling and win more than the machine can payout, a slot attendantand, in some cases, the supervisor – responds to your flashing machine. The slot attendant arrives with a big wad of cash to ceremoniously peel off the bills, one Franklin at a time, to you, the happy winner. And if the payout is $1,200 or more, you also receive an IRS form (called
a W2-G) reporting your win to your favorite uncle – Uncle Sam.
A typical casino host is an affable and professional employee whose mission is to serve your every need. Hosts are hands-on people who greet VIP guests at the door and pamper them throughout their stay. Depending on the size and popularity of the casino and the thickness of your wallet, a casino host may
– Comp your rooms
– Arrange for greens fees at the golf course
– Get tickets to sold-out shows
– Give away free meals

If it’s your first time in a casino, don’t expect to have the keys to the Rain Man suite at Caesar’s Palace handed to you. But even low rollers can make a relationship with the casino host profitable. Keep the following in mind:
– Join the club: The casino host expects you to be a casino loyalty club member before you’re offered many comps. And don’t forget to use your club card whenever you play.
– Express yourself: Don’t wait for the host to find you in the penny slots area; go introduce yourself to the host.
– Be loyal: Find your favorite gambling locale and stick to it. Even small-scale visits can make you a valuable customer if they’re repeated regularly.
– Just ask: The players who get comps are the ones who ask the casino host. Don’t be rude or demanding, just ask politely and see what benefits you qualify for.

Player development is all about forming relationships. Casino hosts are eager to wine and dine you if they believe they can create player loyalty through these lavish perks. Although player-development departments often employ telemarketers or other representatives to reach out to garners through databases, casino hosts achieve their goals on a one-on-one basis by working their cellphones and roaming the casino floors, seeking ways to make their clients’ gaming experiences more enjoyable.

Other managers
As in other walks of life, every casino employee has to report to somebody, and those some bodies are the shift managers. The shift managers then report to the casino manager. As the name implies, shift managers are responsible for their areas of casino expertise (such as slots or table games) during a particular shift (day, swing, and graveyard). Most land-based casinos are 24/7 operations, so shift managers must be prepared to work weekends, holidays, and late-night shifts.
When player disputes arise, money needs to be accounted for or items need to be authorized; the shift manager takes on these duties as well. Shift managers are responsible for employee schedules, customer service, comps, credit, and a host of other duties that make for a mind-boggling job.

The only position above the shift manager is the casino manager. You rarely see this head honcho on the floor, but he’s the ultimate decision-maker for most gaming operations. As a beginning casino player, you aren’t too concerned about who the casino manager is. The only time you may ever interact with the manager is if you win enough money to buy the casino.

Cashing out: Heading to the cashier’s cage

The cashier’s cage is where you redeem your markers – the chips the casino uses to represent cash – for hard cash and where you buy and redeem your slot tokens. (You must buy your chips at the tables, and you must cash out at the cashier’s cage.) Every casino has cashier’s cages – the larger the casino, the more cages you find. If the slot machines and gaming tables are the arteries that circulate a casino’s input and output, the cashier’s cage is the heart that pumps the casino’s lifeblood: money. Highly trained and supremely trusted casino employees handle more cash each shift than most people see in a lifetime.

Cashier’s cages are easy to find. Casinos typically locate them along the sides of the rooms to allow the more valuable floor space for games. Here, much like at a bank, one or more tellers deal with the public through a window. If you’re worried about leaving with your big winnings, you can request a check or get a safety deposit box in most casinos.
In addition to the cashier’s cage, casinos usually offer a credit office. Depending on how big a player you are and the type of games you want to attack, you may want to ask for a line of credit. You can also cash traveler’s checks, get change, receive incoming money via a wire service, and even receive bank wire transfers (with proper ID,of course!).

In the old days, the cashier’s cage earned its moniker because it was, as the name implies, behind bars. Today’s technology and construction make the modern cashier’s cage much more inviting, providing maximum security without looking like Fort Knox. You can usually find casino cashiers in the core ofthe casino layout, as far from any exit as possible, which means the casino’s money is more secure. This location also offers a beneficial side effect that casinos are happy to take advantage of. Their centrality means the cashier’s cage is often in the lion’s den of the most enticing betting areas, tempting many recent winners to recycle their bills by turning them right back into chips at a nearby table.

Navigating the Casino Maze

From Monaco, the Las Vegas of Europe, to the Queen Mary II, the largest cruise ship ever to sail, most casinos of the world are laid out in a similar floor plan. Even at the smaller clubs, you recognize many of the same aesthetic and functional characteristics found at the megaresorts. This common design is no accident – casino owners have an intimate knowledge of the gambler’s mind, and they design the interiors to make their guests comfortable with parting with their cash.

In this article I take a stroll through a typical casino to prepare you for the sights and sounds you encounter when you walk through those neon-bathed doorways. Preparation is the key for maintaining control. You’ll understand what I’m saying when you find yourself subconsciously reaching for your wallet before you finish the article.

Remember that gambling is the ultimate impulse buy. The casino’s layout encourages this impulse. Taking away the mystique is your first step toward improving your odds and coming out a winner. I suggest that, in addition to the virtual walk-through you get by reading this chapter, you do the same in every brick-and-mortar establishment you visit before you drop your first dollar on the table or pump a coin in a slot. Prepare yourself: Stand still, take a deep breath, and look around.

It may surprise you how fast you can find yourself in the middle of the sensory hurricane on the casino floor. In less restrictive states, such as Nevada and New Jersey, you can walk in off the street or get dropped off by a taxi and find yourself a few feet away from the gaming areas. You’re practically holding the door for your significant other with one hand and rolling the dice with the other. After all, casinos want as little as possible to stand between you and your favorite game.

But most casinos give you a chance to catch your breath and do some mental stretching prior to plunging into the action. When you walk in, you often find yourself in a lobby or foyer. Remember that most casinos are also hotels, so you may see familiar sights, such as the concierge, bell desk, and check-in counter. People bustle about and crowd together before they find the destinations suited for them. While some gamblers are anticipating the excitement just steps away, others are exiting with delirious grins on their faces – or expressions of shock and awe.

This bottleneck is no accident; it’s part of the calculated marketing strategy to lure you ever closer to the games. At the threshold of the gaming floor, the sounds, colorfullights, and crowd energy all go to work on your senses, even from a distance. Just like an infant reaching for bright colorful objects, casino visitors gravitate to the sights and sounds of the casino floor.

Interior design is to a casino floor plan what aerodynamics is to automobile manufacturers; forward movement is a result of an ever-expanding array of enticements including colors that dazzle, lights that entice, and a temperature scientifically controlled for maximum comfort. You quickly find that every destination in a casino – the guest elevators, the bathrooms, or the buffet requires that you walk through (or dangerously near) the gaming areas. Slot machines and video poker stations are positioned just inside the casino entrance. The boys in marketing put them here so you can test the waters and feel the rush a quarter at a time – getting your feet wet right at the casino entrance. Up ahead you see the casino proper, a virtual indoor carnival buzzing with excitement. You can almost feel the energy pulsing.

Casino – Where to play

Formerly quarantined to select areas, today’s casinos are nearly everywhere, making gambling possible in almost every state. Only two states (Hawaii and Utah) have no legalized gambling. The main reason for this explosion is that the stigma of gambling has mostly been removed from our society. Although the previous generation generally viewed gambling with moral indignation, today’s attitudes are more relaxed, and many people consider casinos fun entertainment rather than one of the seven deadly sins.
This section looks more closely at the different types of gambling locations. Although Las Vegas and Atlantic City are still popular destinations for casino gambling, hundreds of other options are also waiting for you.
For decades, Nevada was famous for being the only U.S. state where casino gambling was legal. That limitation changed when the state of New Jersey legalized gambling in the late 1970s (although only in one town, Atlantic City). And, despite the growth of on-the-water and Indian casinos throughout the
United States (primarily in the 1990s), the Silver State remains the king of casino gambling.

Las Vegas is the jewel in the crown and far and away the biggest gambling destination in the world. Also known as Sin City or Lost Wages, Vegas is a unique agglomeration of palm trees, fountains, neon lights, and 100,000-plus hotel rooms among a wild mishmash of must-see architecture.
From its forbidden-fruit beginnings to its mobster adolescence, to its starring role in a few hit TV shows, Vegas exudes a frenetic energy that makes the city a unique place in American pop culture. And Vegas takes full advantage of its iconic position. New hotel/casino complexes continue to rise from the desert floor at an astounding pace. As of 2006, nine of the ten biggest hotels in the world were located within a few miles of each other on the Las Vegas Strip. The city is still primarily known for its gambling – after all, where else can you expect to find slots in grocery stores and in airports? But that image is changing. At some point in the late 1990s – for the first time in its history gambling money amounted to less than half of the total revenue brought in by the Vegas casino industry. And that change means people from around the world are seeing the city as a resort (or convention) destination first and a place to gamble second.

Tahoe and Reno: Quieter cousins
Before Las Vegas rose to prominence, Reno was the epicenter of gambling in the United States, and casinos around Lake Tahoe frequently hosted celebrities, such as Frank Sinatra and his buddies. Now, their southern Nevada competitor easily eclipses both Tahoe and Reno, but these two intriguing cities remain good alternatives for visitors that don’t care for the Vegas speed-of-light pace.

As “the biggest little city in the world,” Reno’s Wild West frontier spirit and gambling accessibility appeal to many travelers. Tahoe also boasts gambling opportunities on the Nevada side of the border while promising superb skiing in winter, a wealth of lake activities in summer, and spectacular mountain
scenery year-round.

Atlantic City:
In the late 1970s, New Jersey took the bold step of legalizing gambling as a way to revitalize Atlantic City. The transformation hasn’t always gone smoothly, but today Atlantic City’s casino industry is healthy. As one of the biggest gambling spots in the United States, it sees billions of dollars in wagers every year.

Although the Atlantic City Boardwalk can’t rival the Vegas Strip, it does offer a unique blend of glitz and glamour in a carnival atmosphere and a seaside setting. More importantly, the location means convenience for people on the East Coast – they no longer have to fly cross-country just to play blackjack.

Diving into on-the-water Gambling
Some people may not understand why gambling can be legal on the water but illegal on land. Nevertheless, if your state has a river running through it or you live on the coast, you’re likely to find a casino within driving distance. (Of course, take your motion-sickness pills and be prepared to walk the plank.)

Riverboat casinos: A piece of the past
New laws and regulations have revived an icon from America’s colorful past – river boat casinos. Although these contemporary vessels bear little resemblance to the fabled paddleboats that plied the Mississippi, gambling fun is still rollin’ on the river.
Most casino voyages are “cruises to nowhere” that last one to three hours. Some floating casinos don’t even leave the dock, but they’re in compliance with state gambling laws because they’re on water. These casinos are typically smaller than the big boys in Vegas and aren’t always open 24 hours, but they usually offer most of the same games.

Cruise ships:
What could be finer than cruising off the coast of Carolina? Okay, maybe cruise ships don’t hit those waters often, but they do sail nearly everywhere in the world, including hot spots (like the Caribbean and the Panama Canal) and scenic destinations (like Alaska and Mexico).
Nearly every cruise line takes advantage of international waters (where gambling is legal) by offering casinos on board their ships (open only certain hours and only when the ship is in international waters). These casinos have most of the same games and similar odds as regular land-based casinos (with a few differences), so if you don’t mind your dice rolling funny when a big wave hits, cruising may be just the ticket for you.

Indian Casinos:
Although reservation gaming came on the scene late, it has dramatically changed the landscape of casino gambling across the country over the last two decades. The biggest and best-known Indian gaming area is in Connecticut (outside Hartford), providing an appealing alternative to Atlantic City for New York gamblers.

Today Indian gaming generates billions of dollars in revenues every year and provides significant competition for more traditional gambling destinations. In fact, the combined gaming revenue of all tribal casinos is greater than all the revenue of Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and Reno together.
Native American casinos typically offer the same machines and table games that other gambling capitals have. However, many Indian casinos don’t allow alcohol consumption, and few of them can compete with the glitz of Vegas. Nevertheless, the success of tribal gaming speaks volumes about the quality of the casinos. So if you can live without exploding volcanoes or fancy Mountains, you’re bound to enjoy the friendly, less spectacular tribal casinos.

Beyond the borders: Gambling abroad
If you feel stuck in a gambling rut, traveling abroad for gaming may just be the adrenalin shot you need. Most foreign casinos offer the same or similar games as casinos in the United States, but the experience is often more refined and memorable, especially in high-class locations such as Monte Carlo.
But customs differ around the world, so you may be surprised at the rules across the pond. Many European casinos charge an entry fee, and many of them require more-formal attire. (Pack a coat and tie or evening dress if you plan on playing on the Continent.) Travelers should also be aware that the American traditions of megacasinos and multithousand room resorts are rare overseas.
The Caribbean is also a popular getaway for gamblers, and several islands offer casinos to complement their sun and sand attractions. The biggest casino in the tropical region is the Atlantis Casino in the Bahamas, which is truly a world-class resort.

Betting on the Internet
Gambling and cyberspace seem to be made for each other. Through the conduit of the Internet, casinos and gaming companies can invite themselves directly into the homes of gamblers. Now people can play anonymously and comfortably, without ever leaving the house. Considered the last frontier for gaming, cyberspace has now been settled – if not fully tamed. Online gaming represents a multibillion-dollar industry worldwide that continues to grow exponentially every year.

Casino – What’s Your Poison

Playing the Games: What’s Your Poison

Casino games are as diverse as the people who play them – and that’s part of the fun. You may think of craps as a rough-and-tumble game, played by hustlers and wiseguys, but step into a casino and you’re just as likely to spot an
angelic-looking nurse rolling dice next to a cursing cowboy from Texas. And because no game has a precise player profile, don’t restrict yourself to the few games that you think suit you. Give each one a try and see where it takes you.

Although the majority of casino visitors prefer slot machines, chances are, if you’re reading this book, you’re willing to try new ways to gamble. After you read this book and know which games have the best odds, I suggest you take a quick walk around the casino floor to see where you want to start and give several of them a try.

Touring the table games
In a casino, the tables come in all shapes and sizes, from the oval shape of poker tables to the half-round crescent of blackjack to the long rectangle of craps. And the table is just about all they have in common.

Unspoken rules seem to govern the table games. Most casino guests have discovered from experience to avoid the taboos: holding your cards with two hands, touching chips in the betting circle after the cards are dealt, and
throwing the dice so wildly that they flyover the rail and end up in somebody’s drink. Before you worry about
acting proper, this section includes a brief overview of the main table games that you may encounter in a casino.

Poker: Boosted by Internet and TV tournaments
To say that poker is taking over the world may be only a slight exaggeration. Considering its current popularity explosion, Texas Hold’em could replace war as a way to settle regional conflicts. In truth, many factors have con-
tributed to the card game’s wide appeal, including the broad reaches of the Internet and television poker tournaments.

But technology is only one factor. The big draw? Poker is one of the few games where good players consistently win. In poker, you compete against other players rather than the house. And with honed skills and intimate knowledge of the game, you can have a significant edge over those other, less-prepared gamblers.

Hiding your emotions is a requisite skill for successful poker. They don’t call it poker face for nothing So, if you can’t control your nervous ticks when you bluff or if your eyes get as big as saucers when you make a full house, either play your poker online or put a bag over your head.

Blackjack: The best odds
Blackjack (also called 21) has been the most popular table game in casinos for more than 40 years. The card game always draws a loyal crowd because it’s easy to understand, provides good camaraderie, and offers great odds. If
you memorize basic strategy (that is, the optimal way to play every hand), your chances of winning at blackjack are better than at virtually any other game in the casino.

Blackjack also is intriguing because each hand is like a movie clip – with you as the star. Each game has an opening scene (the deai), the simmering suspense (the dealer’s hidden card), the moment of truth when the hero (you!) makes a dramatic choice, and finally the conclusion, where the hero wins or loses. The trick, of course, is to have more happy endings than tragedies.

Craps: Backslaps, high-flyers and cheerleaders
This dice game draws a raucous crowd and has many of the best bets in the casino. Some guests find the noise and the complex layout of craps to be a little intimidating. But before you slink back to your comfort zone, consider
this fact: The house advantage is low in craps, making this game a great bet. Just be sure you stick with the best craps bets.

Furthermore, craps is like a sporting event, with its dramatic swings of luck, high-fives, backslaps, and noisy cheering section. Every roll has a home team (players who bet with the dice) and an opposing team (wrong-way bettors) that gets dirty looks and ridicules from the hometown fans. Now, if they just had those big foam We’re No. 1 fingers, the experience would be complete (but a little hard to roll the dice).

Roulette: The place for eccentric hunches
The spinning wheel of roulette symbolizes the world of casino gambling. This popular, entry-level game is ideal for novice gamblers because it requires absolutely no skill, concentration, or complex strategies. You simply bet on
the number or possible numbers that the ball will land on. A table full of players can be quite sociable, although not as rowdy as a craps game. Roulette gives you a chance to play your eccentric hunches on a single number, a
combination of numbers, or on an even-money wager that can just extend your playing session. Refer to Chapter 9 for more on roulette.

Baccarat: More tuxedo than T-shirt
Although blackjack and poker appeal to the masses, baccarat is a card game that draws a far more upscale and refined crowd. You’re more likely to see tuxedos than T-shirts playing this game. But everyone is welcome, so even if you don’t have a penguin costume in your closet, check out baccarat for a game that’s simple to play Gust bet on the bank) and has fair odds.

Let It Ride, Pai Gow, and other table qames
Beyond the traditional favorites, several other table games have developed a strong following. Today, most casinos intersperse Caribbean Stud poker, Let It Ride, Pai Gow, and Three Card poker tables throughout their pits.

These games are fun diversions when you need a change of pace, but a word of caution: Don’t play too long. These games have odds that may make you wish you’d gotten mugged instead of gone gambling. Unless you have a passion for these games (along with a bottomless bank account), don’t make a habit of playing them.

A Systems Approach to Video Poker

Ellen arrived at her favourite casino with a group of friends at about noon, but it hasn’t been her day. Ellen is an avid video poker player, and understands that she should always play the maximum coins. Coin limit play is essential she believes, because if she hits the royal flush she wants to be eligible for the top award that winners who have the maximum coin-in receive. After all, the pay tables on most modern machines are set to offer the coin-limit player a better payout percentage by setting a higher jackpot on the top hand for coin-limit play. Most machines start the hand automatically when five coins are inserted. Every machine has one button that orders maximum play. Ellen believes that it is the only way to play.

But Ellen’s funds have been depleted and she believes it’s time to drop down to less than coin limit to stretch her remaining funds. She has seen players being burned by hitting a royal flush or five-of-a-kind while playing less than coin limit. The disdain from the neighbouring players was more difficult to bear than the monetary shortfall.

But before coming to the casino this time, Ellen read up on coin-limit play and was surprised to find that on her favourite 9/6 Jacks-or-better machines, she would be losing less per hand by playing one coin than by playing five coins.

By playing expert strategy, and even taking into account the 800-1 payout for five-coin play and only a 250-1 payout for anything less, Ellen can take solace in the fact that her single-coin play keeps her almost even with maximum play, even without the hitting the top jackpot.

Ellen wasn’t surprised to find that novice players who don’t understand expert strategy are much better off playing less than five coins. Occasionally her friends who love the slot machines have wandered over into the video poker sections, but have always headed back quickly. They don’t understand that it’s important to know the strategy of the game.

Progressive jackpots seem to demand coin-limit play, but Ellen learned that a typical progressive 8/5 Jacks-or-better machine pays only 97.3 per cent to experts when the jackpot is minimum at 800-1, or $1,000 on a five-quarter coin-limit machine. Single-coin play returns only 95.9 per cent so the loss rate is very poor at all levels. That’s why experts don’t play them until the jackpot is above $2,200 and then only at coin-limit. Ellen will continue to play one coin at a time until it’s time to head home. She’ll protect her funds and will have a chance to get even before leaving.

Joker Poker Strategy

These rules are the basic strategy when playing Joker Poker.

Best hands first. When you are dealt the Joker.
1 Stand with five-of-a-kind or a straight flush.
2 Draw one card to four-of-a-kind.
3 Stand on a full house.
4 Stand on a flush.
5 Draw one card to a four-card straight flush.
6 Stand on a straight.
7 Draw one card to any four-card inside or double-inside straight flush.
8 Draw two cards to three-of-a-kind.
9 Draw one card to a four-card straight.
10 Draw two cards to a three-card straight flush.
11 Draw one card to a four-card inside straight.
12 Draw one card to a four-card flush.
13 Draw two cards to a three-card inside straight flush.
14 Draw two cards to a three-card straight.
15 Draw two cards to a three-card double inside straight flush.
16 Draw one card to a to a four-card double inside straight flush.
17 Draw three cards to a pair.

When you are not dealt the Joker.
1 Stand with a royal flush or a straight flush.
2 Draw one card to four-of-a-kind.
3 Stand on a full house.
4 Draw one card to four-card royal flush.
5 Stand on a flush or straight.
6 Draw one card to a four-card straight flush! either open-ended or inside.
7 Draw two cards to three-of-a-kind.
8 Draw one card to two pair.
9 Draw one card to a four-card flllSh.
10 Draw two cards to a three-card royal flush.
11 Draw one card to a four-card straight.
12 Draw two cards to a three-card straight flush! either open-ended or inside.
13 Draw three cards to a pair.
14 Draw three cards to a two-card royal flush.
15 Draw one card to a four-card inside straight.
16 Draw two cards to a three-card double-inside straight flush.
17 Draw three cards to a two-card straight flush! open-ended! double-inside or triple-inside.
18 Draw two cards to a three-card flush.
19 Draw two cards to a three-card straight.
20 Draw three cards to a two-card flush.

Strategic mistakes in Video Poker

Once you’ve identified the good machines and decided to sit down and play, the next step is to use an expert strategy. Don’t expect to play flawlessly the first time you sit down.

Because the different machines all have their own special strategies, you should stick with one type of machine until you’ve thoroughly understood and mastered its specific expert strategies.

Once again, Jacks-or-better is the most basic choice, and by mastering its expert strategy, you’ll have a better chance at the more complicated strategies of other video poker machines. The following strategies can be used for progressive Jacks-or-better and even bonus poker without losing much of an advantage.

The most important concept to grasp at the beginning is the need to eliminate costly mistakes. Most of those mistakes are made by confusing video poker with live poker – whereas in fact we know that there are key differences – and can be generalized as follows: