Best Video Poker – Part 2 by Victor Royer

First, let me state at the outset that I am not necessarily writing here about the best mathematically ordained Video Poker machines, but am writing instead about the best kinds of machines to play in a regular casino, for short slices of overall probabilities, under actual playing conditions of in-casino play, and under the often-inevitable situations of less-than-always-perfect play.
Deuces Wild Video Poker
This is a Video Poker game which employs the use of the “2” value card – called a “deuce” – as a “wild” card. Being “wild” means that the deuce cards substitute for all other symbols, thereby allowing you to get many more winning combinations than or regular Video Poker. But beware! Although you will get many more pays, you will also not get nearly as much for them as you would on a Video Poker machine which does not use the deuce cards as “wild”.

However, this game is by far among the best Video Poker games you can ever play. There are several reasons for this. First, the fact that you do get many more pays means that you will be able to play longer for less. And, depending on your skill level and choice of machine program, you can very likely play this game to better than 101% payback.

Second, on this game you have the opportunity of getting a 1,000 coin secondary jackpot by getting all four deuce cards on the screen at the same time.

Third, on most machines, also a pay of 125 coins for a Wild Royal Flush – this is a Royal Flush hand which was made as the result of using one or more of the “wild” deuce cards.

Deuces Wild Video Poker can be very profitable and is among my highest recommended Video Poker games. However, be very wary of precisely which kind of Deuces Wild game you happen to be sitting at. Look at the one-coin payout for the Straight Flush and four-of-a-kind. If the Straight Flush shows a pay of “9” and the four-of-a-kind shows a pay of “5” – then this is the best kind of Deuces Wild machine you can play. But many will show a 10/4, or 11/4 or even 8/4 pays for these same combinations. Be very aware, and do not play these versions of the machine. They will literally eat your money, and are there for the uninformed player.

Lately, some casinos have wised up to these suggestions, and have cagily kept the 9/5 symbols on the payoff display but altered the payouts! To be sure you have the right kind of Deuces Wild Video Poker machine, also look at the payout for the Wild Royal and the five-of-a-kind. If the Wild Royal is listed as paying 100 coins for a maximum coins bet (instead of 125), and the five-of-a-kind is listed as paying 65 or 60 coins per maximum coins bet (instead of 75) – stay away! This machine’s program has been altered, and regardless of whether it says 9/5, as previously indicated, this is not a good machine to play.

Okay – now we’ve listed some of the most recent and popular Video Poker innovations, and derivatives of the standard game. Which one is the best?

For the most fun and value for your gaming dollar, with the best expected frequency of pays-versus-coins-in, and most frequent secondary jackpots, I’d recommend Deuces Wild. But, as I’ve said above, be careful which Deuces Wild game you are choosing.

For some of the highest payoffs, relative to frequency of time-and-money-invested, I’d recommend the Double Double Bonus Video Poker machines by IGT in the 10/7 program version, or the 9/6 where the bonuses are further enhanced by the use of the kicker cards. Either of these machines will give you some of the best playing odds, and some of the highest return ratio of pays relative to investment, along with good, and often frequent, mini-jackpots and secondary jackpots.

Finally, for either of these machines, remember that you are playing to achieve the bonus hands, and not necessarily the Royal Flush. The advantage of playing either of these machines are the bonus pays themselves, and the fact that you can get several of them in the same session, cumulatively often quickly equaling -or even exceeding – the amount of the Royal Flush pay itself without having to hit it. In fact, Royal Flush payoffs on these machines do not happen very often – not because they are somehow corrupted by the bonus payoffs, but simply because the bonus options require players to often choose to hold and/or discard cards which would normally be held for correct play on standard non-bonus games when desiring to achieve the Royal Flush.

Playing these machines in this manner will assure you of the best possible win-expectation relative to your bankroll and time at play. Most people simply will not be able to play any of these machines to their mathematically correct odds, and with perfect play. This requires literally thousands, and even millions of hands played, and is all but impossible in the real-world of casino play. However, these machines do have the more liberal pay programs, and can therefore be played for profit even in the short-term exposure which any single playing session will offer. Particularly so if you target the bonus hands as the optimum object of your play. For more information about Video Poker, please read my book: Powerful Profits from Video Poker, available through this web site.