Video Poker - Gaining the Upper Hand

There are very few casino games out there which allow players to turn the house edge around on them. Games like blackjack though and video poker, which make a drastic house edge reduction possible are generally games meant to capitalize on player ignorance. On such games, those who play without any sort of knowledge regarding basic strategy and optimal strategy are doomed to fall to a rather normal-sized house edge.

The house is basically hoping that the majority of players to hit the blackjack tables or the video poker machines will be unaware that there’s actually something they can do to better their own odds and worsen those of the house. Betting on human ignorance is generally a wager that doesn’t fail though, so that’s why games like the above described one are allowed to exist.

The fact that most of the regular gamblers have no idea how to use optimal strategy shouldn’t deter one from applying it. Video poker is based on 5-card draw, and as such, it offers a clear path to making ideal decisions hand after hand. There are indeed several video poker variants (Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better are only two of them), the differences in rules between them are only nuance ones. The bottom line is that if one can play one variant well, he/she will find it extremely easy to adapt to other variants.

The rules are important from a different point of view though: in order to be able to take full advantage of optimal strategy (read: to be able to turn the house edge around), the game has to offer a certain set of rules. Don’t get this wrong: optimal strategy helps for every video poker game out there, but it can only secure player advantage on some of the machines, which feature the right set of rules.

The bottom line: if you’re going for as small a house edge as possible and you have a knack for poker, by all means do choose video poker over just about everything else. The games are fun and they won’t gut your bankroll in a record-time either.

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