January 13th, 2014 at 5:51:34 AM
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Buy Frank Kneeland's Book Video Poker Progressives. Make a copy of the OPN (optimum play number) page. Check for your game and you know when you should have an edge. Dan Paymar also touches on it briefly in his book.

January 13th, 2014 at 3:31:17 PM
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My video poker progressive experience is mostly with 9/6 Jacks. I played them in the Cal-Neva and El Dorado in Reno, and the Wendover Nuggett. I'll explain to you the different strategies I know for these progressives, and the numbers I crunched to get an idea of what I was up against. But first, there is no substitute for having video poker software to help you analyze and strategize these games. These are the analyzers I know of:

1. Video Poker Strategy Master by Tom Ski

2. Win Poker by Dean Zamzow

3. Frugal Video Poker by Jim Wolf

4. Wolf Video Poker by Jim Wolf

5. Optimum Video Poker by Dan Paymar

6. Video Poker For Winners by Action Gaming

I used Strategy Master strategies before I was computerized that were given to me by other pros. The program may be outdated today as I don't think it covers as many games as the more modern software.

Win Poker is very fast for calculating the paybacks of various games, including progressives, but doesn't have a strategy generating component.

Frugal and Wolf were both designed by Jim Wolf. They are also very user friendly for calculating the paybacks of various games, including progressives, and they both have a strategy generating component. Wolf Video Poker is an updated version of Frugal that has more functions, and more games than any other software I've seen. Frugal Video Poker can be downloaded for free at wolfvideopoker.com.

From what I've been told by other pros, Optimum Video Poker doesn't cover near as many games as Frugal or Wolfe but has a strategy generating component.

The knock on Video Poker For Winners is you can't punch in an arbitrary number when analyzing progressives. You can't punch in a number like a 5456 coin royal and analyze to get the payback percentage. The numbers have to be rounded off to 4000, 6000, etc.

I use Win Poker, Frugal Video Poker, and Wolf Video Poker.

I'll move on to strategizing 9/6 Jacks progressives in the next post. The effects of the meter rise in the other Jacks or Better games are all similar to 9/6 Jacks.

1. Video Poker Strategy Master by Tom Ski

2. Win Poker by Dean Zamzow

3. Frugal Video Poker by Jim Wolf

4. Wolf Video Poker by Jim Wolf

5. Optimum Video Poker by Dan Paymar

6. Video Poker For Winners by Action Gaming

I used Strategy Master strategies before I was computerized that were given to me by other pros. The program may be outdated today as I don't think it covers as many games as the more modern software.

Win Poker is very fast for calculating the paybacks of various games, including progressives, but doesn't have a strategy generating component.

Frugal and Wolf were both designed by Jim Wolf. They are also very user friendly for calculating the paybacks of various games, including progressives, and they both have a strategy generating component. Wolf Video Poker is an updated version of Frugal that has more functions, and more games than any other software I've seen. Frugal Video Poker can be downloaded for free at wolfvideopoker.com.

From what I've been told by other pros, Optimum Video Poker doesn't cover near as many games as Frugal or Wolfe but has a strategy generating component.

The knock on Video Poker For Winners is you can't punch in an arbitrary number when analyzing progressives. You can't punch in a number like a 5456 coin royal and analyze to get the payback percentage. The numbers have to be rounded off to 4000, 6000, etc.

I use Win Poker, Frugal Video Poker, and Wolf Video Poker.

I'll move on to strategizing 9/6 Jacks progressives in the next post. The effects of the meter rise in the other Jacks or Better games are all similar to 9/6 Jacks.

"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm

January 13th, 2014 at 4:30:19 PM
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One strategy for progressives is called Minimum Risk. This simply means you don't make any strategy adjustments as the meter rises. FOR QUARTERS you use the optimum strategy for a $1000 royal (4000 coins) no matter how high the progressive meter is. These are the numbers I look at. If you bring up 9/6 Jacks on WVP and look at the game statistics you will see that the payback is 99.5439%, the royal odds are 40,391, the royal represents 1.98% of the payback. The variance is 19.5.

So what is the average cost to produce a royal? Subtracting 1.98% from 99.5439% leaves a payback of 97.5639%. Subtracting 97.5639% from 100% means you get dropped for 2.4361% between royals. So the equation is:

40,391 X $1.25 X 2.4361% = $1230

When playing Minimum Risk it is easy to calculate the payback percentage of the progressive. Say the royal is at $1600. You take the extra $600, convert it into bets, then divide it by 40,391.

600/1.25 = 480

480/40,391 = 1.1188%

99.5439% + 1.1188% = 100.6627%

The average profit (does not include meter rise) is $1600 minus $1230 = $370.

With modern video poker equipment most pros have a cruising speed of 1000 HPH. So 40,391/1000 = 40.391 average hours of play per royal. The hourly rate on this play would be 370/40.391 = $9.16.

Calculating the hourly for the meter speed is tricky. Say it's a 1% meter. At 1000 HPH the meter speed would add $12.50 an hour to the play. But can you claim all of the meter speed? If this were a stand alone progressive and you and someone else agreed to do 8 hour shifts until one of you hits the royal and split the profits, then yes you could claim all of the meter speed. But if it's a linked bank and you are in competition against others you might not be able to claim all of the meter speed. As progressives go up more and more people will jump on the bank. If you start at a lower number than everyone else, with only a couple of other players on the bank, and you guys push the meter up, then the bank fills up with players until the royal goes, then you can't claim all of the meter speed in your hourly. Only a fraction of it.

So what is the average cost to produce a royal? Subtracting 1.98% from 99.5439% leaves a payback of 97.5639%. Subtracting 97.5639% from 100% means you get dropped for 2.4361% between royals. So the equation is:

40,391 X $1.25 X 2.4361% = $1230

When playing Minimum Risk it is easy to calculate the payback percentage of the progressive. Say the royal is at $1600. You take the extra $600, convert it into bets, then divide it by 40,391.

600/1.25 = 480

480/40,391 = 1.1188%

99.5439% + 1.1188% = 100.6627%

The average profit (does not include meter rise) is $1600 minus $1230 = $370.

With modern video poker equipment most pros have a cruising speed of 1000 HPH. So 40,391/1000 = 40.391 average hours of play per royal. The hourly rate on this play would be 370/40.391 = $9.16.

Calculating the hourly for the meter speed is tricky. Say it's a 1% meter. At 1000 HPH the meter speed would add $12.50 an hour to the play. But can you claim all of the meter speed? If this were a stand alone progressive and you and someone else agreed to do 8 hour shifts until one of you hits the royal and split the profits, then yes you could claim all of the meter speed. But if it's a linked bank and you are in competition against others you might not be able to claim all of the meter speed. As progressives go up more and more people will jump on the bank. If you start at a lower number than everyone else, with only a couple of other players on the bank, and you guys push the meter up, then the bank fills up with players until the royal goes, then you can't claim all of the meter speed in your hourly. Only a fraction of it.

"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm

January 13th, 2014 at 4:51:44 PM
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Welcome back, and thanks for the posts Mickey. Your expertise is always appreciated.

January 13th, 2014 at 5:48:39 PM
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Another progressive strategy is called Max E.V. This is when you start holding royal cards, as their E.V. rises, over other hands, some of them paying hands, in pursuit of the royal. Situations frequently developed on the progressives at the Cal-Neva in Reno in the early 2000's. There were three different sets of quarter progressives. The bartops in the Virginian were multi-game progressives, all on the same meter. The best game was 9/6 Jacks and the meter ran at 1.5%. The Keno Lounge bartops had the same setup with the best game being 9/6 Jacks, also a 1.5% meter. The Skywalk bartops also had the same setup, best game was 9/6 Jacks, but the meter ran at 2%.

The key number was $2300. On the 1.5% meter games the ploppies had to miss the royal about 69,000 games to put it on our playable number. With the 2% meter game the ploppies had to miss the royal 52,000 games to put it on our playable number.

At $2300 everyone went into action. The team, headed by Winston, would come in. But he knew better than to take all the machines. To many of us would complain. There were 10 to 12 machines in these banks. Winston's team would take half of them. Independent agents like myself would take the rest. AND THE ROYAL RACE WAS ON!!. I loved playing it like this. You got 10 or 12 guys pounding away at 1000 HPH, all using an aggressive royal strategy that produces a royal about every 33,000 games. Except for rare exceptions the royal always went pretty fast. Then we all went our separate ways.

If you run a 9/6 Jacks $2300 royal on WVP and look at the game statistics you will see that the payback is 102.5980%, the royal odds are 32,589 with optimum strategy, and the royal represents 5.65% of the payback. The variance is a very high 107.5. But the average cost to produce a royal is virtually the same as Minimum Risk strategy.

102.5980% minus 5.65% = 96.948%

100% minus 96.948% = 3.052%--This is what you get dropped for between royals.

32,589 X $1.25 X 3.052% = a cost of $1243

The most dramatic effect on royal odds is playing the RF3's over the high pairs. Just this move alone reduces the royal odds from 40,391 to 33,690. The RF 3's are not created equal. The strongest, expectationwise, is KQJ, QJT, followed by AKQ, AKJ, AQJ, followed by KQT, KJT, followed by AKT, AQT, AJT. The breakpoints for playing these hands over high pairs are all in the low $1000's. The weakest RF 3 you can be dealt contains an Ace, a Ten, and a flush penalty. Like this:

AS-KS-TS-7S-AD

The breakpoint for playing the RF3 here is $1402. The breakpoints for playing the other RF3's are even lower. If you run a $1402 royal on the software you will see that the royal odds with optimum strategy are 33,690. That's a difference of 6,701 games from optimum strategy based on a $1000 royal....and only $402 has gone into the meter. The optimum strategy for a $2300 royal has royal odds of32,589. Even though the meter has gone up another $900 the royal odds have improved only 1101 games from a strategy predicated on a $1402 royal. So the RF3's over the high pairs has the most dramatic effect on royal odds.

The key number was $2300. On the 1.5% meter games the ploppies had to miss the royal about 69,000 games to put it on our playable number. With the 2% meter game the ploppies had to miss the royal 52,000 games to put it on our playable number.

At $2300 everyone went into action. The team, headed by Winston, would come in. But he knew better than to take all the machines. To many of us would complain. There were 10 to 12 machines in these banks. Winston's team would take half of them. Independent agents like myself would take the rest. AND THE ROYAL RACE WAS ON!!. I loved playing it like this. You got 10 or 12 guys pounding away at 1000 HPH, all using an aggressive royal strategy that produces a royal about every 33,000 games. Except for rare exceptions the royal always went pretty fast. Then we all went our separate ways.

If you run a 9/6 Jacks $2300 royal on WVP and look at the game statistics you will see that the payback is 102.5980%, the royal odds are 32,589 with optimum strategy, and the royal represents 5.65% of the payback. The variance is a very high 107.5. But the average cost to produce a royal is virtually the same as Minimum Risk strategy.

102.5980% minus 5.65% = 96.948%

100% minus 96.948% = 3.052%--This is what you get dropped for between royals.

32,589 X $1.25 X 3.052% = a cost of $1243

The most dramatic effect on royal odds is playing the RF3's over the high pairs. Just this move alone reduces the royal odds from 40,391 to 33,690. The RF 3's are not created equal. The strongest, expectationwise, is KQJ, QJT, followed by AKQ, AKJ, AQJ, followed by KQT, KJT, followed by AKT, AQT, AJT. The breakpoints for playing these hands over high pairs are all in the low $1000's. The weakest RF 3 you can be dealt contains an Ace, a Ten, and a flush penalty. Like this:

AS-KS-TS-7S-AD

The breakpoint for playing the RF3 here is $1402. The breakpoints for playing the other RF3's are even lower. If you run a $1402 royal on the software you will see that the royal odds with optimum strategy are 33,690. That's a difference of 6,701 games from optimum strategy based on a $1000 royal....and only $402 has gone into the meter. The optimum strategy for a $2300 royal has royal odds of32,589. Even though the meter has gone up another $900 the royal odds have improved only 1101 games from a strategy predicated on a $1402 royal. So the RF3's over the high pairs has the most dramatic effect on royal odds.

"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm

January 13th, 2014 at 5:57:41 PM
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Quote:AxiomOfChoiceWelcome back, and thanks for the posts Mickey. Your expertise is always appreciated.

Thanks.

"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm

January 13th, 2014 at 6:52:12 PM
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Quote:AxiomOfChoiceWelcome back, and thanks for the posts Mickey. Your expertise is always appreciated.

Here's the really cool thing; I understood every word he said. That's a first for me re: VP vulturing. Thanks, mickey, and welcome back!

If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.

January 14th, 2014 at 1:10:18 PM
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There is a progressive strategy deployed by teams when they can lock up every machine on the bank. The strategy is designed to create more work and make more of a profit, although the hourly rate drops off a little. Let's say our team is on a DOLLAR 9/6 Jacks progressive with a $9200 royal and a 2% meter. The math would be the same as a $2300 royal for quarters. We are going to figure out the average profit on this play. First we need to know the average cost to produce the royal. If you bring up 9/6 Jacks on the software and look at the game statistics for a $9200 royal you will see that the payback is 102.5980%, the royal odds are 32,589, and the royal represents 5.65% of the payback.

102.5980% minus 5.65% = 96.948%

100% minus 96.948% = 3.052% This is the drop between royals

32,589 X $5 X 3.052% = an average cost of $4973 to produce the royal

Now we have to calculate the contribution the meter rise adds to the play.

32,589 X $5 X 2% = $3259

$9200 + $3259 = $12,459

12,459 minus $4973 = $7486. This is the average profit on the play

With all the players cranking out 1000 HPH they would average producing a royal every 32.589 manhours.

$7486/32.589 = an hourly rate of $230 per player

But we are not going to use the Max E.V. strategy on this play. We are going to use a strategy based on a game that returns exactly 100%, not 102.5980%. If you bring up 9/6 Jacks on the software, punch in a 4880 coin royal and hit the analyze tab, it will show a payback of exactly 100%, the royal odds are 35,939, and the royal represents 2.7157% of the payback. So we are getting dropped for 2.7157% between royals.

35,939 X $5 X 2.7157% = a cost of $4880 per royal.

What does the meter contribute to the play?

35,939 X $5 X 2% = $3594

$9200 + $3594 = $12,794

$12,794 minus the cost of $4880 shows an average profit of $7914 per royal.

At 1000 HPH per player the hourly rate is 7914/35.939 = $220 per player, a little lower than the Max E.V strategy. But the average profit using this strategy is $428 higher than using the Max E.V. strategy. Basically this strategy is designed to milk the meter for all it's worth. The effect of this strategy is not so dramatic with a 2% meter. But it is very dramatic when you are dealing with stronger meters. The biggest meter I have ever seen on a video poker progressive was on a Tens of Better game at Harvey's/Lake Tahoe. It had a 10% meter.

102.5980% minus 5.65% = 96.948%

100% minus 96.948% = 3.052% This is the drop between royals

32,589 X $5 X 3.052% = an average cost of $4973 to produce the royal

Now we have to calculate the contribution the meter rise adds to the play.

32,589 X $5 X 2% = $3259

$9200 + $3259 = $12,459

12,459 minus $4973 = $7486. This is the average profit on the play

With all the players cranking out 1000 HPH they would average producing a royal every 32.589 manhours.

$7486/32.589 = an hourly rate of $230 per player

But we are not going to use the Max E.V. strategy on this play. We are going to use a strategy based on a game that returns exactly 100%, not 102.5980%. If you bring up 9/6 Jacks on the software, punch in a 4880 coin royal and hit the analyze tab, it will show a payback of exactly 100%, the royal odds are 35,939, and the royal represents 2.7157% of the payback. So we are getting dropped for 2.7157% between royals.

35,939 X $5 X 2.7157% = a cost of $4880 per royal.

What does the meter contribute to the play?

35,939 X $5 X 2% = $3594

$9200 + $3594 = $12,794

$12,794 minus the cost of $4880 shows an average profit of $7914 per royal.

At 1000 HPH per player the hourly rate is 7914/35.939 = $220 per player, a little lower than the Max E.V strategy. But the average profit using this strategy is $428 higher than using the Max E.V. strategy. Basically this strategy is designed to milk the meter for all it's worth. The effect of this strategy is not so dramatic with a 2% meter. But it is very dramatic when you are dealing with stronger meters. The biggest meter I have ever seen on a video poker progressive was on a Tens of Better game at Harvey's/Lake Tahoe. It had a 10% meter.

"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm

January 15th, 2014 at 5:18:29 PM
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Whatever casino district I was hanging out in, whether it was Laughlin, Las Vegas, Reno/Carson/Tahoe, Wendover, I would go around to all the progressives and do my up front work. I would check out what games were offered, what the payscale was, and clock the meter speed. A good progressive is a combination of payscale and meter speed.

Clocking the meter speed is not to hard to do. You have to catch the bank when no one is playing. Quarter progressives usually run in pennies. Like $1243.61, $1243.62, $1243.63, etc. You bet one quarter at a time until the meter flips one penny. Then you keep betting one quarter at a time counting down how many bets you made. If two coins of bet flips the meter one cent, then it's a 2% meter (one cent divided by 50 cents). If four bets flips the meter one penny then its a 1% meter (one cent divided by $1). If it takes 8 bets to flip the meter one penny its a 0.5% meter. 16 bets and its a .25% meter, etc.

Once I establish the meter speed then I compare it to the payscale. Take a quarter 8/5 jacks progressive for example. If the meter speed is only 1% then this is a bank that I'm not going to pay much attention too. Most pros won't play a quarter 8/5 jacks progressive for less than $3,000. And even then its no cakewalk. You're getting dropped for 7.5% between royals. But, with a 1% meter, how many games do the ploppies have to miss the royal to put it on that number? You take the extra $2,000 in the meter, multiply it by 100, then convert it into bets.

2000 X 100 = 200,000

200,000/1.25 = 160,000

The ploppies have to miss the royal 160,000 games to put it on the playable number. I don't know the exact odds of this happening, but I know its a longshot. I might get a play about once every blue moon. So I'm just not going to pay much attention to this bank.

But if its a 2% meter the ploppies only have to miss the royal for about 80,000 games to put it on the playable number. In this situation I'm figuring to get some plays.

Clocking the meter speed is not to hard to do. You have to catch the bank when no one is playing. Quarter progressives usually run in pennies. Like $1243.61, $1243.62, $1243.63, etc. You bet one quarter at a time until the meter flips one penny. Then you keep betting one quarter at a time counting down how many bets you made. If two coins of bet flips the meter one cent, then it's a 2% meter (one cent divided by 50 cents). If four bets flips the meter one penny then its a 1% meter (one cent divided by $1). If it takes 8 bets to flip the meter one penny its a 0.5% meter. 16 bets and its a .25% meter, etc.

Once I establish the meter speed then I compare it to the payscale. Take a quarter 8/5 jacks progressive for example. If the meter speed is only 1% then this is a bank that I'm not going to pay much attention too. Most pros won't play a quarter 8/5 jacks progressive for less than $3,000. And even then its no cakewalk. You're getting dropped for 7.5% between royals. But, with a 1% meter, how many games do the ploppies have to miss the royal to put it on that number? You take the extra $2,000 in the meter, multiply it by 100, then convert it into bets.

2000 X 100 = 200,000

200,000/1.25 = 160,000

The ploppies have to miss the royal 160,000 games to put it on the playable number. I don't know the exact odds of this happening, but I know its a longshot. I might get a play about once every blue moon. So I'm just not going to pay much attention to this bank.

But if its a 2% meter the ploppies only have to miss the royal for about 80,000 games to put it on the playable number. In this situation I'm figuring to get some plays.

"Quit trying your luck and start trying your skill." Mickey Crimm

January 15th, 2014 at 6:02:59 PM
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For JoB roughly ~ (39999/40000)^160,000 = 1.83%. Short-coiners will increase this a bit though, but also more aggressive royal chasers will also lower it.

And a 10% meter on Tens or better?? Wow. Do you remember the base payout and/or paytable?

And a 10% meter on Tens or better?? Wow. Do you remember the base payout and/or paytable?