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FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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October 21st, 2009 at 2:39:49 AM permalink
I tend not to play slot machines of any sort. Perhaps this is the reason I've never fully analyzed them.

I've heard that when first introduced video poker machines were analyzed by the casinos from the viewpoint of someone playing a reasonable poker strategy but a few sharp people made a good deal of money after having developed a strategy focused on getting a Royal Flush rather than playing a sensible poker strategy.

From time to time I encounter articles mentioning retirees who get their entertainment, drinks, meal comps and who average eleven dollars an hour ramming money through video poker machines that have what are referred to as full-pay status.

From the articles that I've skimmed the payout tables can be as high as 100.77 percent but are more likely to be 100.17 percent. Are there really video poker players milking such machines for that slight edge? Are there really video poker players who have played for years and not hit a Royal Flush ever?

I just can't see the casinos as being fools and offering even a slight player advantage.
Perhaps I should sit down sometime and actually do the math rather than being so cavalier as to merely skim some newspaper articles from time to time, but I just wonder what the situation actually is.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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October 29th, 2009 at 7:43:00 AM permalink
Just how much money would you have to plow into a VP machine at a 0.17 percent player edge to make it worthwhile?
How sensitive would this be to such things as player's error or alcohol intake?

I can't imagine the casinos are ignorant of this, so it is either tolerable to them or its not really a drain on them at all.
RayMills
RayMills
Joined: Nov 1, 2009
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November 1st, 2009 at 1:55:13 AM permalink
I think the intent of professionals is to exploit an advantage that most players don't have the discipline or time to exploit. A .17% advantage would include all tourists and short-term players who would play badly and win only 80%, let's say, while pro's are winning their 10% because they wait for royals and/or quit while ahead, and the casino is winning 10% on ALL machines. I'm still waiting for my first royal!
g25r5chips
g25r5chips
Joined: Nov 1, 2009
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November 1st, 2009 at 10:26:53 AM permalink
In addition to the low house edge or positive edge to the player, other things that enhance a vp player's return are comped rooms, food, beverages, and gifts. Jean Scott (the Frugal Gambler) and her husband Brad have for years suplemented their income by playing vp. Some people who are frequent LV and AC message board posters claim to have played at close to break even over the years. The key to success is to consistently play at perfect strategy for the vp game played. Problem is that most players, even very good players, do not play perfect strategy. Consequently, a vp game that could pay close to 100% likely pays far less than 100%.
Krysia
Krysia
Joined: Nov 1, 2009
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November 1st, 2009 at 1:45:05 PM permalink
Just curious how long you have been playing and still waiting for your first royal?
bardolator
bardolator
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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November 2nd, 2009 at 7:10:47 AM permalink
You see a lot of retirees playing full pay deuces wild, which is a positive expectation game. Whether or not they are professionals is a matter of definition.

You also see a small number of young people who play video poker at lightning speed. Some of these may indeed be professional VP players. It seems like a horrible way to make a living. The only way to make a decent wage at it is to play full pay games very accurately and very fast. Some casinos fight this by setting their full pay games to play at such a slow pace that it is not worth the effort for professionals to play there. You will not find positive expectation games at over a quarter for the same reason, although "full pay" Jacks or Better is common at high dollars.

I have played well in excess of 100,000 hands of video poker in Las Vegas and other places and have yet to hit a royal flush. On my practice machine at home, I hit royals at the expected rate.
andiamo
andiamo
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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November 5th, 2009 at 5:10:56 PM permalink
On September 3rd wife and I were in vegas at casino royale. I've been playing a lot of video poker as I have been learning. At CR, thier fun books give you $25 if you hit 4 of kind, I hit mine earlier in week so I had the wife sit with $20 in and try to get hers. After about 5 minutes, on a first "pull" she gets a royal flush, diamonds. $1,000. She has played maybe 2-3 times because she doesn't care for the game. Great way to end the week there as we were leaving the next day. Next day tried again to get the 4 of a kind and $25, again $20 in, got the 4 of a kind, but as it turned out, the coupon for the $25 for 4 of kind expired about 4 days before, so the night before when I was trying to get her the 4 of kind, it wouldn't have worked either - got the royal though!
BenJammin
BenJammin
Joined: Nov 1, 2009
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November 6th, 2009 at 4:08:46 AM permalink
Advantage VP players (so called professionals) are a cult. There has been so much misinformation out there that many folks try to play to a positive expectation, and as we all know those casinos didn't get there by losing money.

I agree there may be a very small percentage that actually stay pretty close to even, but I'm still skeptical about someone who claims to actually make a decent living at it.

You would have to play all day every day for months on end, and I've got better things to do with my time than sit in a smoky casino day in and day out to make less than minimum wage and get a free tote bag or buffet.

The vast majority lose, and some lose a staggering amount of money. I've done extended research on this phenomenon.

With some quick research anyone can google the stats and it takes over 42,000 hands to achieve a royal flush, however due to the "Variance" or shifts in paybacks and mistakes one may conceivably play well over 100,000 hands and never hit a royal flush.

At a buck and a quarter a hand, well, anyone with a third grade education can cipher that one.

And all this for what? To get a $1000 dollar royal flush?

The cost to play Jacks Or Better at about a 99.5% return (assuming you can find a 9/6 machine, see VPfree2) is about $250 bucks to play the 40,200 hands or so to maybe hit it, but if you don't it'll cost ya around $1,250 bucks just to play, assuming PERFECT PLAY with NO mistakes, which is damn near impossible.

There are a lot of VP gurus out there that do make a handsome living selling their systems and books to suckers, and there seems to be no shortage of those in Las Vegas.

I can name names but I'll refrain, just know that there are some charlatans out there that will lead you down a path to ruin, especially if you are the addictive personality type, but most of them wouldn't admit it if they were, and some may not even know that the are.

I'm very familiar with addictions and vices, hell I have a couple myself, and my advice is don't buy into the VP myth.

A wise man once said " Gambling is a hard way to make an easy living ".
Member In Good Standing!
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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November 6th, 2009 at 12:53:05 PM permalink
Quote: g25r5chips

Problem is that most players, even very good players, do not play perfect strategy. Consequently, a vp game that could pay close to 100% likely pays far less than 100%.

I would think that boredom, fatigue, alcohol, frustration, etc. would all detract from attention to basic strategy. Ofcours its nice to start from 100.77 percent and work your way down from there, but it would be a hard life to be glued to a Video Poker machine. I know that at BlackJack I can never keep focused on Basic Strategy. Oh, I try to but ... alcohol, lovely ladies, chatter, distracting music, ... it all erodes my focus.
whatdoyouwant
whatdoyouwant
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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November 11th, 2009 at 3:54:53 PM permalink
Investigate the Yahoo group, VPFree. It will
answer all these questions fully.

The short answer is this: Yes, people have made money on VP.
People continue to make money on VP. Its not quite as simple
as your description, but you have the basic idea.

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