jakesorbetter
jakesorbetter
Joined: Feb 9, 2011
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February 15th, 2011 at 12:00:04 AM permalink
Minnesota has a law that limits Video Poker returns to 98%, a number that Vegas pros would avoid. I unfortunately have no access to other casinos, and the closest one I found with better payouts was Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I saw a 50 cent machine there with 9/6 Jacks or better. I don't remember for this machine in particular, but many other machines had a 10 credit max bet requirement. Generally, the machines had 9/5 tables.

Notable machines VP at Mystic include:

7/5 Double Double Bonus Poker : 95.7120% (94.4795% on 1 credit)

This game is crap. If you want to play it, play a machine that offers the free car bonus if you get a sequential AKQJT Royal Flush on max bet. The car is worth about $40,000 and you also get a prize of $4,000. Even as such, the return is still only 95.91%, and your chance of winning the grand prize is 1 in 3.75 million hands. One of the car jackpot banks also has Double Bonus 9/6/4 (96.58%) and 7/5 Jacks or Better (96.35%). Play those instead.

There is also a bank of machines that have different progressives for each suit. If the average of these progressives is $1,500 for Royal Flush (if the average ever becomes that high...), the percentage offering is 96.8140%.

There is an excessive abundance of Double Double Bonus Poker machines at Mystic. I think they are relying on their popularity. No matter what domination they are, they always pay the worst. (Except the progressives with large jackpots requiring you to reinterpret the strategies)

If you can play dollars, play the 8/5 Progressives instead.

6/5 Bonus Poker (96.87%)

This is the best quarters game I have found. The same pay table is found on dollar machines (there are better dollar machines), as well as one group of nickel machines ($1.00 max bet).

6/5 Triple Bonus Poker Plus (96.62%)

This one is a gem. There is one multi-domination machine in the whole casino that offers this game as a 5 cent, 5-credit max bet. That's a quarter a hand, and a $200 Royal Flush. Four Aces pays $60, four 2-4 pays $30, and four 5-K pays $12.50. Not bad for a quarter bet. In Minnesota. The machine is located in the far back right corner (in the non-smoking section). (Note the machine next to it offers awful 6/5 Double Double for the same quarter max bet deal!)

7/5 Triple Bonus Poker Plus (97.67%)

This game is available only in dollars, and has one of the closest payouts to 98%.

The best Jacks Machines are 8/5 and they are available in dollars or five dollars.

It just dawned on me that dollar Double Bonus poker may payout 9/6/5, which would make it the highest paying machine in the casino that I know of, aside from progressives.

There are several 5 cent Game Kings at Mystic. Only one bank of 6, however, has payouts that are the same as the quarter machines. The bank is located to the left of the bottom of the stairs in front of the main stage, by a bunch of other 25 cent video poker machines. Max bet on those nickel machines is $1.00, but for those of us who like to stretch our time pointlessly and indefinitely, it allows for smaller bets. These 6 machines are generally full during any hour that ends in PM. I call this "the graveyard shift" due to its dominating demographic.

There are also 5 cent Game Kings in the far right back corner of the Casino in the non-smoking section (left of the buffet). There are 8 old clunkers with crappy payouts. Also, that corner has 10 new flashy multi-domination Game Kings in that area against the wall. Because they also offer quarter and dollar bets, these machines have the same crappy nickel payouts as the other clunkers in the non-smoking area: 6/5 Jacks, 6/5 Double Double, and some awful version of bonus poker that pays 1 credit for Two Pairs.

I believe the deuces at Mystic are 25/16/13/4/3 (96.77%). I don't think they are available in anything other than nickels and quarters. I'll try to see if I can find a 97.97% machine.

Mystic also has two 100 Play machines that you can play any number of hands on for 1, 2, or 5 cents each. These are located between left of the main entrance and the "Mystic Jackpot!" 2 cent slot machines where an announcer is constantly screaming "Join the madness!" Various multi-hand machines and a few Multi-Strikes are located throughout the casino.

I attribute the awful payouts on quarters to the fact that there is little room to encourage people to use dollar machines for higher payouts since the max they can offer for anything is 98%. There are progressive $5 machines, but those royals range in the mid $20Ks. The only $5 machine I think is worth playing is an antique 7/5 Jacks or Better machine located in the far back left corner. It has a pretty bubble glass over the screen and runs on 5 dollar tokens! And is a big rip-off!
jakesorbetter
jakesorbetter
Joined: Feb 9, 2011
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February 15th, 2011 at 12:00:47 AM permalink
I read on a post yesterday that MN progressives are allowed to exceed 98%, which I hadn't known previously. Last night I was at Mystic Lake today and I saw they had a $1 progressive 8/5 Double Double Bonus machine with a $8,700+ 5-credit jackpot. There was a woman who was smart enough to play that particular machine for a couple of hours, but not smart enough to bet 5-credits. Whatever. I used the Wizard analyzer and determined the return was 99.49%, which is much more than I ever expected to find in Minnesota. The machine would reach 100% at $9,515.

For an interesting challenge, I decided to figure out the strategy for the game. $5 per hand is beyond my bankroll, but perhaps someone out there can swing it.

$1 8/5 Progressive Double Double Bonus (99.49% return)

Royal Flush..........8700
Straight Flush........250
Four Aces w/234..2000
Four 234 w/A234...800
Four Aces.............800
Four 234...............400
Four 5-K...............250
Full House..............40
Flush.....................25
Straight.................20
Three of a Kind......15
Two Pairs...............5
Jacks or Better........5

I generated a strategy on vpgenius.com, deciphered it, and condensed it as concisely as possible. Even with the generator, you still have to sort through a huge pile

of hands. Since there are so many rules, decided to separate plays into criteria categories. Basically, find the first category that applies to your hand, then go down

that categories list and find your hand. If you don't find your hand, look for it in a lower ranking category. I apologize for any errors.

1. Dealt Straights and Flushes
Royal Flush
Straight Flush
4 to a Royal Flush
Straight or Flush

2. Four of a Kinds
Hold kicker or redraw 5th card

3. Dealt Full Houses vs. Three of a Kinds
Three Aces
Full House
Three of a Kind (Except Aces)

4. 3 to a Royal vs. 4 to a Straight Flush
(break a dealt Jacks or Better for any of these hands)
4 to a Straight Flush (No Gap or Ace)
4 to a Straight Flush (9-JKQ)
3 to a Royal (No Gap or Ace)
4 to a Straight Flush (With Gap or Ace)
3 to a Royal (With Gap or Ace)

5. Dealt Jacks or Better
Two Aces
Two Pair (No Aces)
High pair (J,Q,K)

6. 4 to a Straight or Flush vs. Low Pairs
4 to a Flush (2 Royals or Less)
Pair of 2,3,4
4 to a Straight (No Gap AND any High Cards)
Pair 5 thru 10
4 to a Straight (No Gap OR any High Cards)

7. Holding 2 to a Royal
3 to a Straight Flush (9 thru Q with Gap)
2 suited J, Q, or K
Unsuited JQKA
Suited A with J, Q, or K
Suited TJ
Unsuited JQK
Suited T with Q or K
*Suited TA at $8900+

8. Scraps
3 to a Straight Flush (No Gaps)
3 to a Straight Flush (with Ace OR Jack)
4 to a Straight (8 thru Q or 9 thru K with Gap) (no suited High Cards)
3 to a Straight Flush (1 Gap or containing a J, Q, or K)
1 Ace (discard suited Ten, unsuited 234, or 2 unsuited J, Q, or K)
*Hold a suited Ten at $8900+
2 unsuited J, Q, or K
1 J, Q, or K (Discard unsuited 7,8,9 when holding a Jack)
3 to a Straight Flush (2 Gaps and no High Cards)
4 to a Straight (Gap and No High Cards)
mkl654321
mkl654321
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
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February 15th, 2011 at 12:05:17 AM permalink
The variance on this game must be through the roof. If you do hit the royal, hooray, but if you don't, you'll get torched. If you don't get at least an average number of quads, you could bleed out before you knew what hit you. I don't think I'd play this game even if it went positive--it could so easily be a monetary black hole.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
jakesorbetter
jakesorbetter
Joined: Feb 9, 2011
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February 15th, 2011 at 7:04:33 AM permalink
Thank you for pointing that out. I am quite unfamiliar with the mathematics of variance, as well as the relevance of a progressive jackpot on a machine you only play for an afternoon.

While it is obvious to me that Double Double Bonus relies on 4 of a Kinds as opposed to Two Pairs, it didn't occur to me that the Flush and Full House payments thereby become even more crucial to sustenance.

The variance on this game? 119.786 - as you said, through the roof. I guess my question then becomes, what requirements do you have for a Double Double Bonus machine, and how much of a cut to that is it worth to you to play a progressive?

8/5 is the best payout offered at Mystic for Double Double Bonus, and is only available in dollars. DDB is generally the worst return table available at the casino at any denomination, so spotting this more-than-doubled jackpot machine offered more relevance to the game. I suppose the best advice I could be given at Mystic is to play for fun and don't invest too much money.
rdw4potus
rdw4potus
Joined: Mar 11, 2010
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February 15th, 2011 at 7:31:51 AM permalink
Mystic and Treasure Island both have 8/5 JOB on at least a couple machines (97.3%, lower variance). At Mystic, there are two $1 8/5 machines in the triangular VP collection between the Promenade Stage and the cashier by the bus entrance and the game is also on a handful of the flat-top multi-game machines (the rest have 7/5). TI has a $.25 8/5 JOB progressive machine that is located between the buffet entrance and the cashiers cage (it's one of 3 machines surrounding a structural support pole). Generally at TI, the "Island Poker" machines have better paytables than the other available VP machines.

The Ho-Chunk in Baraboo, WI and Diamond Jo in Worth, IA both have 8/6 JOB and Ugly Ducks DW paytables. I think Ho Chunk also has 9/5 Jacks, but I'm less sure about that. I think the St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake, WI will also have better-than-MN paytables, but I haven't been there in years and have no first-hand experience there. That's a pretty drive from Minneapolis through the Chisago lakes area - maybe I'll drive over this weekend and report back.
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
jakesorbetter
jakesorbetter
Joined: Feb 9, 2011
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February 15th, 2011 at 10:17:13 AM permalink
Thanks so much for the tip about the 8/5 Jacks or Better progressive quarter machine at Treasure Island! I played nickles at St. Croix in Turtle Lake. It was 6/5 Jacks, and the max bet was either 40 or 100. I didn't look at the quarter ones because I only had $20 when I was there.

Gosh, you'd drive all the way out to Baraboo so you can check the pay tables for us? That's very kind of you. I think I should do a tour of the midwest and *research* all of the video poker tables... Just joking with you, but if you're anything like me...
rdw4potus
rdw4potus
Joined: Mar 11, 2010
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February 15th, 2011 at 10:57:11 AM permalink
Quote: jakesorbetter

Thanks so much for the tip about the 8/5 Jacks or Better progressive quarter machine at Treasure Island! I played nickles at St. Croix in Turtle Lake. It was 6/5 Jacks, and the max bet was either 40 or 100. I didn't look at the quarter ones because I only had $20 when I was there.

Gosh, you'd drive all the way out to Baraboo so you can check the pay tables for us? That's very kind of you. I think I should do a tour of the midwest and *research* all of the video poker tables... Just joking with you, but if you're anything like me...



There's not a chance I'd drive all the way to Baraboo for you:-P But I'll go to Turtle Lake this weekend. I want to go to the new (is it still the Hole in the Wall?) casino in Danberry, WI so I'll make a big loop. I also have a $15 match play to use at Running Aces and like $3 in freeplay at Grand Casino Hinckley, so I'll probably stop at 4 places total...
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
RonDiaz
RonDiaz
Joined: Jun 26, 2010
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February 15th, 2011 at 11:14:33 AM permalink
I'm near DBQ IA I can get those for you if anyone is interested...nothing much good since Mystique pillaged the Pick'Em Poker a couple years back.

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