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HOME > HI-ROLLER > Gaming Tips > How video poker machines work

How video poker machines work

14 October 2017

By Jerry Stickman


I have been meaning to ask this question for a long time. When playing video poker, are the draw cards stacked behind the discarded cards or are they the next cards to be dealt? For example, I am dealt K, K, K, 4 and 7. I discard the 4 and the 7. Are the next cards to be played behind the 4 and the 7 already or will the next two cards played be the next cards in the deck?


Hi Donald:

Several decades ago, video poker machines worked exactly as you first indicated. However, this is no longer the case.

The random number generator in a video poker machine is constantly running. When you originally hit the deal button (or the play max credits button), the status of the random number generator – at that instant – is used to generate the initial five cards dealt.

The random number generator continues to cycle as you press the hold buttons for the three kings. When you press the draw button, the random generator – at that instant – is used to select the two cards to replace the discarded 4 and 7.

Many years ago a couple of video poker players performed very meticulous observations of video poker play. Over time they were able to start detecting patterns in the cards that were dealt. They were ultimately able to use this information to make quite a haul.

It took a while but the casinos and game manufacturers ultimately were able to determine how they did it. By initially dealing all 10 cards, these sharp players could tell all 10 cards by the appearance of the first five.

In order to eliminate this loophole, the game manufacturers changed how the video poker games worked. That method has continued to this day.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and tiny.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He authored the video poker section of Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker! You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerry@aol.com.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

Jerry Stickman
Jerry  Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

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