Hi Jerry “Stickman”,
I normally play Jacks or Better video poker although I sometimes play Double Bonus Poker if the pay table is good enough. Sometime I have good streaks and sometimes I have very bad streaks. At times it seems I will never get anything higher than a high pair. I am thinking it might be better if I played a Hundred Play game as this should smooth out the variances.
What do you suggest?
Yes, video poker can be very “streaky.” I have gone about 800 hands between royal flushes (very good!) and I have also gone more than 200,000 hands between royals. I, too, have tried to come up with a way to smooth the variance curve even though I usually play Jacks or Better which has among the lowest variance of any video poker game.
Hundred Play video poker most commonly is a penny game. This means that each “play” will cost five cents at max credits times 100 hands for a total cost of $5 – the same as a $1 games at max credit. The thought of having 100 hands to spread the results over seems good on the surface. What is usually overlooked is each of the 100 hands starts with the same “held” cards. Sometimes these are fairly good such as three or four of a kind and the round is very profitable. But other times the starting hand is terrible (throw all five cards). This round will most likely cost the bankroll dearly. For this reason, 100-play games actually have a higher variance than their single play counterparts!
Also, if you happen to snag a royal or two when you save zero cards or one high card, the resultant pay is only $40. This is a far cry from the thrill of winning $4,000 on a dollar single play game. The only way you can get the same pay from 100-play is if you are dealt a royal. So 100-play not only increases variance, it reduces the occurrence of a royal flush-sized payoff.
Playing 100-play is not the answer to bankroll fluctuations. The only real answer is to have a larger enough gambling stake to ride you through the lean times.
May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and tiny.
Jerry “Stickman’s” new book is “Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker.” He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. In addition, Jerry “Stickman” along with his partner, #1 best-selling gaming author, Frank Scoblete gives private lessons in dice control. You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at email@example.com
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