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HOME > > Playing Different Denominations of Video Poker

Playing Different Denominations of Video Poker

6 August 2022

By Jerry Stickman

In previous decades, video poker machines had one game and one denomination, for example, Jacks or Better at 25-cents per credit.

In those days, play was straightforward.

1) Find a machine with the denomination that has your preferred game and suits your bankroll.
2) Verify the pay table is decent.
3) Play the game.

Those days are long gone.

Casinos today have a large collection of different types of video poker machines. Though rare, some single-game, single-denomination machines are still around. There are also single-denomination machines with several different games.

The majority, however, offer several different video poker games at several different denominations – 5-cent, 10-cent, 25-cent, and dollar for example.

Having so many choices can be confusing and cause problems. Some of these are described below.

The front glass on multiple-game machines may display a single game such as Jacks or Better when in reality a number of different games are available. Additionally, a non-Jacks or Better could already be selected to play.

A good friend of mine once sat down at a 25-cent, “Jacks or Better” labeled machine thinking it was his favorite game. Later he excitedly told me he hit four aces for a win of $200 on his quarter game. Without realizing it, he played Double-Double Bonus Poker, not Jacks or Better, and hit four aces with a deuce “kicker.”

He was (very) lucky he came out ahead. He was much more likely to lose more than he would on Jacks or Better because the return on this game was lower. He was also playing the wrong strategy.

Another example: simply sitting down at a machine that has your favorite game on the playing screen, inserting a $20 bill, and starting to play can also be expensive. If you play quarter games and the selected game is set at a dollar, you could very quickly lose the entire thing. It takes only four plays without a win on a dollar game to blow the $20, rather than 16 plays without a win on a quarter game.

On the flip side, if you think you are playing a dollar game and hit a four-of-a-kind – or an even higher-paying hand – your win will be considerably smaller than usual. That can be quite an emotional blow.

There are other issues.

• Returns for lower denominations can be, and regularly are, lower. A Jacks or Better game may have a 9/6 pay table at the dollar level but only 8/5 at the quarter level.

• Lower-denomination games can require more credits to trigger the royal flush “bonus” of 800-for-1 instead of 250-for-1. Rather than five credits that are standard at the quarter an higher levels, it may be 10 or even 20 credits at a dime or nickel level.

• In some cases, lower-denomination games require playing multiple hands which increases the cost per play. A five-hand dime game costs $2.50 per play. A single-hand quarter game costs only $1.25 per play.

While choices can be liberating, they also require knowledge and observation. If you choose to play a multiple-game, multiple-denomination machine, please observe the following advice.

• Make sure the game on the screen is the game you want to play.
• Check the selected denomination. Is it what you want?
• Check the number of credits required for the 800-for-1 pay on a royal flush.
• Make sure the cost per play for multiple-hand games is not more than a higher denomination single-hand game.
• Finally, check the entire pay table to make sure it is what you want.

By taking these steps, your video poker-playing experience will be more enjoyable, with no unexpected surprises (except, perhaps, a royal flush).

As always, may all your wins be swift and large, and your losses be slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. 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 stickmanjerryg@gmail.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" 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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