Batman once said that criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot. I don’t know that gamblers are cowardly, but many of them are certainly superstitious. I like to think that video poker players are more rational and less superstitious than other gamblers, but even so, a post about the myths and superstitions surrounding video poker and slot machines makes sense.
Some of the nonsensical advice you’ll see about these games includes patent nonsense. For example, rumors abound that inserting coins instead of bills into a gambling machine will make it more likely to pay off. If I have to explain why this is an absurd belief to you, then you’re probably not going to listen to reason anyway. But, for the record, the random number generator that powers an electronic gaming device has no idea how you got your credits on the machine.
One myth that sounds like it might be accurate is that higher denomination machines are looser and pay out more than lower denomination machines. This might hold true in a very general sense for slot machines, but even then, there are always exceptions, and since you don’t have access to the RNG program, you’ll never know for sure.
With video poker machines, the denomination isn’t what affects the looseness or tightness of the machine. The pay table is what determines that. Recognizing an advantageous pay table on a video poker game is a skill every video poker player should develop, in fact. And it’s true that you’re more likely to find a good pay table on a higher-denomination machine than on a lower-denomination machine, but it’s possible to find a 7/5 Jacks or Better video poker game in the high roller area too.
The main thing to remember when reading or listening to advice related to video poker games is that the outcomes are determined according to a random number generator that simulates a 52 card deck. Any kind of advice about raising or lowering your bets based on your previous wins or losses is bogus, because that’s unrelated to the math behind the game. Advice that’s based on the odds of getting a certain hand or a certain card from a 52 card deck is probably good advice.
The best advice you’ll ever get about video poker is that you should learn to play on Jacks or Better machines first. Almost all video poker variations are based on that game, and once you understand it, you can go on to play any other video poker game intelligently. Look for a Jacks or Better game with a 9/6 pay table. That means that the full house pays off at 9 to 1 and a flush pays off at 6 to 1. You’ll find 8/5 and 7/5 machines, too, and if you absolutely must play, then 8/5 Jacks or Better still offers the casual gambler better odds than most slot machine games.