Video poker, like most things, has its pros and cons. This post is meant to take a look at the pros and cons of video poker in order to help people decide whether or not they should play. It’s not for everyone, and in fact, some games might be a better fit for your gambling style and/or temperament.
One of the pros of the game is that you don’t have to socialize with other people if you don’t want to. Like playing slots, it’s just you and the machine. On the other hand, if any of the players sitting near you like to socialize, you CAN make small talk, but most people who like video poker enjoy getting a little time to themselves. In that respect, it’s similar to solitaire.
Another pro is that it has a relatively high payback percentage. Most casino games offer a much higher edge to the house, but if you play well, even a short pay video poker game pays off better than most slot machines. The only downside is that to achieve these higher payback percentages, you have to make decisions.
The decision-making aspect is another perk. Many people prefer to have some control over the outcomes when they’re gambling. Like blackjack, video poker offers those people a chance to make decisions and exert a little bit of control over their destiny.
Of course, most of those perks and pros can also be cons and disadvantages. For example, if your primary purpose when gambling is to socialize and have a good time, you’ll probably have a lot more fun at a craps table or in the poker room. Those are social games in the extreme.
Having to make decisions might be a drawback for a certain personality type, too. If your primary goal is to relax, listen to pretty noises, and look at pretty pictures, all while enjoying the remote possibility of a life-changing jackpot, then slot machines are almost certainly a better fit for your goals.
The only pro to video poker that isn’t also a disadvantage is the high payout percentage. I can’t imagine that anyone’s goal when gambling is to lose their money as fast as possible. I suppose some people might have that as a goal, but my suggestion to them is to give that money to a charitable cause instead of to a casino. It’ll do a lot more good that way.