We all know that casinos are in the business of making money. As such, casino employees aren’t generally known to divulge industry secrets or any other information that might help players to gain an advantage over the house. That’s why I found it surprising when a paid blogger for a prominent online casino exposed that, by his research, video poker is beatable.
The post in question was written by Andrew Parsonson, a writer for the EuroPalace Blog. According to Parsonson, by choosing the right video poker game, using perfect play strategy, and basically knowing when to quit, a player can turn the traditional Jacks or Better Video Poker game’s miniscule 0.46% house edge, with a “reasonably stable 4.42 standard deviation”, to their advantage.
The author recommended using one of the many “play tables and hand by hand predictors” found all over the internet that strategically “allow a player to maximise their efforts with a formulaic perfect play strategy.” He noted that he used one of these programs to test the idea, but did not specifically mention which one.
Results of Video Poker Strategy Test
He demonstrated this theory by playing two video poker games, Double Bonus Poker and Aces and Faces, for exactly 100 hands each. Assuming his results were genuine, both sessions resulted in a profit, netting him +230 coins and +75 coins respectively. Likewise, his longest losing streaks were 8 hands (hand #53 to #60), and 7 hands (#4 to #10) long.
The results on Double Bonus Poker were considerably better, mostly thanks to 2 hands that he claims earned him 45-coin payouts.
According to Parsonson, this video poker strategy does rely on two key components, “adherence to the perfect play strategy and the length of play.” He insisted that, even during inevitable periods of consecutive losses, deviating from precision strategy is never recommended as it only serves to increase the house edge. As for length of play, he said the longer one plays, future hand predictions can complicate a player’s rate of success.
“With the set information and the correlating data collected, the long term projection of a 2,000-hand session displays a distinctive inverse bell curve,” explained Parsonson. “After an initial 200 to 300 hands of positive play, a player is likely to see a consistent dip all the way up to around the 1,500 hand mark. From that point there is a steep positive inclination all the way to the end of the 2,000-hand session. It is as a result, imperative that you take these session thresholds into account.”
He was sure to throw in a disclaimer at the closing of the post, elucidating the theoretical nature of his video poker strategy. Obviously, not everyone will experience a similar success rate, and as he noted, the system meant only to be a guide, not a “sound moneymaking scheme”.
My Turn to Test the Theory
Of course, having read what appeared to be a phenomenally successful video poker strategy, I had to test it out for myself. I decided to play 100 sessions of Jacks or Better Video Poker, since it is known to have one of the lowest house edges of any video poker game on the market.
I downloaded a basic ‘Video Poker Strategy’ app to my Samsung tablet to assist in perfect play. Unfortunately, my results weren’t quite as munificent as Mr. Parsonson’s, though I did come out with +4 credits thanks to a 9-coin payout on the 100th hand.
All in all, it would seem to me that a player’s chance of success is limited to luck and duration of play combined with bankroll availability. If you simply play until you’ve made a profit, you’re guaranteed to win, but if your bankroll runs dry before that happens… you see where this is going. Hence, there are never any guarantees in gambling.
I do think the theory deserves some credit though, and that any strategic video poker player could learn a thing or two from Mr. Parsonson’s advice. So long as you heed the disclaimer, it could result in some lucrative sessions at your favorite online casino.