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Video Poker How to determine a good machine

Discussion in 'Video Poker Forum' started by Dan Paymar, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. Dan Paymar

    Dan Paymar Active Member Founding Member

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    With thousands of video poker machines around, what makes one a "good" machine? You'll hear comments such as "That one just hit a jackpot" or "Those machines stink. No one is hitting anything." Are these helpful in selecting a machine? I think most people on these forums would say "no," but how would you decide whether a particular machine is "good"?

    Here are my criteria for a good machine:
    1. It has a favorable payoff table. This is by far the most important. The other factors I list below are at least partially subjective, so you may order them differently.
    2. It is a slant top. Slant tops are easier to play for long periods than uprights or bar machines.
    3. The buttons work well.
    4. There are no heavy smokers close by, especially cigar smokers.
    5. The stool is comfortable.
    6. There are no overhead lights glaring on the screen.
    7. There are no excessively noisy reel slots close by.

    Notice there is no mention of hot or cold machines or similar comments. One time many years ago I went into the Skyline casino which had a lot of FPDW.At that time, all the machines were coin droppers, and most were uprights. It was very busy, but surprisingly there was one 25c FPDW slant top open. As I started to sit down, I found out why it was available. The guy at the adjacent machine said to me, "That one just hit the deuces." I mumbled something like "That proves they're in there," dropped in five quarters, and it DEALT me four deuces. The guy that warned me carefully ignored it as the machine very noisily counted up 1000 credits.

    So select a machine objectively, not by comments of others.
     
    Mark V and VegasGalPoker like this.
  2. Frank Kneeland

    Frank Kneeland Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    Good advice Dan. I was thinking of that story from my book about the change girl at Sam's Town. But that's too long to restate here...
     
  3. VegasGalPoker

    VegasGalPoker Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    Dan, I agree with you, 100% on what makes a good machine. I, of course add...don't look at the paytable. Joke, fellas, joke.
     
  4. Dan Paymar

    Dan Paymar Active Member Founding Member

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    It's undeniable that Rob Singer would agree completely with what you say was a joke. I don't think such comments are appropriate in this forum, joke or not. Safety is the only thing that is more important than a play's total expected return, including player's club and any other side benefits, calculated with sound mathematics, and it's extremely rare that safety is a concern in a casino.
     
  5. VegasGalPoker

    VegasGalPoker Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    Hanging my head in shame
     
  6. Mark V

    Mark V Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    I would add:
    8. Not in a high traffic isle way.

    Some casinos stick the VP machines right at the corners where a high traffic isle way is.
     
  7. Dan Paymar

    Dan Paymar Active Member Founding Member

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    Small islands can be very crowded, but where is there a VP machine on an isle? Sorry, Mark, I couldn't resist. I agree that it's good to avoid a high traffic aisle.
     

  8. Nathan Detroit

    Nathan Detroit Well-Known Member Founding Member

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    Video poker is a game of skill 9/6 JOB or 8/5 Bonus poker.
     
  9. Frank Kneeland

    Frank Kneeland Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    Sad to see this thread knowing that Dan is no longer with us. To stay in keeping with Dan's mantra it's worth nothing that 9/6 JoB is a good game 99.54% with accurate play and yes that requires skill. 8/5 Bonus Poker is 99.2% but they are NOT positive games with nothing tacked on.

    One of the last things I played and hit was an 8/5 BoPo $1 progressive up to $11,800. The cost is about $5600 before points rebate, so that was a HUGE overlay.

    Last year I also played quarter 9/6 JoB, but wait:

    1. .8% card value
    2. Progressive rest to $1250 +.6%
    3. .25% Meter-Rise
    4. Bingo Card for all 4K when filled (1-wild-card) = $200 = +1%
    5. Every 4K = Drawing Ticket + 50 Tickets for RF (Drawing for $1500) = +.5%

    So even when the RF was reset the machines were about a 2.6% edge which is roughly $33 an hour playing 1000 hands an hour. The one catch was you did have to stop for 4K and since you had to stop I could not play two machines like I normally would, since that would cause me to play off the 4K's. When I play two I don't look at what cards come in after I hold them. I've tried to modify my style but it's too ingrained.
     
  10. Frank Kneeland

    Frank Kneeland Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    I just wanted to make sure everyone understood that skill is required to play at maximum EV for a game, however playing a 99.54% GAME perfectly will still only get you up to 99.54% without anything extra.

    I did know a guy that learned flawless 8/5 JoB strategy (FLAWLESS) and couldn't understand why he was losing money. He was playing non-progressives machines with $4000 RF JP.

    For some odd reason he missed the memo on the RF needing to be over $9000 and thought accurate play was all that was required to beat the game. Accurate play is required to get MAXIMUM value for your time, but it's not the end of the story.

    Caveat: When Red Edwards morphed his slot team into a VP team he did not train his players in VP strategy partially because he did not know correct strategy. So instead of playing 8/5 JoB at $11,000 like our team did, he simply waited for $16,000 to account for errors. This resulted in him getting far less plays than we did, but he still made good money. Obviously, a higher progressive is better and more money, but that is counter-balanced by the fact that the higher numbers are less common. I actually have an equation in my book to find the sweet-spot which is like Kelly-criterion for VP.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  11. Nathan Detroit

    Nathan Detroit Well-Known Member Founding Member

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    Getting enough Four of a kind is very rewarding. Always getting my share of them.
     
  12. Frank Kneeland

    Frank Kneeland Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    You would have liked the "Blue Meeny" It was a 6-coin RAPID 5-WAY but instead of the RF, SF, 4K, FH, and FL being the progressives, it put all the money on Bonus Quads. You got paid only on 5-coins for normal hands which is like saying you were tossing a quarter over your shoulder every hand. The short term loss was mean...hence the name.

    However: Each hand
    4K 5-K + 9cents
    4K 2-3-4 + 7.5cents
    Aces + 5.5cents

    There were only two that I ever found, one at the OLD Bally's and one out at Stateline Nevada. I played several generic 4K's in the Hundreds and 2-3-4's over $450. I once saw the aces pass the Royal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  13. Nathan Detroit

    Nathan Detroit Well-Known Member Founding Member

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    Money is being lost by going after the full Royal Flush . Greed kills more than one bankroll .
     
    mr j likes this.
  14. jbs

    jbs Well-Known Member

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    Those greedy casinos never close and have the advantage 99.9999999999% of the time against most players. Their bankrolls are doing just fine.
     

  15. Frank Kneeland

    Frank Kneeland Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    Honestly the Royal-Flush is just another hand. The trick is simply if it's higher than the amount you'd expect to lose to get it.

    Think single die: You get paid if you roll a 6 and lose the rest of the time.

    If that bet pays less than 6 to 1 it's bad.

    If it pays MORE than 6 to 1 it's good.

    Don't over think it. VP is not as easy to calculate as a die. It is however exactly the same math.

    Probability x Pay - cost = EV
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  16. Nathan Detroit

    Nathan Detroit Well-Known Member Founding Member

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    Playing VP since 1985 being coached by one of the in the BEST there is I know how the cookie crumbles .


    My guru was the author of 16 had cover books of casino gambling .


    His book on roulette 406 pages .
     
    mr j likes this.
  17. Frank Kneeland

    Frank Kneeland Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    I'm not quite sure who you are referring to, but just be carful. There's a lot of bad information out there.

    One way to separate the wheat from the chaff that I've found useful is to distinguish between the process, the conclusions, and the results.

    If I tell you the answer is 4, that's bad information. If I tell you 2+2 = 4 that's far more useful and could come in handy.

    Charlton's never tell you how they come up with their systems.

    Also, anyone that overstates their results and how they are doing should generally be avoided. There are exceptions.

    If you've been exposed to good information you should be able to take that knowledge and re-run the process of discovery and get the same results.

    Scientific Method -101
     
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  18. Nathan Detroit

    Nathan Detroit Well-Known Member Founding Member

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    Mr. Kneeland,

    I am taking care not revealing this sources name . Good advice too.


    All his books are copyright .
     
    mr j likes this.
  19. Frank Kneeland

    Frank Kneeland Active Member Lineage to Founders

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    On the subject of re-running the process. I remember when I started with the VP team and was taught "strategy" almost immediately I started asking the manager how they made the strategy. He said, "you don't need to know that. Just play the way we showed you."

    I kept pestering him as that didn't satisfy me and one day he gave in and showed me some basic card math. I was so excited to finally understand after he left I spent a whole day checking various hands. The next day I showed him what I had done and he was really impressed. I was later put in charge of new strategy creation.

    Over the next year I learned how they calculated game return as well and did the very first analysis of NSUD.

    My point was I was never going to be happy as a Pro-VP player using strategies someone else made without knowing how they made them and being at least able to do it myself.
     
  20. Nathan Detroit

    Nathan Detroit Well-Known Member Founding Member

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    Math is not involved . What would you keep Q D J S ? another K S J H?


    Very s easy .
     

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