CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Ask The Slot Expert

29 March 2001

Dear John,

On my last stay in Vegas, my wife and I started getting into the video poker play. I looked for 9/6 Jacks or Better. Unfortunately the best I found was 8/5. It was fun, but I definitely would like to hone in on some basic strategies to improve my odds.

Any advice or suggestions for material would be appreciated.

Congratulations on giving video poker a try. It's the best game on the slot floor because you can tell a machine's long-term payback with skilled play just by looking at its paytable.

And congratulations on looking for 9/6 Jacks machines. Unfortunately, not every casino has them.

An 8/5 Jacks machine pays back about 97.5%. And it takes about 100,000 hands for the differences in paytables between 9/6 Jacks and 8/5 Jacks to have a greater effect on your results than randomness. And at a house edge of 2.5%, you're bucking about the same edge as the average blackjack player. You're better off trying to find 9/6 Jacks or another high-paying paytable, but 8/5 Jacks isn't the worst bet in the casino.

Frank Scoblete's Victory at Video Poker has detailed strategies for different video poker games. Another good book is Lenny Frome's Winning Strategies for Video Poker. I also recommend strategy cards from Dan Paymar (www.vegasplayer.com/vpinfo/video-poker.html) and Bob Dancer (www.greatstuff4gamblers.com), and Bob Dancer Presents WinPoker software (www.greatstuff4gamblers.com) for practicing on your Windows computer.

Here is a generic Jacks or Better strategy you can use. Start at the top and work your way down the list. Hold the cards indicated or follow the instruction on the first line that applies to your hand.

  • Break everything but a straight flush for a 4-card royal flush.
  • Hold a pat hand.
  • 4-card straight flush (outside and inside).
  • 3-card royal flush.
  • 4-card flush.
  • 4-card straight (inside and outside).
  • Pair of low cards.
  • 3-card straight flush (if double inside, must have at least one high card).
  • 2-card royal flush (but not ace-ten).
  • 3 unsuited high cards (if one is an ace, hold only the other two cards).
  • 2 unsuited high cards.
  • 1 high card.
  • 3-card double inside straight flush with no high cards.
  • Draw 5 new cards.

For Jacks or Better, a high card is a jack, queen, king, or ace. All other cards are low cards.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos!
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@home.com.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots by John Robison
Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots