The House always wins, right? No – not necessarily.
Last link update Feb 2018
Play videopoker online and enjoy 100%-plus expected returns
Bridge players have every right to feel superior to casino regulars when it comes to tactics. No amount of skill, informed judgement or experience can overcome the odds when it comes to the vast majority of games laid on at land–based or online casinos. Only those venturing into the world of multi-player poker get to find out what it’s like to make serious profits from their own abilities and even make enough to live on.
It’s hardly surprising, though. After all, the games commonly found in any casino are not rake-based. They therefore need to make their operators a regular profit or they won’t be able to pay their overheads.
Casino visitors both on and offline are used to this deal – the house gets enough of an edge to make a workable profit and they get to enjoy the occasional decent night on the gaming floor, with the possibility of finishing the evening better off.
There is, though, one exception to all this that the average bridge player probably won’t be aware of – and that’s videopoker.
You may have seen these machines on casino floors, in amusement arcades or motorway service stations and probably never gave them a second thought. They don’t come with flashy cabinet designs and won’t offer you entertainment based on the latest superhero movies – but they’re not about to go out fashion any time soon.
Videopoker was devised in the mid-1970s for two reasons:
Firstly, many potential table game players were frightened off by the perceived protocol of playing live. Turning up to a roulette or blackjack game in full swing can be quite understandably intimidating if you don’t know the rules (though in fact there’s nothing to be frightened of).
Secondly the technology to make cabinet-based poker games was made possible by then with the availability of the solid-state circuitry needed.
Don’t assume that videopoker bears any real resemblance to Texas Hold ‘Em or any of its derivatives – it’s more akin to the casino poker games played against the house like Three Card Poker or Casino Hold ‘Em. These, like videopoker, are played against the house and offer a stated RTP figure (return to player), that tells you what you can expect to typically get back for every £100 wagered.
There are all sorts of videopoker variations, but the principle is always the same
You’re dealt five random cards and are then asked to make a bet. You can then opt to discard one or more of the cards, and your eventual hand will win according to a payout table if it’s good enough. There’s no house hand to beat – you’re just paid according to how well you do with your own hand, but the payout tables vary between games.
This is where videopoker gets interesting. The tables are set up to give RTP figures that are well in excess of the payback you can expect from a standard live casino table game. This might seem like madness on behalf of the casino operators, but the simple fact is that the vast majority of players don’t take videopoker games seriously as they’re lumped together with the slots away from the tables. They also don’t play optimally.
Playing optimally is something players of blackjack and other games often do. They know the very best response to any situation, but being a more casual game videopoker doesn’t tend to be treated the same way. The games consequently make decent profits for the casinos that offer them – even when the expected returns are in excess of 100%, which on some games they are.
Any videopoker game with a 100%-plus RTP figure will have the word ‘bonus’ in its title, so if you want to make regular profits at the casino’s expense all you need to do is find a bonus videopoker game, Google yourself an appropriate strategy card (there are plenty out there), and get cracking.
You’ll find plenty of casinos that offer these types of games at Nodeposit.com (not currently available), who will even give you free cash to play with. Gambling without parting with a penny on games that are guaranteed to make you long term profits is about as good as it gets on the web, so why not make sure you’re one of those ‘in the know’ and start profiting at the casinos’ expense?