When Gaming at an Online Casino: Eschew Alcohol; Chew Gum

By Ben Hamill - July 14 2016

Last time we began a discussion about learning the nuances of correct play in video poker in order to even the playing field between the player and the house. Correct play in video poker or in any online casino game also involves maximizing the potential payout for a big win. So, before beginning your playing session, it behooves you tremendously to determine the expected payout of any video poker game you wish to play.

Always Get the Most for Your Bet

Casinos will use two techniques to lower the payout rate. These involve reducing payouts a coin or two on the lowest ranking winning hands such as one or two pair. Another way the house enhances its take is by keeping payouts for rarer hands at a minimum. This means flushes, full houses, or four of a kind and better.

Shop Around for the Best Payout Rates

You can always compare the pay table of the same game between casinos so you can get an idea which casino is paying less than the other. Even in the worst case scenario of free market online casinos, the payout rate for any video poker variation will rarely be below 97%.

Maximize Coins to Maximize Potential

It's also always best to play the highest number of coins allowed at the particular game. It's also necessary to know your budgetary limit. You stand to last longer and win more playing the maximum number of coins at a low minimum table than playing minimum coins at a higher table. This is because the big payouts for four of a kind or better hands grow dramatically if you've bet maximum coins. So, it's far better to play for $2.50 at a .50 minimum game than to play the same $2.50 as the minimum in a high roller game.

Set Both a Realistic Monetary Budget and a Realistic Time Budget

Setting a budgetary limit is as important for winning as it is for losing. Setting a time limit on your gaming session is also important. You probably play at night to relax. You also need enough sleep to function properly at work or with your family. The longer you play the less concentration you can bring to the game.

Also, if you're playing at home, you surely have domestic chores to do. Your self-esteem will have an effect on your gaming as well so if you need to do the dishes, by all means do so.

Eschew Alcohol; Chew Gum

As tempting as it is to have a drink whilst playing, it is best to keep alcohol consumption to a bare minimum, preferably zero whilst playing. It is not for humanitarian reasons that land-based casinos ply their players with alcohol. Your judgment becomes impaired quickly with alcohol. Your patience in using the strategy card wanes as your buzz takes over. Best to have fun playing online and then to kick back with a relaxing drink after the gaming is over.

Practice Free Online

One of the best reasons to play at an online casino is the ready availability of Practice Mode. You can play for free. Some online casinos do limit free play but most allow you to play long enough to get a good handle of the games.

Read Up about the Video Poker Games

Many online casinos have tutorials that can help you learn a new game quickly. Land-based casinos give you the rules; a tutorial should tell you some strategy so you can make reasoned decisions.

There are sites online that let you practice and then tell you what you did correctly and what your mistakes were.

Eliminate Distractions

When you play online, you are in far more control than at a land-based casino. The landed casinos have all manner of distractions: alcohol, noise, dinging pinging and ringing, women in skimpy garb, boisterous and drunk gamblers, smoke, announcements, flashing lights, screaming winners, and many more.

I usually play with just some soft music in the background. Heavy metal may be great for highway driving; it's less conducive to correct play at an online casino in a game where you have to constantly make decisions.

Play Online to Save Money for Other Things

We cannot underestimate the cost savings of playing online. The money you save not flying, not paying for restaurant food, not drinking in bars, not paying for a hotel room, not over-paying for a show at 2:00 in the morning, can go towards your gaming budget and, as we said earlier, playing for the maximum number of coins has the potential for a big payout, so transferring your casino travel budget to your online casino gambling can result in a big win coming your way!

As I said earlier, the payouts for free market online casinos exceed the payouts for Provincial casinos. Choose your online casino accordingly.

With so many variations of video poker, I recommend that you learn one or two very well. The more you use the strategy card, the better you'll know the correct play almost automatically.

I compare this to learning to drive a car. When you first get behind the wheel of a car, you look at everything and you think about everything you have to do. If you are learning on a stick shift car, you have to think about what your left leg is doing and what your right leg is doing.

When you play one video poker game that you know well, you will come to know automatically what the best play is in most situations similar to how you adjust as a new driver and stop thinking so much and just drive!

When you are so fully conversant with one video poker variant, you can go on to another. You'll never run out of variations!