9/6 JACKS OR BETTER VIDEO POKER TUTORIAL Quest for the Royal Flush! Video Poker Master Class Ep 4
Note: A complete 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker strategy is pinned to the top of the “comments” section below. In this and future video tutorials, I will “teach through play.” The hands I play will be entirely random and not “set up” in any way. Win or lose, you will see every hand I happen to get dealt. Nothing will be edited out; no cheating!
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It is a fact; it is inevitable: most forms of casino gambling are designed to take your money, and eventually, the “house” is destined to separate you from your hard-earned cash. However, a handful of expert video poker players know how to stack the odds in their favor and actually give themselves an advantage over the “house.” Yes…certain forms of video poker are beatable over the long-term. If you give yourself enough time to overcome the short-term variance, diligently follow my advice, and employ proper strategies, I can practically GUARANTEE that you will become a long-term winner.
One way to “beat the house” is to keep your eyes open for hard-to-find, higher than normal progressive jackpots. Usually, a progressive video poker jackpot will reset at $1,000 on quarters, and $4000 on dollars after it gets hit, but if a machine goes long enough without delivering a Royal Flush, occasionally the jackpot can get high enough to make a machine temporarily over 100% EV (expected value)…and in rare cases…A LOT over 100% EV. These likely will be discussed further in future videos. But the problem with chasing these jackpots should be obvious: you never know where they might be, they are hard to find, and you can waste a lot of time looking for them. Even if you happen to know about a large jackpot…it might get hit by someone else before you get there or shortly thereafter.
Another way to “beat the house” is to watch for generous casino promotions, some of them temporary, some of them offered on a regular basis. The savvy player can often turn these promotions into a worthwhile advantage for himself, even if the casino does not offer any “over 100% return” games to play. The player would simply do a little research and find out what machines in the casino have the best EV, and then add in the casino promotion’s EV to the machine’s EV to find out if he can come up with a winner. 9/6 Jacks or Better will often be the highest EV video poker that the casino offers. So if that is the case, then 9/6 Jacks or Better’s 99.5% pay schedule will be used to calculate whether or not a casino’s promotion is worthwhile.
For example, say a casino’s club card pays 0.2% cashback for your play and 9/6 Jacks or Better is the best paying machine. Add the 99.5% EV of Jacks or Better to the 0.2% club card and you come up with 99.7%. Close…but obviously not worthwhile because it is still an overall loser. However, say they have a weekly promotion of paying 10x points on Thursdays? Now your EV is 99.5% + (10x 0.2%), or 101.5%: that might be worth a play! On quarters at a conservative pace of 800 hands per hour, your EV would be about $15 per hour. Not enough to get rich, obviously, but not too bad for doing something you enjoy doing anyway. But now…what if the game was offered in dollars? Now you’re looking at a whopping EV of about $60 per hour! That is just the type of “advantage play” for which video poker experts are on the lookout.
Despite what some so-called “experts” say… ALWAYS play with a casino club card if one is available. You’re just giving away “free money” if you don’t! Many casinos send out special monthly mailers with free goodies and/or promotions to their frequent slot players. Much of the time these juicy promotions will only be available to the players that receive these mailers. So peruse these casino mailers carefully; they definitely should not be looked at as junk mail. You’ll likely find some promotion(s) that offer HUGE advantages! And every once in a while you might even get a free toaster or waffle iron…and who would want to miss out on something like that?
This is what you are looking for: the pay schedule (in coins) on a standard 5-coin max 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker machine is as follows:
ROYAL FLUSH: 4000
STRAIGHT FLUSH: 250
4 OF A KIND: 125
FULL HOUSE: 45
3 OF A KIND: 15
2 PAIR: 10
JACKS OR BETTER: 5
If your machine has different max coins, just make certain that the ratios are the same. For example, on a 10-coin machine, the payouts should be exactly double.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE THAT YOU ARE PLAYING THE PROPER PAY SCHEDULE! Differences that can appear to be trivially small to novice players can cause catastrophic differences to your EV. For example, there is a variant of Jacks or Better that has the same pay schedule but only pays 5:1 for a flush instead of 6:1. This seemingly small difference makes for a 1.1% lower return, thus costing you approximately $11 per hour EV playing quarters, or $44 per hour playing dollars. Always make certain you are playing the correct pay schedule.