7 Highly Common Mistakes Video Poker Gamblers Make

Video poker is one of the casino games that ignited my passion for gambling. I loved the element of strategy involved from the first time I sat down to play.

I’d been playing video poker for years when I stumbled upon an article detailing how to make a profit playing video poker. That simple post buried deep in an online forum changed my life in many ways.

Sadly, I seem to be in the overwhelming minority regarding my love for video poker. The best games are more challenging to find than in the past, and you rarely see new gamblers getting excited about the game.

I can attribute much of that to the simple fact that many players don’t realize they can make money playing the game. If you’re a newbie and want to tackle the possibly lucrative field of video poker, I’m going to give you the top 7 blunders made by video poker players.

1 – Playing Games They Don’t Know

Video poker is fantastic when you play the best games and know what you’re doing. Let’s focus on the fact that many players sit down and start playing without any knowledge of the game.

One of the biggest blunders made by casino gamblers is playing games they don’t understand. Video poker has a low house edge, making it excellent for novice gamblers.

However, you can’t expect to see anything other than mediocre returns without knowing how to play. In reality, when you play games that you don’t understand, you lose.

The losses pile up fast since you’re playing without any sound strategy. It would be best if you never played any game you don’t know well.

Fortunately, video poker is a simple game to learn for anybody. There aren’t as many books being published as there were in the past, but you still have plenty of great alternatives for learning video poker.

The best place for beginners to learn any casino game is the internet. You can read all the online content you need to understand the game.

Still, the most valuable tool players have for learning to play video poker is a free play online. Practicing the game for free gives you an ample opportunity to play the game exactly as it’s played in the casino without leveraging your bankroll.

2 – Playing for Fun Instead of Profit

I understand the mindset of the vast number of casino guests who gamble purely for entertainment. Casinos are designed to be fun, and every aspect of casino gaming offers an intense level of excitement.

However, several considerations need to be made when choosing how you gamble. Video poker offers something scarce for casino games.

The game gives players a legit shot at making a profit. The house advantage disappears when a player can utilize the correct strategy on a video poker game.

Players who enjoy playing video poker should immediately start looking for ways to turn the edge in their favor. Casino gambling will drain on your bankroll time after time, but it doesn’t mean you can’t win.

Besides, if you’re playing for the most entertainment, video poker is often secluded in nature. You won’t get the immense social vibe you find with many table games.

That will negate a lot of the entertainment that many gamblers are searching for in the casino. So, video poker isn’t the most exciting casino game from that standpoint, either. I encourage you to learn the best ways to play video poker and stop unnecessarily leaving money at the casino.

3 – Completely Ignoring the Best Strategy

If you plan to play video poker for profit, that will require the correct strategy. Even recreational players are doing themselves a tremendous disservice by ignoring the best system.

Video poker allows you to make the best play every time because the deck remains consistent. That’s important on a game that pays out based on the strength of your hand.

Strategy charts are readily available, and you can use the strategy card while you play the game. To get the best results, you must make the correct play on every hand.

That takes away a degree of the entertainment element for some players. If the player begins making plays based on anything but strategy, the house edge goes up.

The house advantage is so minute in video poker that any variance from the best strategy will significantly impact your results. If you’re completely ignoring the best strategy, you’re wasting money.

It’s possible that you never knew you could sustain a profit from playing video poker, but now you know. Please don’t waste the opportunity by trying to guess your way to profitability; it won’t work.

4 – Playing While Being Distracted by Other Factors

Let’s assume that you’re well informed and understand the importance of strategy. The major obstacle for many becomes staying focused.

Whether you’re playing video poker online or in a brick-and-mortar casino, the problem facing many gamblers is distractions. It’s easy to make this blunder, and I’m often guilty of playing while distracted.

In land-based casinos, there’s constant action going on around you. Due to the solitaire nature of video poker, it’s easy to want to see and feel a part of what’s going on around the casino.

Playing online isn’t any less of a distraction for some of us. Many players will have the radio going or watch television while playing.

Unfortunately, trying to remember the name of a band or becoming invested in a movie can be more of a distraction than the casino. Sometimes, it seems like every car driving down my street pulls my attention away from my game.

Set yourself up for success by learning to eliminate distractions and focus solely on your primary task. Every distraction is a potential mistake, and as a gambler, that equals money being lost.

5 – Overlooking the Differences Between Video Poker Variants

Video Poker LogoVideo poker and slot machines appear to have more in common than they do. Still, one thing that the games share is the variety of games.

Video poker doesn’t have as many different game choices as slot machines. Yet, the differences in video poker make an even more significant impact.

The different video poker games come with their own best practices and pay tables. The latter means that the best play on one game may be entirely wrong for another.

Many gamblers falsely assume that all video poker games in a casino are the same. That costs players money and results in higher losses.

Stop making this common blunder by learning the different video poker variations and matching the correct video poker strategy to your game.

Another helpful tactic is to do some reconnaissance online. You can find the exact video poker variations offered by the casino you’re visiting and match the strategy card accordingly.

6 – Forgetting to Earn Comps While Playing

I’ll never understand why such a high number of casino gamblers refuse to take two minutes and sign up for the rewards program. The casinos offer these loyalty programs and reward players with gifts based on how much they play.

You can earn everything from free meals to trips by playing enough. Since you may have a positive expectation of video poker, the casino may be rewarding you for winning.

The rate that players earn comps playing video poker varies, but some casinos still reward play on video poker the same as slot machines. In these instances, you’re going to offset a lot of your losses with casino freebies.

When you earn something as seemingly insignificant as a free meal, that’s money that isn’t coming out of your wallet. In my book, that’s as good as a $20 bill.

Sign up for the casino’s loyalty program upon arrival and use the card every time you play a game. When you start earning free rooms, you’re only a few steps away from getting cashback.

7 – Not Finding the Games With the Highest Pay Table

Jacks or Better Pay Table SampleThe biggest blunder facing video poker players revolves around the pay table. I’ve covered the importance of playing the best games and using proper strategies.

Sadly, none of that is of much use to players that don’t find the games with the highest pay tables. Video poker pays out based on your hand’s strength.

The better the hand, the more money you stand to make. Some games will pay players for jacks or better, but others start with three of a kind.

Ultimately, it’s the higher end pay outs that matter the most long-term. Look at how the games pay for a royal flush and how the pay out varies according to your wager.

In most cases, you’ll find that playing max credits is the best option based on the bonus for a royal flush. You need to understand the pay tables and how they affect your bottom line to become a profitable video poker player.


Video poker is one of only four activities in any casino where you can make a long-term profit. So, if you’re tired of getting slapped around by the house advantage, the game is directly in your wheelhouse.

The top 7 blunders made by video poker players are stopping scores of gamblers from realizing their full potential. Avoid these video poker pitfalls, and you could completely revolutionize how you view casinos.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …

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