VIDEO POKER: RIGHT STRATEGY, WRONG GAME
Dunbar is a professional gambler with a strong mathematical background and a Ph. D. in biophysics. In 2005 he created his acclaimed software Dunbar's Risk Analyzer for Video Poker 1.0, which enables video poker players to assess risks and bankroll requirements for short- and long-term trips. Now Dunbar's Risk Analyzer for Video Poker 2.0 is available for about $20 from any of these fine establishments: http://www.shoplva.com/collections/video-poker/software, http://bj21.com/ads/dunbaar_ra_vp.html, and http://gamblersbookclub.com/DUNBAR-S-RISK-ANALYZER-FOR-VIDEO-POKER-689.html#.VlW_0HarTBQ.
Have you ever stumbled upon a good video poker promotion without having a chance to fully prepare? For example, you might be checking out a new casino and find that they are having a 10-times points day, and the base cashback is 0.25%. So you scout the machines and find that they not only have 9/5 Jacks or Better ("JOB"), but also 9/6 Double Double Bonus ("DDB"). You know that 9/5 JOB returns 98.45%, and you remember that 9/6 DDB is very close to 99% when played correctly. With 10-times points, the DDB game could be worth 102%. The only problem is this: You don't know how to play DDB. You play JOB like a champ, though. You wonder, am I better off playing the 99.45% JOB game or should I play DDB with my JOB strategy and hope I still have more than the 99.45% return?
Even when you do have time to learn a new strategy, you might wonder if it's worth it. If learning the exact strategy for a new game is going to save you 50¢/hour and you're not expecting to play it for more than several hours on your next trip, is it worth it? If you're like me, after a few months you're probably going to forget parts of it, so it's not like investing some time now will gain you 50¢/hour two years from now.
There are other situations where you might be tempted to use the "wrong" strategy. Let's say you do know 9/6 DDB strategy very well, but you chance upon a 25c progressive at $2000 for the Royal Flush. If you play the standard 9/6 DDB strategy, how much of the optimum payback are you giving up?
Often, there is almost no cost to using the optimal strategy for one pay table to play a different pay table version of the same game. For example, when playing any common JOB pay table, the 9/6 JOB strategy will do fine. Even if you've been sentenced to video poker hell where only 6/5 JOB is available, you can at least take solace in the fact that your 9/6 strategy will cost you a miniscule 0.01% extra.
Sometimes there is very little cost to using the strategy of one game to play a different game. 8/5 Bonus Poker can be played with 9/6 JOB strategy at a cost of a few cents an hour. Playing 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe with 9/6 JOB strategy costs a little more: 75 cents/hour for a $1 player, but that's probably still not enough for most players to worry about. (A 25c player would be sacrificing less than 19 cents an hour.)
Things change dramatically when a player tries to use...
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