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Articles by John Robison courtesy of Casino City Times


Tips for Video Poker Tournaments
By John Robison, 13 May 2004

Hi, John:

Love your column, and have learned quite a bit about Video Poker and Slots from your writings and knowledge. Thank you.

I was invited to a Video Poker Tournament in a few weeks in Atlantic City. Do you have any strategies for me to increase my chances of winning?

I have no idea if it will be Jacks or Better, Joker Poker or Double Bonus, but being a gambling woman, I am betting Jacks or Better...

I feel I am a pretty decent and fast player.

Royally yours,

Dear Chickey,

You're welcome.

It would be nice if the tournament organizers would give you more information about the tournament. As you mentioned, it would useful to know the paytable on the machines so you could learn and practice the strategy for it.

It would also be useful to know if the sessions are limited by hands, time, or both. Most Video Poker Tournaments have sessions are based on time, and a good many also limit the number of hands per session. That's good to prevent the faster players from playing more hands than the slower players.

If the sessions are only time limited, play as fast as you can. If they're both time and hand limited, slow down but play quickly enough to ensure you play all the hands you're given.

Friends who have more experience playing in Video Poker Tournaments than I have tell me that the winners aren't necessarily players who play every hand correctly, but the ones who play all the hands they can. They tell me not to spend a lot of time trying to look for cards to hold. If there's nothing obvious, get five new cards.

Another thing to consider is that you're playing in the short run. You can make plays that you normally wouldn't make on the casino floor. For example, in 9/6 Jacks, you're better off in the long run holding a high pair over a 3-card royal. In the tournament, you might be better off going for the royal because you'd be almost guaranteed to win the session.

Best of luck in the tournament,

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