Six Tips to be a Smarter Video Poker Player – Part 2 – with Gambling Author Henry Tamburin

hi and welcome to our instructional video that is designed to make you a smarter gambler my name is Steve Bourie and I’m the author of the American casino guide number one bestselling book in the USA on the subject of casino gambling and travel and the only book that comes with over $1000 in casino coupons. If you want to know more about our book be sure to visit our website at and if you have a smartphone or tablet be sure to download our free app! Just go to the App Store or Google Play Store and search for American casino guide.

This video is part two of a two-part series where Henry Tamburin who is the author of six books on casino gambling discusses six tips to become a smarter video poker player. Tip number one has to do with the volatility of video poker games. I’ve mentioned the fluctuations that I experience from one year to the next with jacks or better and believe it or not Jacks or Better is a very low volatile video poker game compared to other video poker games. For example if we focus on double double bonus that’s a very popular video poker game it’s probably the most popular that video poker players like to play.

That particular game has a much higher volatility than the 9-6 Jacks or Better. Why? Because with double double bonus a lot of the return is focused on the low probability hands of four of a kind so the casino funds the four of a kind hands compared to say jacks or better with more money, more payouts but what they do is they lowered the payout for the more frequently hit two pair so when you look at a pay schedule and you see for example two pair only paying one for one, that generally indicates you have a video poker game that has a high volatility. In practical terms, that means if I’m going to play in a casino say a three hour session and I calculate using one of the video poker software programs how much money should I bring for this three hour session of 9/6 jacks or better it’ll calculate it, let’s say it’s $300 and that software is going to tell you that the chance of you losing $300 is very low. Now let’s suppose somebody else is going to play next to you and he’s going to play double double bonus and he wants the same risk of not losing his money, well $300 isn’t going to hack it, he’s gonna need more money and that’s the downfall of a lot of average players they go and they play the high volatility games and they don’t bring enough bankroll so they find themselves tapped out long before they’ve finished their playing session. So if you wanna play video poker, get the maximum playtime and the smallest volatility you want to focus on games that have this low volatility and you can find out what the volatility is of any game by looking in a video poker book or you can go to The Wizard of odds dot com video poker page they list the number for the volatility.

Tip number two is how you can earn more money when you’re playing video poker the reality is when you play video poker more than likely your overall return from playing is going to be slightly under a hundred percent. For example we mentioned 9/6 Jacks or Better returns 99.54 percent if you play it accurately what you want to do is you’d like to get that overall return over a hundred percent where you can see you’re short you’re short about point .4, .5% How do you get over a hundred percent? There’s two things you have to master one is you gotta take advantage of cash back and you want to take advantage of bounce back. Let me focus on cash back first casinos want to reward their loyal players the first thing you want to do is try this website and get yourself a players card and always use it when you’re playing video poker.

The reason is the casino’s computer system is going to track your play and casinos will reward you for the amount of money that you gamble they call that coin-in and that’s the only thing they’re interested in, how much they give you back depends on your coin-in, not how much you win or lose but they’re going to rebate a certain percent of your coin in. It’s like buying a car i buy a car for thirty thousand the dealer is going to rebate me a couple of thousand dollars, well when you play in a casino if you join the Players Club the amount of money you gamble they’re gonna rebate a certain percent. What you want to make sure is and that rebate percentage varies from casino to casino some casinos will rebate point one percent of your coin in others will rebate point three percent and you should find out what the base rebate or base return is for playing video poker.

You usually can find that by going to the Players Club and asking them or you can go to the casino’s website where you can go to one of the other websites that I mentioned earlier like So, first thing is know what the percent cash back is for that casino the second thing is let’s say it’s point one percent which isn’t a lot what you want to do now is scheduled your play time when the casinos offer multiple points that is extremely important. If I’m getting point one percent times my coin-in in either cash or free play if I play when the casino is offering 4, 5, or 6 times multiple points meaning instead of getting point one percent they’re going to give me point six and point seven that’s going to increase the number of points you earned during your play session that’s going to convert to more money you’re gonna get in cash or more money you’re gonna put in the machine for free play. SDo you need to discipline yourself to find out when your local casino offers multiple points and you wanna make sure you schedule your play time I’ll give you another real-world example, I play in a casino that has a base rate 0.13% that’s what they give me based on my coin in. On Mondays they multiply all of my points by eight well if you take .13 and you multiply by eight that’s 1.04% that they give back to me and they give it back to me in terms of free play. Well if I add what I get playing the game and this happens to be a casino that has 9/6 jacks or better progressive my return is 99.6% I add in the 1.04% so I am over a hundred percent, so that’s important.

I’m now an advantage video poker player What else can you do? So first thing is take advantage of multiple points, the second thing is you want to maximize your mailers. Once you play video poker in a casino and I suggest you play consistently at the same casino, you want to make sure that you maximize your mailers. The mailers are what comes in the mail from the casino they’ll send you a mailer every month and it lists all the activities and promotions that they have for the upcoming month and usually there are coupons in those mailers we call them bounce back coupons or coupon might say will give you $50 every week for the next month. You go back to the casino, you bounce back that’s how that got that term you go back to the casino, you go to the machine, you put in your players card and you can download the $50 that the casino gives you.

You’d like to get $100, you’d like to get $200 every week. How do you maximize that amount? The key is to make sure that when you play you get the highest theoretical average for your playing session. Now let me explain this because this is extremely important the casinos they want to reward their players and what they do now a days is they take a look at your coin and obviously the more you play the higher your coin in and the more you’re gonna be rewarded but they will take that coin in and they multiplied by a percent they call it theo based on whatever machine you’re playing and they multiply those two and they get what they call a theo that’s what sits in their computer so if you go to a casino tomorrow you play video poker for 3, 4 hours whatever coin in you put in they’ll multiply a percent and the computer will say for this particular day for this session you had this much theo and what that means for them that’s a theoretical amount that they expect to win from you.

Now what most casinos do is they’ll average those session theos over a certain period of time some casinos use three months the casino that I play on that I mentioned earlier uses a 21 day session average. It’s very difficult to find out this information they’re not free with it but I suggested you ask a casino host that’s one of the perks you can get out of a casino host and some casinos. So how do you maximize that theo because if you keep the theo high for say 21 trips you’re going to get a very much higher mailer than if somehow that theo goes down and a lot of players they don’t understand that and they trip themselves. For example, players go to a casino and they decide they’re not going to play they’re gonna go eat in the restaurant then they’re going to go home. They go sit in the restaurant casino restaurant they’ve they go have a nice meal the bill comes and they pay with their points, the points they earn that’s on their players card when they do that they trip a session the computer knows that they’re in the casino and its gonna say they’re there and they’re gonna trip you for a session you walk out of the casino without playing what’s going to happen is the computers got you zero theo for that day well you take a theo of 0 theo when you add it to your other Theos you can see that the average goes down and your mailer goes down. Another example casino gives you free play your run to the casino you run through your free play and then you leave.

Again, you’re gonna trip yourself and your gonna end up with a 0 playing session and that’s gonna lower your theo. So in order to maximize your mailers, maximize the bounce back that you get you want to make sure that when you go to a casino if you’re going to use points, if your gonna download your bounce-back, download your free play that you play during that session. If you just do those other things without playing you’re gonna trip yourself and you’re never going to get a high theo and you’re never going to get the high bounce back and the better mailers so that’s really important. The last tip has to do with how can I keep this money that I earned by playing video poker?

Because you have to understand you have a silent partner when you play video poker it happens to be uncle sam if you hit a payout that pays $1200 or greater you’re gonna have a casino employee come to your machine, the machine’s gonna lock up and they’re going to give you a tax form it’s a w-2G you’re gonna get a copy and other copy is sent to Uncle Sam. When you file your taxes whether it’s federal and most states they’re going to expect on your income tax when you file that you’re going to report that gambling win as earnings because the regular IRS regulations say gambling winnings are taxable so what can you do to make sure that you’re not paying too much taxes on your winnings? What you need to make sure is that you can report your losses and that’s what you want to do, but when your report winnings and losses on your income tax you gotta make sure you maintain a gambling log so this is the last bit of information I can tell you maintain a gambling log, in fact the IRS regs state you should maintain a session gambling log just get yourself a book and every time you go to the casino you play video poker just put down the date, the casino what game you played how much you won or lost and then at the end of the year you add up all your wins your session wins you put that in your income tax filing and you do the same thing with the losses, if you get audited then you have no problem you can present your gambling log I’ve had too many of my colleagues that didn’t take this sdvice and they reported gambling wins without keeping gambling logs so they went through that horror show known as an IRS audit.

You don’t want to have to go through that because if you can’t support your gambling losses and you can report losses up to the amount of your wins, the IRS is going to charge you a tax for all of that money that hard-earned money that you won they’re going to charge you not only do you have to pay a tax on the winnings but you’re gonna have to pay a penalty for not filing correctly so the last tip I can leave you is please make sure you maintain a gambling log you’ll never know when you need it if Uncle Sam audits you but it’s really nice to have if you have to go into an audit. If you want to learn more about me and some of the information that I have on my website you can either go to smart gaming dot com which has articles on all different casino games that I’ve written or you can go to BJ insider dot com and that site has blackjack Insider newsletter which I edit and there you’ll find information on blackjack. For 3 free issues of the BJ Insider simply go to this URL it’s Don’t forget that you can see more of our educational gaming videos on our YouTube channel is go to / American casino guide