/ / Max Bet on Video Poker: Is It Good or Bad?

Max Bet on Video Poker: Is It Good or Bad?

November 30, 2020 36 0
Max Bet on Video Poker: Is It Good or Bad?

When you browse through any video poker forum, one of the most common strategies you’ll find is wagering the maximum number of coins. On most video poker games, that is five coins. Betting max on video poker is often a good move since it gives you a significant advantage over the casino edge. That is because of the bonus most video poker machines grant to players who win on a max bet hand. However, there are instances when betting the maximum is a bad idea. 

Betting five coins on video poker is a smart move. Machines are designed usually with pay tables that dish out a bonus when you hit a top hand with a five-coin bet. The bonus amount you get lowers the house advantage, even though you don’t always hit the top hand. When you don’t wager the maximum number of coins, the house gets a higher edge. That said, if you don’t wager the max number of coins, you must only bet a single coin. Playing more than one but less than five coins is advantageous to the casino. They give you a lower than usual house advantage, and you’re wagering more than you need to.

When Not to Make the Maximum Bet on Video Poker

Max bets on video poker are great when you play machines with good pay tables and have a strategy card in place to ensure you’re playing with the most favorable house edge possible. However, there are some instances when betting the maximum amount on a video poker game is a bad idea. 

You’re New to the Game

Mistakes are inevitable when you’re learning a new video poker game. And each mistake costs you money. Developers don’t introduce new video poker games frequently. But when new games come, it’s hard to discover smart strategic information. If you’re new to the game, betting max on your first few tries is not a wise move. Even though you understand the basics of the game, you might lack in strategy. Therefore, it’s best to get a feel for the video poker machine before betting max. 

Since every mistake you make is costly, try playing for a single coin on the smallest denomination machine available while you’re learning. While this won’t minimize your error, it does reduce your loss. Regardless if you’re well-versed in the game of poker, make one bet at a time on a new machine. Video poker machines come with different house edges. Your best move here is to play single coins until you become strategic. Once you’re comfortable enough with the odds, you can start making max coin bets to enjoy the bonuses that come with it.

You’re Distracted While Playing

Although gambling requires concentration, many players enjoy socializing while gambling. They go to the casino with peers or family. The downside of this is that socializing distracts you, leading to mistakes that cost you money. When you’re distracted while playing, it’s better to make smaller bets than usual.

If you can’t stop yourself from socializing while gambling, look for a video poker machine with a small coin denomination. That minimizes the amount you’re risking, and your mistakes won’t be as expensive. Employing a strategy card to keep the house advantage as low as possible is still a bright idea. However, small mistakes won’t cost you too much. That way, you can socialize without worrying about going bankrupt. 

You Can Play the Lowest Possible Bet Amount

While it’s thrilling to unlock bonuses with max bets, the house advantage is sometimes too high on such video poker machines to make that move lucrative. Note that some machines pay more with a constant play on single coin bets. So, instead of betting max, keep your current play rate to boost your chances of making money from a video poker machine. 

You can find video poker machines with good pay tables and a relatively lower house advantage than slots. One example is 9/6 Jacks or Better. The casino edge using the perfect strategy on this game is .46%, whereas, for slot machines, it ranges from 2% to over 10%. What many players fail to realize is that the house advantage on a 9/6 Jacks or Better machine with only a one-coin bet is more favorable than virtually any other slot. 

When to Place the Maximum Bet on Video Poker

No matter which video poker game you’re playing, you have the choice of wagering anywhere from one to five coins per hand. The said reasons why you should not play video poker with max coins are valid. However, there are also times when you should make the maximum bet on video poker.

You Have Enough Money in Your Bankroll 

While this is a simple concept, many players don’t know how much money is necessary for these high variance games to ensure minimal risk of ruin. Having a smaller risk of ruin increases your chances of ending the session with some funds in your bankroll. Of course, that is something you must always strive for.

You’re Chosen Game Rewards Extra Money for a Royal Flush

Almost every video poker machine falls into this category. In the majority of the games, the payout will leap from 1,000 coins for a royal flush with a four-coin bet to 4,000 coins for a royal flush with a five-coin wager. You’ll see a significant payout jump for simply raising your bet by a single coin. That explains why betting four coins or less on machines like this is a no-no. 

You’re Playing a Game With Huge Progressive Jackpot Amount for a Royal Flush

Not all machines reward 4,000 credits for hitting the royal flush. That’s because some of them offer a continuously rising progressive jackpot. Every time this jackpot surpasses 4,000 credits, you must play in a progressive game as opposed to the regular ones with similar payouts. 

The Bottom Line

It goes without saying that bagging the highest returns possible on your wagers is a good idea for all video poker players. A jump in return percentage lets you play longer with the same original investment. That boosts the amount of fun you get per dollar invested. You’ll also be able to play more hands per deposit, allowing you more chances to nail that sweet royal flush jackpot.

A great way to start raising your long-term return percentage in video poker is to bet the maximum on every single hand. That is a scientific fact considering the structure of payouts in most video poker games. Hitting the jackpot might be a rarity. However, that doesn’t mean you have to bet less than the maximum to save some cash. 

There are several exceptions to the rule of just placing the maximum bet on video poker, but you’ll hardly find yourself in one of those. Hence, your basic rule of thumb must be to bet the maximum on each hand for any video poker game you’re playing in that gives more value to players that are lucky enough to nail a royal flush.

In summation, you play maximum coins on video poker most of the time. It’s just not a bright idea to give the casino an extra advantage. But in some situations, playing a single coin makes sense. A one-coin video poker wager still provides you with a better casino edge than most slots. Also, if you’re big on socializing, a single-coin bet is the best option. For bankroll conscious folks, look for a video poker machine with a smaller denomination. That way, you can still place a five-coin wager to unleash the bonus for hitting a natural royal flush.

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