Remember that video poker keeps your bet when you lose, but the machine also keeps your bet when you win a hand, so a one-credit win is actually a push.
55% of hands are losers.
21% of hands are single-credit "winners" returning only the original bet.
This is a push (a tie).
13% of hands win exactly two credits per unit wagered.
11% of hands return more than two credits.
Less than 3% of hands return six credits or more.
(Average results for a single hand after the draw when using optimal strategy)
Most video poker hands are losers, and losers outnumber winners by a two-to-one margin. The win-lose imbalance is offset by big payoffs for quads, straight flushes, and royal flushes, but it's still a recipe for going broke unless you have staying power. A player needs a session bankroll of at least 150 to 200 bets to withstand the inevitable losing streaks between jackpots. In your case that would be at least $3,750 when betting $25 per trial. You were playing with $500 (only 20 bets), so your bankroll did not provide enough "wiggle room" for the natural ebb and flow of the game. One option is to increase your bankroll; another alternative is to wager in smaller increments. For example, playing single hands on a dollar game ($5 per bet) would be somewhat better for a $500 bankroll. Single or multiple hands on a quarter game would be ideal.
And of course, optimal strategy has an effect on winning and losing. Were you using optimal strategy? If you weren't, then I have some wonderful money-saving news. Optimal strategy is a method of playing video poker that mathematically maximizes the probability of hitting all the paying hands, and it can dramatically increase your chances of making a royal flush. You can learn this video poker strategy right here at ReadyBetGo!
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