Classic Dancer's Answers

Your monthly serving of tips from the video poker expert, Bob Dancer

Bob Dancer

Each month, brings you exclusive tips and inside scoop from Bob Dancer, one of the best known video poker authors and writers.

June 2010

Q1:      (This originally appeared in June 2001 Strictly Slots)             How do I know how much money to bring for a weekend of gambling? Either I bring too little and run out or bring too much and have way too much left over. What should I do?

A1:      Way too much money left over? Boy, that sounds like a TERRIBLE problem!

            Seriously, the final result for next weekend covers a wide range. You simply cannot know in advance what is going to happen at the machines. You may hit more than one royal flush. You may run into a buzz saw.

            The best predictor of your results in the future is the average of what has happened over your last 10 trips or so --- after subtracting out your top jackpots. The reason you subtract out the top jackpots is that you want to bring enough money so that you can cover yourself if things go reasonably bad. If things go VERY bad, then you'll run out, but this will be a rare event hopefully. If you DO end up hitting a royal or two and have to take money home with you, my assumption is that despite the way you phrased the question, you'll be able to deal with this problem somehow. 

Bob Dancer's 2010 update: "Video Poker for Winners" provides bankroll information for both short run and long run calculations. It gives you information about  how frequently $400 (for example) will last you on a particular game and number of hands played. You can never know THIS TIME how it will go until you play, but you can get an idea of the range where your results usually fall.

Q2:      (This originally appeared in June 2001 Strictly Slots) When a casino takes out a good game, have you ever found that complaining about it does any good?

A2:      Sometimes, but not often. Casinos change games around for a variety of reasons --- and profitability is often one of those reasons. If it is a "good game" because you have been winning and the casino has been losing, then often your complaint will go on deaf ears. If it is a good game simply because you like to play it for whatever reason, and the casino was making a profit on it, then very possibly the casino will put it back in if you ask.

            Remember, how you ask is an important factor in whether you get the results you want. Planning out what you are going to say usually is a good strategy. If one person in your party (maybe your spouse or friend) is better than you at getting others to say "yes", then you would be smart to have them do the asking. Some of you have such a bad style that makes ladies of the night play hard to get around you. If so, let somebody else do the asking.

Q3:      (This originally appeared in June 2001 Strictly Slots) I have the strategy cards you and Liam W. Daily produced, and I think I found a mistake. In 9/6 Jacks or Better, on all levels you have all 4-card open-ended straights being superior to every 3-card straight flush. Using Bob Dancer Presents WinPoker, I learned that the Qh Jh 9h combination has a EV of about .74 and 2d 3d 4d 5c has an EV of about .68. This proves you and Daily are mistaken.

A3:      Not exactly. You are asking for something different than what the strategy cards were designed for. The purpose of our cards is to assist you in playing 5-card hands. QJ9 and 2345 cannot be in the same 5 cards. If you compare the suited QJ9 to an unsuited QJT9, you'll find QJT9 has the higher EV. If you compare the EV of a suited 234 with the 4-card straight 2345, you'll see that 2345 has the higher EV.

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