Gamers at Jackpot Capital Casino often ask if a game is mostly luck or mostly skill. Most gamers know that video poker and blackjack are combinations of luck and skill while slots are mostly games of luck or games of chance.
There is a lot more to say on this subject so let’s get started!
All video poker games are a form of five card draw. When we play at home with friends on a weekend night, we usually allow players to draw up to three cards unless they show an ace at which time they can draw four cards.
In video poker, a gamer can draw as many as five cards even if he or she doesn’t have an ace. This alone gives gamers a big extra boost versus the house. In fact, the house doesn’t have any say in the strategic part of video poker. This means that the gamer is playing against the pay scale alone!
So, we need to talk about the pay scale!
This means that the casino pays 9 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush. These are not common hands nor are they rare hands and with the ability to draw all five cards, they do come up fairly often. That means that a 9-6 pay scale is a lot better than an 8-5 pay scale that we see at many land-based casinos, and, unfortunately, also at some online casinos which have no reason in terms of overhead to reduce the return to player rate in this way.
Resisting temptation is also a skill as anyone facing another piece of delicious cheesecake knows all too well! The temptation to play 8-5 video poker if that is what the casino is offering is great and resisting this temptation is a skill that we cannot belittle!
The maximum bet is five coins and a Royal Flush comes up about once in 40,000 hands. So, it might seem that betting the maximum in video poker is not a sound bet. However, there are many other hands that can win good money for gamers in video poker and the best strategy revolves around making the maximum bet on every hand.
It requires a kind of skill to be able to give up a winning pair in order to pursue a higher-paying hand. This happens more often than a player might think and the “logical” strategy would be to hold onto the pair and go for a better hand from that starting point.
However, if a gamer has four to either a Royal Flush, a straight flush, a flush with high cards, or other better-winning combinations, giving up the pair is the best way to play! Still, perseverance in the face of intuitive play is also a skill that we cannot belittle.
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It is not enough to memorize the best strategy for video poker. Every variation has its own set of top strategic moves. The most popular video poker is Jacks or Better and the most statistically proven strategy covers about 35 different holdings before the gamer draws cards.
It is a true skill to know exactly why each strategic move is on the strategy table and how playing correctly will affect the player’s return from video poker. Playing with top strategy allows gamers to enjoy a return to player rate that is about half a percent less than 100%!
It is also a skill to understand that once a gamer has made the correct strategy play, luck takes over! The Random Number Generator, or RNG, which controls every outcome in video poker, has no brain of its own. It is computer software that “chooses” numbers or cards at random.
By understanding and accepting the fundamental aspect of luck in video poker, a gamer can avoid tilt which is the bane of all people who play casino games for real money. Making a bet while on tilt often results in unnecessary losses! So, accepting the reality of the RNG and the element of luck in video poker is in itself a kind of skill!
The key strategic aspect in blackjack is that the player always plays first and if he or she goes over 21 points, they lose automatically. In a game with other players, such as usually happens at a land-based casino, even if the dealer eventually gets a higher point count than the woebegone player who got, say, 22 points, the player loses!
So, blackjack strategy is all about how to play one’s hand while seeing the dealer’s up card.
There is a lot of skill involved in deciding when to double down or split cards. There is also a lot of skill involved in fighting through a losing streak without resorting to hunches which always, in the long run, cause more losses than following the statistically true best strategy.
At Jackpot Capital Online Casino, a player can simply end a luckless session early and get on with the evening! This rarely happens at a land-based casino since people are there to gamble and they usually have a couple or more days left to gamble before heading home!
Just as in video poker, dealing with poor luck without tilting is a major skill in blackjack. Just as in video poker, understanding that after playing the hand correctly, if the player is at 21 points or less, and the dealer now plays, luck takes over. The dealer makes no decisions. She always hits with 16 or fewer points and sometimes hits with a soft 17.
Otherwise the dealer stands with 17 or more points.
There is a certain element of skill but it is not in the actual game play.
The most basic skill in the games of chance is avoiding tilt. Every player will have a losing streak. If a player tilts during a losing streak, they will likely end up making poor gaming decisions even in the games of chance. One such decision would be to increase one’s bets to try to get even before quitting.
It is better to simply end a session! Once again, this is a lot easier to do at an online casino such as Jackpot Capital! Land-based casinos are designed to keep players on the casino floor. A good cocktail waitress or waiter at a land-based casino might see a player suffering through a losing streak and will quickly offer a free drink.
If the player accepts the drink, he or she will stay on the casino floor and will probably start to make decisions fueled by alcohol! There is a great deal of skill inherent in not drinking during a gaming session even if the drink is said to be free!
The ability to have fun is a skill that many adults have forgotten. Here at Jackpot Capital, we try our best to make gaming fun so that gamers can always end a session with a smile on their face.
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