Fat Tony's Video Poker
Video Poker Home
To Get Started
- How To Play Video Poker
- Start Your Strategy!
- Video Poker Pay Tables
- Full Pay Video Poker
Sitting Down To Play
- Which V-Poker Machine?
- Tough Decisions
- Payback Volatility
- Jacks Or Better Strategy
- Deuces Wild Strategy
The Issues
- Long Run Volatility
- Bankroll Blues
- Online Casinos
- How Many Coins?
There's Always More
- Video Poker Variations
- Triple Play Video Poker
- Deuces Go Wild
- Progressive Video Poker
- Online Video Poker
My Free Video Poker
Online Blackjack
Online Poker
Special Picks

Fat Tony's Video Poker
Want a PayBack better than 100%? Play Video Poker!
Play Tony's Free Casino Games

Bankroll Blues

In Video Poker, your bankroll is your boss. Or at least it can be if you let it. If you know how to play a machine perfectly, have your strategy all worked out, know for certain that if you give it a good shot, you'll walk away up, if you have all of this going for you, you can still bust. Fat Tony has talked a lot about volatility already, and that's because it's important to understand. With everything else on your side, if you don't have a large enough bankroll to weather the ups and downs your bankroll will undergo, you can't win.

But this doesn't mean you have to get the bankroll blues, and it doesn't mean you have to be a millionaire to make money from Video poker (unless, perhaps, you plan to make millions from the machines). Just be prepared to lose, since that's how the machines work: you lose for a while then win to make up for it, then lose for a while then win to make up for it. Be smart and always follow a perfect strategy for every hand to make sure you're keeping as much of your bankroll as possible between hitting big hands.

Some will flat out tell you that you need to be mentally prepared to lose half the value of a royal flush during a session. This comes out to $100 on a nickel Video Poker machine, $500 on a quarter machine, and $2000 on a dollar machine. You can decide where you fit in and choose your machine accordingly. If what you might loose makes you feel ill at ease, chances are you're playing at too high a level. You can also decide how long your session is. If you're prepared to go down $2000 over the course of a week (more reasonable than an evening for some), then you simply need to ride the machine out. This is where the mental effort comes in.

There is a mental trap in Video Poker, and strangely enough it comes from the fact that we know we can gain a theoretical advantage over the house. Since we know we're playing in a such a way that we will make money back in the long run, we inevitably feel like it should start to happen soon… any time now.. aaaany time now. But we can't force it to happen. Think about all of the table games for a second. We know the house has an advantage in the long run, but think about how much money the house is paying out in all of those games at any given time. Sure they make more than they lose in the long run, but they need to employ a massive, massive bankroll to weather the fluctuations, and pull in the cash that is their theoretical long-term advantage. An underbankrolled player with a small edge is the casinos favorite customer.

So you know already you can't give up your life for Video Poker. What do you do as an average Mary or Joe? Basically, without getting into any long-winded mathematical discussions that would just take up our time, a good rule of thumb is that we should play with a bankroll equal to three royal flush payouts. That's $3000 on a quarter machine, and $12,000 for a dollar machine. And as you learned already, you'll need a bigger bankroll for any particularly volatile games.