Avoid Pitfalls: 14 Common Video Poker Mistakes NZ Players Make

The 14 Most Common Video Poker Mistakes to Avoid
14 Most Common Video Poker Mistakes to Avoid

Video poker is a casino game blending poker and slots. Here, you’re dealt 5 cards and aim to form a winning poker hand. You choose which cards to keep, discard, and receive replacements. Winning hands earn payouts, with variants like Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. Skill in card selection makes it engaging.

Unfortunately, beginner and experienced gamblers frequently complicate matters by making a mistake or several. This has a significant effect on their possible long-term return and can be the difference between winning and losing over the course of a playing session (whether weekly, monthly, or yearly). Here are the 14 Most Common Video Poker Mistakes.

To help you avoid these common video poker mistakes, I’ve listed them and provided solutions. Don’t worry if you’ve made these errors before; learning from them improves your game.

What is Video Poker Game in NZ?

Video poker is a fun casino game in New Zealand. It’s like a mix of poker and slot machines. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. How to Play: In video poker, you get five cards. You decide which ones to keep and which to change to make the best poker hand.
  2. Different Types: There are many types of video poker games with different rules. Some even have big prizes you can win.
  3. Winning: If you have a good poker hand, you win money. The better your hand, the more money you win.
  4. Thinking Game: Video poker is not just luck; you need to think and make good choices to win.
  5. Where to Play: You can find video poker machines in casinos and even online.
  6. Join a Club: Some places have special clubs for players, and you can get rewards for playing.

People in New Zealand enjoy playing video poker because it’s a mix of skill and luck, making it a fun and exciting game to try.

Also Read – 5 Easiest Ways To Enter The Main Poker Event

14 Most Common Video Poker Mistakes

1. Not Joining the Poker Club

Not Joining the Pokies Club
Not Joining the Pokies Club

Whether you’re at a casino in Las Vegas, Macau, or any other gambling destination worldwide, you’ll likely be offered a player’s club card. It’s easy to get one; just sign up and receive your free card, then insert it into the machine before playing. Surprisingly, not using this card is one of the 14 Most Common Video Poker Mistakes.

Having this card helps the casino keep track of your wins, losses, and overall gaming habits. It also allows them to identify valuable long-term customers, often resulting in receiving coupons and complimentary offers in the mail.

Video poker players often face extended periods without significant wins, especially when waiting for a royal flush payout. That’s why promotions and freebies provided through these cards can significantly impact their overall success. In fact, some of the most prominent figures in the video poker community consider slot club cards as the single most crucial tool for advantage players to possess.

2. Not Looking at the Pay Table

The pay table tells the player exactly what to expect from the game in terms of potential prizes, and it’s the most vital piece of available information. It also happens to be free, assuming, of course, that you bother to look at it. This is one of the 14 Most Common Video Poker Mistakes.

  • Ignoring the Pay Table: Failing to check the pay table can lead to missed opportunities for better payouts.
  • Varied Pay Tables: Pay tables differ between machines and casinos, so it’s crucial to know the specific one you’re playing.
  • Adjust Strategy: Understanding the paytable allows you to tailor your strategy for optimal play.
  • Maximizing Wins: Identifying machines with favourable pay tables enhances your chances of winning.
  • Avoiding Costly Mistakes: Checking the paytable helps prevent errors that can be costly in the long run.

When you’re playing a specific game, you always want to choose the machine that offers the largest possible winnings. You can’t do this without examining the pay table, so always make this your first order of business before sitting down.

3. An Aversion to Grinding

An Aversion to Grinding
An Aversion to Grinding

To get really good at video poker, you have to be willing to play a whole lot of games. Luck might help once in a while, but it’s the dedicated players, known as “grinders,” who do the best. This is one of the 14 Most Common Video Poker Mistakes.

Think about this: you only get a royal flush, the best hand in video poker, about once every 40,000 games. Are you okay with playing all those other 39,999 games just to get it once? If that doesn’t sound fun to you, maybe video poker isn’t your game. You might even want to skip the casino and just buy lottery tickets instead.

4. Drinking at the Casino

Drinking at the Casino
Drinking at the Casino

Although casinos are more than happy to offer free alcoholic beverages to their patrons, it is not good to drink. Because when players start drinking, they make more errors than usual. Even if you’re not feeling the effects of the alcohol, you can rest assured that it’s working internally to slowly dull the effectiveness of your brain. Stick with sodas, coffee, and water; your bankroll will thank you in the long run.

  • Drinking impairs judgment and decision-making.
  • Alcohol can lead to making more mistakes during gameplay.
  • It dulls cognitive abilities, affecting your strategic thinking.
  • Choosing non-alcoholic beverages like soda or water is a wiser option.
  • Avoiding alcohol ensures better focus and gameplay in video poker.
  • Additionally, if you drink, wait several hours before driving for safety reasons.

If you do decide to partake in a few mixed drinks, always wait several hours before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. I know this isn’t really about gambling, but it’s hard to enjoy video poker if you are not in your senses.

5. Not Playing the Most Lucrative Machines

Before you visit a casino, you should do some serious online research and locate the most potentially profitable video poker machine on the premises.

Once you’ve located the game, learn about the rules and find the corresponding strategy for perfect play.

Once you’ve done it all, either make yourself a strategy card or set about memorizing the proper plays for every possible hand. When you arrive at the casino, this combination of preparation and scouting should place you in the best possible position for success.

6. Failure to Practice

Once you’ve started committing the proper plays for a game to memory, you’ll need to give your expertise some help through the time-honored tradition of practice.

  • To get better at video poker, you should practice.
  • You can use flashcards with different hands and their right moves on the other side. Study these cards in your free time to remember them.
  • Another option is to buy a video poker trainer, which helps you practice with unlimited hands.
  • If you make a mistake, the trainer will tell you and show you the right move.
  • Try to score over 95% accuracy before playing for real money.
  • Practising and learning the right moves will make you a better video poker player.

7. Failure to Risk Maximum Coins

The ultimate goal in most video poker games is the royal flush, and you’ll usually need to risk the highest possible number of coins in order to be eligible for the bonus payout. There are many gambler who might have missed out on thousands of dollars’ payout because they decided to play four coins instead of five. Don’t be like that guy.

  • One common mistake in video poker is not risking the maximum number of coins.
  • Many video poker machines offer enhanced payouts for certain winning hands when you bet the maximum coins.
  • Failing to do so means missing out on potentially higher winnings.
  • It’s essential to understand the machine’s paytable and the specific hands that offer better rewards with maximum coin bets.
  • By not risking the maximum coins, players limit their potential for larger profits.
  • To maximize your chances of success in video poker, always consider betting the maximum coins, but ensure it aligns with your budget and risk tolerance.

8. Avoiding Progressives

Some players play nothing but progressive machines, while others avoid them like the plague.

The smartest approach, however, lies somewhere in the middle of these two schools of thought.

In most cases, progressives do tend to pay out at a lower rate than other video poker or slot machines. However, if you encounter two otherwise identical machines and one of them offers a progressive jackpot, you’d be wise to give it a try. Just remember to wager the maximum number of coins per hand.

9. Improper Bankroll Management

 Improper Bankroll Management
Improper Bankroll Management

Noted video poker expert Bob Dancer once remarked that anyone who’s relying on a royal flush to save their bankroll is playing at a denomination that’s too high. Bankroll management is an important skill for the serious gambler, and failure to guard your money can result in devastating losses and a quick exit from the casino.

Before you play, always determine how much money you’re willing to lose. If you reach that dubious milestone during the session, stop playing immediately. The worst thing you can do is continue, especially if it means dipping into money that’s earmarked for essentials like rent and insurance.

You should also be careful to play at a level you can afford. Video poker players often have to endure long stretches without significant wins, so anyone who’s not properly prepared is going to go broke while waiting for a big payout.

10. Believing in Gambling Superstitions

Believing in Gambling Superstitions
Believing in Gambling Superstitions

Players often fall prey to common superstitions about gambling, and some conjure up with nonsensical ideas all on their own. Here’s an example of the latter: I have a friend who always stands on three-of-a-kind, regardless of the game, pay table, or other cards. He’s sure that this is the proper tactic, even if he passes up a potentially larger payout in the process.

As far as superstitions and myths go, the world of gambling is full of them. A lot of players used to be certain that warm coins resulted in a greater chance of winning, so they would breathe on them or rub the coin between their fingers before inserting it into the machine. Sure, this kind of silliness sounds harmless, but anything that takes the player’s mind off the cards should always be avoided.

Some beliefs are more detrimental, though, such as always drinking a certain alcoholic beverage at the casino, playing a “lucky” machine, or choosing a game because it’s “due” to pay out. This sort of behavior can result in losses at an accelerated rate, so learn to think for yourself as soon as possible.

11. Failure to Learn Proper Strategy

Proper strategy is the cornerstone of long-term success at video poker. By making the best possible moves based on your initial draw, you put yourself in the strongest position to wind up with a winning hand. It doesn’t matter if this is done with memorization or a strategy card, just as long as you do it.

It should also be noted that each game requires a different strategy.

What works for Jacks or better won’t be effective during a hand of Double Double Bonus Poker. Always know your chosen game and plan any strategies accordingly.

12. Lack of Dedication

Focus is important when playing video poker, whether you’re sitting in a crowded casino or enjoying the virtual equivalent in your living room. While it’s impossible to totally shut out the world around you, every effort should be made to concentrate more on the cards than what your waitress is wearing or what’s on television. This might sound like a minor detail, but a lack focus can easily lead a gambler to make an incorrect play and blow an otherwise winnable hand.

13. Leaving Your Strategy Card at Home

A strategy card informs gamblers of the strongest play for every possible hand on a specific video poker machine. The best cards are both unobtrusive and laminated, and most casinos have no restrictions regarding their usage.

Despite this fact, a large number of players don’t bother to bring their strategy cards to the casino. This can result in improper play, which, in turn, can result in an unnecessary loss of money.

Unless you want to commit every possible option to memory, a strategy card is essential for success. Nobody is going to think less of you for using one, especially when it helps you win more than everyone seated around you. That being said, this is one item that should be packed even before your toothbrush and comb.

14. Playing on a Problematic Machine

Playing on a Problematic Machine
Playing on a Problematic Machine

At brick-and-mortar casinos, the average pokie or video poker machine undergoes a significant amount of wear and tear. Cigarette smoke is constantly trying to penetrate the outer shell, beverages are spilled on the control panel, and irate customers have been known to punch or kick a less-than-generous game.

Machines on the casino floor generally weather this abuse without much issue. There are times, however, when the video poker controls can succumb, which results in a not-so-scientific term known as “sticky buttons.” This means that one or more buttons can hang, causing the player to wind up with a card that’s something other than what they wanted.

If you find yourself at such a machine, don’t continue to play like nothing’s wrong. A button that’s sticking is bound to cost you money in the long term, so either locate another machine to play or inform the casino staff and wait until it’s been fixed.

Read: 7 Ways To Avoid Being Cheated With Marked Cards


Q. How can I avoid making these mistakes?

Ans – There are a few things you can do to avoid making the most common video poker mistakes.
Do your research: Before you start playing video poker, learn about the different types of machines and their payout schedules. You can find this information online or in books and articles about video poker.
Make a plan: Before you start playing, decide how much money you are willing to spend and how long you are willing to play. Stick to your plan and don’t chase your losses.
Use a video poker strategy chart: A video poker strategy chart is a guide that tells you which cards to keep and which cards to discard based on your hand. There are many different video poker strategy charts available online and in books and articles about video poker.

Q. Where can I learn more about video poker?

Ans – There are many resources available where you can learn more about video poker. You can find books, articles, and websites that provide information about the history, rules, and strategies of the game. You can also find many video poker games for purchase or to play for free online.

Q. What is a video poker strategy chart?

Ans – A video poker strategy chart is a table that tells you which cards to keep and which cards to discard based on your hand. There are many different video poker strategy charts available online and in books and articles about video poker.
To use a video poker strategy chart, simply find your hand on the chart and follow the instructions. The chart will tell you which cards to keep and which cards to discard to maximize your chances of winning.

Q. Is it possible to beat video poker?

Ans – The best way to beat video poker is to use a video poker strategy chart and to choose a machine with a high payout schedule. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of winning in the long run.


Tuning a consistent profit at the casino is hard enough, but most gamblers unwittingly make things more difficult for themselves. Fortunately, the most common video poker mistakes can usually be corrected without too much anguish on the part of the player.

Even if you’ve been committing the same video poker errors for years, it’s never too late to make a change for the better. Once you take the initial steps towards improving your overall game, you should experience more wins and a greater sense of enjoyment. And, ultimately, isn’t that what a trip to the casino is all about?

Mamta Sharma

Mamta is a spirited writer hailing from Wellington, bringing a youthful zest to the world of digital content. Merging her love for narrative with an eye for detail, Ella crafts stories that resonate and engage the modern reader.