CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Is 9/6 video poker the best?

1 June 2017

QUESTION: I always heard that you should always look for 9/6 video poker games, but I overheard one player saying, “Look, this one’s 9/6,” and the other saying, “9/6 isn’t great on that game. Let’s keep looking.”

What would they have been looking for?

ANSWER: The first video poker game to be a big hit with players was Jacks or Better, with the 9/6 pay table we know and love today as paying 99.5% with expert play. The “9/6” refers to payoffs on full houses and flushes, with full houses paying 9-for-1 and flushes 6-for-1.

The games paid out far more than casinos were expecting. Before long, 8/5 Jacks or Better was introduced, reducing payoffs on full houses and flushes and dropping the return with expert play to 97.3%.

Sharp players learned to look for the higher-paying games, and the word spread that you wanted to play the 9/6 games.

The notion that “9/6” is a synonym for “high-paying” has persisted for decades, but some games have higher-paying full houses and flushes while others max out at lower returns on those hands.

Bonus Poker, for instance, pays 8-for-1 on full houses and 5-for-1 on flushes in its full-pay version that pays 99.2% with expert play. On Bonus Poker, you’re looking for the 8/5 version instead of the lower-paying 7/5 and 6/5 games.

A word of caution: If you’re going to play Bonus Poker, look for games that pay 2-for-1 on two pairs. The Bonus Poker name sometimes is used on games that pay as much as 10-for-1 on full houses and 8-for-1 on flushes, but only 1-for-1 on two pairs. That gives us a special case where the higher pays on full houses and flushes signify lower-paying games.

One with higher than 9/6 payoffs is Double Bonus Poker. Its full-pay version pays 10-for-1 on full houses and 7-for-1 on flushes as well as 5-for-1 on straights instead of the 4-for-1 you get on most games. With expert play 10/7/5 Double Bonus returns 100.2%.

The game is rare today, though I played it a few months ago at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas. Not so rare is 9/7/5 Double Bonus, paying 99.1%. That’s a game to seek out over lower-paying 9/6/5 and 9/6/4 games.

Then there’s Double Double Bonus Poker, a game where 9/6 really is what you want unless you’re in the rare casino that offers the super-full-pay 10/6 version. For the most part, 9/6 DDB (98.98%) is as good as it gets, with lower-paying 9/5, 8/5 and 7/5 games also available.

Video poker has dozens of variations. One source for checking out available pay tables on different games is vpFREE2, http://www.vpfree2.com/.


QUESTION: Would it be fair to generalize to say casino card games are skill games while those with dice, wheels, etc. like roulette, craps, sic bo are luck games?

ANSWER: I know some dice controllers who would dispute that, but for any player craps at least involves knowledge of which bets have low house edges and which have edges that are crazy high.
Among card games, baccarat involves no real skill. You need know only to stay away from the tie bet and that banker has a slightly lower house edge than player.

Other card games combine chance and skill, with more opportunity for skill to make a difference in blackjack and less in Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud and others. Even blackjack has less of a skill element than poker games such as Texas Hold’em, but in the main table pits blackjack tops the skill/chance continuum.
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski