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Online Video Poker
Many a video poker fan has asked me questions about the online form of the game over the past couple of years. Now that online video poker games are as plentiful as apples in an orchard, perhaps it's time to evaluate the concept.

I get the feeling that most online video poker players still get their start in a land based arena, but I also get the feeling that this is starting to change. There are a growing number of people who have found online casinos to be a great form of entertainment, and through the bundled casino software packages man have had a chance to play online video poker.

Perhaps it most often happens to the slots fan that has become a little bored with their game, or maybe the main cause is friends telling friends that video poker can actually have a players edge instead of the standard house edge. There really are a million and one reasons to take up the game, and the most convincing is of course the ability to play a game that the house has no advantage on. That may not be the very best reason to take up the game, since it takes some practice and work to achieve the skill level that lets you play proper strategy while at the casino.

All of this changes of course, when you log on from home. Playing online video poker gives you the ability to reference a strategy chart as often and for as long as you wish. With this added advantage, you can play perfect strategy video poker with nobody watching, for as long as you want. Essentially, this means that you can gain a steady profit if you manage to play perfect strategy over a long enough time, and with a big enough bankroll to weather the ups and downs you'll be put through. Those seeking the ability to make their living off of video poker though are not considering the scale at which the advantage to the player would need to be exploited. All I'm saying is, even if you play perfect strategy and achieve a 100.77% payback percentage, the money will still take years of straight play to build up to a worthwhile level.

Since automation and computers are quite related, you're not the first person to consider automating a perfect strategy video poker player at an online casino. The complications in creating software that not only knows how to play video poker perfectly, but also mimics a human's computer interaction behavior so well the online casino cannot detect it, are vast to say the least. Beyond those complications, putting the software into effect would be a full time company operation, with multiple machines running multiple connections at multiple casinos. But if you're willing to do this, you're not into video poker for the fun of it, so my site isn't really the spot for you.

People are quick to assume that an online video poker machine may have odds that are not in line with Vegas. So what's the source of this assumption? It's most likely human nature; people in a casino see a machine, and they know it's a microchip, but it doesn't register as such a negative thing because they are still surrounded by people. Human faces can make a lot of difference to peoples trust levels (maybe we're thinking, if all of these people are playing too, we can't all be getting ripped off). There are startling similarities between online video poker and casino style, because of course, the video part implies that something is digital, and both mediums are digital. People often make the naive mistake that casino 'software' that you download is necessarily different than casino 'hardware' that exists in the physical boxes on the casino floor. Not so. The 'hardware' in this case is simply made up of integrated chips, which have been programmed with software. The hardware is composed of software, so that difference never existed in the first place.

Major online casinos will be able to provide you with some payout percentage information for their online video poker machines, most likely a range describing the payouts.

Let's work on the presumption that some online casinos carry online video poker that has static Vegas odds, and we are playing one of these pieces of software. In this situation the advantage lies with the online gambler. Why you ask? Simple. The environment is extremely different. Vegas and all land based casinos exist to distract the player into not noticing how much money they have lost. Think about it. The flashy lights, the loud noises and piped in music, the uniforms, the low cut tops on the cocktail waitresses. Everything exists to make you not think about the fact that you're depositing. This truth is universal across each of the games in the casino. Now picture yourself at home, sitting in your favorite chair, with your favorite drink in your hand. You can pause the game at any time and not lose your machine. You can quit while your ahead and not be faced with walking back through the whole casino to cash out and then back through again to leave, only to be bombarded with more opportunities to lay down your winnings, and bank machines at each exit whispering to you that your not truly broke yet. No clocks on the wall's, no windows, nothing to even hint to you what time it is. At home, you have all of the control in the world. Plus a few bonuses you wouldn't get otherwise. For one, speaking of bonuses, have you ever been comped in Vegas? Chances are the answer is no, or if yes, only after hours of play. The reason for this is simple: because the place next door won't comp you either, hence, no competition. On the Internet it's different, even if you're only playing online video poker, and only just starting, you can get a great sign up bonus. There are thousands of online casinos just wishing for you to sign up with them, and willing to reward you. Other perks of playing from home include a hand count on your cumulative bet total. Vegas does NOT want you to realize just how much money you've put down so far, but many online casinos offer a running total. This gives you a much clearer view of your wins and losses, and better control over your bankroll, which is important in a volatile game like video poker. When it comes down to it, playing online video poker may be your most intelligent choice.

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