Study Reveals Skilled Video Poker Players Dampen Casino Earnings

Jacob Frink
By Jacob Frink 4 Min Read

For years, casinos around the world have banked on the allure of the games of chance to draw in millions of eager participants, hoping to strike it rich with the pull of a lever or the flip of a card. Among these games, video poker holds a unique position, offering the tantalizing possibility of tipping the odds slightly in the player’s favor with skill and strategy. A recent study has now shed light on just how skilled video poker players can impact casino earnings, revealing fascinating insights into the interplay between player skill and casino profits.

Understanding the Impact of Skilled Video Poker Players

Video poker combines elements of traditional poker and slots, allowing players to make decisions that influence the game’s outcome. This aspect introduces a skill component absent in pure games of chance. The study analyzed data from several casinos, focusing on their video poker operations, to determine skilled players’ effect on overall earnings.

The Key Findings

  • An increase in the number of skilled video poker players correlates with a noticeable dip in casino revenues from video poker machines.
  • Casinos with higher foot traffic and a broader demographic of players showed a lesser impact, suggesting that blending skilled and casual players might mitigate the financial effects.
  • Skilled players often seek out video poker machines with the best odds, congregating in specific casinos or sections, which could lead to a concentrated impact on earnings.

Strategies Employed by Skilled Players

The study further delved into the strategies that set these players apart. Unlike casual gamblers who rely heavily on luck, skilled video poker players use a mix of analytical skills, understanding of probability, and strict bankroll management to improve their chances of winning over time.

Skills That Make a Difference

  1. Game Selection: Picking games with the best payouts, like 9/6 Jacks or Better, increases return-to-player (RTP) percentage.
  2. Understanding Paytables: Knowing the value of hands and how paytables affect volatility and winning probabilities.
  3. Perfect Strategy Usage: Utilizing strategies that minimize the house edge, requiring an exhaustive knowledge of potential hand outcomes.

How Casinos are Responding

The insights from the study are prompting casinos to rethink their video poker offerings. While outright changing the nature of video poker would alienate a loyal fan base, some venues are exploring ways to adjust pay tables, promote new video poker variants, or introduce promotions aimed at casual players to balance the scales. Despite these efforts, the fact remains that a knowledgeable player at the video poker machine is less profitable for the house than a novice.


This study highlights the intricate balance between skill, strategy, and chance inherent in casino games. As skilled players leverage their knowledge for better outcomes, casinos must continuously innovate to ensure their offerings remain profitable and engaging for all players. The evolution of video poker is a testament to the dynamic nature of gaming, reflecting the ongoing dance between beating the odds and maintaining the thrill of the gamble.

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