How’s your video-poker game? Whether you know it or not, it’s not as good as it could be. Video poker is perfectly engineered to dole out just enough positive reinforcement to keep you playing, while it works away to slowly relieve you of your money. But while the game is a powerhouse earner for the casinos, competition creates lots of profitable situations for knowledgeable players. Knowing what to play and how to play it can have an amazing effect on your results.
There are all sorts of ways to improve your game, including reading books, practicing on software and visiting websites with message boards that discuss promotions and strategies. Heck, just reading this column will give you plenty of leads on good opportunities around town. But if you really want to get serious, the best way to start is by attending one of Bob Dancer’s free video-poker classes at South Point.
Lots of casinos run classes on how to play, but this one is completely different, given that its instructor is the world’s foremost expert on the game. Dancer has written two books and several instructional manuals on video poker, created a set of nine video-poker strategy cards, and was the force behind the tutorial software Video Poker for Winners. Dancer’s first book, Million Dollar Video Poker, describes how he turned a stake of $6,000 into $1 million in seven years playing the same Las Vegas games that are available to all of us.
While beating the casinos at video poker is how Dancer makes his living, his passion is talking about and teaching the game. Each class—they last between an hour and 90 minutes—deals with a specific concept or pay schedule (e.g., 10/7 Double Bonus), as Dancer conveys the important principles behind each game, along with a blueprint for building proficiency. The classes also conclude with a good Q&A session.
It really is unique in terms of a coming together of casino, expert and player, and along those lines, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give just due to South Point. Most casinos would run for the hills at the suggestion that their players be allowed to interact with someone who can tell them how to win, but South Point has embraced the idea.
Classes run at noon and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays in the showroom, and you must be 21 to attend. Noon classes are for beginners; the 2 p.m. sessions are more advanced. As of now, they’re scheduled to run through November 19 (verify the schedule at BobDancer.com).
For more free advice, check out Dancer’s weekly radio show, “Gambling With an Edge,” on Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. on KLAV 1230-AM, or his weekly column for my website, LasVegasAdvisor.com.
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