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Payout Percentage
 

The first step is to be able to select the most advantageous games in the casino or locale where you are playing. We've talked about the advantage of a percent or two and all the effort we expend to get that advantage. In reel machines, we are, at best, guessing the exact payout. Not so with online poker games. We can know the exact percentage by a quick study of the payout table.

Casinos mix up the selections in their games array. We all know to look for a 9-6 Jacks or Better machine ... in a 99 percent payout. In some jurisdictions, we are faced with 8-5's, 7-6's, and I have even seen 6-5's salted in. I have yet to find a 9-6 games on a riverboat, at least not at this writing!

The same can be said for Deuces Wild. Las Vegas does have a few 25-15-9-5 machines (25-wild royal, 15-five of a kind, 9-straight flush, 5-four of a kind) which pay 100.6 percent. This is an exciting, fun games to play, also, with that great intermediate jackpot of 1,000 coins for four deuces. There are, however, many derivations of this basic games, all with less payouts. For example, simply dropping the payout on four of a kind from five coins to four reduces the overall payout all the way down to 94.3 percent. The reason for this big impact is that in Deuces, the four of a kind occurs very frequently, and any change in the "5" changes the overall payback dramatically.

I could site many other examples, but suffice it to say... be very aware of the video online poker games payout tables, even more so than the reels. Take the time to scout out the best machines, even if it means trying several different casinos. The change in results will be significant. The variety and different kinds of payouts are changing rapidly, as well. Casino managers are continuously seeking different games to enhance the appeal of video online poker games.

Check-Raising
 
A check-raise is when Player A checks, some subsequent Player B bets, and then Player A raises when the action returns to him. This tactic has two effects. First, it forces any players between A and B who checked to pay two bets "cold" (i.e., without already having placed one bet) to remain in the hand after A raises. The requirement for two bets would decrease their pot odds from what it would have been if Player A had bet once right out and would thus give them more reason to fold. Second, a check-raise will probably extract two bets out of Player B and any other callers, whereas if Player A had bet when he first acted, these players would have only called that one bet. Thus, check-raising is a valid tactic when you have a pointed desire to (I) force out opponents on draws, or (2) increase the size of the pot or both.
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