Video Poker -

         Optimum Play
223-page expanded third edition by Dan Paymar

Still a best seller, this book works hand-in-hand with Optimum Video Poker software to provide the ideal starting point for everyone interested in becoming a winning player.
This book gives the easy to learn and use Precision Play™ rules for:
    * Jacks-or-Better
    * Deuces Wild
    * Bonus Deuces
    * Joker Wild (Kings-or-Better)
There's no need to memorize long tables for these games; just follow a few simple rules, and you will be playing better than many "experts." Quizzes for three of the games help you to hone your skills.

This book also covers:

    * Double Bonus Poker strategy
    * A variety of progressives and unusual games
    * The value of comps and slot clubs
    * Bankroll requirements
    * Risk of ruin using the famous jazbo/Sorokin formula
    * The meaning of "expected value"
    * How to select games that offer high payback potential
    * Tactics for advantage play (the important subject missing from most books)
    * ... and much, much more.

No player should be without this book. Makes a great gift for anyone who likes video poker or for moving a slot addict to these higher payback games.

The cover price is $19.95 at your favorite bookstore. If they don't stock it, ask them to order ISBN 978-1-886070-32-5. Also available from Casino Vacations, Pi Yee Press, Huntington Press (Las Vegas Advisor) and other online book sellers, on Amazon, and in Las Vegas gambling bookstores.


All The Best of Video Poker Times
This second edition 120-page 8.5x11 book contains all of the best articles from 13 years of Video Poker Times, the only hard copy newsletter devoted to winning at video poker that lasted more than a year or so, plus a few of Dan's articles that were originally published elsewhere.

Playing strategies are included for:
    * Royal Court
    * Joker Wild, Two Pair (up to 102%)
    * All American Poker (refined strategy)
    * Bally Double Pay Deuces Wild
    * Must Hold Three
    * Loose Deuces (up to 101.6%)
    * Loose Deuces with 5-way progressive (101.4%)
    * Double Bonus Poker (100.15%)
    * Strategy adjustments for 5-way progressives
    * Double Bonus Bingo Poker
    * Flush Attack (individual, up to 101.85%)
    * Double Double Jackpot (up to 101.4%)
    * Deuces Deluxe (100.2%)
    * 9/7 Jacks-or-Better (100.78%+)
    * Las Vegas Double Joker Wild (100.6%)
    * Atlantic City Double Joker Wild (99.9%)
    * Double Pay Deuces Wild (100.9%)
    * Double Double Bonus (98.8%)
    * Money Fever (100.4%)
    * Pick Five Poker at 102%+
    * Five-Deck Frenzy, Five-Deck Poker

Some of these games may no longer exist, but they may show up under different names. When they do, you will be prepared.

In addition, there are surveys for Mississippi, Atlantic City and Pahrump. Although these surveys are obviously outdated, they give an idea of what to expect in those areas. There is a series of articles on tournaments, risk of ruin computer simulations for Double Bonus Poker and Jacks or Better, and the Jazbo/Sorokin risk of ruin formula. Also the definitions and an easy method to calculate the Variance and Attractiveness Index, a review of video poker computer software, a risk of ruin computer simulation for Deuces Wild, a discussion of 1-coin vs. 5-coin play, the cost of errors, serial vs. parallel dealing, and much more.

The cover price is $29.95 plus $6.00 shipping and handling, but click on the Orders button below for special pricing.


Optimized Hand Rank Charts

on Shirt Pocket Size Cards

Is a book too bulky to carry with you and use during play?

Of course it is.
Do you prefer not advertising to casino personnel

that you're using a computer-generated strategy?
For your actual casino excursion, you should consider

my optimized cue cards. The heavy laminated, shirt

pocket size strategy cards are available for the most

attractive games, plus certain variations on some of

those games. See below for details on the various cards.

These cards are functional, not fancy. Every card is an original, printed in sharp black on white for best readability in casino lighting, and heavy laminated for durability. The cards will fit easily in your shirt pocket or in the palm of your hand.

Before ordering cue cards, it's a good idea to scout around and find out what games are available where you play. Having the card for a 102% game will get you 102% payback only on that specific game. I like to sell cards, but I don't want you to waste money. There is no point in buying a card for a game that is not available where you play.

Each card features an optimized hand rank table for one game, and some can be used for several variations on that game as described (numbers such as "9/6" refer to the per-coin payoffs that are most commonly changed -- in the case of Jacks or Better they refer to the full house and flush):

Jacks-or-Better optimized strategy for full pay 9/6 (99.53%, or 99.85% with 4700-coin royal), 8/5 (97.3%), 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.2%), Aces and Eights (100.15%), Jacks or Better 10/6 (100.67%, but this variation appears to be extinct), Aces&Faces 8/5 (99.25%), and most J-or-B progressives. This one card covers all those variations, so it's a must have for every video poker player.

Double Bonus Poker 10/7 at 100.15%. This is the most widely available 100%+ game around southern Nevada and some other parts of the country, but the strategy is very complex, and the volatility is high. Recommended primarily for players who like to play $1 or higher denomination, or multi-play machines, especially to generate a lot of action for a promotion, but this game is also popular with players who like the mini-jackpots on various four-of-a-kind hands.

Double Double Bonus 9/6 at 98.8% or the rarely available 10/6 at 100.05%. This is a very popular game with recreational players in spite of (or perhaps because of) the high variance caused by a lot of the payback being in the many small jackpots. The strategy to achieve that payback is relatively complex. It is not recommended where higher payback games are available.

All American Poker is the best game available in many parts of the country, especially in the Midwest, and occasionally in Atlantic City and Connecticut casinos. This refined (but necessarily complex) strategy will yield 100.7% payback. It has been sporadically available paying 250-for-5 for quads (102.9%) on some Bally GameMaker machines. This same game has also been seen with other names, including Gator Bonus Poker.

Flush Attack at up to 101.8%. This is the optimized "Flush 50" strategy for unlinked machines that go into "Attack" mode after 3 flushes. (Most now require 4, but you can often pick up a "free" flush left by watching previous players, thus making this strategy viable for short term play.)

Pick'em Poker at 99.9% plus liberal slot club rebates in some Strip and Midwest casinos. This game deals two cards, then you pick one of two shown for your third card, and it shows the final two cards. For a while this was the best game available in several Las Vegas Strip casinos. It's a very fast game, good for lots of dollar action when there's a good promotion, but some people find it boring.

Deuces Wild (FPDW) at 100.75% with the "full pay" 25/15/9/5/3/2/2/1 payoff schedule. Be cautious of machines that may appear at first glance to be full pay but are shorted on the wild royal and 5-of-a-kind to 20/12. I highly recommend this game for the beginning or intermediate player in some Las Vegas area "locals" casinos.

"Not So Ugly Deuces" (NSUD) at 99.7% with the 25/16/10/4/4/3/2/1 payoff schedule is the best game available in many casinos. This card is highly recommended wherever you play.

Loose Deuces 15/10 at 100.95% at a few casinos, and the more common 15/8 (100.09%). This is a very high variance game, so avoid the 12/8 version like the plague.

Deuces Deluxe at about 100.2%. This same payoff schedule is also available in a few other casinos under a different name.

Joker Wild (Kings or Better 20/7) at 100.65% (this game has not been reported recently and may be extinct).

Double Joker Wild (AC) at up to 99.9%, making this possibly the best game still available in Atlantic City, but full pay machines are scarce and may no longer exist. One casino used to have a 3-coin $5 machine (100.3%), but that seems to be long gone.

Double Joker Wild (LV) at up to 100.6% in Las Vegas. This pay schedule is not available in Atlantic City, and may also be extinct in LV.

The following games appear to be extinct, but I still have a few of these cards in stock in case you happen to find one or more of them somewhere. Suggested only for players who are always on the lookout for an unexpected good opportunity. Please let me know where you find any of these games.

Bonus Deuces used to be the best game at Sam's Town (LV) at 100.9%, but it was a coin-dropper. The last of these machines was taken out in 2009. Some Double Pay Deuces games are similar but are under 100%. (This is not the game that pays extra for kickers.)

Pick Five Poker. This game shows you two cards at a time, and at each juncture you must pick one of the two to be part of your final hand. According to the game's developer, the maximum expected return is 103.1%. This strategy has been shown by simulation to yield a bit over 102%.

Joker Wild (Two Pair) at up to 102% (with 5000-coin royal). This game was pounded hard by the vultures, so it will probably never be seen again. There is a new short-pay version, but we have not heard of this full pay game in any casino since 2003.

Please do not order a card for a game that is not listed, but note in the descriptions above that some cards are optimized for several versions of a game. If you find an attractive game other than above, let me know, and I may make a card. Or better yet, buy the Optimum Video Poker program and make your own cards.

For pricing for cue cards, click on the Prices and Ordering button.

Books and Cue Cards