Due to the technology based video games, and their seemingly random nature, many people have been led to believe that either the Casino’s fix the game by choosing the cards that are dealt, or that some superstitions can either help them avoid bad luck, predict what will happen, or give them signs over what they should do.
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Random Number Generators
The machines that are used to play video poker are known as Random Number Generators, which shuffle a 52 card deck endlessly, until the player chooses ‘deal’ or ‘draw’. The random nature of this ensures that each hand is dealt fairly and that the odds will consistently be the same. However, as with many seemingly random games, even more so in the casinos, some people have been led to a number of superstitions about the machines themselves. According to superstitions, the generators can be either ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ and deal a streak of good hands or bad, so depending on the machine that is being used, the player stands to win more or less money. This superstition could come from the term ‘cold hand’ to describe a streak of losses, or it could come from the way the machines are built. The machines will always generate random cards, but as a result of their being constantly working they can overheat and be more predictable. The casinos monitor for this however.
This is a belief that can hold sway over any gamblers taking part in any game. Perhaps even more redundant in this case due the utter randomness of it, some players believe that if one hand has not been dealt, or there has not been a combination for a while, then it is due to happen. This is not just a belief unique to video poker, but it is perhaps exaggerated by the suspicion that each computer is programmed to release a certain number of winning hands over a time period. This belief can lead a player to sit for hours, waiting after each hand for the good cards that he is sure to come, only just playing the same odds over and over again.
Perhaps due to the same motive as gambler’s fallacy, some players start to believe that the machines are corrupt, and that the casino is monitoring every loss and win, and tightly controlling the money that is ever given out. This is of course just a sign of subscribing to the belief that the cards that are dealt are determined by some higher influence, and although it is a superstition that supports a negative factor towards the machines, it still does provide some (erroneous) predictability. There are 2.6 million potential unique card combinations, and the odds for receiving one remain unchanged at the beginning of each hand.
Using the Club Card
These cards are used to monitor the wins and losses of each player who has one, and use that information towards tax. But with the knowledge that each player’s individual details are monitored, and that each card represents a unique individual, some players believe that the casino monitors their winnings, their dealt hands and so on, and controls them. So if a player has not been dealt a good hand in a while, they believe that the casino is in direct control and will give them a good hand to keep them tempted by the machine; or, if the player is winning too much, the casino will deal out a series of big losses. This superstition encourages players to pull out their club card as soon as they receive wins in the hope that there was not enough time for the wins to register. It has also led others to the belief that a club card offers rewards to each customer for being a member of the casino, and it is through games such as video poker that those rewards are dealt out. But all of this disregards the basic truth that all the Random Number Generators are completely random every time.
Some people believe that when dealing cards, the machines are not shuffling fairly with a 52 card deck with every card included; this superstition entails that there are more 2’s in the digital deck than there should be, and that the machine is really shuffling a series of low cards, only presenting the illusion of fairness.
How to Pay
Superstitions abide in every aspect of this game, and the payment method is no exception. It has been known for some players to believe that paying in notes is less likely to offer returns than paying in coins. The basis for such superstition is difficult to uncover, and is false regardless, as the Random Number Generator does not record the payment method of each round.
Casino to Casino
Another superstition when regarding the odds of video poker, and a vital factor in a player’s determining where to play to receive the best pay-outs does not stop at each machine, but extends to each casino too. It is fact for some that other casinos can be more ‘stingy’ than others, and are less likely to hand out rewards to players of video poker. Again, this is another superstition that completely disregards that every machine of video poker is completely random, and that the odds of receiving a certain hand are the same for every machine, because they all use 52 cards the same way.
Different Odds for Different Games
Some people believe that the odds vary for every different game included in the video poker machines’ repertoire, and that the ‘gimmick’ games offer better returns. The gimmick games, such as ‘deuces wild’, or ‘full pay double bonus’ are considered less serious and for some reason are thought to offer better returns. Because of the inclusion of wild cards and special payments for certain hands, some players think that the odds are better, and that the machines become more generous.
Changing Machines is Changing Luck
Perhaps the simplest superstition that affects players’ response to playing video poker is the belief that by changing machines they are walking away from bad luck, the idea being that the particular machine they are playing on is dealing a losing streak, or that the player is having a bad luck streak. As with many superstitions, basic truths are completely disregarded, and this one is no exception. The odds for each hand are always the same no matter the machine due to their complete random nature.
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Additional Video Poker Superstition Questions:
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