1. What would be your and Brad’s average time at one VP machine playing the same game? I think I remember you referring to “five hour sessions” — would that be an average time?
We rarely played 5 hours in one session even back 15-20 years ago when our health and energy levels were better. It’s hard for anyone to keep optimum concentration for that long. These days our sessions usually run about two hours. We like to sit side-by-side, so if the play is very good and we want to stay longer, we will take turns having a break. We might walk outside for some fresh air. Brad sometimes goes to the sports book to watch a game or a race for a few minutes. I might walk around scouting for a new game or browsing in the gift shop.
2. Realizing the numerous VP games now available on the same machine, do you stick with one game for an entire session? Or, for example, would you play a couple of hours of Double Double Bonus Poker and then switch possibly to Double Bonus Poker? If you do switch games, is there a rationale for the switch?
I get some version of this question all the time, and I discussed this subject in Part 4 – Losing at VP, the blog entry on July 21. The simple answer is that there is usually only one BEST play for us in a casino. We go to a machine that has that game and stay there and play that one game until it is time to leave. That time is usually pre-set before we start, i.e., after we reach x number of points. Hit a royal but it isn’t time to leave – we keep playing that same game on that same machine. Don’t hit a quad for an hour and are losing fast – we keep playing that same game on that same machine. We always play when we have an advantage so moving around wastes time. Although there ARE streaks in video poker play, one can not predict them in advance.
The only time we change machines is when we are in a draft that is making us uncomfortable or we have to get away from a smoker. If we have to move in these cases and can’t find another machine with a “good play,” we leave the casino.
3. Do you have win/loss goals for sessions – and if so, are the loss goals less or greater than win goals?
We don’t use win/loss goals because we have a way-more-than-adequate bankroll for the denominations of video poker we play. We almost never stop a session early just because we are winning or losing a certain amount. Someone with a limited financial bankroll – or whose psychological bankroll is very small, that is, he can’t stand to lose much – might use win/loss limits.
4. Do you have more winning sessions then losing sessions?
Definitely more losing sessions. Everyone does, even the most skilled professional – that’s the nature of the beast when so much of the EV in VP is dependent on jackpots that come infrequently. But if – and only IF – you are playing with an advantage, those fewer winning sessions will eventually have a bigger total win number than the total loss number of the more frequent losing ones – thereby pulling out a profit long term.