Slots vs. Video Poker – What do you play?

slots-vs-video-pokerOne of the most-contentious debates in gaming is whether people should play slots or video poker. This debate often arises because of their similarities as machine-based games, versus their obvious differences in terms of strategy. So for new players who are starting out, the big question becomes this: what do you play? To answer this, let’s discuss the main points of contention regarding slots and video poker.

Comparisons in Strategy

There is very little strategy involved with slots, which is seen as a plus to many who don’t want to learn strategy. Now, this is changing a little with the introduction of skill-based bonus rounds, but even still, this only makes up around 4% of payback. In many cases, it’s just you trying to control your bankroll and relaxing while spinning the reels.

Contrast this to video poker, where players’ decisions have a large impact on overall payback. For example, 9/6 Jacks or Better offers 99.54% payback, but this could easily drop down to 95% payback if you continue making mistakes. Some people love the complex strategy behind video poker, while others don’t appreciate having to learn or think before making bets.

Comparisons in Payout Percentage

Online slots games usually offer around 95% payback, while land-based machines (usually) deliver anywhere between 88% and 95% payback. This isn’t one of the better bets in the casino, however, most players who appreciate the simplicity don’t mind the payback.

Video poker can deliver much higher payback, with rare games even offering a positive return on perfect play. And even when certain video poker variations don’t offer over 100% payback, they can deliver close to this figure like the aforementioned Jacks or Better. But the thing to keep in mind here is that many land-based casinos offer variations with less than 98% payback too.

So what’s the Verdict?

There’s really no clear-cut answer to this question, and one can make solid points for both slots and video poker. In the end, it really just comes down to whether one likes the no-strategy, relatively laid-back nature of slots versus the (normally) high-payback, strategical video poker.

The masses have clearly chosen slots since these games dominate most casinos. However, that’s not to say that players who want to be challenged more shouldn’t try video poker too.