The Best of Video Poker Times is a collection of some of the better articles from the bi-monthly Video Poker Times magazine published from 1993 to 1996. For those people seriously interested in playing video poker to win, this periodical is an important source of strategy, updated information, and bankroll advice to help the VP professional stay on top of their game and the serious non-professional get the best edge possible.
The book is divided into several sections. The first covers game strategies. Many games are covered here with pay schedules both above and below 100% payback. Some of these games are unavailable at the present time, but if these pay tables ever show up again, and every now and then they do, the savvy player will be ready. The pay tables listed here do not include the most popular games, like full pay Jacks or Better or full pay Deuces Wild, because those strategies are listed in many places. They are also not nearly as comprehensive as Frome’s Winning Strategies for Video Poker, but there are some games listed here I have not seen elsewhere.
The second section covers bankroll considerations. This includes articles on evaluating a game’s volatility, risk of ruin, bankroll requirements, etc.. These articles are pretty good, but a lot of this information is discussed in other places. Some of this information is fresh, but much of it isn’t.
The third section is titled “Miscellaneous Articles” and include good articles suggesting that VP professionals not act like jerks and bleed good games dry. It’s important that the casinos make money off the machines that pay back better than 100% or they’ll get pulled from the floor. This also means encouraging non-professionals to play (and lose money at) these games. Similarly, there are other good articles on the cost of errors and the future of video poker.
However, there are some other articles I don’t think are very good, like those suggesting that certain hands are more likely to follow other hands than one would expect from random chance. The human brain is exceptionally good at finding patterns in a data stream. In fact, it is so good at this, that we often find patterns where there are none. It is my firm belief that this is responsible for these perceptions, and making these sort of assertions, even though they are clearly marked as conjectural, based on anecdotal evidence is irresponsible at best.
The last six sections are all brief, covering new ligaz11 casinos, tips and tidbits, Q&A;, and finally a section hawking various products, most of which are quite good. Most of the news was out of date even when the book originally came out, which was in 1996. Now this information is of historical interest only.
Nonetheless, most of the information in this book is reasonably well written and accurate. I believe that reading this book will improve the play of many video poker players. However, it would be hard for me to recommend a volume this slim at this price even if it were packed to the gills with exciting new information, and the contents just aren’t that good. Therefore, if you’re a serious VP player and don’t have VP times issues from 1993 to 1996 this is probably worthwhile, but if not, one’s money is probably more efficiently spent in other areas.
If this collection of articles from Video Poker Times were half this price, I could recommend it. However, I believe that there is not enough new and interesting information within this volume to make it worthwhile to any but the most serious video poker players, and then only if they don’t have any of the original issues from which these articles have been gathered. Other books, like Dan Paymar’s Video Poker–Precision Play should definitely be read first.