The Video Poker Environment

You walk into the casino, hot cash in hand, and say to yourself, "I come to gamble." The casino is buzzing with noise and excitement, a hum of voices gather and hang in the air, over by the craps table a Texan is screaming, Eighter from Decatur. You don't understand craps anyway. The blackjack tables are quieter but don't look inviting, and roulette just isn't your style.

Forget all that. You came to play video poker. Here's what the video poker environment looks and feels like:

The Video Poker Setting

Video Poker machines are situated together in groups called banks. A bank of machines might consist of four machines grouped together in a square like shape, with backs toward the middle and fronts facing outward towards the players, or even in larger groups of eight, ten, fifteen, or even more machines, in circular or rectangular shapes.

Unlike slot machines, where there are often a variety of machines grouped together in the same bank, video poker machines tend to be grouped together by similar types. For example, Deuces Wild machines will tend to be side by side on the floor, as will the Jacks or Better versions.

A bank of video poker machines will almost always contain machines using the same coin denomination. It is unusual to see different denominations such as 25 cents and $1 machines mixed together within the same bank.

For example, one bank will contain nothing but 25 cent machines, while a neighboring one may be all $1 ones. This type of arrangement makes it easier for customers to identify the type and denomination of machines they want to play.

Progressive video poker machines are typically "banked" together in the same block, and at the equal coin value, so that the posted sign showing the progressive jackpot above the machines can refer to all the machines within the group. Banks of progressives are common in a casino and great draws for players looking to make a lot of whoopee from a little whoopee.


Each video poker machine in the casino has a chair in front of it so that you can play the machines in comfort, even if you were to go for hours, which many of the players do.

Plastic Buckets

Throughout the video poker area, between the machines, sometimes on top or at the ends of aisles, will be plastic buckets. They look like small ice buckets emblazoned with the name and logo of the casino on them, but it is not cold cubes they're meant to hold. It's coins, bucketfuls of them.

These plastic buckets are widely used by players to hold their coins after cashing out from a machine so that they can transport their haul over to the cashier's cage. You'll often see players scooping coins out of the coin well and shoveling them into their buckets prior to leaving the machine. Some players will use the buckets while they play as well as a convenient way to hold multiple coins.

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