Study Finds Skilled Video Poker Players Impact Casino Earnings


A recent study reveals that a select group of video poker players, known as advantage players (APs), possess the expertise to diminish casino profits.

Utilizing its innovative Video Poker Analyzer tool, Acres Manufacturing Company, a provider of cutting-edge customer loyalty solutions for casinos, investigated how APs can consistently outperform the house, while also garnering a disproportionate share of loyalty rewards.

According to Acres, collectively, these players caused the casino to experience a loss equivalent to 25.64% of its earnings from video poker during the study period. Moreover, over two-thirds of the APs managed to profit from their gameplay during this time. Despite constituting only 1% of guests, this group accounted for 26% of the coin-in on video poker machines, resulting in the casino’s loyalty program granting each AP significantly more rewards compared to higher-margin players.

Fortunately, such skilled players represent a small fraction of casino patrons, comprising just 1% of guests. The survey conducted by Acres examined the gameplay of 1,000 APs, analyzing three million hands played in the Las Vegas locals market.

Video Poker Remains a Lucrative Segment for Casinos

In the fiscal year 2023, Nevada casinos generated nearly $30 billion in revenue, with slots and other gaming machines, including video poker, serving as significant contributors, as is typically observed.

In Las Vegas, video poker remains a staple at locals casinos. Recognizing this, operators are increasingly mindful of the impact of allocating excessive tier credits and points to select players. These loyalty rewards can be redeemed for complimentary offerings in other profit-generating areas such as dining and accommodations.

Technology Plays a Crucial Role in Identifying Skilled Players

Like many other industries, the casino gaming sector is becoming increasingly reliant on technology. Technological advancements are crucial for operators seeking to level the playing field with highly skilled video poker players.

Acres highlighted its Video Poker Analyzer, which evaluates players’ decisions against optimal strategies for each hand dealt. By identifying players’ mistakes and assigning a monetary value to these errors, operators gain insights to better predict profits and losses associated with individual players.

Conclusively, Acres suggests that by employing the Video Poker Analyzer, casino operators could potentially increase their video poker profits by more than 45%. This can be achieved through strategies such as excluding or reducing unprofitable APs from the active player base and reallocating marketing resources to players with higher potential for profitability.

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