After I provide a laundry list of playing hints to improve your accuracy, I share my favorite practice technique, using the Frugal Video Poker software.
Choose a game in FVP on which you want to improve your accuracy. Go to “Tutor Options” and mark “Don’t signal errors during play” and “Don’t show best hand on deal.” Go to “View Options” and be sure you've marked “Don’t highlight dealt winners” and “Active Marquee.” While you're there, change the background color and card colors that you're used to using when you're practicing. Go to “Audio” and select “Disable all Sound Effects” and “Enable Music,” choosing the selection you hate the most and turning the volume up high.
You're trying to duplicate the crazy noisy distractions of real VP play in a casino, so it would help to have two friendly cats that like to jump up on your desk and look at the screen and/or two dogs that bark all the time. If possible, work on this lesson while you're babysitting two toddlers who constantly pull at your sleeve for attention. And have a loving friend or spouse offer you an alcoholic drink every 15 minutes. Play as fast as you can for about 30 minutes, without looking at strategy cards and without thinking too long about each hand.
Then go to “Session Errors” and see what types of mistakes you made. These are the things that you need to watch for as you play.
Now go back and set all the software choices to the ones you use when practicing. Be sure to go to “Replay errors” under “Options” and enable this valuable teaching feature.
I've found that this is one of the best ways to identify weaknesses in my strategy skills. Do I often miss small pairs? Straight-flush draws? Now I know where and how I need to be more careful in my play.
You can order both the Frugal Video Poker book and software at www.queenofcomps.com
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