Video Poker Story = $20.000

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Having played video poker for over 20 years now, I have a LOT of stories, but one of my favorites is how I hit my first $5 ($20,000) Royal, in the early 90s.

My best friend and I had gone to Reno for an overnight “quickie”. I was living in the San Fran Bay Area at the time, so we did these a lot. We’d leave Friday or Saturday night, gamble all night and through the morning, grab a nap & a meal in the room (free everything), gamble some more, then go home the next evening.

Since I was newly married at the time, LaNae & I didn’t spend very much time together anymore, so I played slots with her all night so we could talk as we played. Around 8 in the morning I was up about $2-300, and as we passed the $5 video poker macines, I said, “Oh, let me just piss this money away on these machines before we go up to the room.”

We were at the Nugget in Sparks, and their $5 video poker machines (at the time) were really cool. Grouped in pairs, they were huge gold machines, with very comfortable, large, overstuffed chairs, so she could sit & talk to me while I played.

I started out pretty weak, playing only 2 coins at a time, but the machine was playing. I hit three or four 4 of a kinds, each time increasing my bet until I was at the full 5 coins. But then the machine stalled, so I employed one of my “strategies”; I cashed it out and started all over again (boy, do I love the sound of $5 coins hitting that bucket!!).

The $5 video poker machine started hitting again, so I quickly increased my bet to the full 5 coins again. The machine played well this time, so I was sitting there just playing away while LaNae & I talked. I play pretty fast, about a hand a second, and don’t pay much attention to the “near misses” that video poker games like to put out. You know, they deal you 4 to the Royal, then nothing with the draw?

While we’re sitting there talking, though, the machine dealt me A_K_Q_10 of spades, and I hit the hold & draw buttons without thinking as usual…. and the machine popped the J of spades in there for the Royal!!

LaNae & I both stopped dead, in shock, for a couple of seconds, then started saying, “Oh. My. God!” Actually, that’s all I could say for about 45 minutes! lol I had never really expected it to hit a Royal.

Then the “suits” came ( the managers), about 5 of them, and a crowd circled around while they paid me $20,000 in $100 bills – boy, was that cool! Although I love playing video poker online, there’s nothing quite like the “suits” and the crowd when you hit a big royal. 

I never did get my nap that day; the adrenaline rush from that hit wouldn’t let me sleep, and all day long as I was wandering around the casino, I kept muttering, “Oh. My. God.”.