As video poker’s popularity soars, more and more players are asking if casinos can alter payouts on video poker machines. While casinos can adjust payoff schedules on machines, they cannot alter odds of winning hands due to being based off a standard 52-card deck where all cards have an equal chance at being dealt – changing this would compromise this equilibrium and render some hands less likely than others to come into play.

House has the ability to manipulate payoff amounts for specific hands in order to gain an edge over players. They may increase or decrease royal flush payouts for example. Another method they employ to control payout amounts is by altering how many coins must be bet in order to win certain hands; this often causes players to wager more than necessary, giving the house an unfair edge.

Casinos can alter how much a specific machine pays out for certain amounts of credits through a process called “marking.” Marking involves signing an IOU to the casino that acts as an IOU; typically this involves signing with cash but other forms may work such as Player’s Club cards. Marking takes only minutes and involves having an employee go into each machine and adjust the pay schedule; many casinos will only do this occasionally.

Many people mistakenly believe casinos tinker with payback percentages frequently – often changing them depending on the day or week and whether or not players are having success or not. In reality, however, most changes are done deliberately and methodically: machines need to be shut down, opened up and reset for changes to take effect – an involved process requiring multiple people and stringent security verifications that takes time if issues need addressing or new games are being introduced onto the floor.

Casinos will only alter paybacks when they notice that one type of game is underperforming against others on the floor, and need to increase sales or bring in additional revenue. Any changes won’t be drastic; usually they can accomplish their goals more rapidly by switching out poorly performing games than by fiddling with payouts – since paybacks occur over millions of spins rather than in one night or weekend alone, it may take time before noticeable differences emerge; for this reason it’s vital that gamblers choose trustworthy sites with licensed operators as well as understanding each game’s odds before beginning to play them.