Dan Paymar

Dan Paymar
Video Poker—Optimum Play: The Strategies and Tactics of Advantage Play

Dan Paymar was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. Following four years at Michigan Tech, where he first started programming a computer in 1957, he then spent a muggy summer in Cleveland, Ohio, maintaining several Bendix G-15 computers before transferring to Los Angeles to begin a career in logic design.

If you wonder why you've never heard of a Bendix computer, it's because the computer division was bought out by Control Data in 1963. This gave Dan the opportunity to become one of the first ever to own a "personal" computer — he bought a G-15 from the old stock that Control Data didn't want. This was a refrigerator-size monster that consumed about four kilowatts, yet today's $50 programmable pocket calculators could run circles around it; at the time, however, it represented a giant step up from the mechanical desk calculators.

Dan stayed with Control Data four more years then joined Encyclopædia Britannica in 1967 to develop a text editing system. Unfortunately, technology hadn't caught up with fantasy so the project never got off the ground. (Note that this was many years before laser printers and the desktop publishing revolution.)


Next, he joined two other engineers to start Educational Data Systems and shifted back to programming to write a BASIC language interpreter and disk operating system for the Data General Nova computer to handle up to sixteen users. As far as we know, this was the first time-sharing system to run on a minicomputer.

Educational Data Systems became Point 4 Data Corporation when the company began manufacturing its own computers. Meanwhile, Dan developed an accessory for the Apple-II computer, which he sold by mail and through retail stores. Realizing that the mail order business didn't have to tie him down, he and his family moved to Durango, Colorado, in 1980. In 1988 he returned to California to manage a computer repair store, but that business was mortally wounded by the government's "protective" import surtax on memory chips, so he chose to indulge in semi-retirement, became a poker dealer, and moved to Las Vegas.

That's where his interest in video poker began. His first endeavor was to survey the casinos and publish a directory of favorable video poker opportunities. Not satisfied with the strategies then available, he put his computer experience to use, analyzed the games, and published his results in the predecessor to this book, Video Poker — Precision Play. The book evolved and expanded, going through many revisions as new games began to appear and questions about how to play them arose. Now out of print, the tenth edition was the last version before this book.

Dan retired to Farmington, New Mexico, in 2004, but he and his wife still go to Las Vegas about three times a year to visit with old friends and play video poker. His primary interest is continuing development of his analysis and training software while sharing his knowledge and information with others through his various publications. See Appendix E for Dan's products, or contact him at Dan@OptimumPlay.com.

Dan Paymar

1118 Fairgrounds Road
Farmington, NM 87401