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Saving the 8 Redux

21 June 2014

By Jerry Stickman
In a recent article (April 5, 2014) I responded to Bob in Boston who wrote:

Hi Stickman,

With 5 card video draw poker, assume you have the following: 7 of spades,
8 of diamonds, 8 of hearts, 9 of spades and 10 of clubs. Obviously you will discard
one of the two 8's. My question is does it matter which of the two
you discard?

In other words will the same replacement card come up no matter which
of the two 8's you discard?

Bob in Boston

I focused on what would happen if one of the eights was discarded. I went on in some detail talking about how in days past it may have made a difference which 8 was saved, but with the current video poker technology it made no difference.

Since then I have been inundated with emails from observant readers, informing me that my detailed explanation of how replacement cards are determined was totally unnecessary.

And they are all correct.

The proper response to the reader’s question is: It doesn’t matter which 8 you discard because you should not discard either of the 8’s. In Jacks or Better you save a low pair, not four of an open straight.

The difference in long term return with five credits played on a full-pay (9/6) game is 4.1 credits saving the pair of 8’s versus 3.4 credits saving the straight.

All the best in your casino and life endeavors,
Jerry “Stickman”

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at


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Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit or or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at

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