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Best of Jerry Stickman

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Jacks or better II

7 November 2015

Hi Jerry,

Last time I wrote I told you I was heading down to Alabama to visit my daughters and I had asked you about class "b" machines at Indian casinos. Well, I got my answer: they suck.

One night we drove to a local Indian casino. The kids like the fun of playing penny slots. I found only one bank of video poker machines. You had your choice of 3 play, 5 play or 10 play. The games were BP, DDB and a couple of others. I only put $20 in and chose 3 play BP. I think the pay schedule was actually 8/5.

I played quarters and when I drew my first hand the cards for you to keep were selected for you at the bottom of the screen, all you had to do was hit the draw button. That was enough for me. I cashed out and watched the kids play their games. And you were right, there was a bingo card icon on every machine.

The following day we went to a casino in Biloxi. The best game I found there was a 7/5 BP which I played. We then went to another casino in Biloxi. I found the same thing there, 7/5 BP seemed to be the best game. This is where I have a question for you. I did find 8/5 BP at both casinos but the 8/5 game only paid the same for two pair as one pair.

I didn't know how to calculate it mathematically but I reasoned that it's better to play a 7/5 BP game and get paid 2 for one for 2 pairs rather than an 8/5 game and get paid one for one with 2 pairs. I figured that 2 pairs come up more often enough to offset the amount of times a full house comes up. Was I right in my thinking and how would you calculate that? Either way, I lost anyway.

I'm going to try and make it up in Vegas. I booked my trip in October from the 20th-25th. I am staying at one place, but want to see how the games are at a couple of other casinos. I know you should always play at the casino where you are staying. What do you think about playing elsewhere?

Hope to hear from you soon, Norman

Hi Norman,

Concerning your Indian casino experience, it is interesting how the machine worked. I suspect this was done in order to eliminate the need to have an “Angel” feature that changes the hand if the Class II server determines you win more than your hold would allow.

However, with Class II machines, you might as well let the machine pick for you as it will make no difference in the end. The wins are all predetermined by the server.

I understand why you left, however. Even though you know it doesn’t matter, you at least appreciate the appearance of having some say in the results – otherwise you would just play slots!

Concerning you 7/5 and 8/5 with two pair paying 1 for 1, I used Winpok6 to determine the returns and variances for the games you mentioned.

Here they are:

• Standard pay 7/5 Bonus Poker: 98.01% return, 20.75 variance. In this version 2-pair hands contribute 25.85% of the total return and the full house hands contribute 8.06% of the total return.

• 1-for-1 2 pair 8/5 Bonus Poker: 86.31% return, 21.19 variance. In this version 2-pair hands contribute 12.76% of the total return and the full house hands contribute 9.15% of the total return.

As you can see, “it ain’t even close.” Two-pair hands are quite frequent, occurring about one-eighth of the time. You made the correct choice, Norman.

When deciding if playing at another property is worthwhile, you have to consider the entire package. How much play gets you the comps you want where you are staying, versus how much extra you stand to make playing at the other casinos. Only you can make that decision.

Good luck in Vegas, Norman!

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”


Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker and advantage slot machine play. He authored the video poker section of "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker!" You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerry@aol.com.
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Best of Jerry Stickman
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 www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
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 www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com