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Best of Jerry Stickman

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Multiple Video Poker Hands

30 May 2020

A follow-up question about video poker play from Dave. The previous reply to Dave stated that there is a total of 940 possible initially dealt hands containing four cards of a royal flush.


Hello stickmanjerry,

I appreciate your email. Never expected that. So, there is only 940 possible four cards to a RF out of a possible 2.4 million + on the deal? Sounds impossible to get at least one during a visit to a casino. However, it happened twice on my last trip to Aquarius in Laughlin. Both became Royals; but I was playing 10 play.

That's my other question: Does multi-hand play reduce the EV or just volatility? They are not the same? right?

Dave


Hi Dave,

I am quite certain of the math. Getting dealt four to a royal twice as you did is somewhat rare – but well within the realm of random. You should get one once every 2700 hands or so. Depending on how fast you play, that is about once every four to six hours.

It is also a bit rare that you converted both of them to royals on your 10-play game. That should happen once every 47 times – on average. To do it twice should take 94 hands – not 20. However, this, also, is a very small sampling and well within the norms of being considered random.

You are correct that EV (Expected Value) and volatility are not the same things. EV, also called return or payback, is the percentage of money played that you could expect to have returned over time.

Volatility is a measure of the fluctuations to expect in your bankroll. Low volatility is similar to a tame roller coaster. High volatility is like a very steep (and very scary) roller coaster. The highs are higher, and the lows are lower – just like your bankroll on a high volatility game.

EV is not reduced or increased at all in a multi-play game. It is exactly the same as the expected value for a single-line game.

Volatility is a different situation. It seems logical that volatility should decrease with multi-play. You are playing more hands within the same time. Usually the more that you play, the more you approach the average return.

And it would be the case – if --- each of those 10 hands in 10-play were from a newly dealt initial hand. They are not.

Each of the hands on a 10-play game is based on the same initially dealt hand. Some of those hands can be really poor. No straights or pairs, all four suits and no high cards.

If that is the case, the 10 hands built from them will not amount to much.

Sometimes the initial hand will contain a high pair, two pairs, three of a kind – or even better.

Obviously, the hands generated from those initially dealt hands will generate some winnings.

The strong initially dealt hands will generate strong results and the weak initially dealt hands will generate weak results – results that go for 10 hands. Good or bad, the initial hand carries through all 10 plays.

So, playing a 10-play video poker games requires a larger bankroll in order to play for the same amount of time – even if the initial bet is in the same amount. For example, consider a $1 single line and a 10-cent 10-play. Both of these games require a total wager of five dollars per play. The bankroll requirements for the 10-play game would be higher, however.

Playing a 10-play game can be a lot of fun. Especially when you get four of a royal flush and capitalize on some of them. But, from the volatility perspective, a larger bankroll is necessary to ride through the loss cycles that are deeper in 10-play than in single play.

I hope that makes sense to you, Dave.

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

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and 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
Recent Articles
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