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Best of Jerry Stickman

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Saving an 8 in Video Poker

5 April 2014

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


Hi Bob,

Decades ago ten cards were selected as you hit the deal button – two for each display location. If that were true today, it would make a difference which 8 was discarded on that hand, but not in the long run. Because of the way the older generation machines selected cards, it was possible to determine which cards would be drawn so the games were changed.

Machines manufactured for the last 25 years or so only select cards as they need to be displayed. In other words, five cards are selected for the initial hand. The random number generator continues to cycle until the draw button is hit. Additional cards are then selected for only the discarded locations. So in today’s machines, it would not matter which 8 was discarded. As long as the draw button was hit at exactly the same instant, the same replacement card would be selected by the random number generator. However, in reality, the draw button would most likely not be hit at the same instant, so a different card would be selected.

I know that sounds like a cop out, but it is true. It will always take just a tiny fraction longer or shorter to save a different card. Therefore a different card will be drawn due to the way the random number generator works. It the “old days” you definitely would get a different card depending on which 8 was discarded. Today you will almost certainly get a different card, but you could get the same card.

All the best in your casino and life endeavors,

Jerry “Stickman”
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