CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Jerry Stickman

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Video Poker Strategy: Ace-10 Suited

18 January 2020

Most video poker players in today’s casinos use a playing strategy that I call the hunch strategy. They examine the cards that are initially dealt and decide which cards to hold and which to discard based on what they feel is the right move. In other words, they play their hunches.

The hunch strategy can work well in most cases, such as with a hand containing a high pair and nothing else. But it can also get tricky. Video poker players who want to get the most out of every penny played through a machine know that what may feel might be the best move many times is, indeed, not the best.

The next few articles will examine hands where what appears to be the best hold, the math proves otherwise. All hands are examined as they relate to several Jacks or Better-based games. Specifically, Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, and Double-Double Bonus Poker. And, since pay tables vary from casino to casino (and even within casinos), several popular pay tables are examined.

The term “popular” is taken to mean popular to the more savvy players – not popular with the casino. In other words, only those pay tables that give the player a decent chance to win or at least to play longer. Pay tables that return at least 98 percent to the player if the game has a low variance (meaning lower bankroll fluctuations), and close to 99 percent on pay tables for games that have higher variances.

The sample hand examined in this article is one that contains a suited Ace-10. Winpok6 software was used to obtain the results using the hand containing:

Ace and 10 of spades, 7 of hearts, 4 of diamonds and 2 of clubs (As Ts 7h 4d 2c).

This hand contains two cards of a royal flush (As Ts) and one high card (As) and not much else. Most players using the hunch strategy would save both the ace and the 10 in the hope of snagging a royal flush and its accompanying 4,000 credits for the five played. By holding only the Ace, there is no chance for a royal flush. But is this the proper hold? By proper, I mean the hold that will return the most money to the player on average.

Let’s look at some specifics.

Jacks or Better is a low variance game. Many casinos still have this game with decent pay tables paying at least 97 percent. We will specifically look at two Jacks or Better pay tables.

The 9/6 (9-for-1 for a full house and 6-for-1 for a flush) version returns 99.54 percent with proper play. While this game can still be found, it is becoming increasingly scarce.
The 8/5 version returns 97.20 percent. While this is not a great return (with proper play the player will lost $2.80 for every $100 played, on average), the game has a fairly low variance so bankroll fluctuations will not be all that severe. The player has much less chance of being wiped out in short order by a losing streak.

Many casinos also have 9/5 or 8/6 versions available. Their results would be somewhere between the 9/6 and 8/5 results. Let’s see the specifics.

9/6 Pay table:

Holding the Ace and 10 of spades returns, on average, 2.3028 credits per the maximum of five credits played.

Holding the lone Ace returns 2.3201 credits. So, holding the lone Ace is the better (and proper) hold. It returns 0.0173 additional credits. While this may not seem like a lot, every little bit helps. Why give the casino more than you have to?

8/5 Pay table:

Holding the Ace and 10 of spades returns 2.2467 credits.

Holding the lone Ace returns 2.3028 credits – also the proper move for this pay table by 0.0561 credits.

How can that be? It certainly seems counter-intuitive. The royal flush pays 4,000-for-5, which is huge compared to other hands.

Here s the answer.

When the Ace and 10 are held, there are 16,215 possible hands that can be made from them with the cards left in the deck.

If the lone Ace is held, 178,365 hands are possible. While the royal flush is not one of these 178,365 possible hands, there is a possibility of:

One straight flush paying 250-for-5.

A total of 52 four of a kind hands paying 125-for-5 versus only two when holding the Ace-10.

288 full house hands versus only 18 when holding the A-10. The same holds true for all winning hands.

There are many more winning possibilities holding just the Ace. It turns out that those additional winning hands more than overcome the loss of a royal flush possibility.

The same situation holds true regardless of whether the game is Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker or Double-Double Bonus poker. The values vary slightly, but it is always a better move to hold just the Ace with this hand than to include the 10 with the Ace in the hold.

Now you know.

The next article will look at hands containing and ace and two high cards when playing Jacks or Better or Bonus Poker.

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 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