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Best of John Grochowski

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I could have had a million!

11 September 2016

QUESTION: You don’t seem to write much about Let It Ride, but could you answer a question? Once I look at my first three cards, I can either pull back one bet or let it ride. I was in a situation where I had 2-3-4 of clubs, and I let it ride, but then after the first common card was a 9 of hearts, I pulled back the second bet, and I wound up losing two of the three bets.

Should I have let it ride, or should I have pulled back the first bet?

ANSWER: The better strategy would have been to pull back the bet.

As detailed by Michael Shackleford at wizardofodds.com, basic strategy after three cards calls for you to let you first bet ride only if you have a paying hand of a 10s or better; three parts of a royal flush; three consecutive suited cards if the low card is 3 or higher; three parts of a straight flush with one gap if the the hand includes at least one 10 or higher; or three parts of a straight flush with two gaps if the hand includes two 10s or higher.

Note that suited A-2-3 and 2-3-4 are excluded. The reason is that the low cards put limitations on the number of possible straights or straight flushes.

A-2-3 can become a straight or straight flush only if the remaining two cards are a 4 and a 5. The situation is a little better with 2-3-4, where either A-5 or 5-6 can complete a paying hand.

But 3-4-5 can become a straight or straight flush with A-2, 2-6 or 6-7. There are more ways to complete a paying hand, improving your chances of having a winning hand.

On the high end, the limits kick in again with J-Q-K – completed only by 9-10 or 10-A – and Q-K-A – completed only by 10-J. But by that point, you’re in three-card royal territory, where the longshot chance at the game’s biggest-paying hand makes it worth letting it ride.

For the record, I don’t write much about Let It Ride because it’s not played as much as it was in years past. Three Card Poker and Mississippi Stud have risen as the most-played poker-based games in table pits, with Ultimate Texas Hold’em also drawing interest. Let It Ride and Caribbean Stud have waned, and I rarely receive reader questions about them.


QUESTION: My neighbor told me about this. What do you think? She said a young lady hit a jackpot, and when they took her ID to do the taxes, they found she was only 20 and wouldn’t pay her. Can the casino just keep money someone has won?

ANSWER: I can’t speak for the laws and regulations in every state, but the common situation is that it’s illegal to pay underage gamblers. If the legal gambling age in your state is 21, then the casino has no option. It can’t pay a 20-year-old player even if it wants to.

Not only that, in states where underage customers are not allowed on casino floors, the casino must evict the underage player and must file an incident report with the state gaming board or commission. The casino might even be fined for allowing the underage player on the gaming floor in the first place.

Minimum ages are not set by casinos. They are set by state lawmakers, and casinos are as bound by them as players are. I can’t fault the casino for refusing to pay an underage player. That’s what it had to do.
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski