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Best of John Grochowski

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The biggest jackpot stories

15 May 2016

QUESTION: I have a good back-to-back jackpot story to add to your collection. My wife and I had been playing penny video slots and not doing very well. We’d both been losing $10 here, $15 there, and it added up.

Finally I told my wife, “If we’re going to lose $100 or more, let’s go for something big.” So we went for the old three-reel games, to a $1 Double Diamond game. We put $100 in and decided to take turns, just alternating spins.

We hadn’t played much more than three or four minutes when I got the three double diamonds. That was $2,500! My wife shouted, “Good choice!” meaning leaving the pennies for our big winner. An attendant paid us and unlocked the machine, and then it was my wife’s turn. Wouldn’t you know it? She hit the $2,500 too!

I’m not saying we’re done with pennies. It was just one of those days and we can’t afford dollars all the time, but it was a blast!

ANSWER: Congratulations, and thanks for sharing. I always enjoy relaying these close encounters of the winning kind.


QUESTION: You print a lot of reader stories. What would you say are the strangest big win stores you’ve ever had?

ANSWER: One undoubtedly was the from a Three Card Poker player who was dealt four consecutive straight flushes. Straight flushes aren’t unusual in Three Card Poker. They happen about once per 460 hands. But four in a row? That’s about a 1 in 41 billion shot.

But that’s not all. The first two straight flushes were identical, with 3-4-5 of hearts. That makes it more like a 1 in 2 trillion shot.

It’s one of those things that’s so rare, it’s hard to believe it happened. Another game in the early days of Caribbean Stud, in the 1990s. One player set a world record by winning a royal flush jackpot of more than $400 million, then a year later won even bigger, with a royal worth more than $600 million.

The chances of being dealt a royal in a five-card stud game are 1 in 649,740. For the same player to draw two of them, and have them both be record jackpot hands, is almost unfathomable. The question was put to a mathematician/gambler, and his response was a flat, “It didn’t happen.”



QUESTION: I’m confused. I was playing pai gow poker for the first time, and it seemed to me the way to go would be to have my two-card hand be strong, so the dealer couldn’t beat me there, and then just take my chances on the five-card hand. I was dealt a two aces and two 9s, along with three other cards that didn’t really matter, so I set the aces as one hand, and then used the 9s and the other three cards in the other.

Both of my hands beat the dealer, but she took my money. I asked her why when I beat her in both hands, and she said I couldn’t set the hand that way. Is that right? Why not? Shouldn’t I have won?

ANSWER: You would have won, if only you’d played the hand properly.

One of the rules of pai gow poker is that your five-card “high” hand must outrank your two-card “second high” hand. If you set the cards so that the opposite is true and your two-card hand is stronger than your five-card hand, you lose, regardless of what the dealer has.

Since your pair of 9s beat the dealer’s five-card hand, they would have beaten her two-card hand as well. Your hand was a winner, if only you’d set the 9s in the second high hand.
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