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Best of John Grochowski

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The Casino Answer Man

5 October 1999

I have a friend who, when she gambles, plays only video poker. In the last 10 months - and she gambles maybe every four to six weeks - she has hit a royal flush SIX TIMES! She's done this at different locales: Trump's in Gary, Las Vegas and Iowa. Sometimes she's playing dollars, sometimes quarters, sometimes one coin, sometimes five, but altogether she's won at least $4,500. Is she just very, very lucky or would you consider her to be an expert player?

Even expert players are lucky when they hit a royal flush, and royal flushes alone are not enough to tell whether a player is an expert. In fact, some non-expert plays will yield more royals in the long run than expert strategy.

Let's say you start with 6 of clubs, 6 of hearts, 8 of diamonds, 9 of spades and Queen of clubs. If you're trying to force as many royals as possible, you hold just the Queen and discard the rest. But the expert play here is to hold the pair of 6s. The frequency of hitting two pair, three of a kind, full houses or four of a kind when you hold the low pair more than makes up for giving up the long-shot chance at a royal.

The amateur's play will bring more royals, but the expert play will bring more money. The idea for experts is to find an optimal balance between going for the big one and making plays that will bring enough return to keep them going between royals.

Is your friend an expert or just very lucky? I don't have enough information to tell whether she's an expert, but there's no doubt she's been lucky.


For more information about video poker, we recommend:

The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Video Keno, and Video Blackjack by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Videotape written by Frank Scoblete
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:

> 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:

The Craps Answer Book

> More Books By John Grochowski