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Best of John Grochowski

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This Triple Play Machine is More than Triple Trouble

3 June 1999

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking through a casino when a reader spotted me.

He was playing a $1 Triple Play video poker machine, betting 15 coins at a time on the game labeled Triple Play Poker. After we exchanged pleasantries, I asked him why he was playing that game. After all, I pointed out, it was only 6-5 Jacks or Better in disguise, paying only 6-for-1 on full houses and 5-for-1 on flushes. Much better Jacks or Better games, paying 9-for-1 on full houses and 6-for-1 on flushes, were available in the same casino if he moved to a single-hand $1 or $5 machine.

"Well," he told me, "I figure my chance to win big on this game is to hit a royal flush. Playing three hands at once, I have triple the chances to get a royal, don't I?"

That's true, I told him. With expert play, a player will hit a royal flush about once per 40,000 hands on a single-hand Jacks or Better machine. That's reduced to once in a little more than 13,000 fresh deals if you play three hands at once. To translate into hours, someone who plays an easy pace of 500 hands per hour can expect to average about one royal flush per 80 hours of play, while a Triple Play bettor can expect a royal about once per 27 hours.

But the Triple Play bettor also risks three times as much money per hour as the single-hand player, and when the pay table is reduced all the way to 6-5 on full houses and flushes, that means there's far, far more than triple the chance of going broke.

With expert play, 9-6 Jacks or Better returns 99.5 percent of all money wagered to players. Play an hour on a five-coin dollar machine, betting $5 a hand for 500 hands, and you risk $2,500. Your expected average loss is $12.50.

With the 6-5 pay table on some Triple Play machines, the average payback with expert play is only 95.1 percent. Play an hour on a 15-coin dollar machine, betting $15 a hand for 500 hands, and you risk $7,500. OK, you knew that. But check out your expected average loss. It shoots up to $367.50.

You don't triple your expected losses by playing this version of Triple Play. You multiply your losses by more than TWENTY-NINE.

That's too high a price to pay to force the pace on royal flushes. On Triple Play, as on any other video poker game, shop the pay tables, then play the game that gives you the best deal.

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