CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books 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 John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Video Poker Pairs

12 July 2020

QUESTION: In video poker, is one high pair more valuable than another? Are you better of with two Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces? Are two Jacks with 9-5-3 better or worse than two Kings with 9-5-3?

What if you have two high pairs, something like King-King, Queen-Queen and a 9? If two pairs just gets me my money back and a high pair also gets me my money back, I’ve been holding just one pair. But which one should I hold?

ANSWER: On most games, there’s a higher payoff on four Aces than on other quads. That makes a pair of Aces more valuable than other high pairs.

With a five-coin wager in the ever-popular 9-6 Double Double Bonus Poker, four Aces bring an 800-coin return that jumps to 2,000 if the fifth card is a 2, 3 or 4. Four Jacks, Queens or Kings bring 250 coins.

Holding Ace-Ace and discarding 9-5-3 of mixed suits brings an average return of 9.57 coins, while averages on four Jacks, Queens or Kings are 7.23 coins.

The disparity disappears in Bonus Poker Deluxe, where a five-coin bet brings a 400-coin return on all four of a kinds. In 8-6 BPD, the average return is 98.49 percent with expert play, close to the 98.98 on 9-6 DDB.

If you hold a high pair and discard 9-5-3 in 8-6 BPD, the average return is 7.60 coins regardless of whether you’re holding four Aces, Kings, Queens or Jacks.

Unless there’s a difference in four of a kind payoffs – or, in rare cases, three-of-a-kind pays – one high pair is as valuable as another.

As for breaking up two high pairs, you need to re-think. It’s almost always better to hold both pairs and hope the draw brings a full house. You forgo the shot at four of a kind, but the one-card draw to a full house pays off a lot more often.

If you hold one pair, you’ll complete four of a kind 45 times per 16,125 possible draws. That’s a 0.28 percent chance at quads. If you hold both pairs, you have four chances per 47 draws at a full house. That’s 8.51 percent.

That’s not the full story, of course. If you hold just one pair, you have a chance at improving to three of a kind or full houses in addition to quads. But with all that taken into account, the better play is usually to hold both pairs. In 8-6 Bonus Deluxe, holding Ace-Ace-Jack-Jack will bring an average return of 7.98 coins compared to the 7.60 for holding one pair.

Double Double Bonus is an exception, with its 2,000-coin bonanza on four Aces plus a 2, 3 or 4. There, holding Ace-Ace brings an average payoff of 9.48 coins, better than the 8.40 on Ace-Ace-Jack-Jack. With no Aces involved, it’s better to hold both pairs. King-King-Jack-Jack brings 8.40 coins, but the average on either King-King or Jack-Jack is only 7.24.


QUESTION: A work acquaintance told me he was playing craps in Reno, and said that on the field bet, there’s a 3-1 payoff on 2 and 2-1 on 12, with the other field numbers paying even money. That’s the opposite of when I’ve played. I see 3-1 on 12 and 2-1 on 2. Does that make a difference?

ANSWER: The house edge is the same 2.78 percent regardless of whether it’s 2 or 12 that pays 3-1. It’s more common to have the higher pay on 12, but some casinos go with 2. Either was is better than having both 2 and 12 pay 2-1. Then the house edge is 5.56 percent.
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:

> More Books By John Grochowski