Gamblers Gossip

Stud Poker

This is a casino dealer-hosted table game. With actual poker hands, you’re up against the house. Each player receives five cards face down, with the dealer receiving four cards face down and one card face up. Before the player receives their cards, they must place an ante bet, and if they want to play Four Aces Poker Hand, the dealers must re-bet (or raise) exactly twice the ante. They will lose their ante if they do not comply. (For more information, see How to Play Casino Stud Poker.)

The dealer must have a qualifying hand of Ace, King, x, x (any card) or better to play against the player (this happens 56 percent of the time). If the player decides to play and raises the required amount, and the dealer qualifies, it’s a showdown to see who has the greatest poker hand. If the dealer wins, all three units are theirs. If the player wins, he receives either 3 units or, if he has a powerful hand, a bonus reward (better than one pair).
This should all be rather simple, but the players of this uninteresting game are a complete disaster. Some knowledgeable people, such as the late great Peter Griffin, have worked on it, and the base advantage over the player is 2.5 percent. Look at the House Edge. This is extremely good, and it reminds me of Roulette.

The Big Win

This is a total prize pool that has been accumulated by players from across the country who have placed a side wager that will be rewarded if they are dealt a top hand. 30% of every pound wagered goes to the casino’s pockets, while the remaining 70% goes to the prize fund. A Flush is worth £50, a Full House is worth £75, a Four of a Kind is worth £100, a Straight Flush is worth 10% of the pot, and a Royal Flush is worth 100% of the pot.

plan of action

Don’t make a bluff. Motto: If you have a pile of garbage, get rid of it.
This is a very easy game, which makes it tedious. The only amusement you can derive is from gently revealing your hand to yourself. If you have a powerful AKxxx or better hand, stick to the plan to increase the extra two units. (For example, A K J 9 4) If you hold a weaker hand, drop and lose the ante bet. At all times!

Professional approach

Sorry for the inconvenience, but there isn’t much to do here. There are some potential ways to increase the 2.5 percent house edge, but the difference is only 0.1 percent at best, so you could go as low as 2.4 percent. Read author John Haigh’s great book, Taking Chances, if you really want to know what they are.

As an aside, many people (even casino employees) believe that if you collude with the other players at the table and find out what cards they have, you can figure out what hand the dealer has. So, even if all seven squares at the table were filled, the dealer would still have 16 cards from which to choose his bottom four cards. The player would have a 2.3 percent advantage if they used a computer to examine all 1820 possible sets of four cards out of sixteen. The house would still have a 0.4 percent lead in a six-player game. Unfortunately, most online casinos only have three player slots. It is, in fact, a non-starter.

final thoughts

In a UK casino, the metre must be at least £263,205 to have break-even equity on the jackpot side bet; if you play an initial poker stake of £5, your average bet is roughly £10, and your vig. against you is roughly 25 penny. So, in order for both bets to have equal equity, the jackpot amount must be 25% more than £263,205, or £329,006. Look for games with a £2.50 minimum bet and only play the Jackpot bet if the jackpot is £296,105 or above.