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Another Big Reader Question

18 June 2022

Hi Stickman,

I just wanted to comment on your column about the 2 hands in 9/6 JoB.

The 2 hands were Kd Ah Td 8h 2h where we hold Ace-King and 2s Jh Qs 4h Th where we hold Jack-Queen.

I always play the 2 high cards in the situations you showed, so I got it right.

What I didn't know was how close the choices were. It is almost impossible to find a 9/6 JoB anymore (at least where I play).

So, the follow-up question is, in a game where full houses pay less than 9, or flushes pay less than 6 (or both), does the optimal hold change?

My feeling is that lower flush payouts would not matter in either case, because holding suited cards over unsuited high cards.

But a lower payout on a full house might change the payback, especially against an open end straight or 3 to a flush that doesn't include the possibility of a FH to begin with, where the two high card hold does include the possibility of a FH.

My only question was whether or not lower payoffs, particularly on full houses, would change the preferred hold.

In the first case, all reasonable holds are 2 cards or less, so the full house is a possibility and probably would not have an effect.

However, particularly in the second hand, would three to a straight (or JH 4H TH flush) have a better outcome than JQ because of the lower full house payoff?

I only ask this because the differences are small using 9/6 and a lesser amount on the full houses would lower the expected value of a two card hold, but not necessarily change the EV of a three card hold that doesn't have a chance of getting a full house.

I love seeing your articles and especially the explanations.

Thank you for your analysis on many games. I enjoy reading your take on all of them.

Ray


Ray,

Thank you for the comments about my articles.

I am glad you got the quiz answers correct (and actually play that way).

Let’s check out your assumptions by looking at the holds and relative returns from them for several jacks or better pay tables.

They are:

Hand one: Kd Ah Td 8h 2h

9/6
Holding Kd Ah returns 2.3716 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Kd Td returns 2.3410.
Holding Ah returns 2.2630.
Holding Kd returns 2.2611.
Holding Ah 8h 2h returns 2.2202.
Holding Ah 2h returns 1.9550.
Holding Ah 8h returns 1.8637.
Holding Kd Ah Td returns 1.7808.

9/5
Holding Kd Ah returns 2.3716 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Kd Td returns 2.2908.
Holding Ah returns 2.2572.
Holding Kd returns 2.2518.
Holding Ah 8h 2h returns 2.0120.
Holding Ah 2h returns 1.9183.
Holding Ah 8h returns 1.8267.
Holding Kd Ah Td returns 1.7808.

8/6
Holding Kd Ah returns 2.3660 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Kd Td returns 2.3355.
Holding Ah returns 2.2550.
Holding Kd returns 2.2530.
Holding Ah 8h 2h returns 2.2202.
Holding Ah 2h returns 1.9494.
Holding Ah 8h returns 1.8582.
Holding Kd Ah Td returns 1.7808.

8/5
Holding Kd Ah returns 2.3660 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Kd Td returns 2.2852.
Holding Ah returns 2.2491.
Holding Kd returns 2.2437.
Holding Ah 8h 2h returns 2.0120.
Holding Ah 2h returns 1.9127.
Holding Ah 8h returns 1.8212.
Holding Kd Ah Td returns 1.7808.

7/5
Holding Kd Ah returns 2.3605 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Kd Td returns 2.2797.
Holding Ah returns 2.2410.
Holding Kd returns 2.2357.
Holding Ah 8h 2h returns 2.0120.
Holding Ah 2h returns 1.9072.
Holding Ah 8h returns 1.8156.
Holding Kd Ah Td returns 1.7808.

My observations for hand one are:
• The order of the holds is identical for all five pay tables.
• The Kd Ah hold is tied to the full house pay and is the same for equal full house pays.
• The Kd Td hold is affected by changes to both the full house and flush pays.
• The Ah and Kd holds are affected by changes to both the full house and flush pays.
• The Ah 8h 2h hold is affected by only the flush pay (as expected).
• The Ah 2h and Ah 8h holds are affected by both the full house and flush pays.
• The Kd Ah Td is unaffected by changes to the full house or flush pays.

Hand two: 2s Jh Qs 4h Th

9/6
Holding Jh Qs returns 2.4900 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Jh Th returns 2.4009.
Holding Jh Qs Th returns 2.3728.
Holding Qs returns 2.2962.
Holding Jh returns 2.2732.
Holding Jh 4h Th returns 2.2202.
Holding 2s Qs returns 1.9470.

9/5
Holding Jh Qs returns 2.4900 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Jh Qs Th returns 2.3728.
Holding Jh Th returns 2.3651.
Holding Qs returns 2.2871.
Holding Jh returns 2.2673.
Holding Jh 4h Th returns 2.0120.
Holding 2s Qs returns 1.8961.

8/6
Holding Jh Qs returns 2.4844 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Jh Th returns 2.3953.
Holding Jh Qs Th returns 2.3728.
Holding Qs returns 2.2881.
Holding Jh returns 2.2651.
Holding Jh 4h Th returns 2.2202.
Holding 2s Qs returns 1.9414.

8/5
Holding Jh Qs returns 2.4844 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Jh Qs Th returns 2.3728.
Holding Jh Th returns 2.3595.
Holding Qs returns 2.2790.
Holding Jh returns 2.2592.
Holding Jh 4h Th returns 2.0120.
Holding 2s Qs returns 1.8905.

7/5
Holding Jh Qs returns 2.4789 credits per five credits bet, on average.
Holding Jh Qs Th returns 2.3728.
Holding Jh Th returns 2.3540.
Holding Qs returns 2.2709.
Holding Jh returns 2.2511.
Holding Jh 4h Th returns 2.0120.
Holding 2s Qs returns 1.8850.

My observations for hand two are:
• The Jh Qs hold is always the best hold, regardless of the pay table.
• The Jh Th hold is affected by changes to both the full house and flush pays. It is affected enough to become the third best hold when the flush pays 5-for-1.
• The Jh Qs Th hold is unaffected by changes to either the full house or flush pays.
• The Qs and Jh holds are affected by changes to both the full house and flush pays.
• The Jh 4h Th hold is affected by only the flush pay (as expected).
• The 2s Qs hold is affected by both the full house and flush pays.

So, while some of your suspicions are true, none of the changes affects the best hold enough to knock it out of first place.

Thank you for the great questions.

As always, may all your wins be swift and large, and your losses be slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”


Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. He authored the video poker section of Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker! You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerryg@gmail.com
Jerry Stickman

Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com