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Low Pair versus Inside Straight

28 May 2022

Hello Stickman,

I like and appreciate your columns in Casino City Times Guru.

I read your "how to play" articles and low hands challenge me.

In PA, lucky to find 1,2,3,4,5,7 with 7 on the full house.

So many times, I have low cards for an inside straight. A hand such as, say 5,6, 8, 9 of different suits. And then say a 9 as 5th card. Do I hold low pair or the inside straight chance (slim)?

What if I have 8,9, J, Q and an 8? Do I hold low pair of 8’s or chance for inside straight or a pair of J’s or Q’s?

Thanks,

Doug



Hi Doug,

Thank you for your comments about my columns. I do appreciate the feedback.

Your situation in Pennsylvania is very similar to those across the country.

Casinos want their profits.

Actually, things got worse after the pandemic-caused downturn.

Casinos no longer seem to care about players at all, since they are flocking back to Vegas and AC after the long hiatus. Casino management has decimated pay tables. Prices for other things such as rooms and meals have skyrocketed.

And that was before inflation hit.

Enough of my ranting.

On to your questions:

For your 5, 6, 8, 9, 9 hand, it is not even close! Let’s look at the numbers.

• Holding the low pair returns 4.0167 credits for the five credits bet.
• Holding for the straight (5, 6, 8, 9) returns just 1.7021 credits for the five credits bet.
• There are seven other holds that return more than the inside straight hold.
• Those holds include totally discarding the dealt hand which returns 1.7975 credits for the five credits bet!

Forget the inside straight. Hold the low pair.

How about the second hand (8, 9, J, Q, 8)?

• Holding the low pair (8, 8) returns 4.0167 credits for the five credits bet – same as the previous hand.
• Thanks to the two high cards, however, holding for the inside straight fairs much better than the previous hand. It returns 2.3404 credits for the five credits bet.
• There are only 4 holds that fare better than holding the inside straight.
• Discarding the entire dealt hand returns 1.6201 credits for the five credits bet.

Once again, hold the low pair. Forget about the inside straight.

A low pair can turn into three of a kind, a full house or even four of a kind. The inside straight can only become a straight or a high pair.

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