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More Questions on Low Pairs versus Inside Straights

25 June 2022

Here is a follow-up question to the previous low pair versus inside straight strategy.

Thank you, Jerry "Stickman"

I have a follow-on question. If it were an outside straight, I was trying for, would it change the decision?

Say I was dealt 9, 9,10, J, Q. Would I still hold the low pair or would I go for the straight?

How about if I was dealt 4, 4, 5, 6, 7? Would I still hold the low pair?

Thanks,

Doug


Hi Doug,

You pose an excellent question. The odds of completing an inside straight are 4-in-47. This is because there are four cards out of the remaining 47 that will do the job.

With an open straight (one that can be completed on either end) the odds of completion are 8-in-47. You have double the chance of completing the straight.

Is this enough to overtake the return from holding the low pair?

Let’s see what the numbers show. Since the pays for a full house have an impact on the return, I am showing the results for 9/6, 8/5, and 7/5 Jacks or Better pay tables.

9/6 Jacks or Better
Hand One: 9, 9, T, J, Q
• 9, 9 – returns 4.1184 credits for the five credits bet.
• Either 9 plus the T, J, Q – returns 4.0426 credits.

Hand Two: 4, 4, 5, 6, 7
• 4, 4 – returns 4.1184 credits for the five credits bet.
• Either 4 plus the 5, 6, 7 – returns 3.4043 credits.

8/5 Jacks or Better
Hand One: 9, 9, T, J, Q
• 9, 9 – returns 4.0675 credits for the five credits bet.
• Either 9 plus the T, J, Q – returns 4.0426 credits.

Hand Two: 4, 4, 5, 6, 7
• 4, 4 – returns 4.0675 credits for the five credits bet.
• Either 4 plus the 5, 6, 7 – returns 3.4043 credits.

7/5 Jacks or Better
Hand One: 9, 9, T, J, Q
• Either 9 plus the T, J, Q – returns 4.0426 credits for the five credits bet.
• 9, 9 – returns 4.0167 credits.

Hand Two: 4, 4, 5, 6, 7
• 4, 4 – returns 4.0167 credits for the five credits bet.
• Either 4 plus the 5, 6, 7 – returns 3.4043 credits.

To answer your question, holding the low pair is the best hold for the 4, 4, 5, 6, 7 hand regardless of the pay table.

The 9, 9, T, J, Q hand is slightly different, however.

Because there are high cards present, and the full house pays only 7-for-1 on the 7/5 game, holding for the open straight is the best option for the 7/5 game only.

This illustrates the importance of knowing the playing strategy for the specific game and pay table you want to play.

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