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Quiz: Straight or Low Pair?

16 September 2023

This article contains a video poker strategy quiz. The game is an 8/5 (8-for-1 full house, 5-for-1 flush) jacks or better.

The quiz assumes the maximum five credits is played. The maximum bet produces the highest long-term return because the royal flush pays 800-for-1 (4,000-for-5) rather than 250-for-1 when less than the maximum is bet.

Look at the dealt hand below and decide which card or cards you would hold. Then read on to see if you are right.

Note: The statistics shown are from “Video Poker for Winners.”

These quizzes will be posted periodically and will feature hands that have holds that produce very close results.

Here is today’s dealt hand: Td, Ks, Jh, Tc, Qd.

• 10 of diamonds – (Td)
• King of spades – (Ks)
• Jack of hearts – (Jh)
• 10 of clubs – (Tc)
• Queen of diamonds – (Qd)

Three likely holds are:

1. Ks, Jh, Tc, Qd – (Four-card open straight with three high cards)
2. Td, Ks, Jh, Qd – (Four-card open straight with three high cards)
3. Td, Tc – (Low pair)


Choice 1 (Ks, Jh, Tc, Qd) – out of 47 possible results, a four-card open straight with three high cards can produce eight straights, and nine high pairs.

Choice 2 (Td, Ks, Jh, Qd) – out of 47 possible results, a four-card open straight with three high cards can produce eight straights, and nine high pairs.

Choice 3 (Td, Tc) – out of 16,215 possible results, a low pair can produce 45 4-of-a-kinds, 165 full houses, 1,854 3-of-a-kinds, and 2,592 hands with two pairs.

Returns

Hold 1 (Ks, Jh, Tc, Qd) – returns 4.3617 credits on average for 5 credits bet.

Hold 2 (Td, Ks, Jh, Qd) – returns 4.3617 credits on average for 5 credits bet.

Hold 3 (Td, Tc) – returns 4.0675 credits on average for 5 credits bet.

The winner?

Either hold 1 (Ks, Jh, Tc, Qd) or hold 2 (Td, Ks, Jh, Qd) is the proper hold. Although the game is an 8/5 jacks or better, since neither hold has any possible full houses or flushes, both holds return the same as a full-pay 9/6 game.

Did you play this hand correctly?

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 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 Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
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 Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com