Stay informed with the
Recent Articles
Best of Jerry Stickman

# Throwing an ace in video poker

22 July 2017

Hi Stickman:

I enjoy your articles and especially when you show sample hands and how to play them. I almost always know the proper play.

In a recent example you showed the following hand: Ts Ac 6s Qc Js

You stated that the proper hold was the ace of clubs and the queen of clubs. That is what I would hold with this hand. I have a question, though. What happens if you are dealt A & Q suited as well as K & J differently suited? Or any other two suited high pairs? How do you know what to hold?

Thanks,
Jean

Hi Jean,

I am glad to hear that you are getting most of the example hands correct. Many players don’t even care about the proper playing strategy. They just play by hunches, or what they think will get them the most money. In order to get the most from your video poker play you must play the proper strategy.

Let’s answer your question about an AQ of one suit and a KJ of another. Actually, let’s answer your question about what I assume you mean which is two high cards of one suit and two high cards of another suit (and not two suited high pairs - which is impossible).

There are only three possible combinations of rank where there are two high cards of one suit and two high cards of another. They are:

1) AK of one suit and QJ of another.
2) AQ of one suit and KJ of another.
3) AJ of one suit and KQ of another.

The suits do not matter at all. The only thing that matters is that the first two cards are of one suit and the second two cards are of another suit.

The two suited cards that contain an ace are always less favorable than the two that do not. That is where the simplicity ends, however. Properly holding each of the types of hand shown above depends on the game’s pay table. If the Jacks or Better game pays 6-for-1 for a flush there is one set of rules. If, however, the Jacks or Better game plays 5-for-1 for a flush, there is another set of rules.

Let’s look at the 6-for-1 for a flush game first.

1) If your hand has a suited QJ with zero through two penalties (straight and/or flush), you hold the QJ.
2) If your hand has a suited KQ or KJ with no penalties, you hold the KQ or KJ.
3) If neither of the above is true, you hold the AKQJ.

Now let’s look at Jacks or Better games that pay 5-for-1 for a flush.

1) If your hand has a suited QJ with zero or one penalty (straight or flush) you hold the QJ.
2) If your hand has a suited KQ or KJ with no penalties, you hold the KQ or KJ.
3) If neither of the above is true, you hold the AKQJ.

I am sure you were expecting a simpler answer, Jean, but that is “simply” not the case. While it may be a bit tricky, proper holds will improve your return and is well worth the effort to get it right.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. 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 stickmanjerry@aol.com
Recent Articles
Best of Jerry Stickman
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