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Table Games UTH (Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em)

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by topcard, Aug 5, 2015.

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  1. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Seems like there used to be a thread on this, but I could not find it...so...

    Anyway - thinking about this game (my favorite carny-game ever), a few things occur:

    1. The odds of you beating the dealer are exactly the same as the dealer beating you. No house edge there (as there is in blackjack).
    2. You do not have to beat any other players at the table.
    3. The dealer cannot "fold", but you can.
    4. You are allowed two opportunities to raise - the dealer cannot.

    So - that leaves the "blind" bet as the single 'HA' factor to the game (besides the Trips bet, which is optional).

    Since you only get paid on the blind bet with a straight or better, but the dealer does not need a straight or better for you to lose the blind bet, this rule provides a significant house edge.

    I'm sure there's still a house advantage (otherwise, the game wouldn't be offered), but I wonder by how much, given the player advantages inherent in the rules.
    It would seem to me that everytime you successfully raise 4x or even 2x, you eliminate the house edge on the blind bet for the hands you lose...
    Now, there are certainly times when you raise & still lose, but those hands you would've raised anyway - so, the loss of the blind on those hands can simply be considered as part of the 'raise' loss.
    When you do not raise (say, $5 ante, $5 blind, $5 play), you are risking $15 to win $10 (66.6%) because of the blind bet. Huge HA of 33.3%.
    Obviously, the more you have bet, the smaller percentage this blind bet represents to the house (eg - $5 ante, $5 blind, $20 play). You are risking $30 to win $25, or 83.3%. Much smaller HA at 16.7%...oh, and this assumes you never get a straight or better...which, of course you will from time to time.

    That leaves the 'trips' bet.
    I'll admit it - I play this every single time, even knowing that this carries a HUGE HA....somebody can check me on this, but I think the math is something like 1 win out of every 6 hands, or something like that. With most wins being 3 of a kind, paying 3-to-1, the HA on this bet must be nearly 50%.

    So why do almost all UTH players play the trips bet?
     
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  2. grosx2

    grosx2 VIP Whale

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    According to the Wizard, the highest HA of the four possible trips pay tables is 6.18%. Not very good odds, but nowhere near the 50% you seemingly pulled out of thin air. The other two tables that you might see in the real world are 3.5% and 1.9% in favor of the house.

    Players play the trips bet the same reason they play other bonus bets....for the added excitement and the chance at a bigger win.

    I play the bonus bets on all three carny games I play (UTH, 3 card, crazy 4). I will say that if I were to stop playing the bonus for one of them, it would definitely be UTH. UTH is already volatile enough, plus the trips bet hits less frequently than pair plus or queens up.
     
  3. burnaby99

    burnaby99 Tourist

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    3. The dealer cannot "fold", but you can.

    This is a big house advtge. Player typically folds when they don't have a pair or at least a face card.
    The house never folds so they win even tho they do not have the better hand.
     
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Topcard, you're actually way off on the trips bet. A lot of the strip casinos have the 8/7/4 paytable, iirc, which is only 3.5%. It's shockingly generous. Remember anytime you get trips or better in this bet, you are supposed to get paid regardless of the dealer's hand, so inform the dealer if you have a winning trips bet you want to fold for the main game.

    http://wizardofodds.com/games/ultimate-texas-hold-em/

    Optimal base game strategy house edge is only 2.185% of the ante size. Problem is for the typical player is that they don't raise 4x preflop nearly enough, which is where the major player edge comes from. Most people check too often which will lead to a double digit house edge quickly. It's best to memorize optimal preflop strategy in this game which is easier than blackjack, imo.

    4X raise if you have:
    (s= suited, o=offsuit, + means "or higher")
    33+
    A2s+, A2o+
    K2s+, K5o+
    Q6s+, Q8o+
    JTo, J8s+

    Check all others.

    I never play the game and almost got it right from memory. Thought Q5s was a raise. Oops. Lol

    The Wizard of odds also gives you a good simplified strategy for flop and river bets that help keep your house edge below 3% of an ante bet.


    Also another house edge driver you forgot to mention is that the ante bet always pushes when the dealer fails to make a pair, which hurts the player.

    If the dealer pays the ante on all winning hands on accident, I'll need to find a seat even though i generally avoid this game like the plague because i hate the swing at the $5 level. Lol. It would create a player edge.
     
  5. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    People play the "Trips" bet for the same reason they play the "Pair Plus" and "Fortune" bet..."It's where the money's at!" :rolleyes2:

    I admit though, I play PP and Fortune bet...the Trips...is about 50% of the time for me...because the REAL money is in the 500:1 on the Royal Flush on the Blind bet...
     
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  6. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    I guessed at the "near 50% HA" for trips because of the frequency that they hit (seems like it's about 1 in 6), vs the most common payout (3:1).
    I play it everytime too... as I do the pair plus in 3-card...for the reasons some of y'all have mentioned.
    I play my hands according to basic strategy:
    4x ante on any J-10, Q-8+, K-5+, A-any...pair of 3s+, J-8+suited, Q-6+suited, K-any suited. Check all other hands.
    If I have paired (or better) after the flop, I bet 2. If not, or if I only have 2s, I check.
    After the river, there are too many variables for me to go into, but I often play when others do not. No dealer pair? You push the ante, so even if you 'lose' the hand, it's a "free" bet when the dealer has no pair. I've won with a jack-high plenty of times.
    3.5% HA really is good for a carny bonus bet...I guess the straights, flushes, full houses & quads are what makes it that low... because it sure isn't the three-of-a-kind hands... even if you pulled trips every 4 hands, (and nobody does), you'd lose 3 units and win 3. I guess the not-needing-to-beat-the-dealer adds to the player here too.

    :beer:
     
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  7. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Sure, but you would win way more than 50% of those hands normally heads up which would give you more equity with an always win/lose ante than always pushing the ante on dealer no pair.

    Similarly, why does the play bet always push on lower than queen high on 3 card poker? So the house can pay less than even money on its shittiest hands.

    The Wizard of Odds says the house gains 16.58% of an ante on the "ante bet" itself and 31.47% of an ante from the "blind bet", leading to a house edge drive of 48.05% of one ante per hand. Yikes! But optimal player strategy can recover 45.86% of an ante per hand leading to a fairly low net house edge of 2.185% per hand.

    Proper play in this game is much more unintuitive than blackjack, imo. Mainly the preflop strategy is unintuitive to most players. Many players incorrectly think they are playing real poker against the whole table and think they shouldn't raise 4x without a high pair or AK. The house just rakes in the money with those gigantic mistakes. If most players actually played the game optimally, they would need to remove it or lower the blind paytable.
     
  8. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Shhhhh!
    :beer:
     
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  9. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

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    Well we know that accidents do happen.
    I encountered a couple of such dealers.
    On one dealer, I played a full hour with her, when she took the 20 minutes break, I colored up.
    Later when this dealer returned, I came back and found out she learnt the correct pay.
    Apparantly people learn fast. So I walked away.

    I didn't win much because I only bet 10-20 and the dealer was slow (understandably).
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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