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Video Poker Jacks or better, keeping small pair

Discussion in 'Video Poker' started by BillDonovan, Dec 20, 2019.

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  1. BillDonovan

    BillDonovan Low-Roller

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    When playing video poker Jacks or Better, do you always keep the small pair and draw 3 new cards? What if you also have a couple of unmatched Jacks or better cards? Most online strategies say you should keep the small pair. But when playing it always seems to work out better if you just dump the small pair and keep the two high cards drawing 3 new cards.
     
  2. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    If you keep the high cards, you have a greater chance to hit something. But much of the time, it just gives you your money back.

    When you hold the low pair, you're guaranteed 10 when you improve. Also you have a much greater chance to make quads from the low pair. So in terms of the average return back to you, a low pair is significantly better than multiple high cards.
     
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  3. Mike Aclin

    Mike Aclin Tourist

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    Video poker basic strategy is always correct. On the hand you specified, more money will be returned holding the low paid, IN THE LONG RUN.

    Spend a few bucks on Winpoker. It will show you the proper hold for any hand on most games.
     
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  4. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

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    A long time ago I gave friend of mine, who mostly played live poker, a copy of WinPoker. He came back to me a week after and said, “It’s telling me to hold two high cards instead of three. Why?” I said, “Because that is the best play.” The difference between video poker and poker is that in poker you are trying to beat an opponent, in video poker you are trying to make a paying hand. Buy the trainer, otherwise you’re only playing for free drinks.
     
  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Isn't drawing 2 bad in 5 card draw too? Lol I usually draw 1 with trips in 5 card draw, so it doesn't scream dealt trips.
     
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  6. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    the real answer is...

    If you hold ONE highcard, you get 4 more chances to match it.
    If you hold TWO highcards, you get 3 more chances to match it.
    If you hold THREE highcards, you get 2 more chance to match it.

    Statistics. Math.
     
  7. fenway68

    fenway68 VIP Whale

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    What about low pair vs 4 to a flush, thought 4 to a flush wins?

    e.g. 2s, 2h,6h,8h,Qh
     
  8. azlefty

    azlefty VIP Whale

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    Holding a 4 flush, you have 8 outs in 48 cards to make the flush, so a 1/6 chance. If you're playing JoB that pays 6 for a flush, your expected value is 1. However if it pays 5 for a flush, your EV is 5/6=.8333...
    If any of your held cards are Jacks or better, you can also pair them, so the exact odds depend on what you are holding.

    Holding the low pair, you have a ,8237 overall expected return for the 3 or 4 of a kind, or a second pair or full house, per this website since I am too lazy to calculate what someone else already did.
    Conclusion: hold the 4 flush.
    I use it every day. Trust me, it's overrated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
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  9. azlefty

    azlefty VIP Whale

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    Glad to hear people still play draw poker.
     
  10. gutshotSF

    gutshotSF Royal chaser and real-life long-distance runner

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    Three words: get a trainer. There is absolutely no other way to do well in VP over the long haul than to put in the hours practicing and studying the strategies. If you are having to ask why you hold a low pair over high cards in most situations, then you clearly have not done the homework yet. Not trying to be snarky or a know-it-all, but this is just the harsh reality of video poker. It is an intellectual pursuit in applied mathematics. Now depending on the stakes you play and what your goals are, you may not have to obsess over the mathematics too much. But there are fundamentals that you have to master.
     
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  11. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Yeah I think this is a mistake a lot of people make. Always hold the small pair over 1 or two high cards. I've gotten many a quad holding two
     
  12. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    LOL, remember that just because you lose a hand does not mean that you did not play correct strategy!

    I almost always hold a low pair.

    Exception would be for a four-card flush.

    Some people will hold three for a royal over a low pair. I (usually) do not.
     
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Do you draw four to a flush over 3 to a Royal too? In many games that's suboptimal.

    Low pair over 3 to a Royal is suboptimal in any game I recall. Well not non-progressive AC Joker maybe. Natural Royal is only 100 for 1 there.
     
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  14. meyers67

    meyers67 VIP Whale

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    Drawing two is common (low pair with a kicker). Terrible VP draw but I think it’s quite common in draw poker.
     
  15. JeJas

    JeJas VIP Whale

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    What if I don't drink?
     
  16. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    You're likely to lose more money on sub-optimal play without a trainer? I think he typoed and meant to say, "paying for free drinks".
     
  17. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

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    Actually, back when I was younger, dumber, and a lot poorer I used to only play video poker to get free drinks. Buy a ten dollar roll of quarters, get a drink, tip fifty cents and play a few quarters in the machine. Lather, rinse and repeat. It was only after my brother introduced me to WinPoker that I started playing to win (and get free drinks).
     
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