Poker Odds

There are countless factors that can come into play when determining the odds of all the variations and situations that may arise in playing poker. This course is merely meant to give you an idea of what your respective card odds are of having a particular hand.

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Penny Investment Pays Off

I heard on the radio about a man who had just won 18 million dollars playing penny slots. Which machine pays that kind of money? Does he get all that money paid up front?

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Free Money When Using Match Play Coupons

By showing my driver’s license at our local casino, I get a casino “fun” book. One of the coupons in it is a Match Play coupon for $10. What would you recommend as a bet when using it.

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Free Trip to the Chow Line for System Player

I have been working on a system for roulette for the past six months. I have run it in practice mode for 5,000 individual spins on my computer, and 500 times on a live game. At present, I am showing a two percent edge against the house. What is your recommended amount of spins necessary to see if my system will work?

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Beware the Dragon’s tooth

In some casinos that offer Pai Gow Poker, the dealer deals a second hand that is offered to the player. Exactly what is it, and is it worth playing?

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Dice Call Upsets Player

I was rolling the dice in Atlantic City and off to a good roll. On my last roll I had a pass line bet with odds and a come bet with odds. I rolled what I thought was a five and a six although the six came down on a couple of chips on the other side of the table. The dealer called it a seven and swept the chips and the dice away before I could open my mouth to complain. The five was flat on the table and the six was facing the middle of the table and higher than what must have been a two facing the opposite way. In fact, even though I am 5'10" and standing just to the left of the stickman, I couldn't see the two. I walked away steamed and they called me back to give me the $20 from my come bet and laugh in my face. I feel bad about being cheated, if in fact I was. If you get around to answer this e-mail, I would appreciate it.

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Quirky Quickies From The Mailbag

What happens at a blackjack table if every player refuses to cut the deck?

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Sure thing isn't so sure

I received an offer in the mail that if I use this person’s strategy at video poker, and play on machines that hypothetically return close to 100%, that I will be a winner every time, GUARANTEED! What is the deal here?

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Best not to murmur while card-counting

Unfortunately, the video poker machines where I play are all 'tight.' Therefore, I have been considering going back to the $5.00 BJ tables. I try to count, most of the time, and I'd say I was 'fairly' proficient at it but I've always wondered.........if you had your druthers, which table seat would you like to have (first base, third base, anywhere, when you're counting). Does a different seat have 'any' advantage, at all?

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The best of the best is\...

For the lowest casino advantage, which game do you recommend that I play, craps, baccarat or single deck blackjack?

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A Video Poker Triplet

You mentioned that the odds are 40,000 to one of getting a royal flush when playing video poker. I also understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean that I will hit one if I were to play 40,000 hands. But, if I were play those 40,000 hands and get one, how much would it cost me?

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Treasure Hunting Nickel Machines

In Pai Gow Poker, what is the rank of the Joker when it applies to a flush? For instance, let’s say my five-card hand consists of an Ace, Jack, 7, 5, and four of hearts and the Joker to complete the flush. The dealer has an Ace, Queen, Jack, 4, and three of spades. Since the Joker can be used to complete a flush and also as an Ace, wouldn’t my hand beat the dealer’s being that my Ace, Ace (Joker) Jack bets the dealers Ace, Queen, Jack?

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Dealer’s batteries plugged in backwards

I met a dealer who claimed that he could not only drop the ball within a certain section of the wheel, but on specific numbers. He even called out “get you bets down on the double zero because here it comes,” and it actually hit, which leads to my question, do you believe that a roulette dealer can put the ball in a specific number, and should I follow his advice when he tells us where to put our chips?

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Getting cold-cocked by a cold-deck

Dear Mark,

In a recent column you mentioned cold decks and cheating. What does a cold deck have anything to do with cheating? Doesn’t a cold deck mean cards that are cold in respect to player having an unlucky night?
Dwight E.

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Those highly skilled lowlifes and how to spot ‘em

Regarding the postcard you sent incognito with personal and confidential penned on the bottom, I’m kinda hoping that this isn’t a career move on your part.

And yet, since inquiring minds besides yourself probably want to know, cheating at cards can be done a whole host of ways, such as collusion, sleight-of-hand movements like bottom stacking the deck, the use of physical objects such as marked cards, cold decks or holdout devices.

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One oldie, one newbie -- it's a great world

Even though I left Detroit in 1994, I still go online to read the Detroit News and your column. One thing I do not understand is what the fascination with slot machines is. You, insert coin, pull lever, insert coin, pull lever, insert coins, etc. it seems almost mind numbing. I only play blackjack because to me at least, I have more of a say in the outcome than just, insert coin, pull lever, insert coin. Am I missing something? Am I mistaken or is Blackjack the one game with the highest degree of self-determined outcome?

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Meet some wallet gobblers

I’m hoping you can clear up a question that’s been bothering me for long time. I’ve noticed so many times on 50 and 100-play video poker machines that when dealt two pair, I get few full houses. They seem rigged! It seems like the 50 and 100-play have different programming. One VP expert has said they are programmed similar to a slot machine. Is that true?

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That Ubiquitous Ace

Could you please explain the ace as it relates to poker, both using it as high or low, and using it in a straight? Also, can the Ace ever be used in this scenario: Queen-King-Ace-2-3 to form a straight? Ray W.


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Pokers Handy Glossary

I am surprised at how many players truly don’t know the hand rankings when playing poker. For example, a flush versus a straight seems to fool a lot of players. Anyhow, how about a list of hand rankings and some examples so that we can laminate them and post it for our always-friendly Thursday night game?

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Faire sauter la banque (breaking the bank)

I once heard that “breaking the bank” had something to do with a misbehaving roulette wheel that paid off vast sums of money to the person who figured out that it was malfunctioning. Is that where the term “breaking the bank” came from in relation to casino gambling?

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Doubling up and heaving shingles

What are your thoughts on the double up feature of video poker? Is there any limit to the amount of times you can double up? Is it a good bet?

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Shufflin off to Pyramids and Deep Caves

I consider myself your typical blackjack player, out there to have some fun, and like you always say in your column, only spend the money that I can afford to lose. But lately it seems I’m losing more money at blackjack, and I think it is due to continuous shuffling machines. Do these machines affect the odds in blackjack?

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Milking the Pair

For years I have always played a low pair before the flop, but on one of the television poker shows they said that wasn’t always smart, yet they didn’t give a detailed reason why. What are your thoughts of playing a low pair, such as 2’s or 3’s?

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Random is Random

...depending on the maker of the video poker machine, the draw cards are either behind the first five dealt cards, or they are dealt right from the top of a deck...(more)

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Random Number Generators flirt with eternity

When does the random number generator stop and determine your outcome on a slot machine? Is it with the first coin, or when the player spins the reels?

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