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Hunterhill
Hunterhill
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February 4th, 2015 at 4:29:01 AM permalink
Quote: Sandybestdog

Hi I've read a lot on these forum's but this is my first time posting. I was wondering if anybody has been successful playing ultimate Texas hold'em? I started playing blackjack about a year ago (thinking that was the only game at the casino to make money) and have come to realize that it requires a large bankroll (I'm guessing $10,000 would be a start if I were to spread $10-$50) and even in the best case scenarios the edges are very small. I live in Maryland and the Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware casino's all have very good blackjack rules. As I wandered around playing blackjack, I would see the poker games. I didn't know anything about them but when I would watch, I would notice that the way they were dealt, the dealer would often inadvertently flash a hole card. I did a little research and found that there is about a decent edge in UTH if you know what one of the dealers hole cards is. I started playing about 2 months ago. My first few sessions were decent and lost no more than $50 and made about $50-$150 on the others. This is simply betting $5 on the ante and blind, no side bets. It's funny, in blackjack people kind of hate it when you play the side bets but in these poker games the whole table (including the dealer) gets mad at you when you don't play them. I hit a 4 of a kind once and it wasn't pretty.

But in the past month, my sessions have been -$400, -$350, -$200, -$200, and -$130. I can honestly say that in all of that play, I didn't even have one upswing of more than $75. I've heard people say that they like UTH because it's less volatile than blackjack. They're right. Instead of going up and down like in blackjack, you just go straight down. There you go, less volatile. It seems to be the common theme at the table. It doesn't seem that anybody is ever coming out ahead. Sure they don't play correctly but it seems to save them money cause that ace doesn't do you any good when the dealer always seems to have a 5 to connect a straight. Last night I won 4 out of 10 4X raises, the time before, probably only 4 out of 12. Everytime you lose, you lose $30, everytime you win, you only win $20-$25. I feel the blind bet is the real killer. It's just at such a disadvantage.

So I did some testing. I took a single deck and shuffled and dealt them just like they do at the casino. Even with perfect hole card info, I can't get the game to turn positive. After 600 test hands, I wound up down about $200. The high was $200 and the low was -$500. I realize this isn't a great sample, but it gives you a pretty decent example. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks


Uth is a very volatile game. The variance is much higher than blackjack. You are seeing one card, do you know the strategy for that, are seeing the exact card or are you guessing alot.Is it a six or was it a seven, was tha an eight or was it a ten? Can you distinguish the picture cards? It's also a very slow game, you are lucky to get 20 hands per hour so how many hands have you really played?
Don't teach an alligator how to swim.
Deucekies
Deucekies
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February 4th, 2015 at 8:54:38 AM permalink
Quote: Hunterhill

Uth is a very volatile game. The variance is much higher than blackjack. You are seeing one card, do you know the strategy for that, are seeing the exact card or are you guessing alot.Is it a six or was it a seven, was tha an eight or was it a ten? Can you distinguish the picture cards? It's also a very slow game, you are lucky to get 20 hands per hour so how many hands have you really played?



Beg pardon. 20 hands per hour is Pai Gow pace. I'd say you get closer to 40-50 hands per hour.
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
Hunterhill
Hunterhill
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February 4th, 2015 at 9:06:05 AM permalink
Quote: Deucekies

Beg pardon. 20 hands per hour is Pai Gow pace. I'd say you get closer to 40-50 hands per hour.


I strongly disagree. Of course it depends on how full the table is and how good the dealer is, or it could be that I'm always playing bad dealers:)I think you are fortunate if you get 30 hands per hour.Other factors could be the table minimum. High minimum means people run out of money quicker. Also changing cards, putting a fill on the game, do they have the progressive bet.If you can play an hour without any interruptions maybe 40-50 is possible but that just doesn't happen in the real world
Don't teach an alligator how to swim.
Deucekies
Deucekies
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February 4th, 2015 at 10:29:16 AM permalink
Quote: Hunterhill

I strongly disagree. Of course it depends on how full the table is and how good the dealer is, or it could be that I'm always playing bad dealers:)I think you are fortunate if you get 30 hands per hour.Other factors could be the table minimum. High minimum means people run out of money quicker. Also changing cards, putting a fill on the game, do they have the progressive bet.If you can play an hour without any interruptions maybe 40-50 is possible but that just doesn't happen in the real world


It happens every day where I work, even at a full table. A hand of UTH rarely takes more than 90 seconds, most of them closer to 60. That equates to about 40 hands per hour minimum.
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
Hunterhill
Hunterhill
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February 4th, 2015 at 10:51:08 AM permalink
I agree with you about the 60-90 seconds but it's just all the other stuff factored in. Alot of places that I play have the progressive with the circles that you put your dollar on.It seems they are always screwing up and or freezing up so then it has to be reset.Also depends if it is hand dealt or machine dealt. What state do you work in Deucekies?
Don't teach an alligator how to swim.
dwheatley
dwheatley
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February 4th, 2015 at 11:40:55 AM permalink
Quote: Sandybestdog


So I did some testing. I took a single deck and shuffled and dealt them just like they do at the casino. Even with perfect hole card info, I can't get the game to turn positive. After 600 test hands, I wound up down about $200. The high was $200 and the low was -$500. I realize this isn't a great sample, but it gives you a pretty decent example. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks



You need to try harder. If you deal UTH face up and know BOTH dealer hole cards you should have a 35% edge. You are doing something wrong if you can't make money with a 35% edge.

Using the st.dev of regular UTH of 4.94 units, I get a 600 hand sample st dev of sqrt(600)*4.94 = 121 units and expectation of 600*.35 = 210.

Down $200 on $5 units is -40, which is 2.06 st dev below expectation. Unlikely but not impossible. Deal more hands, make the money.

----
If you cannot reliably see a hole card, you probably don't have an edge. And you generally shouldn't play the trips bet, that is not where the money is.
Wisdom is the quality that keeps you out of situations where you would otherwise need it
Hunterhill
Hunterhill
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February 4th, 2015 at 11:51:50 AM permalink
I think he meant seeing one holecard.
Don't teach an alligator how to swim.
Deucekies
Deucekies
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February 4th, 2015 at 12:09:57 PM permalink
Quote: Hunterhill

I agree with you about the 60-90 seconds but it's just all the other stuff factored in. Alot of places that I play have the progressive with the circles that you put your dollar on.It seems they are always screwing up and or freezing up so then it has to be reset.Also depends if it is hand dealt or machine dealt. What state do you work in Deucekies?


WA state. Shuffle machine. No progressive on UTH, but we have progressive on Pai Gow. We don't have any issues with it that require us to hold up the game. Sure we have the occasional floating dollar, but that's a 2-second fix.

Maybe we're just a well-oiled machine. :)
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
Sandybestdog
Sandybestdog
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February 4th, 2015 at 2:47:25 PM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

I have played quite a lot of UTH. In my opinion, it is more volatile than Blackjack. Definitely more fun. And very lucrative.

I don't play without the Trips bet. Which may cause you to disregard anything else I say, but that's where I make my money, along with a very aggressive betting strategy that freaks most people out, but IMO is the only way to win at this game. If you play this strategy, it gets the Element of Risk down around .5. The Las Vegas Advisor sells the strategy card for $5. I highly recommend it.

I'm too tall to get away with hole-carding, so I don't even try. But adding hole carding to the aggressive strategy would give the player a big advantage, if the info is used correctly. I think the web site apheat has a pretty good discussion on just how much it adds, and I would suggest you check there. Be sure to read the blog entry in the link for UTH in that alphabetical listing.

UTH strategy is also discussed in great detail at WizardofOdds.com , a sister site to this one. Look especially hard at the advice on how to play kickers.

Also be sure you're looking for opportunities to play the board for a push, because it can be hard to see, but boards like 2 pair + a 10, or 3OAK plus 2 face cards, are times to bet with nothing in your hand. This will become apparent if you start counting your kickers per WoO advice, but most players miss these and fold.

Based on your description of your play, I would guess you're folding too early on a few hands, combined with not being aggressive enough on your 4x and 2x bets. But that's totally my SWAG, because that's what I see a lot; this game is different from nearly all the rest in that you have to bet exactly as the strategy card says, with the refinement of playing the kickers correctly, and let the math do the work for you. No psyche bets, no trend bets, no backing off your aces when the dealer's filling gutshot straights.

Good luck.



Thanks for the advice but yea that's the problem. I consistently lose on 4x raises. Less than 50% for sure. I have the simple strategy card nearly memorized. All aces, all king and 5 and higher, all queen 8 or something and higher and jack 10 and all pocket pairs except 2's. Some of the kings and queens you raise lower if suited. After the flop, I 2x with a hidden pair. Sometimes I will 2x a 4 to a flush or straight if I have a 10 or higher. Then after the river, I'll try to count the outs. Trust me I'm not afraid to raise. I'm consistenly losing with AK suited to a dealers 7. An ace only helps as a kicker if you don't pair up and if you're playing kickers, you wish you hadn't 4x. But everytime I get one I just say to myself that you have to trust the math. I don't play the trips not because I don't want to play it but because if I'm buying in for $300, an extra $5 per bet is going to eat away at that pretty quickly. Especially because if you are losing to the dealer, you most likely aren't getting any trips or higher.
Sandybestdog
Sandybestdog
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February 4th, 2015 at 2:58:39 PM permalink
Quote: dwheatley

You need to try harder. If you deal UTH face up and know BOTH dealer hole cards you should have a 35% edge. You are doing something wrong if you can't make money with a 35% edge.

Using the st.dev of regular UTH of 4.94 units, I get a 600 hand sample st dev of sqrt(600)*4.94 = 121 units and expectation of 600*.35 = 210.

Down $200 on $5 units is -40, which is 2.06 st dev below expectation. Unlikely but not impossible. Deal more hands, make the money.

----
If you cannot reliably see a hole card, you probably don't have an edge. And you generally shouldn't play the trips bet, that is not where the money is.


No I'm talking about one dealer hole card and one community card. I mean my results are what they are. My play may not be optimized but with that kind of edge, you would think even bad play and bad streaks would bring you back to at least break even. The largest drawdown was about $600 between about 300 hands.

I don't play the trips bet.

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