Amphibia07
Amphibia07
Joined: Jul 10, 2010
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February 13th, 2018 at 3:47:18 AM permalink
I have a question on russian poker strategy - described by wizard here . Also called Lunar Poker, or Chinese Poker, I believe the same question could also apply to Oasis Poker.

In short, Wizard recommends to play with A-K-Q or better. As a reminder, in russian poker, if dealer qualifies you win the bet (ante x2) and ante pushes, if you loose - you loose both ante+bet, so 3x ante. If dealer does not qualify - you only win ante (x1).

Now the question is - what's the logic for playing small pairs against a higher dealer upcard, or even playing AKQ, as wizard recommends. I find this very counterintuitive. Basically, you are betting twice for an almost 50/50 chance to win half. If you have 2,2 and dealer has any pair or higher, you loose x3. If dealer doesn't qualify, you win only x1. Now the only hand this can possibly beat is AK, so it would make sense to play small pairs only against either A or K for dealer upcard, especially if you have the matching card in your hand. Then - less chance to pair up, more chance for dealer to have AK. Otherwise, it doesn't seem logical to play small cards. Now what's a small card - that's a good question, but let's say 2,2 and 3,3 - should you play them against dealer J upcard?

Wonder where this recommendation comes from - has this been run through simulations or it's justa loose adaption from Carribean Stud or something?
charliepatrick
charliepatrick
Joined: Jun 17, 2011
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February 13th, 2018 at 4:38:15 PM permalink
I've only played Lunar Poker once where my understanding is you could play it as standard 5-card poker with some additions. So I would expect a winning low pair to pay both the Ante and Raise.

Assuming this the logic is that the dealer (usually) has a 50% chance of beating a very low pair and 3% chance of making AK and 47% chance of not qualifying (very round numbers). Thus a low pair will most the time either win against a dealer not qualifying or lose against a higher pair. Occasionally it will actually beat an AK and be paid out on both Ante and Raise. Obviously a pair of 3s could beat a pair of 2s etc.

The maths is based on you can either fold - you lose 1 unit - or play when usually you lose 2 units or make 1 unit (and occasionally will beat an AK). If you lose less than 50% then it is better to play (win +1 or lose -2) than just take the 1 loss. (The actual figure is slightly less than 50% due to the AK factor). Thus, unless you know something by looking at other people's cards, you raise all pairs and many AKx's.
Amphibia07
Amphibia07
Joined: Jul 10, 2010
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February 13th, 2018 at 10:55:37 PM permalink
Quote: charliepatrick

I've only played Lunar Poker once where my understanding is you could play it as standard 5-card poker with some additions. So I would expect a winning low pair to pay both the Ante and Raise.



I have been playing russian/lunar poker many years, and it is by far the most popular casino game where I live. A winning combination (including pair) does not pay ante, only raise. That's the whole idea of lunar poker, that you don't win ante, otherwise the game would be just too powerful for the player. But there are many other options you gain instead
- you can exchange any number of cards for the cost of ante, you can buy the 6th card and be paid twice on combinations, you can insure against dealer not qualifying (half the winning), and you can buy another card for dealer if the dealer does not qualify at the cost of loosing ante (which means you also don't get paid on ante if that addition card also does not qualify).

So with the logic that you don't get paid on ante, would you still play small pairs?
jopke
jopke
Joined: Aug 14, 2012
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February 23rd, 2018 at 3:35:21 PM permalink
with a pair lower than the dealer up card, you should draw 3 then play, even if unimproved. It is pretty clear cut if you look at the numbers
gordonm888
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gordonm888
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February 23rd, 2018 at 7:10:49 PM permalink
I have independently analyzed Oasis (Russian) poker and some variants.

When considering the consequences of making the BET (2x Ante) you need to consider these scenarios:

No bet: Ante loses and payout = -1

Bet
- dealer doesn't qualify
- dealer qualifies and you win
- dealer qualifies and you tie
- dealer qualifies and you lose

The BET EV needs to be better than -1 (not better than zero, which is what you seem to assume) in order to justify making the BET.

Let look at this hand As-Kh-8d-5c-4c vs 8s (dealer's up card).

Probabilities
Dealer does not qualify =0.49874 Payout = +1
Dealer Qualifies, You Win = 0.0035297 Payout =+3
Dealer Qualifies, You Tie =0.0004964 Payout = 0
Dealer Qualifies, You Lose = 0.4972332 Payout = -3

So BET EV = - 0.9823697
and FOLD EV = -1

So, BET is the preferred play.
So many better men, a few of them friends, are dead. And a thousand thousand slimy things live on, and so do I.

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