Ajaxx
Ajaxx
Joined: Sep 15, 2019
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Gialmere
December 27th, 2019 at 1:29:41 PM permalink
I recently learned that California isn't the only state where card rooms are getting legally creative in order to offer table games. The situation seems more unstable in Florida; the state has already flip-flopped once on whether these games are allowed, and the Seminole tribe, which has a compact that is supposed to give them exclusive rights to banked games, recently stopped paying $20 million a month to the state in protest. For now, though, and for at least the last two years apparently, poker rooms there have managed to offer automated roulette and craps machines, as well as live-dealt versions of Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, Casino War, High Card Flush, Pai Gow, and other card games (including something I'd never heard of called Two Card Poker).

I say "versions" because the same loophole used in California card rooms makes these games different than what you'd find in a typical casino; players don't play against the house but against a third-party "designated player" that is allowed to park a minimum-wage employee at one end of the table with $50,000 in chips. In Florida, though, it gets even weirder: unlike in California, where the opportunity to bank rotates around the table every two hands, the card room I visited (The Casino @ Dania Beach) had a rule that says you have to have $50k on you in order to be the designated player. More importantly for the recreational player, in order for the state to consider these as poker games, the player with the stronger hand has to win every time. That means they can't offer independent side bets that might pay a player even when they lose their base bet to the house (a.k.a "designated player"). To get around that, they offer side bets which push when your base bet pushes and lose when your base bet loses, even if your final hand is strong enough to appear on the pay table. As compensation, they use a modified pay table. For the UTH Trips side bet:
Hand FL Odds* Typical Odds
Royal flush 100:1 50:1
Straight flush 40:1 40:1
Four of a kind 30:1 30:1
Full house 10:1 8:1
Flush 7:1 7:1
Straight 6:1 4:1
Three of a kind 3:1 3:1
*Must win hand


There was also a slightly modified lower-variance pay table for the UTH Blind bet: regular flushes pay 2:1 instead of 3:2, while royal flushes and straight flushes pay 200:1 and 40:1 instead of 500:1 and 50:1, respectively. I'm guessing this is in place so that they can keep the table maximum at $300 while keeping the maximum payout around $50,000 for the corporation, but it actually ends up helping the player; I calculated a 2.0867% house edge applying regular UTH basic strategy, which is already slightly better than the 2.1850% on a normal game, and I'd be curious to know whether that could be improved with a tailored strategy (though I doubt it would be significant). I also haven't been able to calculate the edge on the modified Trips bet yet, and didn't get a chance to scout any of the other games or pay tables offered around the city, so if anyone has more information on any of this, or thoughts in general about these games, I'd be grateful to know it.
"Not only [does] God play dice... he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen." ~ Stephen Hawking
ChumpChange
ChumpChange
Joined: Jun 15, 2018
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December 27th, 2019 at 10:35:50 PM permalink
A maximum bet of $250 paid at 200:1 pays $50K + bet. I like this payout because there's no tax form to fill out; and there's higher payouts for lower hands. I'm guessing the CTR will be filled out at the cage when you cash in your chips (unless you take a check), but someone here might explain that getting all those chips on one win will trigger a table CTR.
beachbumbabs
Administrator
beachbumbabs
Joined: May 21, 2013
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December 28th, 2019 at 9:59:57 AM permalink
Yeah, I played FL card room UTH once for a couple hours, about 3 years ago. Variance just killed me. My FH lost to a bigger FH, tied a FH, lost board quads to a higher kicker, and finally FH lost to dealer Quads. Best Trips card run I've ever seen, and not ONE of them got paid.

Walked away forever. Suggest you do the same.

That bet (Trips) was designed as a paytable payoff, not head to head. However good your hand is, the dealer has those same 5 cards to work with. Board-based bonuses like flushes and straights don't get paid unless at least one card in your hand improves them.

Even with the beefed-up pays, I bet the HE is around 20% in practice. I find it particularly deceptive that it's the same hands as the good Trips bet, so people who like the proper game get the greeds, thinking they're playing a great paytable. Ugh.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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December 28th, 2019 at 10:39:00 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

Yeah, I played FL card room UTH.

Walked away forever. Suggest you do the same.


Thanks.
Heartfelt comments like that are one of the forum's greatest assets. There are just too many options out there to waste time
DRich
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
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December 28th, 2019 at 12:39:32 PM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

A maximum bet of $250 paid at 200:1 pays $50K + bet. I like this payout because there's no tax form to fill out; and there's higher payouts for lower hands. I'm guessing the CTR will be filled out at the cage when you cash in your chips (unless you take a check), but someone here might explain that getting all those chips on one win will trigger a table CTR.



I have never heard of a table CTR. No CTR should occur without cash money trading hands.
Living longer does not always infer +EV
Doc
Doc
Joined: Feb 27, 2010
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December 28th, 2019 at 1:03:50 PM permalink
Quote: DRich

I have never heard of a table CTR. No CTR should occur without cash money trading hands.

Since he mentioned a "tax form", I am guessing that there is some confusion regarding a CTR vs. a W2-G.
ChumpChange
ChumpChange
Joined: Jun 15, 2018
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December 28th, 2019 at 1:40:37 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

Since he mentioned a "tax form", I am guessing that there is some confusion regarding a CTR vs. a W2-G.



The tax form would be for a 300 to 1 payout. The CTR would be for cash buy-ins of $10K+ at the tables over a day, and/or cash outs in cash at the cage over $10K per day. Might be better to use lines of credit at some point.

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