jake0508
jake0508
Joined: Jan 10, 2012
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January 10th, 2012 at 8:57:54 AM permalink
Long time lurker, first time poster. Thank you to everyone making this a great site. My question today is about the joker's ranking in Pai Gow Poker, specifically in a flush. I was under the impression that, in a flush, the joker substituted for the next highest ranking card in the flush. What got me thinking otherwise was the hand that got dealt to me today in Bovada practice mode:


And if I wasn't such a computer illiterate, you would be seeing the screen capture above this. Anyway, dealer's 5 card hand was A-K-Q-10-2 of diamonds, my hand was A-joker-J-7-3 of clubs. Bovada declared me the winner of the 5 card hand. My thinking is I should have lost the hand as having A-K-J to dealers A-K-Q. It seems that Bovada is reading the joker as a second ace of clubs.

My questions are, is this specific to Bovada, whether house rule or software glich?

And if a house rule, does it differ from casino to casino, i.e, the ranking of A-5 straight?

Thank you for all responses.

kaysirtap
kaysirtap
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January 10th, 2012 at 9:48:22 AM permalink
In every casino I have been in, your Joker would have been considered the King of Clubs. I don't know if any other online casinos play it like Bovada apparently does.
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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January 10th, 2012 at 10:26:33 AM permalink
Jake -
the Bovada computer made a rare mistake, clearly due to a bug.
The Bovada house hand was Ad-Kd-Qd-10d-2d, and your hand was Ac-[Kc]-Jc-7c-3c via the joker, but had considered it an [impossible] Ac-Ac-Jc-7c-3.
The computer is supposed to follow logic that says "Joker = highest available rank of the flush," but instead the computer error credited you with two Ace(s) of clubs in your flush. Joker handling in Pai Gow poker is a tricky and difficult programming area in Pai Gow Poker simulators, and such bugs are not uncommon.

If you want to be a nice guy, send them a "field trouble report/bug fix request" via their web site.
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jake0508
jake0508
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January 10th, 2012 at 10:47:37 AM permalink
Thanks Dan, I will.
jake0508
jake0508
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January 10th, 2012 at 11:37:09 AM permalink
Dan,

As a part 2 to the hand I had above, both tops copied A-K. It seems every house way that the Wizard has posted would have had the dealer setting the hand as k-k/ a-a-q-10-2. Is this another possible bug I should let them know about?
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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January 10th, 2012 at 12:16:44 PM permalink
Jake,
That might not be a bug, it might be their house way that sets flushes that have an AK top, as setting AK/<flush> is the better setting, instead of playing it as two pairs, KK/AAxxx.
While many (- not all) house ways always it play two pairs, the some house ways use the setting AK/<flush>, as it is stronger than playing any two pairs, even aces and kings split, although not very commonly or constantly done.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
jake0508
jake0508
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January 10th, 2012 at 1:09:08 PM permalink
Dan.

Bovada's response:

Dear Mr. Jacob,

Thanks for contacting Bovada Casino Customer Service.

We appreciate you taking the time to send us the screenshot of your concern. We are happy to assist with your inquiry and can provide you with an explanation.

A review of the screenshot that you have submitted to us indicates that the result was a push as both hand ranking is a flush. Your hand is better as you have a Joker within your ranking. As per our game rules a Joker can only be used to complete straights or flushes; otherwise it counts as an ace.

For more information on the Pai Gow Poker game rules we have provided the below link;

Our Casino Customer Service Team is available by phone at 1-866-234-1324 and e-mail at casino@bovada.lv 24/7 to help if you need anything else.

Thanks,

Casino Customer Service
casino@bovada.lv
1-866-234-1324


If I'm reading their response correctly, it seems as if it does count as a second ace of clubs.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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January 10th, 2012 at 1:57:34 PM permalink
I get the feeling that the rep at Bovada that wrote that letter doesn't understand the rules for Pai Gow Poker.
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boymimbo
boymimbo
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January 10th, 2012 at 2:33:16 PM permalink
Not necessarily. "a Joker can be used to complete straights or flushes; otherwise it counts as a flush". So, according to Bovada's rule book, the Joker is the highest card available in a Flush, perhaps even above an "ace". In otherwords, the rank of the Joker can be the Ace of Clubs. Just because you have it in your hand doesn't mean it can't have the same "Value" in your hand.

For example, say the dealer had the Ace of Clubs in a flush and you had the joker in your same clubs flush. The Joker "counts" as an Ace of Clubs. There are two Ace of clubs in play, therefore. Why should it matter whether the Ace of Clubs is in your hand or in the dealer's?

So, I kind of like the ruling that the Joker completes a flush or straight with the highest card value. In otherwords, the flush with the joker is indeed two Ace of Clubs.

But I don't think so: According to New Jersey, "For purposes of setting the hands, a joker may be used as any card to complete a "straight," a "flush," a "straight flush" or a "royal flush."

If you are completing a flush, I don't see how a flush could have two cards of the same rank in the hand. But there's no rule stating that you can have two cards of the same rank and suit in your hand. In other words, just because you have an Ace of clubs in your hand doesn't mean that the joker can't count as an Ace of clubs (to complete the flush). After all, the dealer may have an Ace of Clubs in his hand.

i'm just looking for the rule that states that the joker can't duplicate a card in your hand. For example, if you have five aces, which suit is the joker. So, why couldn't the joker be the Ace if you already have one in your hand to make a flush?
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konceptum
konceptum
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January 10th, 2012 at 2:38:09 PM permalink
Someone correct me. I believe there was (is?) some sort of variant of Pai Gow Poker in which the Joker was considered higher than an Ace, such that if you were comparing the Ace and a Joker, the Joker would win. I suppose it's theoretically possible the coding was done in this fashion. A Flush with a Joker, automatically considered to be higher than a flush without a Joker, regardless of how many Aces are in the flush.

Personally, I think Dan is right, and that the coding wasn't done entire correctly, and that the response was generated by someone who doesn't understand Pai Gow Poker.

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