April 10th, 2021 at 1:57:12 PM
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This website and forum is simply amazing. The sheer amount of data available is astounding. I am wondering if anyone here can help me out with this.

We have a video poker game here called "Aces Live" that has a live dealer dealing from a deck of 6 cards. You then choose which cards you are going to hold. The dealer deals out 5 new cards and any cards in the spots you did not hold are replaced. So essentially, this is just normal 5 card draw with 6 decks of cards. That means you can get repeated cards, pairs and trips are much easier, and 5 of a kind is possible.

Here are the payouts:

Royal Flush 250

Straight Flush 50

Five of a Kind 50

Four of a Kind 10

Full House 8

Flush 5

Straight 3

3 of a Kind 2

Two Pair 1

Is there another variant existing on this site that is similar to this I can use to devise a strategy? If I stick to the Jacks or better strategy will that be close enough, or should I look at something else? Or, if I'm not stepping too far asking the more difficult questions: What is the return rate of this game? What should my strategy be? (or if it's easier, What strategy adjustments to a different video poker game should I make to create a solid strategy?)

A related question: There is going to be a tournament of this game. Up to 60 players will play per round and the top 10 advance to the next round. If everyone starts with say 300 credits, at what credit level could I stop playing (or maybe just reduce my bet size) because I can reasonably expect I would be in the top 10? Let's say I have no information about other players' results, everyone plays up to 20 hands, and everyone plays slightly (maybe 1%) below perfect strategy. Does this answer change much if the average player plays at a strategy 5% below perfect strategy?

Feel free to make any generalizations to give a useful answer. I just have no idea how to even start answering the question in the last paragraph.

We have a video poker game here called "Aces Live" that has a live dealer dealing from a deck of 6 cards. You then choose which cards you are going to hold. The dealer deals out 5 new cards and any cards in the spots you did not hold are replaced. So essentially, this is just normal 5 card draw with 6 decks of cards. That means you can get repeated cards, pairs and trips are much easier, and 5 of a kind is possible.

Here are the payouts:

Royal Flush 250

Straight Flush 50

Five of a Kind 50

Four of a Kind 10

Full House 8

Flush 5

Straight 3

3 of a Kind 2

Two Pair 1

Is there another variant existing on this site that is similar to this I can use to devise a strategy? If I stick to the Jacks or better strategy will that be close enough, or should I look at something else? Or, if I'm not stepping too far asking the more difficult questions: What is the return rate of this game? What should my strategy be? (or if it's easier, What strategy adjustments to a different video poker game should I make to create a solid strategy?)

A related question: There is going to be a tournament of this game. Up to 60 players will play per round and the top 10 advance to the next round. If everyone starts with say 300 credits, at what credit level could I stop playing (or maybe just reduce my bet size) because I can reasonably expect I would be in the top 10? Let's say I have no information about other players' results, everyone plays up to 20 hands, and everyone plays slightly (maybe 1%) below perfect strategy. Does this answer change much if the average player plays at a strategy 5% below perfect strategy?

Feel free to make any generalizations to give a useful answer. I just have no idea how to even start answering the question in the last paragraph.

April 10th, 2021 at 2:48:25 PM
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I'll PM Wizard for you if nobody does this in the next day or two. He might be interested enough to make a page out of it, but he's probably going to want you to identify where this game might be found.

I'm not even going to lie...not only would I not come up with a return percentage on this one for free---but it's probably a good measure out of my league anyway. I could determine optimal decisions on individual hands...pretty easily, in fact, but I don't think I could come up with an overall expected return.

In terms of strategy, here are my one minute intuitions:

1.) Flush draws will become much more valuable because flushes on the draw become significantly more likely.

2.) Even though the Royal Flush only pays 250:1, I'd assume that you'll be more aggressive in those holds as they also become more likely...and those Royal holds that are also a three-flush have it more likely to catch two for the flush.

3.) Same as #2, but with straight flushes.

4.) All pairs are equal. Based on the paytable, I'd think that a four flush beats any single pair. I know four flush beats a non Jacks+ Pair in Bonus Poker Deluxe---which pays more on both the 3OaK and 4OaK than those hands pay here. 5OaK is possible in this game, but pays less than any quads in Bonus Poker Deluxe---so I tend to think four flush is always the hold over a pair.

5.) I'm not sure about open-ended straights v. a single pair, but I can do the math on that easily enough, if you want.

The opening rounds of tournaments like that, I tend to think you just want to be aggressive. I can't really suggest any particular, "Stop point," without seeing the game in action. Sixty players each playing twenty hands...I figure at least ten would have more than they started with.

I'm not even going to lie...not only would I not come up with a return percentage on this one for free---but it's probably a good measure out of my league anyway. I could determine optimal decisions on individual hands...pretty easily, in fact, but I don't think I could come up with an overall expected return.

In terms of strategy, here are my one minute intuitions:

1.) Flush draws will become much more valuable because flushes on the draw become significantly more likely.

2.) Even though the Royal Flush only pays 250:1, I'd assume that you'll be more aggressive in those holds as they also become more likely...and those Royal holds that are also a three-flush have it more likely to catch two for the flush.

3.) Same as #2, but with straight flushes.

4.) All pairs are equal. Based on the paytable, I'd think that a four flush beats any single pair. I know four flush beats a non Jacks+ Pair in Bonus Poker Deluxe---which pays more on both the 3OaK and 4OaK than those hands pay here. 5OaK is possible in this game, but pays less than any quads in Bonus Poker Deluxe---so I tend to think four flush is always the hold over a pair.

5.) I'm not sure about open-ended straights v. a single pair, but I can do the math on that easily enough, if you want.

The opening rounds of tournaments like that, I tend to think you just want to be aggressive. I can't really suggest any particular, "Stop point," without seeing the game in action. Sixty players each playing twenty hands...I figure at least ten would have more than they started with.

https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219

April 10th, 2021 at 3:01:13 PM
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The game can be found at Running Aces Casino in Minnesota. If there is anything else I should add, please let me know.

April 11th, 2021 at 6:09:41 AM
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This would be a herculean analysis. Even using the Wiz’s super-fast methodology:

https://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/methodology/

With it one would first have to loop through Combin(312, 5) = 23,856,384,552 hands and store scored results in arrays of sizes 23,856,384,552, 387,278,970, 5013320 and smaller. Then one would have to loop through all the unique hands taking the 24 suite permutations into consideration evaluating each of the 32 possible holds per unique hand. For a normal 52-card games, this is 134,459 hands. Not sure what it is for this game.

The 23 trillion in the first step is a show-stopper.

A 2-deck version would “only” need 91,962,520 in that first step so is probably doable as an approximation.

https://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/methodology/

With it one would first have to loop through Combin(312, 5) = 23,856,384,552 hands and store scored results in arrays of sizes 23,856,384,552, 387,278,970, 5013320 and smaller. Then one would have to loop through all the unique hands taking the 24 suite permutations into consideration evaluating each of the 32 possible holds per unique hand. For a normal 52-card games, this is 134,459 hands. Not sure what it is for this game.

The 23 trillion in the first step is a show-stopper.

A 2-deck version would “only” need 91,962,520 in that first step so is probably doable as an approximation.

April 11th, 2021 at 11:36:02 AM
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I think the number of unique hands with two decks is 152,646.

April 15th, 2021 at 4:58:12 PM
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Would you mind talking me through how you would work out #5? I've convinced myself that your one-minute intuitions on basic strategy are correct, but if you could talk me through how you would calculate EV for open-ended straights v. a single pair that would help me know how to work out a few other details.

You can run into interesting situations in this game like: 9c9cTcTs4c. Do I keep the 2 pair or do I keep one pair and go for the flush? I would be fine working out those details myself once I know how to do it.

You can run into interesting situations in this game like: 9c9cTcTs4c. Do I keep the 2 pair or do I keep one pair and go for the flush? I would be fine working out those details myself once I know how to do it.

April 16th, 2021 at 5:54:52 PM
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I have an excel spreadsheet that is a video poker analyzer capable of multiple decks. I could develop strategy using that but I cannot calculate the Return across all hands.

I agree with Mission that flushes will be more common - a three card flush draw will hit about 50% more often than in a 1-deck game.

I am not seeing any reason why a royal or straight flush will be much more common though. The odds of getting each card in a spades royal flush is still 1 out of 52, roughly. In fact, I believe its slightly less probable to get a royal flush with 6 decks than with one deck.

Obviously pairs, two pairs, trips, boats and quads will all occur more frequently. Pairs will be about 30% more frequent and quads will be, I don't know but I guess, about 8X more frequent than in one deck. I think you should be drawing to make trips and quads at every opportunity.

I agree with Mission that flushes will be more common - a three card flush draw will hit about 50% more often than in a 1-deck game.

I am not seeing any reason why a royal or straight flush will be much more common though. The odds of getting each card in a spades royal flush is still 1 out of 52, roughly. In fact, I believe its slightly less probable to get a royal flush with 6 decks than with one deck.

Obviously pairs, two pairs, trips, boats and quads will all occur more frequently. Pairs will be about 30% more frequent and quads will be, I don't know but I guess, about 8X more frequent than in one deck. I think you should be drawing to make trips and quads at every opportunity.

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

April 16th, 2021 at 7:17:10 PM
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Here is my rough simple strategy, done in my head, based on the pay table you posted:

1. Obviously, keep any made hand, 2pr or better, and draw cards to it as possible.

2. Keep a flush draw (4 suited cards) and discard the unsuited card.

3. Draw to a pair. If you have both 4 suited cards and a pair, discard the pair and draw to the flush.

4. Draw to an open-ended straight.

- if you have an open-ended straight draw and a pair, draw to the pair.

5. If you have a garbage hand -no pairs, flush draw or straight draw, discard 4 cards. Keep 1 card, preferably in the range 5-10, with as few straight blockers and flush blockers in the four cards you are discarding.

Never discard all 5 cards.

1. Obviously, keep any made hand, 2pr or better, and draw cards to it as possible.

2. Keep a flush draw (4 suited cards) and discard the unsuited card.

3. Draw to a pair. If you have both 4 suited cards and a pair, discard the pair and draw to the flush.

4. Draw to an open-ended straight.

- if you have an open-ended straight draw and a pair, draw to the pair.

5. If you have a garbage hand -no pairs, flush draw or straight draw, discard 4 cards. Keep 1 card, preferably in the range 5-10, with as few straight blockers and flush blockers in the four cards you are discarding.

Never discard all 5 cards.

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

April 17th, 2021 at 10:48:11 AM
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Quote:GaryJKoehlerI think the number of unique hands with two decks is 152,646.

With further work, I believe the number is 202,735. Just wanted to correct that.

April 17th, 2021 at 12:39:21 PM
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And the 23 "trillion" should have been 23 "billion". Bad counting day!