beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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UKMark
June 21st, 2018 at 2:39:20 PM permalink
Quote: UKMark

I would say that the discerning player who takes time to read the game details and look at the house edge may be perturbed by a HE around 3.5% but for the casual player, and there are many, this may not be a consideration.

The game is better dealt from a CSM as this alleviates the need to reshuffle and due to the speed of the game the drop in HE between a CSM and shoe should be made up in the additional game play time.

A CSM game HE is 2.04% with the shoe deal coming in at 3.48%. The difference is due to the number of better 3 card starting hands the player sees, these being 1 pair, flush, straight, trips and straight flush that go on to win around 65% of the time.

I have thought about the 3oak, 4oak & 5oak suited win options but think that would be something to bring in as a jackpot style prize or side bet but I haven't done any work on it yet.



Ok, if the casino has a CSM, and can offer the game at a HE of 2.04, I don't think that's out of line, even with the faster deal.

Your game might be OK from the shoe, too, but this is something I had to learn the hard way, and caused some disagreements with the distributor.

There is a narrow sweet spot where a game is viable. 2% is about right for most poker/carnival games to be successful in the long run.

My game was deployed with a 6 deck shoe and a HE of 3.823%, though there were options that would lower it. It dealt in excess of 80HPH. People, especially beginners, loved it (which was the target audience). Comment cards were universally positive.

But the game lost players after a few weeks, even where initally the table was SRO, because it took their money so fast that, even on a $5 minimum table, they could lose $100 in 10 minutes or less. So they wouldn't dig out that 2nd hundo, or a third, and keep playing, because even though they won 42% of the time, it just felt like a money sink.

That was the product of the HE * HPH. People staggered away, couldn't believe they lost so fast. Reports back were, great game, hold too high. It got removed within 3-6 months the first dozen installs, lasted a year in a couple of those overseas.

They pulled it from the distributor sales, but right then, with a lower HE, we got a year in California, and is now 2.5 years and still playing in Australia, with an even lower HE. So not quite dead.

But that little formula is EVERYTHING. Too tight. People won't play for long. Too loose. Casinos won't keep it on the floor. In my opinion, (and you didn't say what the 3oak BJ pay did to the HE), your shoe needs to be below 2.5%. The CSM, you're on the edge of a blowout. No shuffle downtime, only 1 decision point, you're going to average 50+ HPH, where 3CP, almost exactly the same HE, won't average more than 40 due to single-deck downtime. Total guess, but your sweet spot for CSM is probably around 1.8% HE

Still all my opinion. But you can make money from my experience if you get what I'm saying and at the least, offer 3-4 configurations with different HEs, and test the HPH so the casinos can decide what they want to offer. .
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
gordonm888
gordonm888
Joined: Feb 18, 2015
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beachbumbabsUKMark
June 21st, 2018 at 4:26:06 PM permalink
I have written a calculator to evaluate the EV of various situations (currently it only handles situations in which the 3 player cards are not suited -not a flush draw -and the dealers cards are unsuited as well.) Always possible I still have bugs in it.

For player hands that are three consecutive ranks (straight draws) here are what I get for basic strategy. Again, all player hands on this list are offsuit and dealer hands are offsuit.

Player straight draw hands and when to fold them

AKQ------Fold against: any pair
KQJ------Fold against: any pair
QJT------Fold against: 77-AA
JT9------Fold against: 66-AA
T98------Fold against: 66-AA
987------Fold against: AK and 66-AA
876------Fold against: AT-AK and 55-AA
765------Fold against: A8-AK and 55-AA
654------Fold against: A6-AK and 44-AA
543------Fold against: KQ, A5-AK and 33-AA
432------Fold against: Q7-QJ, K4-AK and any pair
32A------Fold against: AQ,AK and any pair

These strategy rules may or will be different for:
1. Player hand is suited, Dealer is unsuited
2. Player hand is unsuited. Dealer is suited
3. Player and Dealer hands are both suited -different suits
4. Player and Dealer hands are both suited in the same suit

And that is strategy for only 12 hands, or rank combinations!

Obviously, players are going to be playing at far from 2.04% House edge because of the complexity of the strategy required and non-optimum play.. BBB's excellent advice about House Edge has to be considered in the context that players may be giving up several percent in House Edge because of player errors.
Sometimes, people are just a bottomless mystery. And, after all, this is just a sh*tty little forum in the sun-less backwaters of the online world.
gordonm888
gordonm888
Joined: Feb 18, 2015
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UKMark
June 21st, 2018 at 10:22:27 PM permalink
I have spent a lot of time analyzing this game and thinking about. I think this game has a drawback that is fairly unusual.

To illustrate what it is, I challenge the OP/game owner to do this:

Develop a simple description of how a player should play this game. Something like 4-8 rules that advises a player what the rough strategy is for playing this game. And then, using a computer code, simulate the game assuming that the player uses that "simplified player strategy." And calculate what the House Edge is against this novice player.

I suspect that the House Edge, given a player using 4-8 strategy rules, will be enormous. Maybe over 10%.

The problem is fundamental. The player is allowed to see 3 of his 5 cards and 2 of the 5 dealer cards - but there is no readily apparent way to "summarize the information in those 5 cards" into a small number of "lumped categories" so as to define "strategy rules" on how to play.

Blackjack involves decisions after seeing three cards. We add the two player cards and use the sum and also the rank of the dealers card to define about 200 categories such as "15 vs 7" or "11 vs Ten" -and then memorize rules.

In Three Card poker we see three cards than can easily be summarized by the 3-card poker value of the hand.

In Mississippi Stud, we see two cards initially and define certain ranks as High, Medium and Low, and use that to define about ten rules on how to make the initial decision.

But in Hexa poker there are five cards seen from two hands. Observe:

1. 643 (offsuit) vs K5 (offsuit) EV = - 0.935
2. 643 (offsuit) vs K6 (offsuit) EV = - 1.0025
3. 843 (off) vs K6 (off) EV = -1.140 (Note: Player 843 is weaker than Player 643)
4. 643 (off) vs A2 (off) EV = - 0.876 (643 should Bet/Play vs A2 but Fold vs K6.)
5. 643 (off) vs A3 (off) EV = - 0.972
6. 643 (off) vs A4 (off) EV = - 1.065

Small changes in the rank of the lowest cards can make very significant changes in EV, and some of those changes are counterintuitive. I understand why all those changes in EV occur, but writing strategy rules is going to be messy because the trend in EV is not monotonic.

The player will need to look at his (unpaired) hand and ask:

1. do I have a flush draw (suited Cards?)
2. Does the dealer have suited cards?
3. Do I have a straight draw? If so is it 0 gaps, 1 gap or 2 gaps, because different rules apply.
4. Do the dealer's two cards have adjacent ranks?
5. Are my 3 cards high or low in relation to the dealer's 2 cards? (many possible answers to that one.)
6. Do I have an A,K or a Q? (cards that are high in an absolute sense.)
7. Does dealer have an A, K, or Q?

Strategy may hinge on the answer to any or many of those questions.

The basic strategy maps will have many "boundaries" between Fold and Hit. The Hexa Poker strategy will be as least as complex as Russian poker, and it may be quite a bit more complex. And nothing in the rookie Hexa player's experience will inform his instincts when looking at the 5 cards - because he is looking at fragments of two opposing poker hands.

Basically, when I first played the simulated game on the link, my chip stack plummeted like a stone. I am not the dullest knife in the drawer, but I was making so many errors that I didn't have a chance. And after more than a dozen hours of analyzing this game, my chip stack on the simulator still drops like a stone, just a bit slower.
Sometimes, people are just a bottomless mystery. And, after all, this is just a sh*tty little forum in the sun-less backwaters of the online world.
UKMark
UKMark
Joined: Jan 6, 2017
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June 25th, 2018 at 2:42:19 AM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

I have spent a lot of time analyzing this game and thinking about. I think this game has a drawback that is fairly unusual.

To illustrate what it is, I challenge the OP/game owner to do this:

Develop a simple description of how a player should play this game. Something like 4-8 rules that advises a player what the rough strategy is for playing this game. And then, using a computer code, simulate the game assuming that the player uses that "simplified player strategy." And calculate what the House Edge is against this novice player.

I suspect that the House Edge, given a player using 4-8 strategy rules, will be enormous. Maybe over 10%.



That's quite a challenge so I've been looking at the game data and have these strategy rules:
PLAY:
- any premium starting hand of 1 Pair, Flush, Straight, Trips, Straight Flush (Flush, Straight, Str Flush hands are dependant on dealer cards and what high/low cards are on show)
- when all 3 player cards are higher ranked than the dealer cards (look for 1, 2, 3 gapped straight hands where all cards are higher than dealer's)
- when 2 cards are higher ranked then the dealer's cards
- 1 gapped straights with one or more player card higher ranked than the dealer's cards, hands like A 3 5
- 2 gapped straights with 2 or more cards higher ranked than the dealer's cards, hands like K Q 9 or J 8 7 (look for 5 & 10 in your hand as these are critical to a 5 card straight)
- 1 player card higher than the dealer high card and 2 player cards higher than the dealer low card

FOLD:
- to any dealer pair unless player has higher pair
- to any dealer ACE if player has no ACE apart from where they have a PLAY hand as above
- whenever dealer's 2 cards are higher ranked then the player cards except when the player has 1 pair or trips

That is the basic strategy I find myself playing and can see your chip stack drop but then it does recover, it will be interesting to find out how you get on.

I will look to get this all automated to test the house edge and drop out the results when I can.

I have also looked at a revised pay table which brings in some higher payouts for the ANTE bet when you get a flush or better, this makes the HE 1.40% from a CSM deal.
Success comes in cans, not can'ts
UKMark
UKMark
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June 25th, 2018 at 2:59:48 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

But that little formula is EVERYTHING. Too tight. People won't play for long. Too loose. Casinos won't keep it on the floor. In my opinion, (and you didn't say what the 3oak BJ pay did to the HE), your shoe needs to be below 2.5%. The CSM, you're on the edge of a blowout. No shuffle downtime, only 1 decision point, you're going to average 50+ HPH, where 3CP, almost exactly the same HE, won't average more than 40 due to single-deck downtime. Total guess, but your sweet spot for CSM is probably around 1.8% HE

Still all my opinion. But you can make money from my experience if you get what I'm saying and at the least, offer 3-4 configurations with different HEs, and test the HPH so the casinos can decide what they want to offer. .



I value all of the responses I receive and post on here to get feedback and advice from those who have already tread this path, your opinion and experience matters so please don't stop :-)

The 3oak BJ 3:2 payout dropped the HE to 0.57% which IMO is just a little bit too much so keeping the PLAY payout the same I have looked at enhancing the ANTE payout when the player hits a Flush or better. This drops the HE to 1.40% for a CSM deal. I am just updating the demo software and will drop that out soon after I've done some further testing.

I can certainly have 3-4 pay table options and make a calculation for expected HPH (40-60 is my current estimate)
Success comes in cans, not can'ts
gordonm888
gordonm888
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UKMark
June 25th, 2018 at 1:12:15 PM permalink
Quote: UKMark

PLAY:
- any premium starting hand of 1 Pair, Flush, Straight, Trips, Straight Flush (Flush, Straight, Str Flush hands are dependent on dealer cards and what high/low cards are on show)
- when all 3 player cards are higher ranked than the dealer cards (look for 1, 2, 3 gapped straight hands where all cards are higher than dealer's)
- when 2 cards are higher ranked then the dealer's cards
- 1 gapped straights with one or more player card higher ranked than the dealer's cards, hands like A 3 5
- 2 gapped straights with 2 or more cards higher ranked than the dealer's cards, hands like K Q 9 or J 8 7 (look for 5 & 10 in your hand as these are critical to a 5 card straight)
- 1 player card higher than the dealer high card and 2 player cards higher than the dealer low card

FOLD:
- to any dealer pair unless player has higher pair
- to any dealer ACE if player has no ACE apart from where they have a PLAY hand as above
- whenever dealer's 2 cards are higher ranked then the player cards except when the player has 1 pair or trips



Your list is an excellent starting point, but some rules are duplicative and a few are vague and thus non-actionable (those that say "look for dealer or player hands with certain kinds of cards."

Here is a set of strategy rules that is not perfect but catches virtually everything you were trying to say and adds a couple of points. These may be easier to program as well.

1. PLAY any premium starting hand of 1 Pair, Trips and 3-card Flush/Str Flush draws and 3-card open-ended Straight draws
- except FOLD a Pair if Dealer has a higher Pair
- except FOLD a 3-card open-ended straight if dealer has a Pair that is equal to or higher than the lowest card in the player hand

2. FOLD any non-premium player hand versus a dealer Pair
(Non premium = No pair, no flush draw and no open-ended straight draw)

3. When neither player nor dealer has a pair, and player has no premium draws, PLAY
- any hand versus dealer 10-5 or lower
- any hand where 2 (or more) player cards are higher ranked then the dealer's cards
- any hand where 1 player card is higher than the dealer high card and 2 player cards are higher than the dealer low card
- any Ace-high hand except FOLD AJx or lower vs Dealer's AK, AQ
- any 1-gap straight draws that are Q-High or higher
---- any 1-gap straight draws (J-High or lower) versus any dealer hand that is Q-high or lower
Otherwise FOLD

This is only ~ 10 rules and may be as much as many players would try to remember. By the way, I have not analyzed the Player hands that are 3 card flush draws, so I just followed your strategy on those.

Regarding this rule
PLAY
- any hand versus dealer 10-5 or lower


The basic idea is that when dealer has two low unpaired cards and player also has 3 low cards, that the face up cards don't much matter - it will come down to whether Player can out draw the dealer. Despite the disadvantage of player having only a 2-card draw, Betting is better than Folding when many ranks in the deck are higher than dealer's highest-ranked card.
Last edited by: gordonm888 on Jun 25, 2018
Sometimes, people are just a bottomless mystery. And, after all, this is just a sh*tty little forum in the sun-less backwaters of the online world.
gordonm888
gordonm888
Joined: Feb 18, 2015
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Thanks for this post from:
UKMark
June 25th, 2018 at 4:12:11 PM permalink
I keep optimizing these proposed Strategy Rules for ease to remember and to capture more EV

1. PLAY any premium starting hand of 1 Pair, Trips and 3-card Flush/Str Flush draws and 3-card open-ended Straight draws
- except FOLD a Pair if Dealer has a higher Pair
- except FOLD an open-ended straight draw if dealer has a Pair that is equal to or higher than the lowest card in the player hand

2. FOLD any non-premium player hand versus a dealer Pair
(Non premium = No pair, no flush draw and no open-ended straight draw)

3. When neither player nor dealer has a pair, and player has no premium draws
PLAY
- any hand versus dealer 10-5 or lower
- Any 9-High vs J-6 or lower
- Any 10-high vs J-9 or lower (ex: play 10-4-2 vs J-8)
- Any J-High vs Q-5 or lower
- Any Q-High vs Q-10 or lower
- any K-high hand vs K-10 or lower
- any Ace-high hand vs AJ or lower
- any hand where 1 player card is equal to the dealer high card and a 2nd player card is higher than or equal to the dealer low card (ex: Play AKx vs AK and AQ; Play QJx vs QJ, Play KQx vs KJ or KQ)
- any 1-gap straight draw versus K6 or lower (ex: Play 643 vs K6 or lower)
Otherwise FOLD
Sometimes, people are just a bottomless mystery. And, after all, this is just a sh*tty little forum in the sun-less backwaters of the online world.
UKMark
UKMark
Joined: Jan 6, 2017
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June 28th, 2018 at 3:55:49 AM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

Your list is an excellent starting point, but some rules are duplicative and a few are vague and thus non-actionable (those that say "look for dealer or player hands with certain kinds of cards."

Here is a set of strategy rules that is not perfect but catches virtually everything you were trying to say and adds a couple of points. These may be easier to program as well.



Thanks for all of the assistance and analysis, I'm now going to plug it all into my game simulator and test it out. I'll post the results as soon as I can but want to capture the stats for the hands dealt and fold v play hands plus result so got a bit to plug in.
Success comes in cans, not can'ts

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