BadAtPoker
BadAtPoker
Joined: Oct 5, 2018
  • Threads: 1
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October 5th, 2018 at 7:51:25 AM permalink
Hi all. Iím very new to this forum, so my apologies if this was asked before. I looked at a few of the HCF threads but didnít see this question so Iíll ask it:

For someone who insists on playing the side bets in HCF (I definitely insist on playing them ;) ), is there a proper ratio that will maximize your odds? The casino I play at is a Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario, where the table stakes are:

$5 - $500 on the game itself
$1 - $300 on each of the side bets (4-7 card flush & 3 or more to straight flushes).

The odds they pay are (what I believe is) the standard odds:

Four card flush: 1-1
Five card flush: 10-1
Six card flush: 100-1
Seven card flush: 300-1

Three card SF: 7-1
Four card SF: 60-1
Five card SF: 100-1
Six card SF: 1000-1
Seven card SF: 8000-1

There is a maximum aggregate payout per spot on the table of $25,000 per hand, but with the odds of a 7-card SF being so low, and with my bankroll being small enough that I definitely wonít be playing above $25 per hand on either side bet my assumption is that this aggregate payout max should have no effect on the strategy. Thank you so much for any help!

As an aside, I work at another casino in Ontario and it was during training that I first learned about this game. It was lots of fun during training so I decided to go try it out at Rama. It definitely is a ton of fun, and on my first (and so far only) trip to go play it I was playing $15 & $15 on both the side bets and hit a six-card flush with a 3-card SF! $1600+ payout on the hand! So yeah, now Iím hooked ;)
Zcore13
Zcore13 
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
  • Threads: 39
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October 5th, 2018 at 9:16:31 AM permalink
Quote: BadAtPoker

Hi all. Iím very new to this forum, so my apologies if this was asked before. I looked at a few of the HCF threads but didnít see this question so Iíll ask it:

For someone who insists on playing the side bets in HCF (I definitely insist on playing them ;) ), is there a proper ratio that will maximize your odds? The casino I play at is a Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario, where the table stakes are:

$5 - $500 on the game itself
$1 - $300 on each of the side bets (4-7 card flush & 3 or more to straight flushes).

The odds they pay are (what I believe is) the standard odds:

Four card flush: 1-1
Five card flush: 10-1
Six card flush: 100-1
Seven card flush: 300-1

Three card SF: 7-1
Four card SF: 60-1
Five card SF: 100-1
Six card SF: 1000-1
Seven card SF: 8000-1

There is a maximum aggregate payout per spot on the table of $25,000 per hand, but with the odds of a 7-card SF being so low, and with my bankroll being small enough that I definitely wonít be playing above $25 per hand on either side bet my assumption is that this aggregate payout max should have no effect on the strategy. Thank you so much for any help!

As an aside, I work at another casino in Ontario and it was during training that I first learned about this game. It was lots of fun during training so I decided to go try it out at Rama. It definitely is a ton of fun, and on my first (and so far only) trip to go play it I was playing $15 & $15 on both the side bets and hit a six-card flush with a 3-card SF! $1600+ payout on the hand! So yeah, now Iím hooked ;)



If you insist on playing (I play it also), you maximize your total chances of winning by playing as low as possible on the side bets. The main bet has a low (just under 3%) house advantage. The flush side bet has a higher (just under 8%) house advantage. And the straight flush bet is even higher (about 13%).

If you asking if there is an optimal way to bet to help you win more money or more often... No.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
gordonm888
Administrator
gordonm888
Joined: Feb 18, 2015
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October 5th, 2018 at 9:26:18 AM permalink
Welcome to the forum. Glad you're having fun with High Card Flush (HCF) -its one of my favorite games as well. In fact, I authored the article on Advanced Strategy for HCF on the WOO site.

Gambling has a built-in tension. Of course, you should expect to lose over time. But if you never gamble, you will never win those large jackpots and never have the joy of playing the game.

HCF Main Game. EV = -0.027; Lose your bet about 77.4% of the time.
Flush sidebet EV = -0.078; Lose your bet about 77.4% of the time.
Sideflush sidebet EV = -0.131 Lose your bet about 93% of the time.

Strategies for Maximizing EV at HCF.

BEST. IF you want to optimize your EV, then don't gamble, lol. Don't play HCF. This is not my choice either, but I'm just saying.

2nd BEST. Playing HCF and never bet the sidebets. The sidebets will drain your funds away much faster than just playing the main game. Less/zero chance of a big jackpot but more chance of a winning session.

3rd BEST Bet the minimum on the Flush side wager and zero on the Straight Flush Side Wager. Many players do this. This gives you the action that comes from the sidebet while minimizing the attrition to your bankroll.

4th BEST Bet the minimums on both the Flush and Straight Flush Side wagers.

5th BEST Bet the sidebets according to your hunches and your heart.

I am a conservative math nerd. When I play HCF I only rarely make the sidebets, and only when I am caught up in the mood of the table. Even then, I often stay away from the straight flush sidebet.
So many better men, a few of them friends, are dead. And a thousand thousand slimy things live on, and so do I.
Zcore13
Zcore13 
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
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October 5th, 2018 at 9:39:01 AM permalink
Deleted. Un-needed comment.


ZCore13
Last edited by: Zcore13 on Oct 5, 2018
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
Joined: May 21, 2013
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October 5th, 2018 at 9:55:18 AM permalink
Hi, and welcome. Please disregard the argument developing on the numbers.

You are asking for mathematical advice, I think, and I'm not qualified to offer it. So I will just tell you how I play and why.

I only play when I'm in the mood to bet the sidebets, because I'm entertained by the odds much more than 1:1 pays. Main game is kind of boring.

I play the sidebets, in total, at an amount equal to or less than my ante. That's because, when the dealer doesn't qualify, and I don't have a hand that will win a sidebet, I will have an overall win or push. When I have a hand that wins, I will win overall, not just push, as I would if I won the main game but didn't get paid for the sidebets. ( if I bet equal amts on each)

So I usually bet $15 ante, $10 flush, $5 sf, or something of that proportion.

My best hand ever was a 6 card flush w/4 card SF. Nice pay of $1330, playing as above.

If the cards are running bad, I will drop that to $10/5/5. But again that's entertainment, not mathematically sound. I just like my money to last a while, until a big bonus hits.

Edited for clarity.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
BadAtPoker
BadAtPoker
Joined: Oct 5, 2018
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  • Posts: 4
October 5th, 2018 at 9:59:25 AM permalink
Thanks Gordon and Zcore. Yup, I know sidebets are always a worse edge than the game itself. I think I worded my question wrong. I had a guy at my table saying the best ratio to play all 3 bets was: 1 unit on the straight flush bet, 2 units on the hand itself (the ante bet), and 3 units on the flush side bet. I didnít think he was right, based strictly on the fact that he was spouting random numbers that were clearly off the top of his head (ďthis hand wins 50% of the timeĒ etc), but it got me wondering if there actually was a way to balance those three bets that was a more optimal way to play them than other balances.
BadAtPoker
BadAtPoker
Joined: Oct 5, 2018
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  • Posts: 4
October 5th, 2018 at 10:06:10 AM permalink
Thank you, Babs. The numbers do interest me, but just like you I play it for entertainment. My bets were $15/15 on both side bets and $5 on the hand. I figured that by going about it this way it wouldnít matter whether my hand beat the dealerís more often over time, I was just paying the minimum the be allowed to play the sides and have a shot at 100-1 or higher payouts. It was just because of what another guy at the table was saying I began to wonder if there was a better way I could be balancing the three bets.

And, nice! Six cards with a 4-card SF, that mustíve been a fun squeeze lol. Thatís what Iím in it for, getting the thrill from one of those suckers! Money that I want to make smart decisions with I keep out of the casino altogether :p

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