Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 04, 2024

## Player's Choice 3 Card Poker

Aside from the common goal of just having fun, I have long realized the idea with “dealer’s choice” poker in home games is to call a game that you think you play better than the other players, when it is your turn. Likewise, you’ll want to observe more caution in those games you haven’t figured out.

Only recently, though, have I concluded that other players often won’t play 3 card poker games well.

Correct play is less intuitive. To be dealt 3 cards, with no draw, a high pair is a good, likely winning hand as you can see from the Wizard’s page on 3 card guts [depending on # of players]. However, often it’s expected for a home game to have a draw. A draw changes everything. If you start with a pair, it’s very hard to improve that, and in my experience, if the table has at least 6 players, a pair loses way too often to a better hand. Another factor is that a straight is harder to get than a flush with 3 cards, so “a straight beats a flush” and this rule will not change if there is a draw! If a player gets to see 5 cards altogether, the chances of getting a straight are better than getting a flush, if we can go by the known chances of getting these two hands after being simply dealt 5 cards.

I recently found a website that confirms things I have noticed. It describes a ‘drop’ game we don’t play where I play, but a lot of it applies to what we do. I’ll quote some of it, emphasis mine

http://www.homepokeredge.com/3-card-drop-w-draw-tips.html

Quote:

The probabilities below are the chances for an individual player being dealt these hands in the initial deal. For an 8 player game expect that at least one player will be originally dealt a pair or better almost all the time, a flush or better over 50% of the time, a straight or better nearly 30% of the time.
Never play a hand that is not either a pat hand or a one card draw hand.

3 Card Hand [when dealt 3 cards, before any draw, + probability]

Straight Flush ………… 0.22% [note the decimal point]
3 of a Kind ……………. 0.24% [note, not much difference]
Straight ………………….. 3.26%
Flush ……………………….4.96% [causing the straight to be higher ranking]
Pair …………………………16.9% “

OK, so maybe none of this is a surprise. This is next, credit to same site. I made a table.

“PROBABILITIES of ONE CARD DRAW to HANDS

Approximate chances of improvement when holding these hands and drawing one card."

Holding Drawing one card to No. of cards to make hand Probability
Pair Three of a Kind Two 4%
2 to Flush Flush 11 22%
2 to Straight [open] straight 8 16%
2 to Straight [inside] straight 4 8%
2 to Straight Flush [open] Straight Flush 2 4%,18% chance of making a flush,12% chance of making a straight
2 to Straight Flush [inside] Straight Flush 1 2%,20% chance of making a flush,6% chance of making a straight

Holding a pair, you have made it impossible to get a straight or a flush. This is also why a suited AK in many games is almost as good as holding a pair of Aces and much better than low pairs. In 3 card poker, holding a pair you can only improve to 3 of a kind and there are only two cards that can make that happen. So this is one area where intuition can fail you very quickly. You should discard so that you no longer have a pair, even a pair of Aces, if you can keep 2 to a straight or 2 to a flush, and probably fold if you can't do this [depending on no. of players?] And drawing one card to an open straight is the hand to be hope to be playing [outside of pat hands] ... drawing one to an open straight flush even more so of course.

odiousgambit Jun 05, 2024

the title should be 'dealer's choice 3 card poker'

after time has passed I'll delete this and make a new one

Posted by odiousgambit
Mar 16, 2024

## Losing Streaks, Hard to Take

Ultimate end of AP for online gambling? That will be AI, and that might be soon

End of online sports AP for the guy, now, who understands what to do, yet stops? That might be the guy who abandons +EV due to ability to tolerate losing streaks, or perhaps you can say lack of understanding of risk of ruin, or just real acceptance of it and the very same occasional losses that you actually predicted!

I used Act/Warhorse* site to generate 500 rolls of a 4 sided die to simulate the usual max level I’ll ‘go for’, which is less than +300. Yes I’ve said I’ll go up to +400 but that’s not usual. So 1/4 actual chances will be similar to the outcome expected betting at, say, +280 or whatever, what with house edge. Prior to the rolls I sought to find out how long the worst losing streaks would be on rolling a 4.

The worst was 14 rolls with ‘no 4’ , which occurred twice. Several others close to that. The max bet that I am doing these days is \$50, and I have to tell you those kinds of losing streaks are hard to take. For that reason I aim for ‘more like +200 or so’ which gives up some EV.

Under the assumption that I am making about the HE to be encountered, and assuming I understand the math of the second chance bet, I’m vowing to stick with it through losing streaks. I’m bracing myself, though.

I posted the roll results below

* this online dice roller has features hard to find: it sends you the results in an email, and you can have the same email sent to others simultaneously. You have to sign up, which is free ………… http://acts.warhorsesim.com

asterisks indicate streaks with 'no 4' , notable ones can be found using search for the 'equal' sign, =
there are 131 '4s' out of 500 , expected was 125 of course

4

4

1

4

3

1

2

4

2*

2

3

2

2

2

2

4

3

3

4

3

2

1

4

1

4

2

4

3

4

4

3*

2

3

1

4

3

4

3

1

4

4

1*

1

3

3

2

1

2

4

2*

3

3

1

2

2

1

4

3*

2

1

2

3

3

3

2

2

2

1

1

1

2=14

4

3

4

3

4

1*

2

3

3

4

1

3

1

4

1

4

2

2

2

3

3

4

2*

2

1

3

1

3

4

2*

2

2

2

2

2

3

3=8

4

1

4

3*

1

1

2

1

2

2

3

2

1

2

1

3=13

4

1

3

2

4

1*

1

1

3

2

4

4

1

3

1

4

3

3

4

1

4

1

4

2

3

4

3

4

1

2

4

4

3

1

1

4

3*

1

2

1

2

2

2

4

3*

2

2

2

3

1

1

4

1*

2

3

2

3

3

1

4

4

2

2

3

4

1

4

2*

1

1

2

2

3

4

4

4

1

2

2

2

3

4

2

1

3

2

1

4

1

4

2

2

4

3*

2

3

2

1

3

1

3

4

3*

2

3

1

3

3

1

2

3

3

3

2

1

2=14

4

4

2

1

1

4

1

4

3*

3

3

3

2

1

1

3

4

4

3

4

4

2

3

3

4

1

3

3

1

4

2

2

3

4

3

4

3

4

1*

3

1

3

2

2

3

4

4

3

1

2

1

1

3

4

2

1

4

2

2

4

2

2

2

3

4

4

4

1

1

2

4

1

2

3

3

2

4

2

3

3

4

3

4

4

2

3

3

4

2

4

2

4

2

2

1

2

2

4

3*

1

1

3

1

2

1

2

4

2

2

4

2

1

2

4

3

2

2

2

4

2

1

3

1

3

3

1

4

3*

3

2

3

1

1

3

4

3

2

2

4

2

3

1

1

3

4

3

3

3

3

1

4

1

1

2

2

3

2

4

4

2*

2

3

2

3

1

1

1

2

2=10

4

2

3

4

3

1

2

2

4

4

4

3*

2

2

3

1

3

1

2

3

1

1

3=12

4

4

3

4

4

4

4^4

1

1

3

3

1

4

2*

2

3

3

1

1

3

3

1

4

3

2

2

2

4

4

4

4

4

4^6

2

4

4

3

3

4

2

3

4

4

3*

3

1

2

1

2

1

3

2

2=10

4

4

2*

1

2

2

1

2

2

1

1=9

4

3

1

4

Posted by odiousgambit
Feb 06, 2023

## Quit Counting Outs UTH!! Saved Charts

Although the charts are pretty much in final form, some edits for clarity continue.

In the below, the charts are for the 1x decision point when all the player has is a kicker. It's important to follow the Wizard/Grosjean advice to fold in the face of, on the board, 4 to flush and 4 to open ended straight. It's a simple strategy that has exceptions. As a matter of practice, with a Q,4 or K,3 [or less] against a board 3-to-straight fush, and [adding on 3-3-23] Q,2 where Q not top kicker, I fold at 1x/river decision pt.

The charts are very wordy in order to provide clarity. You can familiarize yourself with them and then you can make strategy cards to take to the table. What would work for me as small strategy cards are the two charts at the bottom.

In the case of the second chart, exceptions are more rare and I am trying to identify them. The use of the word 'then' is to indicate you take the process in steps.
Player Kicker in Play Permissible Missing Cards Outranking Kicker
Unpaired Board One Card Can Be Missing, Bet 1x
Board has One Pair 2 Cards Can Be Missing, ditto
Board has Trips 3 Cards Can Be Missing, ditto
Board = Two Pair, Fifth Card Makes Dealer Outs 3 Cards Can Be Missing, ditto
Board has Two Pair, Fifth Card Lower in Rank   4 Cards Can Be Missing, ditto
Board has 4 OAK play 7-card or better player kicker, ditto

Player Kicker Can’t Win Action Indicated
The board doesn't have a pair or better   No Pair means No Play, instant fold
Board Has One Pair A 9-card or lower in the other 3 cards = instant fold
then a 10-card in the three folds UNLESS ALL other 4 cards higher
then a qualified 10, or Jack* or higher in the three, plays
*known exceptions 9,9,10,A,J + 9,9,10,K,J
Board has 2 pair with the Fifth
card making dealer outs.
A 10-card or lower as the fifth card means instant fold.
Play a Jack if Middle Value
Play All Higher Others
Board has two pair, AND
fifth board card lowest in rank
An 8-card or lower anywhere on the board is an instant fold.
Play all that have higher fifth cards
Board has Trips A 9-card or lower in the other 2 cards is an instant fold
Then 10-card there is a fold unless ALL other 4 cards are higher
Then a qualified 10, or Jack or higher in the two, plays
Board has 4 OAK An 8-card or lower as the 5th card is an instant fold
A 9-card as the fifth card is a fold UNLESS the 4OAK cards are higher
Play All Others

>>>

My choice for a strategy card with abbreviations and memorized parts omitted

Kicker in Play # Cards
Bd Trips/2 pair 7-O 3 Cards
Bd 2 Pair 4-O 4-O=4 cards
Bd 4 OAK play 7-card+

in the above, don't need to know what I'm looking for or what to do. 7-0 or 4-O indicates the type of 2 pair board by initial outs. 4-O=4 cards is a mnemonic

Kicker Gaffed FOLD
Bd = One Pair Pert 9-card
10-card unless all higher
Bd 2 pair 7-O Pert 10-card
Play Pert Jack if Middle Val
Play all Pert Queen+
Bd 2 pair 4-O 8-card anywhere
Play all higher Perts
Board = Trips 9-card
10-card unless ALL higher
Bd = 4 OAK Pert 8-card
9-card UNLESS all 4 higher

although in some ways easier table, I don't have it memorized as well. Leaving what to do in there for now. I know what 4 I'm talking about in the 4-OAK section. Pert means Pertinent

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 24, 2022

## Dark Plunge Continues

Increased table minimums have me questioning whether Craps will mostly be a thing of the past for me. A recent visit to the Greenbrier confirmed that those folks have gone to \$25 permanently, assuming it doesn’t go up at times. \$25 for BJ too, and it’s Thursday thru Sunday only, starting well into the evening, for Craps. Considering some other things I won’t go into, I’m getting the feeling they are giving up on their casino, basically.

In any case, my current approach to these daunting requirements is two-fold. I’ll play the Don’t Pass only to get less variance, while still considerable. Additionally, I’ll keep my Total Action [T.A.] to the same or less than it was at the old minimums, giving up on playing long sessions.

Expecting to face a \$25 minimum, I planned to put pauses in my betting to stretch out the time at the table. These pauses would be for nonsensical reasons, indulging superstitions, which is more fun for me. 4x odds, limiting that to 14 such bets, thus \$1400 in that portion of the action and Total Action certainly less than \$2000 … less T.A. than I used to do in a session at old minimums, which could easily be \$5000 or more.

If I was going to be unable to stretch out time at the table due to being the only shooter, then, having my fun cut, I was going to set up 5 stacks of \$150 [6x darkside max] odds bets, not concerning myself with the come-out wins and losses. 2 losses on odds bets without a win, and I color up and leave; 3 losses I leave no matter what. If I’m winning nearly all, set up another 5 such bets, but then quit no matter. Again, low T.A.

The problem with these low T.A. strategies is they are designed to allow the variance to work, they are going to allow you to win by not grinding your bankroll against the HE, but they are also going to allow you to lose all your money quickly if that is the way it’s going to go. The Darkside is no guarantee against long losing streaks session after session.

In the event, when I was finally able to play, sure enough I am the only shooter. I set up my stacks and go for it. Lady Luck smiled and I’m winning, so I set up 4 more stacks instead of 5 for reasons unknown. I play those out and in the end only lost two bets overall [not counting come-out resolutions]. That sounds good but playing the Don’t you want to win 6 out of 9 bets to stay roughly even. But, coloring up, I’m \$300 to the good.

That was my only session. Why? it all sounds good, right?

It's just that \$25 is out of my comfort zone, and I’ve explored every way to try to handle it. 2x, 4x, no matter, and 0x is the worst. I’m really considering not playing any more.

On the other hand,

smoothgrh Dec 28, 2022

\$10 live craps sounds like the norm now. In Vegas, I saw \$5 Roll to Win craps at Circus Circus, which I don't mind playing but I prefer a full dealer crew and "real" craps lingo.

odiousgambit Dec 30, 2022

On the various types of Bubble Craps, the minimum is lower but I've always found something about them I don't like in addition to your point about preferring a real table with lingo etc.

When I was going to Maryland Live [geez, pretty good time ago now!] the damn machines kept turning off my free odds bets anytime they could ... if they were come bet odds still up and there was a come-out roll they turned them off ... OK ... but then they wouldn't turn them back on. Even the darkside odds got turned off all the time. So, just stuff like that. Screaming at you to roll the dice, that was another intolerable one somewhere else. What idiot thought that was a good idea?

Posted by odiousgambit
Aug 26, 2022

## Heart of Darkness

I'm never to see the light again.

Or I should say, never to see the Rightside again. Any future meetups at the Craps table, be forewarned. Friends, I'll simply not bet when you are shooting, or bet the DC only, if you are OK with it.

I have been focused in this blog lately about the increase in table minimums at Craps we've been seeing. To summarize, \$15 has become the best a player can hope for, while \$25 will be seen occasionally. Considering that the former has been barely tolerable while the latter just hasn't been at all, perhaps it would make more sense trying to find what casinos are sticking to the lower minimums and go to them, but this has an impractical aspect. The way I manage my bankroll, if I travel to a spot just to gamble, the trip expense gets factored*, while if I am traveling with the wife, or to meet up with friends, making the gambling only part of the activity, it does not. The next opportunity to saunter up to a Craps table looks like it'll be at The Greenbrier in WV. I fully expect \$15-25 there, and may even find \$15 to be a thing of the past; hopefully 3x4x5x odds will be unchanged though that may be at risk too.

I'd been reacting to a \$15 table by declining full odds to keep the total bet to about \$50, which had been my well established comfort zone.... though not strictly making sure it was 2x, that's about where it put me, so the HE of each bet with odds went up to -0.606% from the pretty constant no-more-than -0.374% I had been dealing with. Approaching double. It was dawning on me that this was having an effect!

I'm not going to repeat what's in my previous posts on the matter, other than to say I've been working on going back to higher free odds while keeping my total action to something close to what I previously experienced, \$2000 being perhaps somewhat more in T.A. than was typical for a session when \$5 table minimums were available. And I'll actually be lowering the HE.

I am committed to eliminating previous mistakes going darkside. Knowing that the odds swing in the player's favor when there is a point to resolve, I would try to pile up points, all 6 maybe. Now, playing rightside I fully realized that is putting too much in action, but for some reason it didn't occur to me the same thing was in play on the dark side. Though I could have gotten lucky and cleaned up, the opposite tended to happen. I wised up; what was really happening was intolerance of the variance that way of playing generated. I was going to experience being way down no more often than way up, but the way-down moments were chasing me from the table.

Another mistake was thinking I needed to go max odds when playing the Don't in order to get the benefit of lower odds than rightside. The complement to 3x4x5x is 6x, and on a table set as the former, the latter odds are allowed darkside. The HE rightside is -0.347% for max odds, while darkside it is -0.195% at 6x [formula below]. However, 6x odds is a big bet, especially if encountering a \$25 table. I was thinking if you dropped down to 4x odds, you'd be back near the 0.347 figure, but that is not correct! According to the Wizardry, 4x darkside will put you at -0.273% . Note that as far as your average bet, and your total action, it should be pretty much now the same as rightside, but at lower HE. I have just now realized this.

A final point: somebody here once claimed that the variance is lower on the darkside, since this tends to be true when you lay a bet. This can be seen with bets that have a high payoff, those lend themselves to high variance, so this does suggest laying a bet has the opposite effect. Yet I have seen others say the variance is about the same. Maybe this is true at max 6x odds? I do seem to be experiencing lower variance with many trials using a free game. I'm getting convinced, and it's important. This business I already switched to, making fewer but larger bets while keeping Total Action the same, this increases variance. If something lowers variance, like going darkside, I could use the help.

At the Greenbrier, I don't expect other players to care who is going darkside, that helps, and this is going to be it for me ... I'm plunging into the Heart of Darkness forever more. Which side will walk away muttering "the horrors, the horrors"? We shall see.

* btw tips given at the table also deduct from my bankroll and affect amount won or lost at a session. I now wish I had kept track differently, but still feel it has to be that way.

Wizard's formulas:

The general formula if you can take x times odds on the 6 and 8, y times on the 5 and 9, and z times on the 4 and 10 is (-7 / 495) / [ 1 + ((5x + 4y + 3z) / 18) ]

Combined Don't Pass and Laying Odds
The general formula if you can buy x times odds then the house edge on the combined don't pass and laying odds is (3/220)/(1+x).

https://wizardofodds.com/games/craps/appendix/1/