Posted by odiousgambit
Sep 09, 2021

Online Sports Cont.

I've blogged about why the idea of gambling online on *sports* appeals to me, even though I fully intend to resist gambling online with *casino games* should that become available in VA. So, to repeat, I looked into it and was considering making bets if the site allowed you to do so without using a smartphone app; this is how I landed at BetMGM. But in the T&C I learned that they reserve the right to make you jump through hoops to get your winnings, and that they report you to the IRS if you win $600 or more. Neither one of these things is acceptable to me. 

Literally because I was blogging about it, though, I felt I had to see what would happen if I deposited $10 and tried to get it back later. I could kiss ten dollars goodbye, fine. 

To make a long story short, though, things are going fine there. Since I don't want to win enough to get reported, I've just been betting small, making sure I come in well below the threshold. Meanwhile, they consistently make offers to entice you to bet, and these are often indisputably +EV. I was soon just finding that I'm withdrawing money and never making any more deposits.  After getting an odd hassle with the first withdrawal, I seem to have passed muster and gotten myself tagged as a non-concern with any additional ones. These withdrawals are fast and no trouble using Paypal. Of course, consider that with me they are small, too; I don't know what would have happened if I tried to withdraw big winnings. 

There was a recent period when good offers kind of dried up, so I thought "they're on to people who just glom on to the +EV offers and don't much bet otherwise". But it appears that they were just waiting for football season to start, now they're coming again and I am on not on any non-grata 'list' it seems. They even plopped $15 into may account and said 'happy birthday'. Those birthday boy funds require betting one-time-through, but hey, fair enough. 

I have stayed well below the $600 threshold and for football season will increase my bet size somewhat. Who knows, maybe they'll change on me, I certainly don't trust them fully after they put out a T&C with that kind of crap in it. At this point it's just fun to play. Too bad the state and the Feds want a piece of me, like they do all gamblers, or I could bet more. At the same time, I'm the type of gambler who can have fun being a piker.


Suited89 Sep 18, 2021

Before UIGEA, I had an account at Pinnacle, tossed $100 in. Great sports book there with lots of props..

Hole in one at the Masters?

Yankees win 95 or more?

49ers in the Playoffs?


Season props 10%, DoG bets/props 5%

I liked the "Green" Football teams to the Playoffs

$5 on Packers

$5 on Eagles

$5 on Jets

Lotsa fun... maybe Mets win 80... :o)


Posted by odiousgambit
Jul 27, 2021

UTH Mnemonics

Some mnemonics to assist your UTH play. My play has just naturally come across these, so I thought i'd share.

See if you fit the category, 

The Wizard Simple Strategy is as far as I can go

You just have a kicker to consider at the 1x decision point. Should you bet your kicker? The dealer can't have certain better kickers if they are on the board [because you then both have them]

-The board is an unpaired rainbow picket fence. Call that 'situation one' which goes along with 'one card' ........... only 'one card' that outranks yours can be missing from the board, if two are missing don't bet.

-The board has one pair. A pair is 'two cards'........... only 'two cards' that outranks yours can be missing from the board, if 3 are missing don't bet.

-The board has trips. Trips are 'three cards'............ only 'three cards' that outrank yours can be missing from the board, if 4 are missing don't bet.

-The board has two pair ......... two pair, take care . Count the outs


Or is  your game up one level?

I Recognize When You "Play the Board"*

Your hole cards have made you recognize this at the 1x decision point

If you know your hole cards are now irrelevant, which cards to consider, and that The Dealer Total Outs follow the 18+ rule instead of the 21+ rule, these *less* clever mnemonics should help. 

-No pair [or better] on the board. No pair means No Play, fold

-Board has one pair or Trips. A 9-card or less in the relevant cards means instant fold. Otherwise count the outs [or check out the Super Simple Strategy Blogpost]

-Board has two pair or 4 OAK. count the outs [established situations can be learned, but no easy mnemonics]

* this expression seems to confuse people, it comes from Grosjean's work. To play the board means to consider that the board has the best hand and your hole cards are irrelevant. Thus the dealer and you possibly have the same hand and will push. The dealer still has outs and you count them. However, some decisions are instant such as there being no pair or better

Posted by odiousgambit
Jul 22, 2021

No Succession, Super Simple 18-21 UTH

The discussion made it occur to me that there are certain things to be gleaned from the strategy where you use Succession, that you can use even if you are someone who has a great comfort level with counting the outs and want nothing to do with Succession. I have especially found that it is quickly picked up for the common situations where you 'play the board', and on this last statement I'd say if you don't agree, you're hard-headed. 


For the 'Can Outkick', 21+ outs:

Get this sequence down: K,Q,J,J 

Then get this one down: rainbow, pair, 2 pair, trips .......... Which represents unpaired rainbow board, board with 1 pair, board w/2 pairs, board w/trips, resp. 

Absent cards on the board that outrank, the K,Q,J,J cards, or better,  that respectively go along with the other are instant-decision bettable. In all other situations including the presence of outranking cards, count the Total Dealer Outs. 

Note that if you do have the K,Q,J,J for the respective situations, the presence on the board of out-ranking cards expands the possible bettable kickers. In other words, you don't have to count the outs unless you're checking for lower kickers than K,Q,J,J 


For the 'Can't Outkick' 'play the board',  18+ outs:

Get this down, A-J  ............... where A-J means Ace thru Jack in any combination

Then this: Board with one pair and Board with Trips

Absent those same same cards being present in the pair or trips, the cards that are not part of the pair or the trips need to be that A-J, otherwise fold. With the presence of A-J in the pair or the trips, count the outs, fold if 18+ . Any other scenario on the board, count the outs also

Note that the bettable cards never include anything more expansive than A-10 no matter what as long as we are talking about these two cases only. A 9-card or less as one of the kickers is an instant fold. 


There are exceptions but this is a simple strategy. I've tested very thoroughly with the Wizard calculator but will happily stand corrected if you can show it 

Posted by odiousgambit
Jul 22, 2021

UTH, the 21 *AND* 18 Outs

Here's a version of the 18/21 out strategy that allows a player to mostly eliminate the need to count the Dealer Outs to determine whether kickers are 'bettable' in Ultimate Texas Holdem [UTH]. You hopefully will find many of the indicated actions to take become automatic or second nature. You can also just adopt some of them now, then more later. See further below for definitions and fuller explanation.



You Can Outkick BoardAction Indicated (see other text also)
1 . Board = 4 card flush, open-ended straight Fold the kicker 
2. Unpaired Rainbow Board K is bettable, succession rule in effect.
3. Board has One Pair Q is bettable, succession rule in effect.
4. Board has Trips J is bettable, succession rule in effect
5. Board = Two Pair, Init-Bd 7 Outs J is bettable, succession rule in effect
6. Board has Two Pair, Init-Bd 4 outs!   10 is bettable, succession rule in effect.
7. Board has 4 OAK 7-card is bettable, succession rule in effect


You Can Not Outkick the Board Action Indicated (see other text also)
1. The board doesn't have a pair or better    "don't play the board" 
2. Board Has One Pair Unpaired 3 board cards, A-J, any comb, bettable, succession to A-10
3. Board has Two Pair, Init-Bd 7 outs Q is bettable, succession rule in effect
4. Board has Trips 2 board cards not in Trips, A-J, any comb, bettable; succession to A-10
5. Board has Two Pair, Init-Bd 4 outs!  Need one pair JJ+, count the outs! If 18+, fold.
6. Board has 4 OAK 10-card is bettable, succession rule is in effect.


Kicker definition The usage here is a little different from the normal usage in a poker game, where a kicker is a tie breaker in a showdown between otherwise equivalent hands. The usage here includes that, but also can mean the highest ranking card in what is usually referred to as a "high card only hand". Also, to determine you "can't outkick the board" means to dismiss your hole cards as if they don't exist, instead you "play the board". This means a decision about whether the board is likely enough to be a push so that you don't want to fold. 

Bettable Kicker definition In the tables to be just referred to as 'Bettable'. You do bet with the card shown; one of higher rank will also be bettable. Of course you can still lose, otherwise an out would not be an out! It is a matter of whether the kicker allows the dealer to reach sufficient outs or not, in order to fold or bet as best strategy. 

Initial Board Outs definition The outs that are counted by the cards on the board, which is a maximum of 15 outs coming from 5 cards which would have 3 cards each that could be an out. A pair reduces the Initial Board count to 11, etc. A distinction should be made with this and 'Dealer Total Outs' which take the Initial Board Outs and add the other Outs for cards not on the board and which add 4 outs each. Though you do not usually count the outs with this strategy being presented here, it is derivative from that process.  For the tables I am using the abbreviation Init-Bd for 'Initial Board'

Succession definition Determining a certain card in a certain situation is bettable will be modified by the presence of higher ranking cards on the board, increasing the bettable kickers. When one out-ranker is present, the succession rule maintains that the next lower kicker is also bettable. For example, in hole-card kicker situation 2, I indicate a King is bettable . If an Ace is present on the board that will mean a Queen is now bettable as well. If both Ace and King are present on the board, that's two out-rankers, and the succession rule says now a Jack is also bettable, etc. 


This is a simple strategy and incorporates Succession; this varies from the LVA simple strategy. The LVA strategy card says to fold if you have only a kicker against a 4-Flush or "Any 4-Straight", then count the outs in the remaining scenarios. This creates some scenarios where the kicker is eliminated before counting these outs, but could have been bettable. Using the Succession strategy, you do not fold against "any" 4-straight, only open-ended ones. This creates some scenarios where the kicker is indicated as bettable when instead you should fold. There is an Advanced Strategy to deal with that once you learn the simple strategy. I have put the Advanced Strategy at the bottom. 

One solution to deal with it all would be to have more tables with all the various scenarios, but I have not made such tables. If unhappy with the compromise you can instead send off for the LVA strategy card, which has no tables like this, or learn a full Grosjean strategy, which must be available somewhere. 

All situations below are for the 1X decision point where you have failed to get a pair or better and your final possibility comes down to kickers. You determine if you can outkick the board using a hole card, or whether you should determine if the board should be bet on its own, your best kicker unable to outkick the board. This is a matter of dealer outs as well. In the former case, which I will call a hole card kicker situation, 21+ outs indicate to fold, while in the other case usually 18+ outs indicate folding. No dealer two-card combinations are counted as dealer outs in the simple 18/21 outs strategy. The below is designed to avoid having to count the dealer outs, though you should note it is derivative of that strategy and in one case I have you count the outs. Such exceptions to the 18/21 Outs rules that might exist are not noted in the tables. 

When using the tables, refer to the numbered explanations below for fuller explanation. 

You Can Outkick the Board

Hole Card Kicker Situation 1 . Your kicker should not go up against a 4 card flush or open-ended straight on the board, fold instead of using kicker. 

Hole Card Kicker Situation 2. Unpaired Rainbow Board with Initial Board [Init-Bd] representing 15 outs. King is bettable, succession rule is in effect. With a low ranking kicker, a good alternative to the succession rule for situation 2 is to look for the out-ranking cards, there can only be one of that Set missing from the board for your kicker to be bettable. 

Hole Card Kicker Situation 3. Board has One Pair, Initial Board representing 11 outs. Q is bettable, succession rule is in effect. 

Hole Card Kicker Situation 4. Board has Trips, Initial Board representing 7 outs. J is bettable, succession rule is in effect, and we see a pattern here. 

Hole Card Kicker Situation 5. Board has Two Pair, Initial Board representing 7 outs, important. J is bettable, succession rule is in effect. 

Hole Card Kicker Situation 6. Board has Two Pair, Initial Board representing only 4 outs!! This is when the unpaired board card is lower than either pair, thus irrelevant when paired by dealer or player. 10-card is bettable, succession rule is in effect. 

Hole Card Kicker Situation 7. Board has 4 OAK, Initial Board representing 3 outs.  7-card is bettable, succession rule is in effect. note that counting to 21+ outs is not viable strategy here. Memorize this, don't counts outs.

Hole Card Kicker Situation 8. Board has *any* full house. Kickers and Outs are irrelevant, always bet. No table entry.

You Can't Outkick the Board

The following is for when your kicker can't outkick the board. The situation is different because a single card can't trump all other outs in some cases. Playing the board means your hole cards may as well not exist, you are playing for a push. 

Situation 1. If the board doesn't have a pair or better, "don't play the board" per LVA strategy card. 

Most of the other situations below use the 18+ rule. 

Can't Outkick Situation 2. One pair, Initial Board representing 11 outs, and there are 3 cards not in the pair. All 3 need to be Ace through Jack, any combination, otherwise there are 2 cards that the dealer could have that will add 8 more outs = 19. If the pair consists of AA, KK, QQ, or JJ, succession to A through 10, any combination, is in effect. Note well, the Succession check for out-ranking cards only applies to the pair!

Can't Outkick Situation 3. Board has Two Pair, Initial Board representing 7 outs. Q is bettable, succession rule is in effect. 

Can't Outkick Situation 4. Board has Trips, Initial Board representing 7 outs, with two cards not part of the Trips. These two need to be Ace through J, any combo again, to keep the dealer from having enough possible outs. If the Trips consist of AAA, KKK, QQQ, or JJJ, succession to A through 10, any combination, is in effect. 

Can't Outkick Situation 5. Board has Two Pair, with Initial Board representing 4 outs! The one other card is lower again than the pairs, irrelevant when paired by dealer or player. This time the 2 pair need to contain a pair of Jacks or higher, otherwise dealer can have Ace through Jack and 16 more outs. Look for this situation and this time I finally agree to just count the outs! If 18+, fold. 

Can't Outkick Situation 6. Board has 4 OAK, Initial Board representing 3 outs. 10-card, for the other card, is bettable, succession rule is in effect. This seems to be a 21+ outs situation

Hole Card Kicker Situation 7. Board has *any* full house. Kickers and Outs are irrelevant, always bet. No table entry.


Qualified Straight definition [Advanced]: Actually certain 4-card straights and any 3-card straight flush. The 4-card straight is qualified if it has one gap, while the 3-card straight flush could have 2 gaps. 

Reverse-Succession definition [Advanced] The presence of qualified straights [as per definition] on the board is a reverse-succession condition. Instead of expanding the cards that are bettable, the presence of such means going up to the next higher ranking card. 

Strategy Explained [Advanced] For example, these could take the situation of an unpaired rainbow board that you can outkick from determining a Jack is bettable with the presence on the board of an Ace and King, reversing back to Q because there is a qualified straight [as per definition]. Having a K for kicker could also turn into "fold" with Reverse-Succession, since if that reverses to Ace bettable, you should have already played an Ace if you have one.

Posted by odiousgambit
Jun 27, 2021

UTH Brain Muscles

The last post of an unfortunately titled thread was more properly a blogpost, so here it is.


[I make the case that Ultimate Texas Holdem has to be played faster than best strategy really allows unless a player has gotten his brain trained to act fast.] This is why the UTH video machine I came across at Cherokee is calling me like a siren. I guess it's good that it's too far away for me to show up on a whim, but I miss being able to play on a regular basis thanks to some other casinos dropping it. I love the low minimum. It also may allow more time for decisions, though there must be a time limit as more than one person can play at a time and the video dealer puts the same hand to beat for everybody. I failed to check this out thoroughly, I was playing by myself, but never was warned to hurry up on the video game. Alas, it is either about to be repaired [3 out of 5 video terminals were dead] or it is on it's way out, so it might mean to play it's going to have to be the dealer-dealt game with much higher minimum and only certain hours.

Playing using the Wizard's game is good prep, not only do you get better with all decision stages, but it's almost impossible to make yourself slow down all that much. Maybe that's good, you do need to become a quick decision maker. The 4x decision needs to be something akin to muscle memory that I think the brain can develop, that is, it no longer involves 'thinking' if you know what I mean. The more each stage becomes that type to you, the better. One problem though is I can get click-happy, clicking on the 'check' icon when in my mind I'm thinking 'on to the next' , mentally I've already gone past the 4x decision and this easily might be clicking on the wrong thing. This never happens to me when it is dealer-dealt and didn't seem to happen the one time I got a chance to play on the video machine.

You want to get the 4x decision out of the way because it isn't just pair+ development you're looking for, but the development of straights and flushes. Speaking for myself anyway, by the time the flop comes you need to have determined what to look for. In regular 7-card poker, I get few straights compared to how many I potentially could get, because I fold something like 3h, 7d so quickly. But playing UTH you're not getting to a folding decision until you've seen the entire board, so that same hand should have you thinking 'possible straight'. If you want a confirmation that your straight if it comes can be overlooked, check out how often a so-so dealer can miss it amongst what can just look like a jumble. I suppose a flush is harder to miss, but my thinking is it is best to be the first one to spot that too, before the dealer evaluates your hand.

I'm always impressed by someone who never misses straights/flushes and the speed at which they spot them.

On the flop you're also facing the first kicker decisions too. The dealer calls every bet you make without knowing his hand, and you might win by out-kicking him. The advice comes down to what kicker you have when you have other good prospects, but not something made or nearly made. This requires memorization for the most part, and the closer it is to brain-muscle-memory, BMM shall we say, the better. A slight familiarity with a strategy card such as LVA has can be used for a quick glance should BMM be failing you. The dealer isn't going to be happy if you sit there and study it.

At the turn/river stage I think the number of decisions left can be underestimated. First you need to look hard at the board, while practically simultaneously possibly still determining if you have a straight etc. You can overlook your straight now for sure if it only uses one card in your hand and the straight you were looking for didn't materialize. That you have a flush, you should catch that even you started out unsuited quite a bit more easily ... still, you can be busy looking elsewhere. Again, that first good hard look at the board was essential.

You don't want to miss a paired board or see only one of two pairs on the board. If satisfied you have nothing, you rapidly need to determine if you have an 18 or 21 outs situation and which it is. I'm going to maintain that you do not have time to actually count these outs. After playing enough, I think most players develop a system. If the board is an unpaired, rainbowed jumble, K alone is a good kicker and you bet [with A you already bet]. If higher cards are present, there is an "order of succession" you might say. If there is A or K on the board, the Q is good; if both A and K, or K and Q, i.e. any two higher, then J is good. This can go down to a 10 or 9, but you might be running into a very high dealer straight.

In other situations, you need to recognize if the board represents not 15, but 11 or 7 outs. If 11, obviously 2 cards that outrank and are missing on the board mean 8 more outs taking you past 18, and 3 such missing take you past 21. I am still working on more BMM for these situations and I think I'll be there soon.

And you're not done yet. I suppose you can say shame on the player who has this happen, but let's say you have that 3-7 hand and instantly know on seeing the board you're dead for pairing, straights, flushes, and a decent kicker all. It sure is easy to fold that hand, forgetting to really study the board. You might miss, say, two pair with high kicker on the board. Though it looks like you're just sucking hind teat, that hand is heavily favored to push. You and the dealer are highly likely to have the same hand. If you have never accidentally folded that hand, my hat is off to you.

Finally, why am I saying there isn't enough time to count the outs? Well, I suppose you could keep telling the dealer to stop while you count them, but you're holding things up as far as the casino is concerned. If you did your due deligence on examining the board and your hand, you took a bit of time already. It is the job of the dealer to keep it moving, so he's going to worry about the pit getting on his case. It'd be similar to taking forever while you set the dice. Yeah, you can try taking all the time in the world, but you're going to get pushback. Sooner or later you won't be having fun, I've had some experience with this. There surely is also a time limit where you can find a video version of this game, at least if it is still going to be the same video dealer for each player, buxom though they might be.

preserving charts in a thread https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/tables/37935-quit-counting-outs-uth/

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 Canít 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 means instant fold
a 10-card there also is a fold UNLESS ALL other 4 cards are higher
and one card is an Ace [that plays]
A Jack or higher there as the lowest card plays
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 within the 2 other cards is an instant fold
A 10-card there is a fold unless ALL other 4 cards are higher
Play All Others
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 4 board 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


ChallengedMilly Jul 26, 2021

Oh hey I've won a couple hundred on this UTH machine at Cherokee as well. It seems extremely exploitable from both times I've played it, especially if the progressive works the way I think it does. If I had hit my royal flush on it instead of the VP machine by the doors, I think I would have walked away with $40,000 last time I was there.

If you're at Cherokee in September please send me a pm! Would love to hang out and play a bit on it with you. Last time I was there they still only had 3 seats open, which is a marginal increase but still one of those nice to know what you're fellow players are drawing to.