Tracking Video Poker Hands
by John Grochowski
I play, I track video poker hands. Sometimes I'll track one-card flush
draws -- how many I attempt, and how many I make. Online gaming,
offline gaming --- it doesn't matter to me.
Sometimes I'll track
results each time through my money -- if I start with $100 and
$5 a hand, I'll track 20 video poker hands and see how much I have
Sometimes I get sidetracked and change counts in midstream.
That's what happened during a session of 8-5 Triple
I wanted to track video poker hands per hour. I still don't
know just how much slower I play Triple Play than single-hand games,
because, I noticed something else.
At about play #150 -- the equivalent of 450 video poker hands -- it
occurred to me that I had not yet drawn a four of a kind. That's bad
news in any video poker game.
the absence of a royal flush jackpot, the path to a winning session
usually is paved by frequent quads. Given expert strategy in 8-5 Bonus
Poker, a quad should occur about once per 422 hands.
Draw two sets
of quads within this parameter and you have a good chance of being
ahead of the game. With none, you'll be behind more often than not.
decided to change my focus from pure speed and track the number of
video poker hands before my first quad. Along the way, I also would
track video poker hands with three of a kind on the initial deal, and
At play No. 178, I was dealt three Jacks, but the
draw failed to improve any of the three hands. At play No. 232, I was
dealt three 7s, and on one hand drew a pair of 3s for a full house.
play No. 257, I was dealt three Aces--a potential bonanza if I could
draw a fourth Ace for a 400-coin jackpot. But, not to be.
At play No. 316, three 9s, no improvement. At play No. 324, three
Kings, one full house.
Finally, at play no. 362, I held a pair of Queens, and the other two
popped up on the third hand. My first quad!
much money did I lose during this extreme quad-less streak? Oddly
enough, I was ahead all the way and, in fact, more than tripled my
original $100 investment.
Why? Because something even stranger
than the four-of-a-kind dearth was happening. Sometime in the first 100
plays, I held 4-6-7-8 of hearts and on one hand drew a 5 of hearts for
a straight flush and a 250-coin payoff.
At play No. 277, I held 6-7-9-10 of diamonds and drew the 8, another
inside draw for a straight flush.
on play No. 302, I was dealt 5-6-7-8-9 of clubs, a straight flush on
the deal, meaning I had straight flushes on all three attempts for a
total 750-coin payoff.
That's five straight flushes in 302 Triple
Plays, or the equivalent of 906 video poker hands. On average,
there is a straight flush once per 9,360 hands. I was seeing
more than 10 times as often.
Video poker works that way as you have found at the Learn to
Play Video Poker
can tell you that quads should show up about once per 400 hands in most
video poker games, that blackjack players should see two-card 21s about
once per 21 deals and that in the long run, any number on a double-zero
roulette wheel will turn up once per 38 spins. But those are long-term
In the short term, we won't necessarily get
what we're looking for. But if we're very fortunate, we just might get
something even better.
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