Player's Best Strategy
 

The player's only option is whether to draw or stand on a total of 5. Perceptive readers will recognize that there are four cards which could help the player, and five cards that hinder, while 10-valued cards leave things as they are. It would therefore seem logical to stand, although it's a more complicated issue than that. This is because if a player always stands or always draws, he effectively reveals his hand to the banker. Therefore, to keep the banker guessing, he must often bluff, i.e., make a decision against the odds in order to fool the banker, much as online poker games players do. The player's best strategy has been calculated to draw with a frequency of nine times in eleven and stand with a frequency of two times in eleven. This can be approximated as drawing 80 percent of the time. You must try to avoid doing this in a pattern, because, obviously, if you always draw the first four times you hold a total of five and then stand, then draw another four times, and so on, your strategy will soon become apparent to the banker. To make your drawing-and-standing frequency as unpredictable as possible, try looking quickly at the second hand of your watch: if forty-eight seconds or more have elapsed, then stay; otherwise draw. The banker also needs to bluff on occasion.

 
Game Set-ups and Chip Buys
 
I devised these tables according to the criteria that in an eight-player game, each player should be able to buy-in for at least t<vent\- big bets, composed, mainly of the primary playing chip in that game. Twenty big bets is w1 tat I consider the lowest reasonable buy-in for a fixed-limit game. Remind your new players that t<vent, big bets can go very fast, even for the best of poker players, and that it would be unrealistic for them to view that buy-in as some kind of budget for the night. (Forty or fifty big bets is a more practical limit.)
 
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