we analyze the best play for various kinds of hands,
the reader should remember that he or she is playing
against the machine and not against other players.
To beat the machine, the hand must have the values
that give a payoff. First and foremost, any pair of
jacks or better (jacks, queens, kings, or aces) will
get you your original bet back.
So we value these pairs as payoff pairs. All pairs
from 2s through lOs as a final pair give us nothing
but a losing hand. The higher pairs, jacks or better,
give us our money back. Just as a pair of lOs is no
better than a pair of 8s, as far as the machine payoff
computer is concerned, so a pair of aces is no better
than a pair of jacks. Either pair will get you your
coins back and will be proclaimed a winner on the
video screen. Of course, in a regular online poker
gamess played among individuals, if we have a choice
of saving an ace or a jack, we'll save the ace. It
has a higher value, but not for video online poker
games. Each are equally valued as far as pair payoffs
Now, let's look at the kinds of decisions we'll have
to a Royal Flush vs. Four Flush
We are dealt 9(H) K(S) J(S) 4(S) Q(S).
We have 4 spades to a flush, the 9(H) being the odd
card. However, we also have the K Q J of spades, a
3 to a royal flush. In this instance we go for the
royal flush. Not only is there a monster payoff, but
with some machines there is also an enhanced payoff
tied up to a progressive jackpot that increases in
value with each play of dozens of machines.
Even without the enhanced progressive jackpot, we
want to go after the royal flush. Something else should
be taken into consideration. On a number of machines,
if you bet from 1 to 4 coins, the payoff on a royal
flush is only 250 for 1, but if you bet 5 coins, it
jumps to 800 for 1. This is on machines for the most
part that. accept only five coins. Our advice is always
to play the five coins and go for the big payoff.
Saving a coin here and there is foolish, for if you
do get lucky, you're cheating yourself out of the
If you go for the flush and throw away the 9(H), all
you can hope for is a flush, paying off at 6 for 1.
Or a high pair, getting your money back. The other
way, you have the chance for a high pair, two pairs,
three of a kind, a straight, a flush, a straight flush,
and a royal flush. It is therefore to our advantage
to go for the royal flush, retaining the K Q J of
I was proofreading this chapter between hands at a
poker table when a classic tell came up. In a hold'em
game, a player raised before the flop from the big
blind. When he saw the flop of a Queen, a Jack, and
a 10, he gave a sneer, a big exaggerated sneer, then
went into a huddle to pretend he needed to decide
whether to bet.
He'd gone out of his way to pretend he didn't like
the flop and didn't know what to do. I thought he'd
flopped a straight. It was only two pair.