Stickman's Stance: Video Poker Strategy Quirks
By Jerry "Stickman"
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker and advantage slot machine play. Frank Scoblete's and Jerry "Stickman's" book "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker" presents dozens of video poker games and strategies for maximum returns. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" email@example.com.
Recently I played video poker with an old friend of mine. We sat next to each other playing full-pay Jacks or Better which, when combined with five times bonus points, made this a positive expectation game. My friend is a casual player who does not really practice strategy. Instead he tries to use reason to determine the best plays.
As I observed his play, I realized his method worked quite well for him. A vast majority of the holds matched the optimum strategy plays - except for a few select situations.
When dealt Ac-Kd-Jh-5s-3h he held the three high cards where the proper play is to hold just the king and jack. When I questioned him, he responded that he also held the ace because it, too, could be paired with another ace to at least get his money back and he could draw two aces and get paid three-for-one.
There are several situations where high-level reasoning may not work when playing video poker...
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