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Best of John Robison
Ask The Slot Expert26 May 2000
Joker Poker Tournament: You're right. The strategy is very difficult. Given this hand, 7d Jc 5s Ah Ks, who would think to hold only the 7?
Here's my suggestion. Since you're not planning to play these machines in the future, it's not worth your time learning the proper strategy. Play with your usual Jacks or Better strategy, but don't hold a single high card or two unsuited high cards because there is no payoff for a high pair. Of course, always hold the Joker. And be on the lookout for straight flushes. Hold even two cards to a straight flush.
You'll play many hands correctly and you'll play some hands incorrectly, and you'll make major errors on some of the hands. For a run as short as a video poker tournament, though, randomness has a much greater effect on your results than skill.
I have seen and played the multi-pay machines. I don't recall the paytables on the machines and I don't know the paybacks. You can make a rough guess at the payback by pretending it's a plain Jacks or Better machine and checking/estimating the payback. And you know that the payback will be higher because of the multi-pay feature.
Best of luck in the tournament. Let me know how you did.
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
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Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
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Best of John Robison