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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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Ask The Slot Expert

26 May 2000

Dear John,

We were invited to play in a Joker Poker tournament. we normally don't play this game at Atlantic City because of the difficult strategy and big house edge. Should we concentrate on 5 of a kinds, royals and straight flushes only or should we play each hand using Bob Dancer's strategy on his new software which covers Atlantic City Joker Poker?

also, are you familiar with multi-pay poker on gamemekers? Caesars has several of them. It's the game where if you end up with 4 kings, you are paid for 4 of a kind, 3 of a kind, 2 pair and kings or better. If you are familiar with it, what is the payback schedule? My wife and I like to play it when we are getting our butts kicked in 9/6 Jacks.

Thanks,
Frank

Dear Frank:

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.
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@home.com.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
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
John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots