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HOME > > Video Poker Strategy Quiz A-Q Suited or J-Q Unsuited?

Video Poker Strategy Quiz A-Q Suited or J-Q Unsuited?

21 January 2023

By Jerry Stickman

This article contains a video poker strategy quiz. The game is full-pay (9/6 – 9-for-1 full house, 6-for-1 flush) jacks or better.

The quiz assumes the maximum five credits is played. The maximum bet produces the highest long-term return because the royal flush pays 800-for-1 rather than 250-for-1 when less than the maximum is bet.

Look at the dealt hand below and decide which card or cards you would hold. Then read on to see if you are right.

These quizzes will be posted periodically and will feature hands that have holds that produce very close results.

Here is today’s dealt hand: As, Qs, Jh, 9h, 2d
• Ace of spades – (As)
• Queen of spades – (Qs)
• Jack of hearts – (Jh)
• Nine of hearts – (9h)
• Two of clubs – (2c)

The four apparent best choices of cards to hold are:
1. As, Qs – (shot at a royal flush and several other winning hands)
2. As, Jh – (two high cards)
3. As, Qs, Jh – (three high cards)
4. Qs, Jh – (two high cards)

Choice 1 can produce a royal flush, a high pair, two pairs, three-of-a-kind, a straight, a flush, a full house, or a four-of-a-kind.

Choice 2 can produce a high pair, two pairs, a three-of-a-kind, a straight, a full house, or a four-of-a-kind.

Choice 3 can produce a high pair, two pairs, a three-of-a-kind or a straight.

Choice 4 can produce a high pair, two pairs, a three-of-a-kind, a straight, a full house or a four-of-a-kind.

Let’s look at the returns from each of these holds along with an explanation of which winning hands play a part in the respective return.

1. As, Qs: Long-term return – 2.8871 for five credits bet.
• 16,215 possible final hands.
• 4,914 high pairs paying 1-for-1.
• 711 two-pair hands paying 2-for-1.
• 281 three-of-a-kind hands paying 3-for-1.
• 47 straights paying 4-for-1.
• 164 flushes paying 6-for-1.
• 18 full house hands paying 9-for-1.
• Two four-of-a-kind hands paying 125-for-1.
• One royal flush paying 800-for-1.

2. As, Jh: Long-term return – 2.3383 for five credits played.
• 16,215 possible final hands.
• 4,914 high pairs paying 1-for-1.
• 711 two-pair hands paying 2-for-1.
• 281 three-of-a-kind hands paying 3-for-1.
• 48 straights paying 4-for-1.
• 18 full house hands paying 9-for-1.
• Two four-of-a-kind hands paying 125-for-1.

3. As, Qs, Jh: Long-term return – 2.2803 for five credits played.
• 1,081 possible final hands.
• 348 high pairs paying 1-for-1.
• 27 two-pair hands paying 2-for-1.
• Nine three-of-a-kind hands paying 3-for-1.
• 16 straights paying 4-for-1.

4. Qs, Jh: Long-term return – 2.4567 for five credits played.
• 16,215 possible final hands.
• 4,914 high pairs paying 1-for-1.
• 711 two-pair hands paying 2-for-1.
• 281 three-of-a-kind hands paying 3-for-1.
• 144 straights paying 4-for-1.
• 18 full house hands paying 9-for-1.
• Two four-of-a-kind hands paying 125-for-1.

Explanations

Hold 1 (As, Qs) has only two suited high cards. not only provides a shot at a royal flush, it also provides many chances for every other paying hand in the pay table (except a straight flush because the straight flush produced is a royal flush).

Hold 2 (As, Jh) has two high cards, but they are not suited. It can produce the same number of high pairs, two pairs, three-of-a-kind hands, and full houses. It produces one more straight than hold 1, but no flushes. This reduces the return from hold 1 by more than half a credit.

Hold 3 (As, Qs, Jh) has an additional high card than the other holds. This works against improving the return because there are fewer possible hands (1,081 versus 16,215). There are also no flushes, full houses, or four-of-a-kind hands possible. The return for this hold is the lowest of the four shown.

Hold 4 (Qs, Jh) is very similar to hold 2 (As, Jh). However, because neither high card is an ace, there are many more straights possible (144 versus 48). This hold is the second best of those shown.

Because it is the only two-card hold that is suited, hold 1 (ace, queen suited) is the proper hold.

Did you play this hand correctly?

As always, may all your wins be swift and large, and your losses be slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”


Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. He authored the video poker section of "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker!" You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerryg@gmail.com


This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

 
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

More about Jerry Stickman
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Jerry Stickman's Websites:
www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

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