Playing for Straight Flushes in Video Poker

 Playing for Straight Flushes in Video Poker

The late Lenny Frome, one of the first video poker analysts, was a friend of mine, and we often talked video poker. He was a really sharp guy who had a long career as an engineer in the aerospace industry before semi-retiring to Las Vegas. He was a good friend to video poker players, one of the first to give the public strategies for when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

In Las Vegas one night he told me, “I have people tell me they never hit straight flushes, Then I watch them play. The reason they don’t hit straight flushes is that they don’t play for them.”

Dealt a hand such as 4 of clubs, 6 of spades, 8 of diamonds, 10 of diamonds,  Queen of diamonds, some players don’t even notice the suited .8-10-Queen. Some players will hold just the Queen, some will hold Queen-10 to leave open the chance at the royal flush, experts will take note of that a draw of 9-Jack of diamonds will bring a straight flush.

In Jacks or Better at any common pay table, the expert play is to hold 8-10-Queen. Same thing in Double Double Bonus Poker, and in Double Bonus Poker. The decision becomes a closer call when the payoff on flushes is lowered, and the percentage of winning hands is lower than if you just held the Queen. But over the long haul, the occasional big payer makes holding three parts of a straight flush the better play.


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