Our poker group enjoys your weekly column, especially when you weigh in on poker-related questions. Our group would like to know which, if any,card(s) should be used as wild? Some in our group prefer deuces, others the joker. Which would you select? Josh C.
As a purist of game play, I would say zippo, none, nada when it comes tousing wild cards. Wild cards introduce an element of luck. So, if you are a halfway decent player, Josh, why have luck involved in a game where your opponents might benefit from it the most? As for you folks who believe thatyou would prefer to be lucky than good – hogwash. Divorce luck from the solid poker theorem. It is skill over the long haul that separates the winning from the losing players, seldom the fortuitous appearance of the queen ofspades when you most need her.
Granted, Josh, certain poker games do incorporate wild cards, likeBaseball where the 9s and 3s are wild, or Black Maria, where the queen of spades can count as the highest spade. But that is where this faithful follower of Hoyle draws the line.
Figuring the above answer will not satisfy every kitchen table Login Sbobet casino, my reserve reply, for emergency use, would be that as long as the rules do not unduly favor the dealer, dealer’s choice ordinarily decides which card or cards will be wild. Some of the more typical dealer choices are the Joker,Deuces, and the One-eyed Jack (the jack of spades and the jack of hearts).Then, of course, there’s my friend’s grandson, who wants all the cards to be wild.
The other day a blackjack dealer was touting the Spanish 21 game to me. Perusing the brochure, I noted that there is some rule variations that favor the player, but that the deck has been altered by the removal of the 10s. Can I assume that the lack of 10s in the deck negates these advantages, and that I should stick to blackjack? Richard H.
There are two notable exceptions when comparing Spanish 21 to standard blackjack. In Spanish 21, all the 10s (not the Jacks, Queens, Kings) are removed from the deck. Also, the player is paid for a hand total of 21, orthe standard three-to-two payoff for a blackjack, even if the dealer’s hand is a natural blackjack. The additional player-friendly rules are: doubling down on two or more cards, pair splitting and double downs up to four times after splits, bonus payoffs for different combination 21s, and a super bonus that pays out $1,000 for a suited 7-7-7 when the dealer’s up card is a seven. So, Richard, is Spanish 21 a good play? Absolutely, if you use perfect basic strategy. By employing Spanish 21 basic strategy – which obviously differs from normal blackjack strategy – you reduce the house edge down to 0.8%. But deviate from it, and the house advantage can be up to 3%, which is still a better bet than most other games the casino offers.
If you are playing a deuces wild game and you get a natural royal flush, would five of a kind beat it? Pat R.
The easiest way to identify the rank order of any poker hand is to look directly at the paytable on the machine. All hands are listed in descending order of power. As to your specific question, Pat, five-of-a-kind does NOT beat a natural royal flush. Likewise, a natural royal, four deuces and a wild royal, deliver more punch than five-of-a-kind.
Gambling thought of the week: “If you’re afraid to lose your money, you can’t play to win.” – Poker legend Johnny Moss