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Best of Henry Tamburin

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Hitting a royal the hard way

8 May 2009

There is nothing more exciting than hitting a royal flush when you play video poker. The payout is big ... $1,000 if you are a quarter player, or $4,000 for a dollar player. But royal flushes aren't so easy to hit even when you hold four to the royal and you need just one card on the draw to fill the royal. My mother- and father-in-law, however, have each hit a royal the hard way. Let me explain.

Both of my in-laws were slot players when I decided to teach them how to play video poker. They learned by playing Jacks or Better on my computer using video poker training software. It didn't take them long before they were achieving 99 percent playing accuracy, plus they really enjoyed playing. I also gave them video poker strategy cards so they could take them to the casino when they played and refer to them if they were unsure of how to play any hand. At age 90 and 84, their minds are sharp as tacks and they enjoy the challenge of playing video poker. In only three years since I taught them video poker, they have quadrupled their playing bankroll, plus they receive tons of perks from casinos: cash back, free play, free meals, free gifts and free rooms. Not a bad life for two seniors with four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

On one of my trips to a Biloxi casino, my father-in-law accompanied me. We went on a Tuesday because they had a promotion that multiplies your points, giving us more free play and more bounce back coupons in the mail. It has been quite a while since my father-in-law got a royal flush (11 months), even though he had been dealt four to the royal on numerous occasions. But he just couldn't get the fifth card that he needed for the royal.

Now many players get frustrated when they don't get a royal, but not my father-in-law. He knows that on average a royal will hit about once every 40,000 hands. Sometimes it takes a little longer to get that royal, while other times you might get lucky and hit 2 or 3 royals in 40,000 hands (hey, once he hit two royals in the same night on the same machine). So when my father-in-law gets into a royal flush dry spell, he just keeps playing skillfully knowing that sooner or later he will get one.

I was playing next to him at this Biloxi casino (along with my brother-in-law) when it happened. He hit the deal button and bingo... up popped a dealt royal flush. He didn't have to draw for a royal because the machine dealt him one. When it happened, the machine automatically locked up and the credit meter starting spinning away until it gave him the $1,150 that he won (it was a progressive 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker machine).

Now you might be wondering what the odds are of getting dealt a royal flush on the initial deal. I certainly was curious, so when I came home I did the math and discovered it was a whopping 650,000 to 1. Those are pretty long odds, but as my father-in-law proved, they are not impossible odds.

Now you might be thinking that's the end to this story, but there is more. Way back in 2005 when I first taught my mother-in-law how to play video poker, I took her to casino in Las Vegas that offered full-pay video poker games. Since this was her first time playing, I stood behind her to mentor her as she started to play. Then it happened.

She hit the deal button and up popped a five-card royal flush on her screen. Back in those days, the machine didn't lock up when you hit a royal on the deal. I knew instantly that she had just hit the big one, but my mother-in-law thought that she only had a flush. I showed her that she not only had a flush, but a royal flush, and then I hit the hold button on all five cards followed by the draw button. The credit meter started spinning and soon she was $1,000 richer.

So what's the moral to this story? Don't give up when you are in a royal flush dry spell because you never know when one will hit. It could happen when you least expect it ... including on the initial deal ... just ask my in-laws.

Recent Articles
Best of Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

Winning Baccarat Strategies

> More Books By Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

> More Books By Henry Tamburin