Introduction

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Boston 5 is a poker based game I noticed at Harrah’s in Las Vegas. The game is owned by New Vision Gaming. Following are the rules, strategy, and house advantage for the game.

Rules

 

Play begins with the player making an ante bet and a “first wager.” The first wager must be exactly double the ante.

 

There is also an optional 3 card bonus bet. The pay table can vary from casino to casino, see table 1 for one example. The player can not make this bet alone but must play the main game.

Players then receive 3 cards each. Sharing of information between players is not allowed.

 

If the player made the 3 card bonus bet and has at least a pair then he should show the dealer his cards to receive payment.

 

After reviewing the first three cards the player must decide to either fold or raise. If the player folds he forfeits his cards and all bets. If the player raises he must make a “second wager” exactly equal to the first wager.

 

The dealer will then deal each player still in the game two more cards.

Each hand is individually compared to the dealer’s five-card hand, the highest hand wins.

If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s hand then the player shall win even money on the first and second wagers, and the ante shall push.

 

If the dealer’s hand beats the player’s hand then the player shall lose his first and second wagers and the ante.

 

If the player’s hand and dealer’s had are exactly equal in value (highly unlikely) the first and second wagers and the ante shall push.

 

Regardless of whether the player or dealer has the higher hand the player shall be eligible for a bonus for hands of two pair or greater, based on the ante bet. Table 2 shows what each hand pays. Note that if the player has a bonus hand but loses to the dealer he will still get the bonus but lose the ante bet itself. More about situs poker online

 

Strategy

The strategy is simple, raise on everything. Even on the worst 3-card hands raising is a much better option than folding. I also suggest avoiding the 3 card bonus bet if the flush pays 3 to 1, it is okay at 4 to 1.

 

House Edge

The house edge in Boston 5 is 3.32%. This is defined as the ratio of the expected plaeyr loss to the total amount bet. Normally the house edge is defined as the ratio of the loss to the initial wager. However since the player should raise all the time I felt it appropriate to measure the loss to the total wager.

 

The house edge on the 3 card bonus bet depends on the pay table. In the pay table above the house edge is 2.32%. At Harrah’s in Las Vegas the flush pays only 3 to 1, which increases the house edge to 7.28%. Note that this is the same thing as the Pairplus bet in Three Card Poker.

 

Introduction

 

Casino Hold’em is a Texas Hold’em variation that is popular is played in Egypt, Austria, Seychelles, Australia, and Russia.

 

Rules

 

The rules are as follows:

Play begins with each player making an ante wager.

Two cards are dealt face down to each player and dealer. In addition three flop cards are dealt face up. The players may examine their own two cards but sharing information should be discouraged. All players and dealer may use the three flop cards as part of their hand.

 

Each player must decide to either fold or call. If the player folds he gives up his cards and his ante bet. If the player calls the call must be equal to two times the ante bet.

 

The dealer will then deal two more community cards, for a total of five. The dealer will also turn over his own two cards.

 

Each hand shall be scored according to the best 5-card hand that can be composed out of the 5 community cards and the player or dealer’s personal two cards.

 

The dealer must have a pair of fours or better to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify then the player will win the ante and push on the call.

 

If the dealer qualifies and beats the player then the player will lose both the ante and call.

If the dealer qualifies and the player beats the dealer then the player will win both the ante and call.

 

Whether or not the dealer qualifies, if the player beats the dealer then his ante will pay according to the table below. There are two variations of the bonus table, according to the preferance of the casino manager.

 

If the dealer qualifies and the player beats the dealer then the call shall pay 1-1 (even money).

 

Ante Pay Table

Hand Table 1 Table 2

Straight flush 20 to 1 25 to 1

4 of a kind 10 to 1 12 to 1

Full house 3 to 1 3 to 1

Flush 2 to 1 2 to 1

All other 1 to 1 1 to 1

 

Strategy

Unfortunately there is no easy way to quantify optimal strategy for this game. I can say the optimal strategy player will raise 85% of the time. So only in the worst 15% of hands should the player fold. In general these are when the player has two singletons in the hole that are low compared to the flop, with little or no chance for a straight or flush.

 

House Edge

Following table 1 the house edge with optimal strategy is 2.68%, and 2.20% under table 2. Remember, the house edge is defined as the ratio of the expected player loss to the initial wager. In Casino Hold’em I think this makes the game look more casino friendly than it really is. The element of risk (ratio of expected player loss to total amount bet) is only 0.99% and 0.82% depending on the pay table.

 

I used a random simulation of initial hands to calculate the house edge and optimal strategy to play each one. This was a time consuming game for the computer to run through and the sample size is not as large as I would like. Therefore the house edge could be off by about 0.4%.