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Last Updated: January 6, 2005

Boston 5

Introduction

Boston 5 is a new poker based game 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. Tables 1-A and 1-B show two pay tables available.
  • 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's5-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 an Ante Bonus for hands of two pair or greater, based on the ante bet. There are two bonus pay tables that I know of shown in tables 2-A and 2-B. 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.

Table 1-A: 3 Card Bonus Bet

Hand Pays
Straight flush 40 to 1
Three of a kind 30 to 1
Straight 6 to 1
Flush 4 to 1
Pair 1 to 1

Table 1-B: 3 Card Bonus Bet

Hand Pays
Straight flush 40 to 1
Three of a kind 30 to 1
Straight 6 to 1
Flush 3 to 1
Pair 1 to 1

Table 2-A: Ante Bonus

Hand Pays
Royal flush 1000 x Ante
Straight flush 200 x Ante
Four of a kind 100 x Ante
Full house 25 x Ante
Flush 15 x Ante
Straight 10 x Ante
Three of a kind 5 x Ante
Two pair 2 x Ante

Table 2-B: Ante Bonus

Hand

Pays

Royal flush 1000 x Ante
Straight flush 200 x Ante
Four of a kind 100 x Ante
Full house 25 x Ante
Flush 15 x Ante
Straight 8 x Ante
Three of a kind 5 x Ante
Two pair 2 x Ante

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 has the advantage because the player pushes the ante if he wins but loses it if the dealer wins. The ante is 20% of the total bet so this rule gives the dealer an extra 10% (because the player wins half the time). However, the Ante Bonus gives the player 6.68% under table 2-A and 6.52% under table 2-B. So the house edge in Boston 5 is 3.32% under pay table 2-A and 3.48% under table 2-B. This is defined as the ratio of the expected player 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. Under table 1-A the house edge is 2.32%. Under table 1-B the house edge is 7.28%. Note that this is the same thing as the Pair plus bet in Three Card Poker.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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