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Last Updated: September 11, 2019

Frankie's Fantastic 7

Introduction

They say Frankie goes to Hollywood but did you know he also goes to the races? Not just any horse race but one featuring seven fantastic horses that advance by having the best card in each round. Some have further to go but are rewarded with longer odds if they win.

This Playtech horse racing game is kind of cheesy and low budget but fun and charming at the same time. I suppose that it is supposed to resemble a board game with plastic colored horses.

So grab your best hat and a mint julep and enjoy your day at the races. Just don't bet too much, as there are better bets out there, mathematically speaking.


Rules

  1. The game is based on a race of seven horses.
  2. Initially, two 53-card decks are used, including one joker each.
  3. Cards are ranked as in poker. Except in the event of a tie of two or more ranks, suits shall be used to break the tie. The ranking of the suits is spades > hearts > diamonds > clubs.
  4. The winning horse is the first to cross the finish line.
  5. The two favorites, Diffident and Mark of Esteem, shall have to advance four steps to win.
  6. Decorated Hero and Wall Street shall have to advance five steps to win.
  7. The three long shots, Lochangel, Fujiyama Crest, and Fatefully shall have to advance six steps to win.
  8. Players may wager on any combination of horses he likes to win. Winning odds are as follows:
    • Lane 1: Diffident: 2.4 to 1.
    • Lane 2: Decorated Hero: 5.75 to 1.
    • Lane 3: Lochangel: 13 to 1.
    • Lane 4: Fujiyama Crest: 13 to 1.
    • Lane 5: Fatefully: 13 to 1.
    • Lane 6: Wall Street: 5.75 to 1.
    • Lane 7: Mark of Esteem: 2.4 to 1.

  9. The player may also bet on two "evens" bets. The first is on any of the horses in lanes 1 to 3 to win. The second is on any horse in lanes 5 to 7 to win. Wins pay 0.95 to 1.
  10. After betting is closed, each horse shall be given a playing card.
  11. If at any time a horse is dealt a joker, he is scratched (out of the race).
  12. Otherwise, the horse with the highest ranked card shall advance one step.
  13. In the event two horses tie for the highest card, both shall advance one step.
  14. This shall go on for 15 rounds or until there is a winner.
  15. In the event of no winner after 15 rounds, at which point there are not enough cards left for another round, the two jokers shall be removed, the cards shuffled, and the race shall continue until there is a winner.
  16. After the jokers are removed, the cards will be shuffled after 14 rounds if there is no winner, so that the game doesn't run out of cards.
  17. If two horses win simultaneously, then each shall get half the total return. To be specific, the lane 1 and 7 horses shall win 1.7 to 1, the lane 2 and 6 horses shall win 3.375 to 1, and the rest 7 to 1.

Analysis

The following table shows the probability and return from each possible outcome on a bet on the horses in lanes 1 and 7. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 9.88%.

Lanes 1 and 7 Return Table

Event Pays Probability Return
Win 2.4 0.264241 0.634178
Half win 0.7 0.001619 0.001133
Loss -1 0.734140 -0.734140
Total 1.000000 -0.098829


The following table shows the probability and return from each possible outcome on a bet on the horses in lanes 2 and 6. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 8.63%.

Lanes 2 and 6 Return Table

Event Pays Probability Return
Win 5.75 0.134798 0.775087
Half win 2.375 0.001143 0.002715
Loss -1 0.864059 -0.864059
Total 1.000000 -0.086256


The following table shows the probability and return from each possible outcome on a bet on the horses in lanes 3 to 5. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 7.06%.

Lanes 3 to 5 Return Table

Event Pays Probability Return
Win 13 0.066038 0.858491
Half win 6 0.000698 0.004188
Loss -1 0.933264 -0.933264
Total 1.000000 -0.070585


The following table shows the probability and return from each possible outcome on a bet on either Evens bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 8.97%.

Evens Return Table

Event Pays Probability Return
Win 0.95 0.466807 0.443466
Loss -1 0.533193 -0.533193
Total 1.000000 -0.089727


Video

I posted a video of the game on my YouTube channel.


Summary

The following table summarizes the house edge on each bet.

Summary

Bet Pays House Edge
Lanes 1, 7 13 7.06%
Lanes 2, 6 5.75 8.63%
Lanes 3-5 2.4 9.88%
Evens 0.95 8.97%


As you can see, the lowest house edge is on the long shots in lanes 1 and 7 at 7.06%.

The help file on this game says, "The maximum theoretical percentage return to player (RTP) is 92.18% and the minimum is 91.34%. According to my math the range is 92.94% to 90.12%." You'll have to decide for yourself whom to believe.


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