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Last Updated: February 8, 2017

Mini-Tex

Introduction

Mini-Tex is a Texas-Hold'em style game played against the dealer. The object of the game is to win by having a better three-card poker hand than the dealer using two pocket cards and three community cards.

The game has been seen at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas and Santa Ysabel Casino in San Diego, CA.

Rules

  1. The game is played using one standard 52-card deck and uses standard Three Card Poker rules when comparing two hands.
  2. To begin, the player makes an Ante bet.
  3. The dealer deals two cards face down to the player and two cards face down to himself.
  4. The player examines his cards and must either fold or raise 1X his Ante by making the Flop bet. Players may not share information about their pocket cards with other players.
  5. The dealer deals two cards face up to the table. In this game, these two cards are known as "the Flop."
  6. The player must either fold or raise 1X his ante by making the River bet.
  7. The dealer deals the third and final community card face up to the table. In this game, the third community card is known as "the River."
  8. The player must either fold or raise 2X his ante by making the Play bet.
  9. The dealer reveals his two hole cards and compares his best three-card hand to the player's best three-card hand. The best hand of all hands must use at least one hole card. In other words, the board cannot be played.
  10. The dealer must qualify with a pair or better. If the dealer does not qualify, then the player is paid even money on his Ante, Flop, and River bets, while the Play bet will push.
  11. If the dealer does qualify:
    • If the player's hand beats the dealer's hand, the player is paid even money on all bets.
    • If the dealer's hand beats the player's hand, the player loses all bets.
    • If the hands tie, the player's wagers push.
Mini-Tex rule card. Click on image for larger version.

Analysis

The following table shows the probability of all outcomes of the game, assuming an optimal raise/fold strategy. The lower right cell reveals a house edge of 3.22%.

Mini Tex Analysis

Outcome Win Combinations Probability Return
Fold pre-flop -1 1,144,130,400 0.013575 -0.013575
Fold after the flop -2 5,394,691,584 0.064006 -0.128012
Fold after the river -3 10,285,213,416 0.122030 -0.366090
Dealer does not qualify 3 15,371,719,056 0.182379 0.547138
Wins 5 24,416,000,664 0.289686 1.448432
Ties 0 2,047,940,652 0.024298 0.000000
Losses -5 25,624,577,028 0.304026 -1.520128
Total 84,284,272,800 1.000000 -0.032235

Strategy

Sorry, but the only strategy to this game that has been quantified is the Flop bet. The player should fold with a pair of 2's, or 5-2 off suit. Otherwise, the player should raise.

Under optimal strategy, the player will make the River bet, given that he gets that far, 93.5% of the time. In addition, the optimal strategy player will make the Play bet 86.8% of the time, given that he gets that far. Overall, the player will be in through the showdown 80.0% of the time.

Pocket Poker Side Bet

Pocket Poker is an optional side bet that pays if the player's two pocket cards are a pair, straight, or straight flush. Even if the player folds, he is still eligible to win the Pocket Poker bet. The table below shows the bet's pay table and the probability of being dealt each winning hand. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 2.41%.

Pocket Poker Analysis

Outcome Win Combinations Probability Return
Royal Straight Flush (AK suited) 30 4 0.003017 0.090498
Pair of Aces 20 6 0.004525 0.090498
Straight Flush (A2-QK suited) 5 48 0.036199 0.180995
Pair 3 72 0.054299 0.162896
Straight (A2-KA off suit) 2 156 0.117647 0.235294
Flush or Lower -1 1,040 0.784314 -0.784314
Total 1,326 1.000000 -0.024133

Acknowledgment

My thanks to Cindy Liu for the analysis of this game and for this write up.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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