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Last Updated: July 15, 2013
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Match Card Video Poker
I noticed Triple Play Draw Poker with Match Card at the Peppermill casino in Reno in June 2013. The game plays like triple-play video poker, but with a twist. The twist is after the draw, the game will choose three cards, known as the Match Cards, from a separate deck, not including any cards the player discarded. If the Match Cards match any cards in the player's hand after the draw, then he will win multipliers. The cost is that the player must double his bet, and wins are based on half the total bet only.
- The player makes a 30-credit bet. 15 credits are for three hands of five credits each, based on standard Triple Play video poker. The other 15 credits are to enable the Match Card feature.
- The player will be given a single hand on the deal.
- The player will choose which cards to hold and draw new ones to replace the discards.
- The game will replace the discards. Each hand is dealt replacement cards from a separate deck containing the remaining 47 cards.
- The game will also choose three cards from another separate deck, not including any discards, as the Match Cards. The game will display the cards from top to bottom.
- The player will earn multipliers according to the number of cards in his hand that match the Match Cards, according to the table below.
- The player will be paid according to the poker value of his hand and any multipliers.
|Two or more||11|
In the example on the right, I was dealt a pair of deuces on the deal, which I held. On the draw, the top hand was garbage, the middle hand improved to a full house, and the bottom one improved to a three of a kind. You can't see the middle card of the bottom hand, so take it on faith that it was the two of spades.
The three Match Cards are shown on the right of the screen. The one in the bottom position was the two of spades, which matched a card in both the middle and bottom hands. According to the multiplier table above, matching the bottom Match Card earns a 5x multiplier. My full house in the middle hand would normally pay 45 credits, but with the multiplier it paid 5 × 45 = 225. My three of a kind in the bottom hand would normally pay 15 credits, but with the multiplier it paid 15 × 5 = 75. So, my total win was 225 + 75 = 300 credits.
Odds for 9-5 Jacks or Better
The following table shows the number of combinations of each hand on the draw by the number of discards. The number of discards is pertinent, because the more cards that are discarded, the greater the odds for a multiplier.
As usual for my video poker analysis, I always assume optimal player strategy.
Combinations in 9-5 Jacks or BetterExpand
|Four of a kind||-||75||-||4,785,889,680||17,921,629,440||23,332,032,372||46,039,551,567|
|Three of a kind||-||-||383,450,977,800||1,013,480,819,340||74,740,392,552||13,287,543,600||1,484,959,733,292|
|Jacks or better||-||92,790,254,700||111,682,905,840||3,138,943,393,080||826,809,283,152||101,940,624,000||4,272,166,460,772|
The following table shows the probability of each hand by number of discards, to six decimal places.
Probabilities in 9-5 Jacks or Better
|Four of a kind||0.000000||0.000000||0.000000||0.000240||0.000899||0.001171||0.002310|
|Three of a kind||0.000000||0.000000||0.019238||0.050847||0.003750||0.000667||0.074501|
|Jacks or better||0.000000||0.004655||0.005603||0.157481||0.041481||0.005114||0.214335|
The next table shows the average multiplier according to number of discards. This illustrates the advantage of discarding more cards.
Average Multiplier Table
The next table shows the contribution to the return for each hand and number of discards. Each cell is the product of the probability, base win, average multiplier, and 0.5. The reason for dividing by 2 is the win is based on half the bet only. The lower right cell shows an overall return of 98.592%. This return is 0.004% lower than the 98.596% return published by IGT.
Returns in 9-5 Jacks or Better
|Four of a kind||25||0.000000||0.000000||0.000000||0.006046||0.022900||0.030167||0.059113|
|Three of a kind||3||0.000000||0.000000||0.057493||0.153641||0.011460||0.002062||0.224655|
|Jacks or better||1||0.000000||0.004588||0.005582||0.158618||0.042259||0.005272||0.216320|
The following table shows the probability of discarding 0 to 5 cards in both conventional video poker and Match Card for 9-5 Jacks or Better.
Number of Discards
On average, for 9-5 Jacks or Better the player will discard 2.918968 cards, and in Match Card the player will discard 2.929251 cards on average. In other words, in Match Card the player will discard 0.010283 more cards per hand.
Playing standard 9-5 Jacks or Better in this game, including discarding the singleton with a dealt four of a kind, will result in a return of 0.985946. Compared to optimal Match Card strategy, the cost of errors is 0.000023.
Other Pay Tables
The following table shows the games, pay tables, and returns this Match Card is available in. The table was kindly provided by IGT. As noted before, the IGT return for 9-5 Jacks or Better is 0.000037 higher than my figure. I do not know the cause for this disparity, but am not going to lose any sleep over it.
All Games and Pay Tables
|JACKS OR BETTER||9/5||98.60%|
|JACKS OR BETTER||8/5||97.45%|
|JACKS OR BETTER||7/5||96.31%|
|BONUS POKER||8/5 (4 2s,3s,4s = 45; 4 5s-Ks = 20)||98.76%|
|BONUS POKER||7/5 (4 2s,3s,4s = 45; 4 5s-Ks = 20)||97.62%|
|BONUS POKER||6/5 (4 2s,3s,4s = 40; 4 5s-Ks = 20)||96.22%|
|BONUS POKER DLX||9/5||98.67%|
|BONUS POKER DLX||8/5||97.53%|
|BONUS POKER DLX||7/5||96.47%|
|DOUBLE DBL BONUS||10/5/4||99.14%|
|DOUBLE DBL BONUS||9/5/4||98.06%|
|DOUBLE DBL BONUS||8/5/4||96.98%|
|TRIPLE DBL BONUS||9/5/5||98.53%|
|TRIPLE DBL BONUS||8/5/5||97.49%|
|TRIPLE DBL BONUS||7/6/4||96.13%|
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Written by: Michael Shackleford