A post not written

I was just writing a post about an odds quandary (related to video poker), a case where I couldn’t accept what I’d read. (To wit: that the odds in triple-play/three-hand slot power, where each hand is drawn independently from the 47 cards remaining after the initial deal, are *exactly* the same as in Spin Poker, where the three rows are filled in from the single set of 47 cads remaining after the initial deal.)

And as I was writing it, I was spelling out the calculations involved (my problem: in triple-play starting with three of a kind, it’s possible to get two or three four-of-a-kind; in spin poker, that’s not possible, since once the fourth card is dealt, it’s gone–so I figured spin poker has slightly inferior odds). And as I spelled them out, and did them…

I realized that what I’d been reading was right. Your chances of getting one four-of-a-kind in spin poker are a little better than in triple-play because the draws aren’t independent: Just enough better to make up for the impossibility of getting two four-of-a-kind rows.

Well, so much for that post…except that I wrote this senseless one instead.

With a little side note: I was playing a round of Spin Poker, today’s contest, playing deuces wild, and 45 coins per hand (something I would never do in an actual casino) because that’s how it works.

And I was dealt 810JQA of spades. A sure-fire winner: 9 x 15.

And I kept the 10JQA, dropping the 8. And got nothing. Zero. Nada.

It was absolutely the right thing to do. The odds were (roughly) 3/47 of drawing a pure royal flush, which pays 4000. (They were roughly 12/47 of drawing a royal flush with deuces, which pays 125, and there’s even the chance of drawing two or three of those…and, of course, a good chance of getting back the flush.)

But it’s still painful–and would be even more so if I had, say, $4.50 in the machine (playing dimes) and saw $13.50 turn into $0. Fortunately, it was only electrons. And made a nice break from working on an essay.

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