Progressive look at royal

Aug 21, 2006 4:17 AM

Last week, I covered some of the finer points of the strategy for how to play a 2-Card Royal on a full-pay jacks or better machine. This week, I’m going to cover the same hands, but on a jacks or better progressive.

For the purposes of this exercises, we’ll assume the progressive jackpot is paying 8,000 coins for max-coins play. As is usually the case, the machine pays 8 for Full Houses and 5 for Flushes, making this a ”˜full-pay’ Progressive. The overall payback is comparable to a full-pay jacks or better machine, but the different distribution of payouts alters our strategy, as we will soon see.

By doubling the payout of the Royal, we will find that any hand that can make a Royal will have its expected value increase.

By itself, this may or may not affect the strategy. It only impacts it, if the hand changes places with another on our strategy table, and those two hands overlap. The increase to the Royal will be partially offset by the decrease to the Flush, which is what many Royal near misses wind up as.

Without going through all the detail from last week, I discussed how 2-Card Royals are broken into 4 variations. V3 are those that consist of no Ace or 10. V2 consists of an Ace but no 10. V1 consists of a 10 but no Ace, and V0 consists of an Ace AND a 10. The higher the Variation number, the higher the expected value is.

In our progressive example, we find that the 2-Card Royal V3 has jumped ahead of a variety of 3-Card Straight Flushes. So, if dealt 3-4-5 Suited and J-Q Suited (different suit), you would hold the 3-4-5 if playing jacks or better, but hold the 2-Card Royal if playing a progressive.

The 2-Card Royal V2 sits just below the V3, and thus is played in similar fashion. In jacks or better, there is one hand sitting between them, which is the X-J-Q-K-A 4-Card Inside Straight.

In jacks or better, if the A is a suit match with one of the other cards, you still hold the 4-Card Inside Straight. If the 2 suited cards come from the J-Q-K, we hold the 2-Card Royal. In our progressive example, you would play the 2-Card Royal in either case. If there are TWO 2-Card Royals, you would hold V3 over V2.

Our V1 2-Card Royal moves ahead of 2 High Cards in our progressive example. So, if dealt 10-J-Q, where the 10-J (or 10-Q) are suited, you would hold the 2-Card Royal in the progressive version, but hold the J-Q on a full-pay jacks or better machine.

The last significant change is that V0 IS playable on a progressive machine such as this. It sits right below the V1 2-Card Royal. So, even if dealt 10-J-A, where the 10-A is suited, we would hold the A-10 instead of the J-A.

On a full-pay jacks or better, we would hold the lone Ace as the V0 2-Card Royal is not playable, so we play it as 1 High Card.

These changes are significant if you want to have the progressive return the full 99.5% that it is capable of. For this to happen, the Royal needs to show up more often than it does for the full-pay jacks or better machine.

The strategy changes (both those shown here and the others affecting a Royal) will produce a Royal (on average), once every 32,700 hands instead of the ”˜usual’, once in 40,000 hands. This is just another example of how the strategy changes when the paytable changes.

You can either make the adjustments or leave your money behind in the casino.