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Flop Poker is a poker variant I have seen in many of the casinos in Biloxi. I've had reports of the game in other parts of the country too, like Atlantic City and Indiana. The game is easy to learn, community cards cause players to often win or lose in unison, and there is a possibility of a large win. A unique feature is the "pot" bet, which carries a zero house edge.
- Game uses a single deck of cards and all hands are scored according to traditional poker rules.
- Play starts with the player making an Ante wager and a Pot wager. The ante wager may be any amount subject to table limits. The Pot wager is always the table minimum, which in my experience is usually $5.
- Each player gets three cards dealt face down. The player may look at his own cards but sharing of information is not allowed.
- Player has two options, raise or fold. If the player folds he forfeits his Ante but but retains his cards for purposes of the Pot bet. If player raises it is in the form of a Flop bet equal to his Ante bet.
- The dealer then deals a three card flop face up. These are community cards and may be used by all players.
- The dealer will determine the best poker hand using the player's three cards and any two of the flop cards. If the player has at least a pair of jacks the Ante wager will pay even money and the Flop bet according to the pay table below.
- Finally, the player with the highest poker hand, again using his own three cards and any two flop cards, shall win all Pot bets. If two or more players have the exact same valued hand then the Pot bets will be chopped by the players with the high hand.
Liberal Pay Table
|Royal flush||1000 to 1|
|Straight flush||500 to 1|
|Four of a kind||100 to 1|
|Full house||30 to 1|
|Flush||20 to 1|
|Straight||11 to 1|
|Three of a kind||4 to 1|
|Two pair||2 to 1|
|Jacks or better||1 to 1|
There is also a stingy pay table, that pays 10 to 1 on a straight, instead of 11.
The player should raise with any of the following hands.
- At least one card jack or higher.
- A pair
- 3 to a flush
- 3 to any straight
The player will have one of these hands 86.4% of the time.
The following table shows all the possible events in Flop Poker, the probability, win/loss, and the contribution to the total return, based on the liberal pay table. The lower right cell shows a player return of -0.054237. This means the house edge, which is defined as the ratio of expected player loss to initial wager, is 5.42%. The element of risk, which is defined as the ratio of expected loss to the total amount wagered, is 2.91%.
Return Table in Flop Poker
|Four of a kind||234624||0.000576||101||0.058199|
|Three of a kind||14197576||0.034869||5||0.174344|
|Jacks or better||62578504||0.153691||2||0.307382|
|Tens or less||229129152||0.562735||-2||-1.125471|
The house edge on the pot bet is obviously 0%.
The house edge under the stingy pay table is 6.49%.
Written by:Michael Shackleford