Discount Gambling

Ultimate Texas Hold’em Arrives @ Barona

Posted in ultimate texas hold'em by stephenhow on May 20, 2011

Finally, months after they sent out the “coming soon” mailers, UTH hits the floor at Barona, and it looks pretty good. They’re dealing it in the chipless (iTable) pit, which has some plus and minuses compared to the standard felt game. The only disadvantage of the iTable is that you will never get a dealer mispay, which can be a very significant component of the game, depending on where you play. (The last few times I played at Harrah’s Rincon, I’ve received a $55 mistake in each session. Instead of killing my 4x losing hand, the dealer paid it as a winner, which is a $55 difference for a $5 Ante bet. That +1100% payout goes a long ways against a 2.3% house edge.)

On the other hand, there are a few pluses to the Barona game. First, everyone is playing their hand face up, like they allow in their Mississippi Stud game. As I’ve written about in this blog, that’s worth about a 0.5% reduction in the house edge. Better yet, the Barona Trips paytable is the 9-7-4-3 type (9 for full house, 7 for flush, 4 for straight), which has a very small house edge of 0.9%. (All the other casinos in San Diego have the 8-6-5-3 paytable, which has a 1.9% house edge.) The game also goes quite a bit faster, since the iTable reads all the hands instantly, and makes the correct payouts. Also, I believe they’re able to open up as many UTH tables as they need in the iTable pit, whereas you can easily be locked out of the only UTH table at Viejas, or the two tables at Harrah’s Rincon and Pala. And, the Barona game is only a $5 Ante, even on weekend nights. Since it’s an iTable game, you can also bet $6, $7, etc. (does not have to be multiples of $5). That’s the only amount of pressing that I’m comfortable with :)

6 Responses

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  1. vgMega said, on May 27, 2011 at 6:57 am

    About time! I may try to go there today for a bit before work and either give stud or this a try for a few. BTW, did Viejas get Stud yet?

  2. Ted said, on June 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Stephen, have you ever played the Shufflemaster electronic UTH games? There are a lot in various Vegas casinos. The paytable is usually (but not always) the same as the live table game. I’m wondering if you could get an advantage on this game if you played all the spots with friends. I’d have to check to make sure it was all dealt from one deck, though.

    • stephenhow said, on June 9, 2011 at 9:31 am

      The UTH machines that I’ve seen downtown change the Blind paytable, where they only pay a flush or higher. That’s the bad news. The good news, is that they’re $1 machines. Also, their 8-6-5-3 Trips paytable are better than the the typical 8-7-4-3 Trips found on the Strip. The machines will do in a pinch, since you can’t find any live UTH games downtown, and you should bet more on the trips than the ante. Even with the full Blind paytable, collusion in UTH doesn’t help much (reduces house edge by only 0.5%).

  3. RK said, on June 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Played several times now at Barona and I will not be going back. Played both one on one against the dealer and with a fairly full table and became obvious that something wasn’t quite right. The first two cards out of the chute had a specific pattern to them and after sitting there for a while watching it, I just can’t see how it could be a coincidence. There was a streak of 12-15 hands where every hand was J – 2 thru 6 OS or Q – 2 thru 6 OS, and jacks and queens NEVER hit the board. It was even more apparent when playing one on one. There are also very few trips hands hitting. It’s probably the skeptic in me, but if that shuffler can tell what cards are being dealt, then it can be programmed to deal whatever the hell they program it to. I saw nobody winning…though there were a lot of dolts who wouldn’t even bet their K-5 against a A-K-3 flop.

    Don’t go to Barona expecting to win….and keep an eye on those first two cards dealt for each hand.

    • RK said, on June 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm

      Basically I get “blinded” off on the table at Barona. My fold percentage there has to be twice as high as anywhere else.

  4. Josh said, on July 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    “The last few times I played at Harrah’s Rincon, I’ve received a $55 mistake in each session. Instead of killing my 4x losing hand, the dealer paid it as a winner, which is a $55 difference for a $5 Ante bet. That +1100% payout goes a long ways against a 2.3% house edge.”

    I don’t understand the math here, can someone please help me understand this. I do see that it is a $55 difference as if you have $5 on ante and $5 blind and $20 play and lose they should take $30 but if you win on a non-straight-or-better-hand they will pay you $25 so thats $55. But I need help with whee the +1100% comes in?


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