Discount Gambling

Phil’Em Up Poker

Posted in collusion by stephenhow on April 19, 2013

When I playing Mississippi Stud in Vegas last week, I overheard someone mention a game called Phil’Em Up Poker. I looked at the game, to see if collusion would yield an edge. The rules are pretty simple. The game is played with a 52-card deck plus a Joker which may be used for Aces, straights, and flushes. Each player bets an Ante, and receives two hole cards. Two community cards are dealt face up. Each player may either make an additional 1x bet (i.e., “double-up” his action), or check, before the 3rd community card is exposed. If a player makes a pair of Tens or better, he wins according to a paytable. There is no dealer hand. The house edge is a reasonable 3.3%.

Optimal Outcomes for Phil’Em Up Poker
Hand Bet Combinations Probability Payout Return
FIVE_ACES 2 5 0.00000035 1000 0.000697
natural ROYAL_FLUSH 2 20 0.00000139 250 0.000697
wild ROYAL_FLUSH 2 100 0.00000697 100 0.001394
natural STRAIGHT_FLUSH 2 180 0.00001254 50 0.001254
wild STRAIGHT_FLUSH 2 720 0.00005018 25 0.002509
FOUR_OF_A_KIND 2 4,140 0.00028853 20 0.011541
FULL_HOUSE 2 21,840 0.00152212 15 0.045664
FLUSH 2 39,020 0.00271946 9 0.048950
STRAIGHT 2 77,460 0.00539850 7 0.075579
THREE_OF_A_KIND 2 211,200 0.01471939 3 0.088316
TWO_PAIRS 2 365,640 0.02548294 2 0.101932
High Pair 2 1,562,112 0.10886993 1 0.217740
Low Pair 2 75,648 0.00527222 -1 -0.010544
HIGH_CARD 2 339,708 0.02367563 -1 -0.047351
STRAIGHT 1 25,200 0.00175629 7 0.012294
THREE_OF_A_KIND 1 105,600 0.00735969 3 0.022079
TWO_PAIRS 1 327,360 0.02281505 2 0.045630
High Pair 1 922,608 0.06430030 1 0.064300
Low Pair 1 3,514,752 0.24495734 -1 -0.244957
HIGH_CARD 1 6,755,112 0.47079118 -1 -0.470791
total 14,348,425 -0.033067
expected 14,348,425

Collusion doesn’t help. That’s because only 3.8% of hands are bet on a draw only. Collusion will change few decisions, and result in little gain. With 7-player collusion, perfect play will only reduce the house edge to 3.2%.

6 Responses

1. Hunterhill said, on April 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Where did they have this game in Vegas?
Also have you looked into High Card Flush for collusion,the game is starting to get popular.You can find the rules on the Wizards site.
Keep up the great work.

2. Ghost said, on April 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Your post says the joker can be used for Aces, Straights, and Flushes, but the rules you linked to say the joker can be used as an Ace or to complete a Straight Flush. Which is correct? Can the joker be used to complete a regular straight or flush?

• stephenhow said, on April 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I called the Golden Eagle Casino in Saskatchewan, and they told me the Joker can be used for Aces, straights, and flushes. I didn’t call any South Dakota casinos about the game.

3. Yvette said, on January 20, 2014 at 9:12 am

I for one, know that this is a great game. I not only used to deal it, but there are lots of people that enjoy playing that he game.

4. Rich said, on January 13, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Phil-Em Up was created by a Tribal member Table games Manager in the 90’s at the Skydancer Casino in Belcourt North Dakota

5. jm said, on March 28, 2018 at 7:07 am

Dakota Magic in Hankinson, ND has this game