Discount Gambling

Advanced Blind Strategy for 6 Card Poker

Posted in six card poker by stephenhow on July 29, 2022

I’ve been playing a lot of Six-Card Poker at my local casinos, as it’s pretty relaxing to play the Ante bet and the Aces Up bonus. Occasionally, I’ll play the 2-Way Bad Beat bonus, depending on my mood, and the people at the table. But generally, its 10.8% house edge takes all the fun out of that side bet.

On the other hand, I don’t mind giving up a little house edge in order to play some hands blind, especially when the dealer’s three upcards look harmless. It’s pretty funny, given that most people spend a lot of time squeezing their hands, looking for enough to call the dealer. Instead, I realized that for certain weak dealer upcards, it only costs about 5% of reduced EV to call the hand blind. This may sound like a lot, given that I won’t play the Bad Beat bonus because of it’s 10.8% house edge. But overall, I only call about 22% of the hands blind, which total to a 1.0% penalty per hand relative to perfect strategy. It’s worth all the fun, the lulz, and the effort saved.

The table below breaks down the blind call strategy for the given hierarchy of dealer upcard types, prioritized in top-down order. Note that each row of the table pulls all the remaining hands encompassed by the description type, and the rest fall down through the conditions below. I suggest playing blind for only the bottom two rows of the table, which add up to 22% of all hands dealt, with total a per-hand cost of 1.0% of the Ante. I only play blind against J-high or lower, not paired, not all suited, that don’t reach to a straight. You can play more hands, but at the costs listed in the table. (Note the cost of playing all hands blind adds up to about 18% of the Ante.)

Dealer Upcard TypeFrequencyBlind Call
Total Cost
Three-of-a-Kind, else0.0023-94.2%-0.0022
any pair, else0.1695-55.8%-0.0946
any Ace, else0.1910-19.3%-0.0369
any King, else0.1591-11.7%-0.0186
any Queen, else0.1304-6.7%-0.0087
all three suited, else0.0218-8.3%-0.0018
no-gap (e.g., 4-5-6), else0.0161-8.4%-0.0013
one-gap (e.g., 4-5-7), else0.0435-6.6%-0.0029
two-gap (e.g., 4-6-8, or 4-5-8), else0.0490-5.6%-0.0027
other two suited, else0.1304-4.8%-0.0063
all other (rainbow)0.0869-4.6%-0.0040
Blind Play Stats for Top-Down Classification of Dealer Upcards

For the 22% of hands I play blind, most would have been played by basic strategy anyways. Only 18% of these blind calls would have been folds. Generally, it adds a bit of excitement to see your hand after the dealer’s, and usually, you don’t end up regretting the blind call. I don’t care about the cost, I play these hands blind. It usually makes for a fun table. Other people start playing blind too.

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