The hope of all video poker players is to hit a royal flush. Sometimes it takes weeks, even months or years before you hit one; other times, you might just get lucky and hit one or two quite quickly. Think that’s impossible? Read on because I’m going to share with you a remarkable streak of royal flushes that happened to me. (I’m doing this not to gloat or boast about my good fortune but rather to show you it can happen even with long odds.)
My streak began when I hit two royal flushes on two consecutive trips playing 9/6 Jacks or Better. This was certainly exciting but it’s nothing compared to what happened next.
My wife and I went to Las Vegas for a two week vacation and during this time I hit three more royal flushes and she hit two. When we returned home, I proceeded to hit six more royal flushes over the course of one month. Final tally was 11 royal flushes over a period of about two months.
Several of the royal flushes were memorable. In one session, I was dealt a royal. (The odds of this happening are 1 in 649,740). On three consecutive playing sessions, I was dealt only one four-card royal flush over roughly six hours of play. Each time I hit the draw button, I got the card I needed for a royal flush. In one stretch, I hit four royal flushes in each of four consecutive trips to the same casino. (I wound up with seven royals in eight consecutive playing sessions.)
It certainly takes a bit of luck to get a royal streak like mine but it’s also important that you know the right playing strategies. For example, in one of my hands I was dealt a high pair along with a four-card royal flush. Many players would hold the paying high pair rather than hold the four cards to the royal. That’s a costly mistake; in the long run, you’ll earn more money by holding the four cards to the royal (yes, most times you won’t draw the card you need for the royal but it only has to happen once to more than make up for the losses). Needless to say, I made the correct play, held the four cards to the royal and got the card I needed on the draw for a royal flush.
In another hand, I was dealt a three-card straight flush that contained one gap along with two cards to the royal flush. Most players when confronted with this hand would hold the three cards to the straight flush; however, that is another mistake. The correct play is to hold the two suited high cards (i.e., two cards to the royal) over the three cards to the straight flush with gaps. (This is what I did and, fortunately, got the three cards I needed on the draw for a royal flush.)
Do you get my point about the importance of knowing the playing strategy? If I didn’t play the above two hands correctly, I would have missed out on two potential royal flushes during my streak.
Sometimes, even using perfect playing strategy, you can go hand after hand without getting a royal flush. I know this can be frustrating. However, if you continue to practice the playing strategies at home on your computer so that you can play every hand perfectly in a casino, take along a strategy card when you do play just in case, and have enough bankroll to weather those inevitable royal flush droughts, you’ll still be in the game when the royals finally come.
Just don’t abandon the ship … stay the course by playing only games that return over 99.5% with perfect playing strategy, have enough playing bankroll, and take advantage of casino promotions to increase your cashback and bounce back, and in the long run you’ll do just fine.
Henry Tamburin is a blackjack and video poker expert and is the host of the smartgaming.com website and the editor of the Blackjack Insider newsletter. Visit his web site at smartgaming.com.