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Today's column lists hands that are not particularly difficult. For players attempting to win who are playing for "meaningful" stakes (personally defined), getting all of these hands correct should be the minimum acceptable standard for playing this game in the casino. Next week's column will have a sampling of the more difficult hands.

I will use a W (for wild card) to indicate a deuce and single quote marks to indicate cards are suited with each other.

Q1:In the one-deuce section of the strategy, what combination is preferred to a 4-card royal flush?

Q2:In the one-deuce section of the strategy, list the following combinations in the correct sequence:

a.5-card flush

b.5-card straight

c.4-card straight flush with 0 insides: W'567'-W'9TJ'

d.4-card straight flush with 1 inside: W'345'-W'456', W'457'-W'9JQ'

e.4-card straight flush with 2 insides: W'346'-W'356', W'347'-W'9QK'

f.4-card straight flush with an ace: W'A34'-W'A45'


Q3:What combinations are preferred to W'AQ' but not preferred to W'KQ'?

Q4:List every 4-card straight including exactly one deuce that is ever held in this game.

Q5:In the no-deuce section of the strategy, which 3-card straight flushes are preferred to a pair?

Q6:In the no-deuce section of the strategy, list the 3-card straight flushes that are inferior to certain 2-card royal flushes.

Q7:Without considering penalty cards, when is a 4-card inside straight preferred to a 2-card royal flush?

A1:With one deuce, you hold a 5-card straight flush over a 4-card royal flush, that is from W'KQJ9' you hold all five cards.

A2:The correct order is a > c > d > b > e > g > f. You should know this order absolutely cold because these types of hands occur a lot.

A3:3-card straight flushes with 0 insides, W'67'-W'89' are preferred to A-high 3-card royals but not to K-high 3-card royals. W'9T' is in this category of hand, and is definitely preferred to an A-high 3-card royal, but with a K-high 3-card royal you hold the 5-card straight.

A4:W567-WTJQ. In every case, all three of the natural cards must be unsuited with each other. In some of these combinations the rank and/or the suit of the fifth card is important as to whether the 4-card straight should be held. We'll look at that next week.

A5:Only when they are perfect, that is '567'-'9TJ'. What defines "perfection" is the combinations are consecutive and far enough away from the deuce so the straight flush may be completed with natural cards. They are also low enough so that they are not 3-card royal flushes, which are combinations with a much greater value.

A6: A-low 3-card straight flushes (i.e. 'A34', 'A35', and 'A45') are inferior to 'QJ', 'QT', and 'JT'. In all other cases, 3-card straight flushes are preferred over 2-card royal flushes.

A7:K-high 2-card royal flushes are not as valuable as 4-card inside straights, although there are a few exceptions we'll discuss next week. A-high 2-card royal flushes are almost never held, and they are always inferior to any 4-card inside straight in the same hand.

So how did you do? If you play this game at all, you should have found this quiz very easy. If you didn't find it easy, then there's an easy-to-understand reason why your results haven't been better. Fortunately good strategies are plentiful, and if you wish to study the game in greater depth, consider the Dancer/Daily Winner's Guide for this game.

Next week's quiz will be a lot more challenging. I promise.
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