10/15/2005

10-15-05 - 4

10-15-05

The Party Poker Side Bet thing is kind of interesting - you're betting whether the flop will be all red or all black, so you'll be right 11.29% of the time (that's less than 1/8 because after one red card comes, it's more likely the next will be black; eg. (16/32)*(15/31)*(14/30) = 0.01129). It doesn't give details about the payouts, but it suggests they might pay 8:1, which is 0.125, so you're losing money on every bet. Now imagine that you get on a 6-max table and collude with some friends so all the seats are your buddies. Before the flop you can see 12 cards and you get a huge edge. This is like card counting in Black Jack but it's super easy and you get a much bigger margin. It looks like they're limiting the bet amount pretty low ($2 or $4 ?), but even so it should be pretty easy to make money, especially if you had a bot playing it.

Say for example you see 8 cards red and 4 cards black. There are 18 red left and 22 black. That means the chance of one black is 55% instead of 50%. The chance of all black is (22/40)*(21/39)*(20/38) = 15.587% , and they're paying at 12.5% , so you get a 3% edge on every bet. The number of ways to deal red/black for 12 cards is 2^12. The number of 8/4 splits is 2* (12!)/(8!*4!) (the 2* is because I don't care if it's red/black or black/red), so the chance of an 8/4 split is 24.16 % The chance of any split 8/4 or better (9/3, etc.) is 38.7 % (if you want less variance 9/3 or better happens 14% of the time). So, you certainly get enough hands to bet on. You can bet on about 25% of hands and get a 4% edge when you do, so each hand you get a 1% return. If you're all at a 6-way table and you all just limp the SB and fold the flop every hand, you'll break even on the poker (they don't rake the pot when the blinds just chop). You could play a hand every 15 seconds or so, 4 a minute, or about 200 an hour. So you get a 200% return per hour. If the bet size is capped at $4 that means you make $8/hour. Not very good. If the bet size could go bigger, you could make money.

Note that if you're just playing regular poker and see two red, the chance of all black is (26/50)*(25/49)*(24/48) = 13.265 % , so you get a tiny return by betting there at 8:1 (tiny = 0.7 %).

Stu fills me in : Side Bets are only available on 10-way tables. That means you'd have to actually play poker profitably because you couldn't easily fill up the table and just fold the flops (also, the flops would come a lot less often). The Side Bet amount scales with the table. On a 10/20 table you can bet a max of $10. That's not really a high enough max to make any money.

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