What is a Video Poker Penalty Card? – The Monday Link

I have heard friends and colleagues speak about a renewed interest in video poker, with some gamblers delving into the skill of video poker strategy. Some podcast colleagues such as Tim Lawson in His “The Bettor Life” and Christopher DiMauro at “Art in the Game” have mentioned their new interest in VP and the paytables involved.  check out their podcasts.

Whether you play for your personal enjoyment, or play as the best way to play that free slot play the casino gives you, knowing the strategy of the game you play will give you a better chance to cash out a winner. Playing full-pay Jacks or Better is a great find to play you can find it, but if you don’t practice perfect strategy, you can decrease your payout probability to that of 6/5 JOB.

Strategy cards are available and legal.

In advanced VP strategy, penalty cards are important considerations.  Knowing the difference when to draw to a flush in 8/5 & 9/6 is a significant step in your Video Poker play.

“What is a penalty card in video poker?”

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master’s degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5.

John is a prolific expert concerning slots and video poker.  Enjoy many of his excellent posts at John Robinson Casino City Archives.

Remember, “Embrace the Math, not the Myth.”


The “Don’t Pass” Bet at Craps – Time to Try It!

Recently, I met Tim Lawson at Gamblepalooza (the Foxwoods get-together for gamblers sponsored organized by Cousin Vito’s Podcast and Eric Rosenthol). Tim has authored many podcasts and has initiated a new gambling podcast called “The Bettor Life” 

While there are many gambling & Las Vegas podcasts out there, the community of people creating these entertaining audio continue to bond together, supporting each other.

I find Tim Lawson refreshing.  I find his opinionated and honest approach a breath of fresh air, although not agreeing with everything said.  But, he has raised my interest in his craps play, namely playing the “DON’T PASS” line.


Tim likes the “DON’T PASS” bet at the craps table. Most players bet the “PASS LINE BET.”  Usually, betting the “DON’T PASS” bet immediately causes that player to be most unpopular at the table.

To explain, I once again cite Michael Shackelford, The Wizard of Odds: 

“The table seems to have about a hundred different kinds of bets, the players are barking out commands in what seems to be a foreign language, and the pace is too fast to ever ask a question. I can sympathize with the beginner, because at one point in time this was how craps appeared to me.”

“The don’t pass is almost the opposite of the pass line bet. If the come out roll is a 2 or 3 then you win, a 7 or 11 you lose. A 12 is [usually] a push, except in Reno and Lake Tahoe, where a 2 is a push instead of the 12. Otherwise, the dice are rolled over and over until either the point or a 7 is rolled. If the 7 comes first you win, if the point come first you lose. All wins pay even money.

A Don’t Come bet is like a Don’t Pass bet, except made anytime except a Come Out roll.

Courtesy of Gambling.com

A person betting on the don’t pass is called a “wrong” bettor and is usually winning when everyone else is losing, and vise versa. If you make this bet, keep a low profile. The other players do not want to see you yelling “yippy” as they are losing.”

I’m intrigued by this play. If someone as knowledgeable as Tim Lawson will play it, even though the house edge is higher, why shouldn’t I try it?  After all, a lower bankroll could be used  for the beginner – as long as you keep “a low profile.”

No craps table in the world likes the boisterous, bragging “NO PASS” and “NO COME” player. So if you play this way, be cool! But I’m willing to try it.

Thanks Tim, for your podcast and your insight.  If YOU can play the “DON’T PASS,” so can I!