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Subject: Skip straight rss

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Matt Robertson
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Sorry. I am a purist at heart when it comes to poker. I run a league for about 40-50 people and if I deviated from standard poker rules and hand rankings they would, well, let's be frank, they would shoot me.
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j b
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Hah, I thought skip straights were made up
http://ogexpatriate.blogspot.com/2006/01/sunday-night-poker-...
 
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Nate Straight

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It seems to break one of the most basic elements of poker: That lower probability hands are higher in value. The probability of coming up with a "skip straight" is, as best I can reckon, exactly the same as coming up with a straight, so its ranking as being above a straight would be entirely arbitrary and artificial. The betting depends on this relationship between hand value and hand probability, and it seems like including something that doesn't fit into that framework could very well screw up the balance of the game.
 
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NateStraight wrote:
It seems to break one of the most basic elements of poker: That lower probability hands are higher in value. The probability of coming up with a "skip straight" is, as best I can reckon, exactly the same as coming up with a straight, so its ranking as being above a straight would be entirely arbitrary and artificial. The betting depends on this relationship between hand value and hand probability, and it seems like including something that doesn't fit into that framework could very well screw up the balance of the game.


First I think adding the skip straight is a bad idea, but there are lots of house rules for poker, so if your group likes it, go for.

Second, nate, your math is off. The probability of making any specific skip straight is the same as making any specific straight. But overall there are more straights possible then there are skip straights.

You can make 10 different straights: 5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K or A high.
You can make 6 different skip straights: 9,10,J,Q,K, or high.

Lowest Skip Straight: A,3,5,7,9
Lowest Striaght: A,2,3,4,5

So a skip straight would indeed be more rare than a regular straight.
 
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Chad Ellis
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NateStraight wrote:
It seems to break one of the most basic elements of poker: That lower probability hands are higher in value. The probability of coming up with a "skip straight" is, as best I can reckon, exactly the same as coming up with a straight, so its ranking as being above a straight would be entirely arbitrary and artificial.


Not so. The odds of any particular skip-straight are as high as any particular straight, but the odds of getting a straight are much higher because there are more possible straights.

Straight (10 basic possibilities):
A-5
2-6
3-7
4-8
5-9
6-10
7-J
8-Q
9-K
10-A

Skip straight (6 basic possibilities):

A-9
2-10
3-J
4-Q
5-K
6-A

Think of Ace through Ace as a line 14 cards long. A straight is five cards long, but a skip-straight is nine cards long. That means there are more places you can start a straight than a skip straight without going over the edge.

There are, for the same reason, more open-ended straight draws than open-ended skip-straight draws. Thus, whether you're playing draw, Hold 'em or Stud poker, there will be more hands with reasonable odds of getting a straight than with reasonable odds of getting a skip-straight.

Regards,
Chad
 
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Chad Ellis
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asmiles wrote:
Second, nate, your math is off. The probability of making any specific skip straight is the same as making any specific straight. But overall there are more straights possible then there are skip straights.


Curse you Adam Smiles and your "post while Chad is still typing" evil!
 
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NateStraight wrote:
It seems to break one of the most basic elements of poker: That lower probability hands are higher in value. The probability of coming up with a "skip straight" is, as best I can reckon, exactly the same as coming up with a straight, so its ranking as being above a straight would be entirely arbitrary and artificial. The betting depends on this relationship between hand value and hand probability, and it seems like including something that doesn't fit into that framework could very well screw up the balance of the game.

Actually, it would be harder to get a skip-straight. Assuming ace is high only (no ace low wheel straight), valid straights are:

23456
34567
45678
56789
6789T
789TJ
89TJQ
9TJQK
TJQKA

Valid skip-straights would be:

2468T
3579J
468TQ
579JK
68TQA
 
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
asmiles wrote:
Second, nate, your math is off. The probability of making any specific skip straight is the same as making any specific straight. But overall there are more straights possible then there are skip straights.


Curse you Adam Smiles and your "post while Chad is still typing" evil!

Curse you both!
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Nate Straight

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Re: All

DOH! blush
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NateStraight wrote:
It seems to break one of the most basic elements of poker: That lower probability hands are higher in value.


Other people have already addressed some of this, but I just wanted to point out that a pair of two's has exactly the same probability as a pair of ace's, and no one blinks an eye when we say the latter has a higher value.

If we value a skip straight by the highest card, then they will often end up stronger than a straight anyway, so maybe that's the compromise.
 
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NateStraight wrote:
It seems to break one of the most basic elements of poker: That lower probability hands are higher in value. The probability of coming up with a "skip straight" is, as best I can reckon, exactly the same as coming up with a straight, so its ranking as being above a straight would be entirely arbitrary and artificial. The betting depends on this relationship between hand value and hand probability, and it seems like including something that doesn't fit into that framework could very well screw up the balance of the game.


"Lower probability hands are higher in value": that's exactly the problem with poker. Why would you try to get a straight or flush if you can much easier get a pair and win with it?? From a pair you can work up towards a double pair and then a full house, or to triplets and then quads. But if you hold four cards in a row or four cards of the same suit, you end up with nothing. Worse: 4 cards in consecutive order and of the same suit equal nothing. Straights and flushes aren't efficient. That's why I like to add a skip straight or, even better, bobtails. It gives players some perspective to work towards or fall back from when trying to get a straight or flush.

The other option is playing four cards poker where straights and flushes are much easier to achieve.

A skip straight is actually ranked below a plain straight while there are less possibilities of getting a skipper than a straight. The ranking is indeed unfair, but for exactly the opposite reasons you stated.

Quote:
First I think adding the skip straight is a bad idea,...


And why is that so?
 
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Matt Hoskins
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-xXx- wrote:
Does anyone use a skip straight in their games?



Yes. But, we call it "high card". It ranks equal to "all reds" and
"all blacks".
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-xXx- wrote:


"Lower probability hands are higher in value": that's exactly the problem with poker. Why would you try to get a straight or flush if you can much easier get a pair and win with it??


You've made a two-part statement there...

-it is much easier to get a pair - true
-and win with it - false

I would wager that the average winning hand is at least two pair. Pairing two cards on a draw of two or three cards is harder than filling in a single-card outside straight or flush draw.

Quote:
From a pair you can work up towards a double pair and then a full house, or to triplets and then quads. But if you hold four cards in a row or four cards of the same suit, you end up with nothing.


How, exactly, does a skip-straight help this?

Regardless, poker is only partially about the cards you get. The rest is in how you represent the cards you've received. Amongst good player, the latter is far more predictive of how you do than the former.

-MMM
 
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Bwian wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
It seems to break one of the most basic elements of poker: That lower probability hands are higher in value.


Other people have already addressed some of this, but I just wanted to point out that a pair of two's has exactly the same probability as a pair of ace's, and no one blinks an eye when we say the latter has a higher value.

If we value a skip straight by the highest card, then they will often end up stronger than a straight anyway, so maybe that's the compromise.


There is a fallacy in your point - or perhaps an incompleteness to making your point. There are actually two types of ranking in Poker and you speak as if there is only one.

In the examples here in this thread we are talking about the TYPE of hand probabilities in terms of ranking. And the posts have pointed out the correct odds.

We can then talk about VALUE ranking within the TYPE which is the point you make with AA vs. 22.

Understanding BOTH of these is essential in Poker.

And you point that the Skip Straights will tend to be higher is also incorrect. There are 4 A high of each type and all 4 of the regular straights beat the skip straights in terms of second card in the straight (K vs Q). Which is why you need to rank them based on their TYPE and not their VALUE ranking. Since the Skip straights are more rare they would need to all be ranked higher - so even the 2-4-6-8-10 would beat any regular straight.

I actually think you know this is true - it is pretty obvious - but you posted without thinking it through. I do that a lot myself! yuk
 
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Ken
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-xXx- wrote:
Quote:
First I think adding the skip straight is a bad idea,...


And why is that so?


Because poker is already a well designed game with years of proven testing?

Seriously, adding another hand to worry about to poker just seems to confuse the issue to me. More importantly, it takes hands that currently qualify as junk and have them beat some quality hands (like two pair or three of a kind). While there's only six ways to make a skip straight based on card "count" or value, it's important to note that this multiplies to a huge number of hands because of the four suits. So you've just turned a whole bunch of garbage into something that you need a flush to beat.

Then there's the bluffing factor to consider. Poker isn't just poker because you gets your cards, makes some bets, and wins some hands (bad grammar intentional for humor). If I can convince you that the 10-J-Q-8 I've got showing in our stud game is a straight and get you to fold, I win whether I had it or not. By adding more "real" hands to the game, you increase the risk in bluffing and add a very highly ranked hand (play without wild cards and a straight is not beaten often).

Poker doesn't need it. It's a game that's a combination of skill with probabilities (what are the odds that he's got me?) and skill with people (is he full of it or not?). And that's why it's a great game. If you want more variety, throw in wild cards, play Omaha, or Razz, or Hi-Low. It works the way it is.
 
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Marc Gilutin
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There's a very funny bit by Abbott and Costello which included a "kangaroo straight".
When Bud got it, it beat whatever it was that Lou had. When, later in the evening, Lou got the same hand, his buddy explained that the hand could only count once in a session.
Love dem guys!
 
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The big issue isn't whether a skip straight or a regular straight is more rare, but rather that the chances of getting one or the other are so much higher.

Let's say you're holding 3-4-5-7. If you're trying to fill an inside straight, only a 6 will work. But if you add the concept of 'skip' straights, you can hit with a 2, 6 or 8. You've tripled your chances of hitting a big hand.

If you're holding 4-5-6-7, you normally can hit with a 3 or 8, but add 'skip' straights and you hit with 2, 3, 8 or 9. In that case you've doubled your chances of hitting a big hand.

Meanwhile, the chances of hitting a flush or a full house remain unchanged. The whole balance of the game gets screwed up.

Bad idea.
 
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Ralph H. Anderson
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Yep - and if you are going to add Skip Straights you might as well add the Canadian "three pairs" to seven card stud!

And where I come from we called a Kangaroo Straight a "whangdoodle".

If you are going to play Kitchen Poker you can do whatever you want - and believe me - people do.

But if you want to learn poker as its played in any casino or online - fugeddaboudit.

I think you would serve yourself better to learn the game (and thus the correct odds) with Poker as it is played professionally.

Won't you feel silly at the $5/%10 table turning over a skip straight on the big pot of the night? Sad thing is - I've seen it happen!
 
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Sphere wrote:
Let's say you're holding 3-4-5-7. If you're trying to fill an inside straight, only a 6 will work. But if you add the concept of 'skip' straights, you can hit with a 2, 6 or 8. You've tripled your chances of hitting a big hand.


What you're describing isn't what the OP described. A skip straight skips one card for each card in the sequence. So 3-4-5-7 wouldn't work. 3-5-7-9 would as a four card version.
 
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Quote:
"Lower probability hands are higher in value": that's exactly the problem with poker. Why would you try to get a straight or flush if you can much easier get a pair and win with it??


You've made a two-part statement there...
-it is much easier to get a pair - true
-and win with it - false

I would wager that the average winning hand is at least two pair. Pairing two cards on a draw of two or three cards is harder than filling in a single-card outside straight or flush draw.


I mean that a pair, which is easy to achieve, will win from a 4 card straight or 4 card flush which are hard to achieve.

Quote:
From a pair you can work up towards a double pair and then a full house, or to triplets and then quads. But if you hold four cards in a row or four cards of the same suit, you end up with nothing.

How, exactly, does a skip-straight help this?


I agree that the skipper is not the best hand to work from. A better bet is having little and big bobtails (3 and 4 card straight flushes). From a small bobtail you can work towards a big bobtail, straight or flush. From a big bobtail you can hope for a straight flush, flush or straight. And if you fail to achieve any of these, you don't fall back all the way to a high card.

Quote:
Regardless, poker is only partially about the cards you get. The rest is in how you represent the cards you've received. Amongst good player, the latter is far more predictive of how you do than the former.


If players hardly ever come up with something better than three of a kind, the game looses a large part of its possibilities. I mean, why introduce straights and flushes if you hardly ever go for one?? The game becomes nothing more than blind betting. Booooriiing.

 
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-xXx- wrote:
I mean that a pair, which is easy to achieve, will win from a 4 card straight or 4 card flush which are hard to achieve.


I don't have the statistics background to calculate this myself, but I doubt it's that much harder to come up with a 4 card straight. A flush would be harder, but still not as hard as your post implies.

Quote:
If players hardly ever come up with something better than three of a kind, the game looses a large part of its possibilities. I mean, why introduce straights and flushes if you hardly ever go for one?? The game becomes nothing more than blind betting. Booooriiing.


You make this sound like "going for one" is somehow a problem. If you're playing Draw poker, it's often better not to "go for" a straight. If you're playing stud, hold 'em, or other games where you can't control discard and draw, it's about playing the hand that you're dealt.

But I think your last comments gets most to the point - you don't enjoy the interaction of cards, players, betting, and bluffing. So you'd be better playing a different game. Players do make higher than three of a kind with regularity. But they don't feature in most hands in straight poker due to the probabilities (just like 11's don't feature in most crap games). Poker is not just about cards, but playing them well and, frequently, misrepresenting what you have. If it weren't, you're just dealing cards and coping with the results. There'd be little reason to deal any of them face down.

[/q]
 
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-xXx- wrote:

Quote:
Regardless, poker is only partially about the cards you get. The rest is in how you represent the cards you've received. Amongst good player, the latter is far more predictive of how you do than the former.


If players hardly ever come up with something better than three of a kind, the game looses a large part of its possibilities. I mean, why introduce straights and flushes if you hardly ever go for one?? The game becomes nothing more than blind betting. Booooriiing.



I need to sit at your table next time you're playing.

-MMM
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Quote:
I don't have the statistics background to calculate this myself, but I doubt it's that much harder to come up with a 4 card straight. A flush would be harder, but still not as hard as your post implies.


In fact, a 4 flush is easier to get than a 4 straight. Both fall around the double pair in ranking.

Ranking order of non-conventional hands:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-standard_poker_hand

 
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Ken
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Not to be a pest, but what you posted and what's on the article are contradictory.

A Bobtail flush beats a Bobtail straight on that page, which would tend to indicate it's harder.

Picking nits, I know. But damn it, there's just too many nits out there that require picking!
 
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perfalbion wrote:
Not to be a pest, but what you posted and what's on the article are contradictory.

A Bobtail flush beats a Bobtail straight on that page, which would tend to indicate it's harder.

Picking nits, I know. But damn it, there's just too many nits out there that require picking!


The 4 flush (4.2917%) and 4 straight (3.7627%) aren't ranked in mathemathical order. Note that a skip straight ranks lower than a plain straight while the skip straight is rarer.

The 3-4 straight flushes ARE ranked mathematically though, and that's another reason I like to use them.

Here are the hands I like to use:

10. straight flush
9. quads
8. big bobtail
7. full house
6. flush
5. straight
4. trips
3. little bobtail
2. double pair
1. pair

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