Sequential Royal – Gambling With An Edge

I recently hit a sequential royal flush. I was seated near a husband and wife who were playing for lower stakes than I was. The man especially was in full mumble about how bad his luck was that day. (Complainers are common among video poker players. I’m sure you’ve sat next to a guy just like this.)

We had not shared a word with each other before the royal, but they both congratulated me on it. I said, “Yes, a sequential royal is pretty rare.” He hadn’t noticed it was sequential before I mentioned it, and then he told me what bad luck it was that the game didn’t pay extra for sequentials. 

“I don’t consider an $8,000 royal to be bad luck. And even if sometime in the future I am playing on a machine with a sequential royal bonus, which I almost never do, today’s royal has nothing to do with the odds of me hitting another one on a different machine.” 

He told me he had only hit one sequential in his life. I commented that I had hit quite a few, and in fact didn’t even know how to do an accurate count.

He looked at me and said that sequentials are so rare that nobody has hit quite a few. And counting them wouldn’t be difficult. Even an idiot could do it.

“Really?” I responded. “Actually, I’ve played a lot of Fifty Play and Hundred Play and the cards are so small I usually don’t even check to see if they are sequential. And, in fact, one time I was dealt a sequential royal on a nickel Hundred Play machine for $20,000. Does that count for one sequential or 100?”

He backtracked quickly. “I wasn’t considering multi-line games. And yes, I can see that with multi-line games in the equation, it’s possible to hit a lot of them. And, wow, $20,000! That’s pretty cool!”

“Thank you,” I said. “Not bad for an idiot, huh?”


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