Yes or no — Give it to me straight again!


Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. A version of this entry was originally published (1991) in Card Player magazine.


Two years and 26 days ago, I brought forth on these pages a new notion, conceived in 30 seconds and dedicated to the proposition that — all things being equal — it simply had to be the quickest way to knock out a column.

The idea was to list things in yes-and-no, true-and-false categories without elaborate explanation. To commemorate the 2.07th anniversary of that event, let’s do it again …

NO …

  • On average, do razz players giggle more than stud players?
  • Do skilled poker players win more pots than unskilled poker players?
  • Is a skilled poker player more likely to win a jackpot (awarded when two super-strong hands collide) than an unskilled player?
  • Is five-stud dead?
  • Is ace-to-five lowball dead? (Note: Further comment on this 1991 list. It is still played in home games, some casinos, online, and in big-limit dealer-choice or variety-rotation games.)
  • Is ace-to-five lowball slowly dying? (Note: Focus on the word “slowly” and see list below.)

YES …

  • Is ace-to-five lowball dying?
  • In a single session against weak players, is it easier to beat hold’em than seven stud?
  • On average, are hold ’em players more sophisticated at poker than razz players?
  • On average, are high-low split players more sophisticated at poker than razz players?
  • … And are stud players more sophisticated?
  • … And Omaha players?
  • Couldn’t that suggest that, relatively speaking, razz requires less intelligence?
  • Do you really believe otherwise skilled players raise too often before the flop in hold’em?
  • Does the jackpot add a level of skill to poker?
  • Can skilled players beat jackpot games?
  • … Even without ever winning the jackpot?

FALSE …

  • I regularly play jackpot poker.
  • It’s about 50 percent more likely that there will be a jackpot if the game is nine-handed than if the game is six-handed.
  • Seven stud: If you have kings-up well concealed on fifth street and an opponent has a pair of aces showing and bets, you should usually raise.
  • … You should routinely call.
  • There are more big-limit poker games in Nevada than in California.
  • Computers will finally be able to beat the best poker players alive by the turn the century.
  • A highly skilled player can expect to make more than $100,000 a year in typical $10-limit poker games in California and Nevada.

TRUE …

  • A highly skilled player can expect to make between $25,000 and $60,000 a year in typical $10-limit poker games in California and Nevada.
  • Computers can probably beat the best poker players alive right now. (Note: This list was created in 1991 and this statement is absolutely true today.)
  • It’s more than twice as likely that there will be a jackpot if the game is nine-handed than if the game is six-handed.
  • Top professionals playing the biggest poker games often earn less money in a year than lesser-skilled professionals playing $30 to $100-limit games. That’s because the competition is sometimes much stronger in the bigger limits. And therefore the money often passes back and forth among similarly skilled expert players.
  • Many skilled poker players seem to prefer a $25-an-hour profit expectation in a $500-limit game to a $125-an-hour profit expectation in a $50-limit game. This is mostly caused by ego.

I may write more columns like this when? I’m in a hurry. — MC

Published by

Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

3 thoughts on “Yes or no — Give it to me straight again!”

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  1. Thanks, Mike, The $10.00 Answer Was Helpful. I Presume that was for Writers, and such. Anyway I was wrong…..On the Final Statement, I presume: “Seem to Prefer would be the operative answer, as You posed. I can’t Imagine the majority would give up THAT much Cash over Ego! Being Late, I missed Your “Seems to prefer” part of Your statement.

  2. OK…I was in a Hurry also…But, Now I’m Late, Please explain what or which Jackpots are being reffered (sp) to.??—–AND What does a $10 Limit Game mean? ($10, Last two Bets or what?)…And Please Explain The Entire Last Question??…Really lost, which is unusual, because I either Know and Agree With Mike!…Or I get a great explaination. On most of this, I Just Didn’t understand the Questions…(I Play ALL Games!

    1. Hi, Cliff —

      The jackpots I’m talking about are those where the main portion is awarded to a rare, superior hand that is beaten by an even better hand.

      A $10 limit game has $10 wagers on the early betting rounds, which double to $20 on the later betting rounds.

      The final statement in the “True” section means that many players would prefer to play higher limits, even at reduced profit, due to the prestige factor. Hope that helps.

      Straight Flushes,
      Mike Caro

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