Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Rules are Wrong and a Flush Should Beat Quads -- Nic Szeremeta Challenges Orthodox Thinking

Nic Szeremeta has always been willing to shake things up in the poker world. In 1999 he created Late Night Poker for Channel 4, the first poker show to use the hole card cam, and helped to kick-start the poker boom in the UK. But now it’s Szeremeta’s mission to point out to all the card rooms and casinos that spread strip-deck poker, live and online, that they’ve been shipping the pots in the wrong direction for years. This is because, in accordance with the immutable laws of mathematics, a flush should beat quads.

The Independent newspaper’s poker columnist sets out his argument in the new issue of Bluff Europe, out Monday 3rd October. “According to the principles upon which hand rankings are based, a flush should beat four-of-a-kind. The reason is that a flush occurs less frequently (can be made in fewer ways) than four-of-a-kind in a 32 card deck.

“This is not advanced maths; it is an easy sum,” says Nic. “As it’s more difficult to make a flush than to make four-of-a-kind (around 10% more difficult), it therefore follows that the holder of a flush against quads should have the pot pushed in his or her direction.”

Nic calls on regulators to change the rules: “Even more money is going to be pushed in the wrong direction unless both the Internet card rooms and the brick and mortar casinos who offer ace to 7 games change their hand rankings,” he says.

For the full explanation, check out the latest issue of Bluff Europe Magazine. Nic also outlines his theories in a video interview at