By Henry Tamburin Ph.D

Video poker players refer to the situation of playing many sessions without getting a royal flush as a “royal flush drought.” No matter your skill level, royal flush droughts will eventually befall you, and I’m no exception.

In a previous article, I described my royal flush drought that occurred in 2017 and another in 2019. I ended the latter drought when I hit a royal flush in December of 2020. In fact, I hit two royal flushes so I was optimistic that this trend would continue in 2021 and I’d avoid another drought. However, this did not occur.

What I’m about to share with you as a teaching experience is what happened to me in 2021 while playing video poker. Because of the pandemic and other personal issues, I didn’t play as much video poker as I had in the past. Using the records I keep in my gambling log, I calculated that during 2021 I played 120,000 hands up to the first week of December. That included some 20 playing sessions over nearly 12 months without a single royal flush. (Ouch!)

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