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Double Double Bonus Poker: Question 2

16 November 2019

I regularly receive questions concerning how to play certain video poker hands. A previous article gave some basic information about the game of Double-Double Bonus video poker. If you are not familiar with this game, take a look at it before continuing with this article.

The sample hands are all from e-mails that have been received.

All the answers in this series are based on the following pay table. The pay numbers are totals for five credits bet on the hand.

• Royal Flush – 4,000 credits
• Straight Flush – 250 credits
• 4 Aces w/ 2, 3, or 4 – 2,000 credits
• 4 2s, 3s, or 4s w/ Ace through 4 – 800 credits
• 4 Aces – 800 credits
• 4 2s, 3s, or 4s – 400 credits
• 4 5s through Kings – 250
• Full House – 45 credits
• Flush – 30 credits
• Straight – 20
• 3 of a Kind – 15
• Two Pairs – 5
• Jacks or Better – 5

What is the best hold for this hand: Ad, As, 4h, 4d, 4c?

This particular hand is interesting because it is a full house which, at 45-for-1, is a decent paying hand. You will always get 45 credits for five credits played by holding the relatively rare full house. But, if you do that, you are giving up opportunities for hands containing four 2s, 3s or 4s paying 400-for-5, four aces paying 800-for-5, four 2s, 3s or 4s with a kicker of an ace, 2, 3 or 4 paying 800-for-5, or four aces with a kicker of a 2, 3 or 4 paying 2,000-for-5.

All of these winning hands pay significantly more than a full house. But are the chances of getting one of the hands great enough to overcome the sure 45 credits?

Let’s see.

Although it is possible to manually calculate the average return of any hand, using a video poker program is a whole lot easier. The result below are from Winpok6.

There are three reasonable options for holding the cards in this hand.

Option 1: Hold the entire full house.
The return is 45 credits for five credits played.

Option 2: Hold just the three 4s.
Average return is 36.9426 credits for five credits played.

Option 3: Hold the three 4s and one ace.
Average return is 32.9787 credits for five credits played.

The best option is option 1 – hold the full house and take the sure 45 credits. Let’s examine why that is true.

When you hold the full house, 45 credits are what you win.

If you hold the three 4s, you have 1,081 possible winning hands. They are:

• 968 hands containing three-of-a-kind paying 15 credits – less than 45.
• 67 hands containing a full house paying 45 – matching the original hand.
• 36 hands containing four 4’s paying 400 credits – almost 9 times the full house.
• 10 hands containing four 4’s with a kicker of an ace, 2, or 3 paying 800 credits almost 18 times the original hand.

By combining the frequency of each winning hand and the amount paid for the win, the average is 36.9426 credits – still less than the 45 credits paid for the original full house.

Holding the three fours and one ace, there are a total of 47 possible winning hands.

• 44 hands containing three 4s paying 15 credits – well less than the original full house.
• Two hands containing a full house paying 45 credits – the same as the original hand.
• One hand containing four 4s and an ace paying 800 credits.

The average return for these hands is 32.9787 credits which is well below the original full house.

The numbers are clear. The best way to play a hand containing three 4s and two aces (a full house) is to hold all of the cards. The winning pay of 45 credits for the full house is more than any combination of winning hands where not all the cards are held.

Please keep in mind that the answer(s) above are based on the specific pay table shown. It is possible that different pay tables will result in a different recommended hold.

If you are serious about playing video poker and play a moderate amount, it will pay to learn the proper playing strategy for the specific game you are playing (if you do not already do so). To do this, find the playing strategy online. Playing strategies for many of the most popular games and pay tables are available there. Playing strategies for games and pay tables that are not available online can be generated by video poker programs and apps available for purchase either online or from a smartphone app store. Consider purchasing one of these to give yourself the best chance of winning.

All of the questions on how to play the hands shown in this series, as well as any other hand, are answered if the player asking the question has the proper playing strategy.

While the phrase “it is better to be lucky than good” has some merit, the more video poker you play, the less luck is involved and the more the math of the game reigns. Take advantage of that.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He authored the video poker section of "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker!" You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerry@aol.com.
Recent Articles
Best of Jerry Stickman
Jerry Stickman

Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com