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That Double Double Game

29 July 2021

By John Grochowski
QUESTION: The best video poker game near me is dollar 9-6 Double Double Bonus Poker with progressive jackpots on royal flushes, four Aces with a kicker, four 2s, 3s or 4s with a kicker and four Aces without the kicker.

I was wondering about hands with 2s, 3s or 4s. If you have two pairs like 4-4 along with 9-9 and a throwaway card like a 5, the normal play is to hold both pairs.

Is it possible for the progressive on low four of a kinds with the kicker to get so large that you would only hold the 4s and discard the 9s.

What about a single low card? In a really garbage hand like 2-5-6-9-10 of mixed suits, is there ever a time to hold the 2 instead of doing a complete redraw?

ANSWER: Let's take your two-pair scenario first. Given 4-4-9-9-5 of mixed suits, the average return per five coins wagered is 8.40 coins per five wagered if you hold both pairs and only 4.40 if you hold 4-4 and discard the rest.

The guaranteed five-coin payoff on two pairs is a powerful incentive to hold 4-4-9-9. The opportunity to improve the hand is the chance to draw one of the other two 4s or two 9s. There's no chance at four of a kind with or without kicker, but you also can't play it into a losing hands.

That's an enormous difference to overcome, but there's always a breakeven point when the jackpot gets so large the average returns favor taking a risk and chasing the jackpot.

Normally, four 2s, 3s or 4s with a 2, 3, 4 or Ace as the fifth card returns 800 coins per five wagered. The turning point comes between 6,212 and 6,213 coins.

We need to extend a few more decimal places to see the turnover. At any jackpot level, holding 4-4-9-9 brings an average return of 8.4043 coins. At 6,212 coins, the average return on 4-4 is barely shy of that level at 8.4042 coins. At a 6,213-coin jackpot, 4-4 inches up to 8.4049 coins and becomes the marginally more profitable play.

Given an 800-coin starting point, you're not likely ever to see a jackpot of 6,000-plus coins on four 2s, 3s or 4s with a kicker.

Let's try the other sample you gave, 2-5-6-9-10 of mixed suits. With jackpots at their starting points, the average returns are 1.62 coins for a five-card redraw, and 1.40 on the 2. The second-best play actually is holding the 10 with a 1.42-coin average, but that's not affected by growth in the four 2s, 3s or 4s plus kicker jackpot.

The turning point comes with the jackpot at 4,238 coins. Regardless of whether you hold the 2 or discard all five, the average return is 1.6729 coins. With a bigger jackpot, the average is higher for holding the 2; smaller jackpots favor a redraw.

But as with the two-pair hand, the turning point is so high you're unlikely ever to see a jackpot high enough to favor holding a single low card instead of making a complete redraw..


QUESTION: I played in a charity "Las Vegas night" and blackjacks paid even money. How much more edge did I give the house.

ANSWER: Compared with 3-2 payoffs on blackjacks, even money payoffs add 2.27 percent to the house edge. You wouldn't want to play that game in a regular casino. In a charity game, you might ask, "Am I willing to make a donation?" if the answer is "yes" and you'd have some fun at the games, then go for it.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

 

The Reverse Martingale

25 July 2021
Roulette-playing readers often have asked about the Martingale system, which involves doubling bets after losses. My early July email brought a question about the Reverse Martingale, and that's relatively novel among players who contact me. We'll reverse course in a minute, but first, understand that I always warn against the Martingale, which typically is used on bets with even-money payoffs. ... (read more)
 

Back to Back Baby

22 July 2021
QUESTION: I have a back-to-back jackpots story for you, and it's kind of a weird one. I was with a group of friends, 10 in all, and we scattered to different games. I'll play slots with others, but I really like video poker. I didn't bring a ton of money with me, and I like the multi-game machines, so I started on nickel Super Times Pay, with Triple Play Double Double Bonus Poker. ... (read more)
 

Play This Machine, Not That Machine

18 July 2021
In more than 30 years as a player, I've received a lot of advice, some good, some bad, some indifferent. It was the bad advice that had my wife and I laughing a few weeks ago when the conversation turned to slot tips. The tips may not have been good, but they were memorable. PLAY THIS MACHINE! On a 1980s ... (read more)

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John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski