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Best of John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

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Video Poker and Poker

21 January 2021

QUESTION: I'm a Double Double Bonus Poker player who dabbles in Triple Double Bonus and Triple Triple Bonus.

It's Triple Triple that has me wondering about something. If you get four 2s, 3s or 4s and the fifth card is an Ace, you get 4,000 coins just like a royal flush.

That has me wondering. If you have a hand that would be a complete throwaway in other games, should you hold a lone 2, 3 or 4? It's a major longshot, but at least you have the chance at 4,000 going for you.

ANSWER: I've mentioned Triple Triple Bonus a few times in the last several months, including relaying a player's story about winning back-to-back 4,000-coin jackpots.

It's a game filled with big bankroll swings, with reduced paybacks on straights and three of a kinds to offset the enhance chances at big jackpots.

But not even Triple Triple Bonus has enough reward at the top-paying levels to make it worth holding a lone 2, 3 or 4. Single low cards are of limited value because pairing them brings no payback. In the absence of bigger, better possibilities, it's always worth holding a Jack or better. Lower cards, not so much.
Let's go to the numbers for a weak hand that has no attraction other than the low card.

Dealt 4 of clubs, 5 of hearts, 7 of diamonds, 8 of clubs and 10 of spades, the usual instinct is to toss out all five cards and go for a complete redraws.

In Triple Triple Bonus, some find it tempting to hold the four because given a five-coin bet, four 4s with an Ace is worth 4,000 coins, four 4s with a 2 or 3 is worth 2,000 and four 4s with any other fifth card is worth 400.

If you hold the 4 and discard the other cards, there are 178,365 possible draws. Of those, 146,662, or 82.2 percent, bring no payback. Chances at pairs of Jacks or better, the most common paying hand, are limited by the presence of the 4. There are 17,424 draws, or 9.8 percent, that will bring high pairs.

There are five draws that will bring 4,000-coin jackpots: Drawing the four Aces to go with your 4, or drawing the other three 4s plus any of the four Aces as a kicker.

You can't draw the other 4,000 hand, a royal flush, because the 4 takes up a space.

With all possible draws considered the average return is 1.46 coins per five wagered.

If you discard all five cards, there are 1,533,539 possible redraws, with 1,178,350, or 76.8 percent, bringing no payback. High pairs make up 241,680, or 15.8 percent of draws. All 4,000-coin bonanzas remain possible, including royals.

The totals aren't great, but you win more often, especially with high pairs, if you discard all five cards. The average return of 1.54 coins makes the redraw preferable to holding a lone 4.


QUESTION: Why don't you write about live poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Razz? It seems like you write about everything else, and they're very popular.

ANSWER:. I'm not a poker expert and I think players are better off getting their information from other sources.

I like to play. My first gambling experiences were playing poker with the guys in college and I played fairly often with newspaper friends in Colorado Springs and Chicago.

But I readily admit there are others who know far more about the games than I do. I don't want to lead players astray. Advice should come from those who have played seriously for years, not from a dabbler like me.
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:

> 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:

> More Books By John Grochowski