PLAYING STRATEGY CHANGES FOR SHORT-PAY
DOUBLE DOUBLE BONUS VP
by Jerry "Stickman"
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker, and advantage slot machine play. Jerry "Stickman’s" new book is "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker." He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. In addition, Jerry "Stickman" along with his partner, #1 best-selling gaming author, Frank Scoblete give private lessons in dice control. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" firstname.lastname@example.org .
This is the second in a series of articles examining the strategy changes required by various short-pay video poker games. The first article examined Jacks or Better, and this one covers the popular Double-Double Bonus poker.
Gone are the golden days of video poker when you could readily find returns of over 100 percent. In the case of Double-Double Bonus Poker, the current "full-pay" version has an anemic return of 98.98 percent. Because of this, it is relatively easy to find these games in the casinos. The full-pay version is 9/6 – meaning 9-for-1 paid for a full house and 6-for-1 for a flush. However, even these games are becoming harder to locate. Short pay versions such as 9/5, 8/6, and even 8/5 are slowly taking over the Double-Double Bonus offerings.
Keep in mind that for every one-unit reduction in pay, the game’s return is lowered about 1.1 percent. Here is how that plays out for the Double-Double Bonus games listed above:
9/6 DDB 98.98 percent
9/5 DDB 97.87 percent
8/6 DDB 97.89 percent
8/5 DDB 96.78 percent
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to reduce the normally low house-edge video poker to nothing more than a slot machine in terms of return. Also, keep in mind that these returns are for "expert" play – you need to work to get these returns!
Many casinos regularly change the pay tables on their video poker games. Just because a particular machine had a full-pay game last week, doesn’t mean it will be a full-pay game today. The astute video poker player is alert for pay table changes.
Obviously, as the pay tables’ change, so must the playing strategy. As the pay for one type of hand lowers, other hands start to become more desirable. In the paragraphs below, I will examine some of the strategy changes required for some short-pay Double-Double Bonus pay tables. I am using simplified "basic" strategies when highlighting changes. Advanced strategies will most likely have more changes. If you are serious about video poker play of any kind, you should get a strategy generating program or app and abide by the generated strategies while playing your favorite game.
Double-Double Bonus strategy is somewhat more complex than Jacks or Better strategy due to more high-paying hands. Here is a basic playing strategy for full-pay Double-Double Bonus as generated by the Frugal Video Poker software program. To use the strategy, start at the top and see if that line describes your dealt hand. If there are multiple hands listed, move from left to right. If you locate your hand, keep those cards. If not, continue moving across then down line-by-line until you find your hand. If you reach the bottom without finding your hand, don’t save anything, just redraw all five cards. The colors represent what the player is saving for.Red stands for royal flush, Green stands for straight flush, Brown stands for four of a kind or full house, Pink stands for flush, and Blue stands for straight...
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