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STICKMAN'S STANCE: SUPER TIMES PAY POKER

by Jerry "Stickman"

Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker and advantage slot machine play. Frank Scoblete's and Jerry "Stickman's" book "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker" presents dozens of video poker games and strategies for maximum returns. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanjerry@aol.com.

Starting this month, various video poker games will be examined. Each game will be explored for strengths and weaknesses, pluses and minuses. Hopefully the readers will use this information to make intelligent choices concerning video poker games they choose to play.

This month, Super Times Pay poker is the subject.

Super Times Pay Poker is a variant of video poker that combines a feature of slot machines with video poker. It is played exactly the same way as standard video poker. The one difference is that for an additional credit per hand (six credits rather than the usual maximum of five credits), a random "times" feature is activated. This randomly occurring hand multiplier can be 2X, 3X, 4X 5X, 8X, or a maximum of 10X.

According to information that is available for this game, the random multiplier appears on average once every 15 games, and the average amount of the multiplier is 4.05. If this information is correct, and the author has no reason to believe otherwise, the increase in return is 20.33 percent. So 20 percent more gets you 20.33 percent more. Adding the sixth credit will amount to a slightly higher return, so the bet makes some sense.

Super Times Pay video poker is available in several popular standard game varieties. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, and Deuces Wild. As is the case with the standard version of these games, pay tables can (and do) vary significantly. When looking for a Super Times Pay game to play, make sure to study the pay table before sitting down and risking your hard-earned money.

For those of you who care about such things (and any regular video poker player should) the return of any Super Times Poker game is slightly higher than the standard version. Hopefully readers of this article are aware of the return and variance of the video poker games they play as both of these measurements are critical in determining bankroll requirements. In order to determine the return of any Super Times Pay Poker game, simply multiply the return of the standard game by 1.00278. For example, if the game is 9/6 (full pay) Jacks or Better, the return of the standard game is 99.54 percent. therefore, 99.54 percent times 1.00278 yields 99.82 percent return for a Super Times Pay version of the game. While this may sound really good, keep in mind that pay tables for Super Times Pay Poker are not usually as generous as traditional video poker games so check the pay table carefully.

Let's take a look at the returns of several relatively common Super Times Pay video poker games.

VIDEO POKER GAME

Std. Return %

S.T.P. Return %

9/6 Jacks or Better (Full-pay)

99.54

99.82

9/5 Jacks or Better

98.45

98.72

8/6 Jacks or Better

98.39

98.67

8/5 Jacks or Better

97.29

97.56

7/5 Jacks or Better

96.15

96.41

6/5 Jacks or Better

95.00

95.26

8/5 Bonus Poker

99.17

99.44

7/5 Bonus Poker

98.01

98.29

6/5 Bonus Poker

96.87

97.14

9/7/5 Double Bonus Poker

99.11

99.38

9/6/5 Double Bonus Poker

97.81

98.08

9/6/4 Double Bonus Poker

96.38

96.64

8/5/4 Double Bonus Poker

94.19

94.45

7/5/4 Double Bonus Poker

93.11

93.36

9/6 Double Double Bonus

98.98

99.26

8/6 Double Double Bonus

97.89

98.17

9/5 Double Double Bonus

97.87

98.14

8/5 Double Double Bonus

96.79

97.05

7/5 Double Double Bonus

95.71

95.89

6/5 Double Double Bonus

94.66

94.92

Deuces Wild 25/15/9/5/3/2 (Full-pay)

100.76

101.04

Deuces Wild 25/16/10/4/4/3 (NSUD)

99.73

100.01

Deuces Wild 25/15/10/4/4/3

99.42

99.69

Deuces Wild 25/12/9/5/3/2

98.94

99.21

Deuces Wild 25/15/9/4/4/3

98.91

99.19

Deuces Wild 20/12/10/4/4/3

97.58

97.85

Deuces Wild 25/16/13/4/3/2

96.77

97.03

Deuces Wild 20/10/8/4/4/3

95.96

96.32

Deuces Wild 25/15/10/4/3/2

94.82

95.08

I would certainly not recommend playing most of the pay tables in the above chart because of the abysmal returns. The pay tables are included to give the reader a sense of just how much returns can vary in the games that are available on the casino floor.

Also, it is important to be aware that variance (which is an indication of the intensity of bankroll swings) on a Super Times Poker game goes up by about 50 percent. The added variance requires a larger bankroll in order to play the same amount. So if you decide to play Super Times Pay video poker, make sure you have the necessary funds to play the game.

What about playing strategy? The good news here is it is exactly the same as the playing strategy for the standard game. The addition of the random multiplier does not impact the strategy at all.

As stated above, there are several different multipliers that could randomly appear. The average amount of the multiplier was stated as 4.05. Just how often can a player expect to see each of the different sized multipliers? The following table gives that information. Please understand that these are long term averages. It may take hundreds of thousands of occurrences before approaching these results.

Super Times Poker Multiplier Distribution

Multiplier Amount

Probability %

Average Contribution

2X

17

0.34

3X

33

0.99

4X

16

0.64

5X

24

1.2

8X

6

0.48

10X

4

0.4

Total

100

4.05

On the plus side, due to the random appearance of multipliers ranging from 2X to 10 X, Super Times Pay Poker is a more exciting game than traditional video poker. However, just like large bonus hands in Double, Double-Double, and Triple Bonus games increase excitement, so do those exciting features increase volatility and variance and cause the associated increase in bankroll requirements.

Also on the plus side, playing strategy does not change at all in Super Times Pay video poker. If you know the strategy for the standard game, you know the strategy for the Super Times Pay game. In addition, the return for a Super Times Pay game is a bit higher than the standard games.

However, it is more difficult to find the higher returns in Super Time Pay video poker. Make sure you find a game with a good return percentage and have sufficient funds to play the extra 20 percent through the game with the accompanying 50 percent increase in variance.

Hopefully this article gives you all you need to know to give Super Time Pay video poker a try. It can be a more fun game to play than your standard video poker game.

So, until next time;

All the best in your casino and life endeavors.

Jerry "Stickman"

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