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Pitfalls of Double Double Bonus Poker

27 June 2015

By Henry Tamburin
Double Double Bonus Poker (DDB) is the most popular video poker game in the country. That’s because it’s possible to hit several big payouts besides the royal flush, and this draws players to the game. Unfortunately, there are also some pitfalls to playing DDB, which most players are not aware of.

DDB has large payoffs for some four-of-a-kind hands, especially if the fifth card in the hand (the “kicker”) is a specific card. For example, the payoff for four Aces is 160 times your bet but if the kicker is a 2, 3 or 4, the payoff jumps to 400 coins. (That’s a 2000-coin payoff, or one-half the payoff for a royal flush, betting the maximum of five coins.) Likewise, the payoffs for four 2s, 3s and 4s increases from 80 to 160 coins times your bet with an Ace, 2, 3 or 4 kicker. These mini-jackpots are the magnet that attracts players to this game.

What most players don’t understand is the larger payoffs come at a price; namely, the payoff for two pair is only even money (or 1 to 1). By transferring some of the game’s payouts from the more frequent two pair to the less frequent four-of-a-kind, results in a much more volatile game (more about this shortly).

The best DDB game pays 10 coins for a full house and 6 coins for a flush per coin played. The expected return for this game is 100.07 percent. The next best pay table is 9/6 DDB (98.98 percent ER). (Go to www.vpfree2.com to obtain a list of casinos that offer 10/6 and 9/6 DDB in different gaming jurisdictions.)

Double Double Bonus has a high volatility, resulting in most players going broke rather quickly if they are not lucky enough to hit one of the high payoff hands. In other words, most players play DDB undercapitalized. For example, supposed you were to play 9/6 Double Double Bonus instead of the much less volatile 8/5 Bonus Poker (BP). Both games have roughly a 99 percent expected return (ER) but the variance for 9/6 DDB is much higher (41.99) compared to 8/5 BP (20.90) Let’s assume you have a $200 bankroll and you want to play for two hours (1,000 hands).

By using the bankroll function in the Video Poker for Winners software program, you can determine what your chances are of going broke for each game. The results are:

  • Playing the low-volatile 8/5 Bonus Poker, you will lose your $200 stake only 2.55 percent of the time on average (that’s roughly 1 out of every 40 sessions).

  • Playing the more volatile 9/6 Double Double Bonus Poker, you will lose your $200 stake 28.66 percent of the time (that’s roughly 11 out of every 40 sessions you’ll tap out).

This means you are 11-times more likely to tap out with your $200 bankroll if you play 9/6 DDB instead of 8/5 BP. The point is this: Video poker games that are highly volatile (such as Double Double Bonus) require more bankroll to prevent going broke. (Also, your “emotional” bankroll will be tested in games that are highly volatile because you can experience some long “dry spells”.) Let me repeat this so it sinks in: DDB is very volatile.

Assuming you have the bankroll and the stomach to play DDB, you should master the playing strategy before you risk any money. The playing strategy for DDB is tricky because of the importance of the Ace. You’ll find a playing strategy for DDB on the video poker page at www.wizardofodds.com.

You should also consider practicing the strategy at home with video poker training software until your playing accuracy is at least 99 percent before risking money in a casino. (I recommend Video Poker For Winners or Optimum Video Poker training software, both available on my website.) I also recommend that you purchase the DDB strategy card by Dancer and Daily and take it with you when you play so that if you are not sure how to play a hand, you can refer to the strategy card.

Henry Tamburin is a blackjack and video poker expert. He is the host of the smartgaming.com website and the editor of the Blackjack Insider newsletter.

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.

 

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28 March 2015
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Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

Winning Baccarat Strategies

> More Books By Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

> More Books By Henry Tamburin