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The best Double Double Bonus Poker game

4 June 2016

The most popular video poker game in the country is Double Double Bonus Poker.

The reason it is so popular with players is that four aces with a 2, 3 or 4 kicker pays 2,000 coins. (A kicker is the fifth card that is present in a hand that contains four-of-a-kind). In addition, other four-of-a-kind hands in Double Double Bonus will pay a nice dividend (see pay schedule below).

Double Double Bonus is a very volatile game, meaning the swings in your bankroll can be rather large. The reason the game is so volatile is because the big payouts for 4-of-a-kind hands don’t occur very frequently, and the payout for the more frequently hit two pairs is only even money. If you don’t hit a 4-of-a-kind hand during a session (or straight or royal flush), your bankroll will head south rapidly.

If you have a modest bankroll, you shouldn’t be playing Double Double Bonus because you have a high risk of going broke. Here’s an example of what I mean.

Let’s see what the chances are of going broke if you were to play a typical 9/6 Double Double Bonus game (the 9/6 refers to the per coin payout for full house and flush), which is a very volatile game, vs. the much less volatile 8/5 Bonus Poker. Both games have roughly a 99% expected return (ER) if you play your hands perfectly. Therefore, the only difference is the volatility in the two games.

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. The results are:

  • Playing the low-volatile 8/5 Bonus Poker, you will lose your $200 stake only 2.55% 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% of the time (that’s roughly 11 out of every 40 sessions you’ll tap out).

The point is this: Video poker games that are more volatile (such as Double Double Bonus) require more bankroll to prevent going broke. (Also, your “emotional” bankroll will be tested in games that are more volatile, because you can experience some horrendous losing streaks if you not properly capitalized.)

The following table summarizes the different pay schedules for Double Double Bonus (DDB) Poker that you will most likely find in casinos. It’s up to you to locate and play the DDB games that have the highest expected return (ER). The best is 10/6 DDB (paying 10 coins for full house and 6 coins for the flush per coin played), which has a 100.07% ER (with max coins played). This is one of the few video poker games where you can enjoy the edge over the casino if you play every hand perfectly. This game is one of the best video poker games to play but only if you have enough bankroll to play it (because of its high volatility). The 9/6 DDB poker has the next highest return (98.98%). The other DDB games have lower returns and should be avoided.

Double Double Bonus Poker Per Coin Pay Schedule

10/6 9/6 9/5 8/5
Royal Flush 800* 800* 800* 800*
Straight Flush 50 50 50 50
4 Aces with kicker 400 400 400 400
4 Aces 160 160 160 160
4 2s, 3s, 4s with kicker 160 160 160 160
4 2s, 3s, 4s, 80 80 80 80
4 5s-Ks 50 50 50 50
Full House 10 9 9 8
Flush 6 6 5 5
Straight 4 4 4 4
3-of-a-Kind 3 3 3 3
Two Pair 1 1 1 1
Jacks-or-Better 1 1 1 1
Expected Return (ER) 100.07% 98.98% 97.87% 96.79%
  • Assumes max coins

What if you come across a DDB Poker game that has a different pay schedule than the games listed in the table? You should copy the pay schedule down and check what the ER is on a video poker software training program (such as Video Poker for Winners), on any number of video poker sites on the Internet, or in Jean Scott’s and Viktor Nacht’s handy booklet The Frugal Video Poker Scouting Guide, which has pay schedules and corresponding ERs for hundreds of video poker games.

As I mentioned in the previous articles in this series, the above ERs assume you play each hand perfectly. That is not as difficult as it first appears. For example, you can play any video poker game on your home computer, using video poker training software. When you make a playing error, the software will alert you and tell you what the correct play is. The software will also keep track of your playing accuracy. (You need to play with at least 99% accuracy before you risk money in a casino, which is easy to achieve with the software.) In addition, you should always take a video poker strategy card with you when you play (they are casino legal). You can refer to the strategy card if you are not sure how to play any hand. (You’ll find the video poker training software and strategy cards that I use when I teach video poker in my online catalog at www.smartgaming.com.)

Lastly, you can check whether your local casino offers the better 10/6 and 9/6 DDB games, and at what denomination, by checking the inventory of games in casinos located in different regions of the U.S. at www.vpfree2.com.


Henry Tamburin, Ph.D. is a blackjack and video poker expert. He is editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com), visit his web site at www.smartgaming.com.
Recent Articles
Best of 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

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