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Best of Jerry Stickman

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50-cent Bonus Poker or 25-cent Double Double Bonus video poker?

8 June 2019

Hi Stickman,

I have a question. If having a sufficient bankroll is not an issue when one starts a gambling session, is 50 cent 8/5 BP the better choice or 25 cent DDB? I'm not sure if I'm comparing oranges to apples or there is a way to compute this. Have a great New Year and let 2019 be the year of many royal flushes.

Thanks,
Norman

Hi Norman,

Since you state “If having a sufficient bankroll is not an issue,” I don’t understand why you specify two different denominations. The denominations should not make a difference. Perhaps these are the games that are available at your favorite casino. I will use what you specified.

First, let’s look at the returns and variances of each game. Though you did not specify the pay table information for the Double Double Bonus game, I am going to use the standard pay tables for 8/5 Bonus Poker and 9/6 Double Double Bonus Poker. The return for 8/5 Bonus Poker is 99.17% and the return for 9/6 Double Double Bonus Poker is 98.98%. The variance for Bonus Poker is about 21, and for Double Double Bonus Poker it is about 42. Bonus Poker has a better return by 0.19%.

This amounts to an additional 19 cents in your pocket per $100 played through this game – 40 hands on a 50-cent game or 80 hands on a 25-cent game. The variance for Bonus Poker is about half that of the Double Double Bonus Poker game. This means your bankroll fluctuations will be significantly lower playing Bonus Poker. One of the reasons for the difference in variance is Bonus Poker pays 2-for-1 for a hand containing two pairs – a hand that occurs quite frequently – rather than the 1-for-1 paid by Double Double Bonus Poker.

The next difference to consider is playing strategy. Playing strategies are definitely different between these two games. The strategy for Double Double Bonus is more complex due to the higher pays for certain four-of-a-kind hands. Playing the proper strategy flawlessly is the key to getting the maximum return from any video poker game.

Summarizing, Bonus Poker has a higher return, a lower variance and a simpler playing strategy. So why would anyone want to play Double Double Bonus Poker? Larger payoffs! With five credits played, both games pay 4,000 credits for a royal flush and 250 credit for a straight flush. However, when it comes to four of a kind hands, things are dramatically different. Four aces pays 80-for-1 in Bonus Poker but 160-for-1 in Double Double Bonus Poker. Also, if the fifth card in the hand is a 2, 3, or 4, the four aces hand pays 400-for-1 – five times what bonus poker pays for the same hand. Similarly, a hand containing four 2s, 3s or 4s pays 40-for-1 in Bonus Poker but pays 80-for-1 in Double Double Bonus Poker. If the fifth card in the hand is an ace, a 2, 3, or 4; it pays 160-for-1 – four times more than Bonus Poker. Finally, a hand containing four 5’s through kings pays 25-for-1 in Bonus Poker, but pays 50-for-1 in Double Double Bonus Poker. These are some pretty tempting numbers.

As people may know from my previous articles, I am not a “thrill junkie.” By that, I mean I am totally satisfied with Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, or Double Bonus. Return is what is important to me. I don’t need the rush of more high paying hands at the expense of having reduced returns – and higher variance. I hate it when I keep feeding additional bills into the machine. Even though I only get 25-for-1 for each and every four-of-a-kind hand in Jacks or Better, I have a higher return overall. That is what is important to me.

However, I can totally understand the thrill of getting a hand of four aces with a kicker of a 2, 3 or 4 that pays half of what a royal flush hand pays. I can understand how that thrill would overcome the slightly lower return of the game. If you get a tremendous thrill out of hitting these jackpot-sized hands, the reduced overall return and higher volatility might be something you can ignore. In fact, you may even prefer this game. The choice is totally up to you. It is your money you are risking.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He authored the video poker section of "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker!" You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerry@aol.com
Recent Articles
Best of Jerry Stickman
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com