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Best of Jerry Stickman

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Ace-Ace-Ace-Kicker Hands in Double-Double Bonus Poker

28 March 2020

Most of the strategy decisions while playing video poker are fairly intuitive. If the dealt hand has a high pair and nothing else, it is obvious that the proper hold is the high pair. Some hands are a bit less obvious, and still others can be real head-scratchers.

Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker have only one very high-paying hand – the royal flush. Because of this, the strategy is fairly straight forward. Most of the tricky hands deal with three cards of a royal flush versus a high pair versus four of a flush and things of that order.

Double Bonus Poker has more high-paying hands such as four aces paying 160-for-1. This makes dealt hands having one or more aces different from Jacks or Better or Bonus Poker. The strategy is a bit more complex.

Double-Double Bonus Poker pays very high amounts for a hand with four aces (160-for-1), a hand containing four 2’s, 3’s, or 4’s with an Ace, 2, 3, or 4 kicker (160-for-1), and a hand containing four aces with a 2, 3, or 4 kicker (400-for-1). The pay for the four aces with a kicker is half that of a royal flush, so the strategy tends to favor that hand. It also adds complexity to the strategy.

One of the most common questions that I hear concerning Double-Double Bonus Poker is “if I am dealt three aces and a kicker, should I hold those four cards, or should I hold just the three aces?”. A similar question, “if I am dealt three 2’s, 3’s or 4’s along with a kicker of an Ace, 2, 3, or 4, what should I hold?” is a close second.

This article examines those questions.

Double-Double Bonus Poker is a moderate to high variance game. This is game is very popular due to a combination of factors.

It has a return of almost 99 percent.

It has opportunity to score on several high-paying four-of-a-kind hand combinations.

Many casinos have this game with a decent pay tables paying 98.98 percent – and this is the pay table used for this article.

To examine a hand containing three aces and a kicker I used Winpok6 and the following hand.

Ace of spades, Ace of hearts, Ace of diamonds, 4 of clubs, and 8 of hearts (As, Ah, Ad, 4c, 8h).

The program gave these results.

Holding the three aces and the 4 returns 59.1489 credits, on average, for the five-credit bet.

Holding just the three aces returns 62.4468 credits. This is the proper hold. It returns an additional 3.2979 credits on average (about two-thirds of the initial bet).

Here’s why that is true.

When four cards are held there are only 47 possible final hands. They are as follows.

43 hands contain three-of-a-kind paying 3-for-1.

Three hands contain a full house paying 9-for-1.

Since there is only one card left in the deck to make four aces with a kicker (the Ace of clubs), there is only one possible outcome that will pay the 400-for-1 jackpot.

Okay, we now know what to do when dealt three aces and a kicker. Does the same logic hold true when dealt three 2’s, 3’s, or 4’s and a kicker?

The hand used for Winpok6 was:

3 of clubs, 3 of diamonds, 3 of hearts, ace of spades and 8 of clubs (3c, 3d, 3h, As, 8c) though any hand containing three 2’s, 3’s, or 4’s with a kicker of Ace, 2, 3, or 4 would produce the same results.

The results are:

Holding three 3’s and the Ace returns 33.6170 credits, on average, for the five played.

Holding just the three 3’s returns 37.2849 credits. Again, just holding the three of a kind is the proper hold by a margin of 3.3679 credits. And the reason for this matches that for holding just the three aces.

When four cards are held, there are only 47 possible final hands.

43 hands containing three-of-a-kind paying 3-for-1.

3 hands containing a full house paying 9-for-1.

One hand containing four 3’s and a kicker paying 160-for-1.

Holding just the three 3’s allows for a possible 1,081 hands.

969 hands containing three-of-a-kind paying 3-for-1.

66 hands containing a full house paying 9-for-1.

35 hands containing four 3’s paying 80-for-1.

11 hands containing four 3’s and a kicker of an Ace, 2, or 4 paying 160-for-1.

These numbers track exactly the same as those for four aces and a kicker.

So, now you know. When dealt three aces and a kicker or three 2’s, 3’s, or 4’s and a kicker in Double-Double Bonus Poker; always hold just the three of a kind. Forget the kicker and you have a much better chance for success.

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