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Double Down Stud Video Poker

25 April 2020

A reader recently asked about a video poker game called Double Down Stud. This game is not very common, but has its own “charms.”

Stud Poker Versus Draw Poker

The table game of stud poker became popular during the American Civil War. The table game of stud poker can be played with five or seven cards but the 7-card format is more popular today. The Texas Hold ‘em version of stud poker is the most popular tournament poker game today.

The video poker game called Double Down Stud was introduced in the ‘90’s. International Game Technology (IGT) manufactures the currently available video poker game. It was released in 2002. The game does not have a large presence but can be found in many casinos. Video poker players seem to either love the game or choose to have nothing to do with it. Those who do like the game generally really like the game.

There are several versions of Double Down Stud video poker available. These include 6’s or Better, 7’s or Better, Double Double Bonus Poker, Joker Poker, Deuces Wild Poker, and Deuces Wild Bonus Poker.

This article will cover the 6’s or Better.

How Double Down Stud Poker is Played

Like all video poker games, Double Down Stud Poker begins play by the player making the initial bet and hitting the “Deal” button. Instead of five cards being dealt face up, however, four cards are dealt face up and one is dealt face down. The face down card is called the hole card just as in the table game.

At that point the only choice the player has is to decide whether to double the bet or leave it as what was initially bet. Unlike standard draw poker video games, there is no option of holding or discarding any of the cards – just to stay or double the bet.

The player hits the “Double Down” button to double the bet or the “Draw” button to leave the bet as is. The face-down card is then turned over revealing the entire hand.

The paying hands are the same as in Jacks or Better. However, depending on the pay table, a pair of 6’s or better also pays.

Double Down Stud Pay Table – “Jacks or Better”

The pay table for Double Down Stud poker looks similar to a Jacks or Better pay table. There is also a “Max Double Down” column.

  • Double Down Stud Poker – 6’s or Better – Payback: 97.45 Percent
  • Royal Flush: 1,000-for-1 – Max Double Down 20,000-for-5
  • Straight Flush: 200-for-1 – Max Double Down 2,000-for-5
  • 4-of-a-Kind: 50-for-1 – Max Double Down 500-for-5
  • Full House:15-for-1 – Max Double Down 150-for-5
  • Flush: 10-for-1 – Max Double Down 100-for-5
  • Straight: 6-for-1 – Max Double Down 60-for-5
  • 3-of-a-Kind: 4-for-1 – Max Double Down 40-for-5
  • Two Pairs: 3-for-1 – Max Double Down 30-for-5
  • Jacks or Better: 2-for-1 – Max Double Down 20-for-5
  • 6’s or Better: 1-for-1 – Max Double Down 10-for-5

Details about the pay table.
  • The game has about a 2.5 percent house edge.
  • All pays have the same ratio as those for one credit except the royal flush. That pays twice the normal amount for a double down with five credits bet.
  • The royal flush pays 25 percent more than on the standard Jacks or Better pay table.
  • The straight flush pays four times that of the standard Jacks or Better pay table.
  • The full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair and jacks or better all pay more than the standard Jacks or Better pay table.
  • 6’s or Better pays the same as Jacks or Better on the Jacks or Better pay table.

The higher pays are because the player must play the hand dealt. No discards. The only play the player has is to double down when it is profitable. This greatly reduces the odds of producing a paying hand so it is balanced by raising the pays for winning hands.

Playing Strategy for Double Down Stud Video Poker

The strategy for standard draw poker video poker games can be very complex. Not so in the game of Double Down Stud video poker. The only choice the player has is to double down or not. That greatly simplifies the strategy.

Here is the strategy for Double Down Stud video poker.

Only double down when the hand has:
  • Any paying hand of a pair of 6’s or better
  • Four cards of a royal flush
  • Four cards of a straight flush
  • Four cards of a flush
  • Four cards of an open straight. An open straight can be completed at either end (high or low) of the straight.

That is the entire strategy chart. Even a 6-year old could memorize it. Some strategies a line specifying an unsuited J, Q, K, A. The house edge on this hand is zero. Whether the player doubles or not, the results over time will be the same. Why add complexity to something that is so simple initially?

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages:
  • Extremely simple to play.
  • Extremely simple strategy.
  • Any casual player will be able to play this game optimally.
  • Due to the relatively minor reduction in the game’s return for not playing the full five credits, the player’s bankroll can last significantly longer than on draw poker video poker games that require five credits be played.

Disadvantages:
  • Finding the game in a casino.
  • The higher-paying hands occur less frequently than in draw poker games.
  • Relatively low return - under 98 percent.
  • The game is so simple to play and the strategy so simple to follow that the player may quickly become bored playing the game. The reason players like table-based stud poker is the nuances of trying to read other players to determine if they are bluffing or not. Since video poker is only played by one person, all of that goes away.

The overview of Double Down Stud is complete. It is a simple game that can be played by a casual player with a relatively small bankroll. Actually, for a novice or very casual player, Double Down Stud video poker may be an excellent game - if it can be found.

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