Double Double Bonus Video Poker Strategy

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Double Double Bonus Video Poker, also known as 10/6 Video Poker, is quite similar to “Double Bonus Video Poker,” in that it pays extra bonuses for certain premium hands. The “double double bonus” refers to an increase in the bonuses paid for hands containing four of a kind. When the four-of-a-kind is Aces with a 2, 3 or 4 kicker, the payout is increased to 400:1 instead of the usual Jacks or Better 80:1. All other four-Ace hands pay 160:1. Also, for four-of-a-kind with 2~4 and a kicker of A~4, the payout is 160:1 instead of 40:1, or 80:1 without the kicker. For all other four-of-a-kind card values (5~K) the payoff is 50:1 rather than 25:1.

Additionally, the payout for a full house is raised to 10:1 from 8:1, while the payoff for a flush goes up to 6:1 from 5:1. The trade-off for these bonuses comes from a reduction in the payout for two pair to even money (1:1) instead of the standard 2:1. A pair of Jacks is still worth even money (1:1), three of a kind remains at 3:1, a straight stays at 4:1, the straight flush still pays 50:1 and the Royal flush payout also remains unchanged at 800:1 for max bet or 250:1 otherwise.

Just like Jacks or Better, a losing hand—one containing less than a pair of Jacks—can be expected on about 55% of all deals. A high pair (Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces) or two pair paying even money—neither winning nor losing—will come up about 33%~34% of the time. The premium hands make up the remaining 11%~12% of all hands.

The Threshold Decisions

Much like Double Bonus Video Poker, this is one of the few games where the player can gain an edge over the House when optimum strategy is used. The extra bonus values require a slight change in how the player should treat the original five cards when dealt a premium hand (two pair or better). Of course, when holding four Aces or four-of-a-kind 2~4, the player will want to hold any premium kicker or draw to try an obtain one. Otherwise the basic rule of thumb is “always keep the winners.” There are just a few exceptions that require breaking up a winning combination in order to gain a potentially massive payout.

Because four Aces pays so well, one such exception is to hold three Aces from a full house and discard the pair, hoping to catch the fourth Ace. Similarly, it is to the player’s advantage to break up two pair if one if them is a pair of Aces—discard the lower pair and the kicker. Otherwise, keep the two pair together.

For straights or flushes, if four of the cards form part of a Royal flush, discard the fifth card in an attempt to improve the hand to a Royal. Even though the odds of success are just 1-in-47, the potential payout is 250:1 (or 800:1 at max bet), which makes the discard the statistical preference. Also, although holding a high pair other than Aces is proper strategy, there’s an exception to keep any three cards to a Royal, any four cards in a suited run or four cards forming an inside straight-flush draw. Again, the potential payouts exceed the odds of success, making this tactic worthwhile in the long turn.

All Other Decisions

For initial hands that do not contain Jacks or better, the double double bonuses impact how the player prioritises and takes decisions. Even if it means discarding or breaking up a low pair, always hold three or four cards to a Royal flush or four cards to a flush. Also keep four cards to an outside straight with one or more high cards. Otherwise, keep the low pair and discard the other three cards.

If no pair is dealt initially, the following list indicates what cards to keep in order of priority, from highest to lowest:

  1. A-K-Q-J unsuited
  2. 4 cards to an outside straight with no high card
  3. 3 to an open-ended straight flush draw, when the number of high cards equals or exceeds the number of gaps
  4. 2 suited high cards
  5. 4 to an inside straight with 3 high cards
  6. 3 to an open-ended straight flush draw, with 1 gap, or 2 gaps with 1 high card, any Ace-low, or 2-3-4 suited
  7. K-Q-J unsuited
  8. 4 to an inside straight with 2 high cards
  9. Q-J unsuited
  10. Ace
  11. J-10 suited
  12. K-Q or K-J unsuited
  13. K-10 or Q-10 suited
  14. Jack, Queen or King
  15. 3 to a straight flush draw with 2 gaps and no high cards
  16. 4 to an inside straight with no high cards

Any hand that does not fit one of the patterns described above is “garbage” and all five cards should be discarded. If this strategy is followed exactly, the player can expect a return rate of just slightly above 100%.

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