Super Double’s Simply Super!

Jun 19, 2005 10:12 PM

When it comes to choosing a video poker game, in my book there’s only one that gives me the opportunity to go home a winner by attaining my pre-set win goal through hitting a few large winning hands. Super Double Bonus Poker (SDB) is definitely the game, and it is one of the best.

Now comes the part where the "other" poker writers would regurgitate the mathematical analysis of the game. Is it a "full pay" machine? What is the "expected value" of the game? How much of a payback is there — 96 percent, 99 percent or even 101 percent?

The truth is, I don’t care about any of these details. When choosing a game such as SDB, the only thing that matters is the payout for four-of-a-kind. In this case, aces pay 800 credits, 2’s, 3’s and 4’s pay 400, and jacks, queens and kings pay 600. The rest of the quads pay 250, and you get back five credits for two pair.

These are the hands that matter to me, and these are the hands I shoot for. SDB also offers a 400-credit payout for the straight flush, and that’s an added bonus as far as I’m concerned (most machines pay 250).

Whether the full house pays 35, 40, or 45 credits is not important to me (although it is life and death to many self-proclaimed experts). The reason? Winning money is the only reason to play this game, and the goal of going home with a profit should surpass all else.

I’ve received a lot of heat lately for the method in which I approach my play. Here’s something I don’t normally do, but I think it’ll help players understand why I play this profitable game, and how it fits nicely into my play strategy.

Example No. 1: Let’s say you need 30 credits to attain a session win goal. On SDB you are dealt J-J-J-7-7, and the full house (FH) pays 45. Obviously you hold the FH, and for those of you who find it difficult to waiver from optimal play, you are safe.

Example No. 2: This time you are dealt the same hand, but you need 60 credits to reach your win goal. Although optimal play says to hold the deal, the Singer play strategy says not to. Here you hold just the J’s, because hitting four of them will get you to your goal — and most probably a trip home in the win column.

Example No. 3: Now you’re dealt 4-4-4-7-7. A 45-credit FH again — not bad. How does the Singer play strategy say to play this? Well, it all depends once again on your win goal. If you’re 35 away, you hold it. If you’re 105 away, you hold the 4’s only. But, should you be over 400 credits from your goal (which is rare within the system that I play) you always hold the FH. That may sound a little odd, but the overriding rule is never attempt to catch up all at once unless it will allow you to go home. Be patient, and wait for another opportunity. The FH may get you that.

Example No. 4: You’re dealt 6-6-3-3-9. Do you keep the sure thing of 5 credits paid (for the two pair) with the chance for a 45-credit FH on the draw, or do you hold the 3’s? Again, with the possibility of hitting one of these bonus quads in front of you, you only go for the FH if it will get you to a goal. This is not a high probability play and it will seem to be a loser over time, but one hit at higher-limit play and it will far more than make up for any previous losses incurred using it. And don’t forget, you still can get trips or a FH on the draw by holding only the two 3’s.

Example No. 5: This time the deal is Q-Q-5-5-9. Of course, based on the premise in No. 4, you hold the Q-Q only when a FH will not get you to a goal. But this time you aren’t throwing out a sure win, and four Q’s will get you a healthy 600-credit win.

Example No. 6: In this final example, the deal is 8-8-5-5-K. Here, I always hold the two pair, because there are no pair of cards that offer the possibility of a higher-paying quad. But what if the deal were 8-8-5-5-A? Many people think I only hold the ace here, and that is not correct. The ace pays 800 in quads, but holding one over a winner that also can be improved upon is wrong.

There are also several adjustments I make when the opportunity to hit a straight flush (SF) comes along.

Also in this game, always remember that when dealt any two pair that includes aces, never hold the two pair, regardless of the FH payout or how far from your goal you are. Aces are the most powerful cards in all of my play strategies, and they should never be ignored. Actually, the only game I play where two pair that includes aces should always be kept — except for very rare circumstances that is as complicated as it is criticized — is in Bonus Poker.

People who play video poker want to win, and they want to win big because they have the chance to do so. The basis of all my strategies is to recognize when that type of opportunity arrives.

Hitting special quads is of utmost importance, especially when you’re playing for goals. Because you are progressing both in denomination and/or game volatility when you get to this game, it offers some very sweet jackpots. It’s not available everywhere, but most of the casinos I play in have it. Good luck with it!