Best of bonus

Sep 11, 2006 4:01 AM

In my play strategies, a game has to be capable of delivering a reasonable-to-obtain winner that makes a difference. A game has to have meaning.

Everyone knows the baseline game in my Play Strategies is Bonus Poker because of the 2:1 payout for two pair. Yes, it is a theoretically negative game according to the infinite math models, but the only people who’d worry about less than a percent difference whenever they play do not belong in a casino.

Today’s play session will end today, and its result will have absolutely nothing to do with what would happen over billions of perfectly played hands tomorrow. That’s all they need to know.

My next most important game along the road to the more volatile bonus poker games is 10/7 Double Bonus.

At a theoretical 100.17% with flawless play throughout eternity, it does have a way of putting smiles on the math geeks’ faces out there. The same with the slightly less positive 10/6 Double Double Bonus game.

But it’s too bad these games are rarely available above the dollar level. Since my Single Play Strategy begins for me at dollars and at times goes up to $100, those games are automatically out.

Over the years I’ve had to adjust, and learning several other games perfectly was a must if I wanted my consistent winning to continue.

Enter the extraordinary game of Super Double Bonus Poker (SDBP). To be honest, I’ve never really looked at this game seriously until about five years ago, and if I had I’d certainly consider playing it before any of the ”˜positive’ games mentioned above. SDBP itself is no slouch, and at full pay it is in the high 99 percentile.

The problem for most players seems to be that they shy away from anything less than full pay — which is where this game happens to be in most instances.

But not me. While the full pay version pays 9:1 for a full house, it’s much more commonly available at 8:1 or even 7:1.

What does that difference mean to me? Not much. If one is capable of looking past the almost meaningless full house and go directly to the highly superior payouts for the quads in SDBP, you’d easily see why it fits like a golden glove into my play strategy.

We’re all kind of used to seeing payouts of 400 with 5 credits bet for 2s, 3s and 4s along with 800 for aces. What we’re not used to is having four Jacks, Queens, and Kings also pay 600 on the same pay table.

And since my strategies rely on hitting quads to send me home a winner, this game with ANY payout for the full house is extremely advantageous when playing for goals. As an added bonus, the seemingly very elusive straight flush for some reason pays 400 credits in this game. Nice.

Yet SDBP is still not absolutely available wherever I go to play. So the next most popular game that fits my strategy is Triple Bonus Poker Plus (TBP+). Let’s ignore the full house this time because, as we’ve seen, it has little meaning when playing for goals.

Here, the usual 400 credits for four 2s through 4s have been bumped up to a very powerful 600, four aces pays a massive1200, and even the straight flush is a worthwhile 500. But again, the game is not all that readily available everywhere I play.

Because of this, I’m often forced to play the old standby and probably the most popular of all casino video poker games — Double Double Bonus Poker (DDBP). People like kickers, but that’s not why I play it. In fact, I have no special play that deviates from expert strategy (like I commonly do in every game) that’s developed specifically for going after hands with kickers.

If they appear, then that’s a great big plus. If not, then I’ll take the special quad every time without a tear.

However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t absolutely applaud this game for what it’s meant to me this year. Three times at the $5 level I’ve been lucky enough to hit the aces with one of the kickers, and that’s a cool $10,000 winner every time. I didn’t have to see the kicker but I did. I was lucky. That’s what this game’s all about.

So if you ever run around the casinos looking for the best pay tables, don’t spend too much time doing so. Look for the right games instead. After all, are you going to go home and brag about how many full houses you hit today?