Double your pleasure, double your bonus

Mar 27, 2001 6:23 AM

Walk through the video poker section of any casino in Nevada and there’s a good chance you’ll see most people playing either Deuces Wild in any variation, or Double Double Bonus poker. Today I’m singling out the latter.

DDB is more popular than any other game, and it’s my game of choice in many instances. It incorporates a number of high-paying four-of-a-kind hands. Some of them can even be doubled or more if the "kicker" appears as the fifth card. It’s the perfect game to complement my play strategy, which begins with Bonus Poker.

Deuces, on the other hand, have only a natural royal or four deuces to offer in the high-end. It’s not motivating and it doesn’t fit into my play strategy.

Why is DDB poker so popular and a lot of fun to play? And what about Double Bonus Poker? The only differences are that DB poker doesn’t give a large bonus for getting the kicker with A, 2, 3, or 4 quads. The payouts for the FH, Flush, and Straight are, as a general rule for full-pay DB machines, five coins more.

Is this a good trade-off and reason to play DDB poker? Mathematicians say no. You have about a 1 to 1.5 percent perfect play advantage throughout infinity with DB poker — and they always tell us how foolish people are to play DDB poker. Thank goodness I came along to tell you this: Folks, not only are you doing the right thing in playing DDB poker if that’s what you like to do, but if you play in any way similar to my strategy, DB poker is much the inferior game.

Some people might say DDB poker gives up a lot of credits over a six-hour session with all the smaller winning hands that may appear in that time. But they refuse to say what will happen if we see the "kicker" once or several times during play. Besides, who plays six hours at a time expecting to win on any machine?

One drawback I’ve found playing DDB poker is, because I swap between games so often in each session, I sometimes forget which game I’m playing. Twice this past year when dealt four Aces (dollar machine) and then four fours ($10 machine-ouch!) with a fifth card that wasn’t a bonus card, I’ve held all five cards, failing to try for the kicker.

A stupid mistake? Yes. But each time I reached my profit goal on that hand even without the kicker, and I went home frustrated but successful. It only goes to show that no matter how good a player you feel you are, human mistakes take their toll, and nobody’s immune. Meantime, go out and hit four Aces with the kicker on a dollar game. Unlike those who get that hand on 10/7 DB poker, you’ll cheerfully need to accept and sign that W-2G form!