Only on rare occasions can we find a new game that can actually increase the payback over that of an attractive existing version.
Sound the trumpets for Double Double Bonus Poker progressive jackpots, which compounds the game of Bonus Poker with a bank of progressives to give the player frequent chances to play at or above 100 percent return.
As a refresher of video poker, Double Double Bonus raises the payoffs for hitting four-of-kind, especially on aces and the "small" cards – two’s, three’s and four’s.
The trade-off is a drop in the payoff for two pairs (from two coins to one).
Nonetheless, the "mini-jackpots" paid for the quads have made the game a hit with players, who can walk away with a profit, without having to catch an elusive royal flush.
The per-coin pay schedule is modified 8/5 Jacks or Better as follows, based on five-coin play:
Pair Jacks or Better: 1
Two Pairs: 1
Full House: 6
Four 2’s to 4’s: #1 Progressive
Four 5’s to K’s: #2 Progressive
Four Aces: #3 Progressive
Straight Flush: 50
Royal Flush: #4 Progressive
Reset minimum values on the progressives for quads are 40, 25, 80, while the Royal resets to 800 ($4,000 on a dollar machine).
If the quads were all paying a flat 25, the game would be a 97.8 percent run-of-the-mill type, found all over town. The extra 15 on 2-3-4 and 55 on aces results in an additional 2 percent, which adds up to 99.3 percent even at minimum value of all the progressives.
To determine the payback value of those progressive quads, remember that in Jacks or Better, quads will occur on an average of once in 423 games. Therefore, we can expect a quad in 2’s once in about 5,400 hands; this same frequency applies to all other ranks individually.
Any one bet-unit increase paid on Aces is therefore increasing the payback 1/5400 or 0.02 percent.
As an illustration, minimum (reset) value on four Aces is $400. At $405, the contribution raises the machine’s payback by 0.02; at $500, the contribution is 0.4 percent.
The increase in the 2-3-4 quad progressive also has the same effect. This set of quads is hit on average, once in 1,833 games, so the one bet-unit increase, say from $200 to $205, raises the payback by 1/1800 or 0.05 percent. At $205, the contribution is 0.05 percent.
Likewise, an increase in the 5-K quads from the minimum $125 causes the payback to increase by 1.6 percent per $100. Even at $150, the increase in payback is 0.8 percent, but this is much less likely to occur because so many hits (about every 617 games) will occur in this range.
Thus, even with the Royal Flush jackpot at minimum, the machine can be "positive," meaning that it will probably pay out more than it takes in. The machine was showing Aces: $420, 2-3-4: $240 and 5-K: $140 which calculates out to be 99.3 +0.08 +0.4 + 0.64, which equals 100.42 percent.
The Royal Flush jackpot was at $5,300 and was awarded for a spade Royal. Figuring that a Royal occurs about once in 40,000 games, we can see that this improved the payback by about 0.25 percent. For the awards posted, the game overall was only 100.6 percent.
But come around when the tote board reads something like this plausible set of numbers:
Royal Flush (in one suit): $6,400
Four-of-a-Kind Aces: $440
Four-of-a- Kind (2-3-4): $280
Four-of-a Kind (5-K): $155
…and you’ll be playing a 102 percent positive machine – provided you can even find one seat open.
A word of caution – these figures are applicable to expert players only, so make sure you study your basic strategy.
You can try out your strategy by playing our video poker game.
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