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What’s The Best Way To Play Double Double Bonus Poker?

One of the most popular versions of video poker is Double Double Bonus Video Poker. It can be played in land and online casinos plus players can earn comps on the game every time they play.

Unfortunately the sign on bonus package offered by most operators aren’t video poker friendly because the game favors the player (weighting is around 5%) and not the house. Players often ask this question: ”If I receive 2 Aces and a pair what’s the best way to play the hand?”

In this scenario we analyzed two different types of hands, it’s safe to say that all the other variations fall into this category. When playing Double Double Bonus Video Poker we’ve used this Paytable as an example:

  • Royal Flush                       4,000
  • Straight Flush                       250
  • 4 Aces with a Kicker          2,000
  • 4 Aces No Kicker                  800
  • 4’2s, 3’s or 4’s with Kicker    800
  • 4’2s, 3’s, o 4’s No Kicker      400
  • 4 of a Kind                            250
  • Full House                              45
  • Flush                                       30
  • Straight                                    20
  • 3 of a Kind                               15
  • Tow Pair                                     5
  • Pair of Jacks or Better                5
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Scenario One – Two Aces, A Pair and a Jack

The right way to play will be to hold onto the Aces, reason being it generates the higher return over the mathematical long run in other words over millions of hands played. Can I hang onto both pairs? Absolutely! Not only is it the second best strategy but it also generates the second best return return. If you hold both the Aces and the Pair you’re worse off by 12.94%.


Scenario Two Two Aces, a Pair of Kickers and a Jack

We advise you to hold onto the Aces and both pairs because it is the correct strategy. Holding two Aces and discarding the pairs is the same strategy when playing Triple Double Bonus Video Poker with a worse Paytable, the strategy stays the same. Discard the other cards and only hold the Aces.

If the Paytable is ”worse” where the values for a Flush and Full House are lower than 45 and 30 – some casinos’ paytables can be as low as 25 and 30. One can deduce that a ”worse” paytable means the long run return to the player using optimal strategy will be in excess of 94.66%. The casino keeps 5.34% of all the cash wagered on the game.

If you find a casino whose Double Double Bonus Video Poker paytable is the same as the one we listed, then the optimal strategy return to player percentage shoots up to 98.98%. Therefore, the casino’s house edge is reduced by 1.02% over the long run.


Basic Strategy

When you play Double Double Bonus Video Poker the machine deals you 5 cards. If you received the following hand K♦ Q♦ J♦ 10♦ 9♦ (Straight Flush) what must you do? By all means it’s a great hand that’s if you decide to play it safe. The question is what will a real gambler do? The real gambler will drop the nine and go for the Ace or that elusive Royal Flush! If you play it safe you’ll pocket $250 or you can lose it all. When it comes to gambling we firmly believe that one bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

If your hand is two Kings and a pair of eights what’s the correct way to play the hand? Some players will drop the eights and hang onto the kings, this is another common mistake. Remember, it’s better to hold the pairs (4 cards) and try for a Full House since you’re guaranteed a payout regardless of what the 5th card is.

Then again if you’re a gambler you can discard the eights by holding onto the kings hoping for another king (trips) or for four-of-a-kind (4 kings). Essentially your chances of hitting a Full House is nine times more likely.

Let’s have a look at the following scenario, if you’re dealt A♣ A♥ 7♠ 7♦ 5♠, the correct play will be to hold the Aces. The odds of converting your two Aces into penalties is a 1-in-360 shot. Four aces (penalties) can mean anything from $800 to $2,000.

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If you’re dealt a Straight (Q♣ J♣ 10♣ 9♣ 8♥) you can play it two ways: Keep the cards or go for something far more exciting (Straight Flush). As you can see you’re nearly on a Straight Flush but the 8♥ is the odd one out, not so? If you discard the 8♥ and try for the 8♣ your hand will be worth $250, 4.25% of the time you’ll end up with a straight flush while you’ll end up with nothing a whopping 57% of the time. Simply put, it’s better to keep the straight.

If we can circle back to our first hand where we discarded the 9♠ from K♦ Q♦ J♦ 10♦ 9♠ – going all out for a Royal Flush that pays $4,000 while the straight flush only pays $250. It’s like comparing apples to oranges.


What Must I Do?

When it comes to Double Double Bonus Video Poker it’s best to play it safe by building up a steady bankroll on guaranteed hands. If you have a substantial bankroll it can’t hurt by taking a risk now and again. Here’s a simple example, if you received two pairs (2 Jacks, 2 Sevens) keep them, don’t discard the sevens and hope for another 2 Jacks (penalties) because your odds of getting penalties is way lower than getting a Full House.



1. https://www.888casino.com/blog/five-ways-to-play-double-double-bonus-in-video-poker

2. https://wizardofodds.com/games/video-poker/strategy/double-double-bonus/9-6/

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