Double Bonus Video Poker Explained
There are few words that invoke more enthusiasm among video poker players than “bonus.” In this case, you can understand why Double Bonus video poker is just like music to the ears of those same players. The game itself is a successor to the similarly popular Bonus video poker, with both versions being based on Jacks or Better. Much like any Jacks or Better-type game, you will need at least a pair of jacks in order to win a prize.
While Double Bonus is not as widespread these days as fans would like, there are still plenty of casinos where you can find the game. As fans of the game who also play video poker online will surely know, the game is as rare as a blue panda. Non-existent, to the best of our knowledge.
The full-pay version of this popular variant is also known as 10/7. We will explain why in full detail below. We will also explain how a player can enjoy an expected return of 100.17% when applying optimal strategy to full-pay Double Bonus.
How Video Poker Works
We understand that you may very well be a newbie to video poker. As such, you can rest assured that we will explain things in simple and understandable terms. Video poker is regarded by many as one of the easiest games you can play in a casino. It is based on five-card draw poker, which is the first type of poker game many will learn to play. All video poker players have to start somewhere.
However, even if you do understand how hand rankings work (these are available on pay tables, remember), it is important to have a strategy when playing video poker. Your strategy is your guide to knowing what cards to keep and the right ones to discard to improve your chances of winning. Luckily for you, we will walk you through how this works and explain how beneficial it can be to sustain an edge over the house.
Understanding Double Bonus Video Poker
As we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, Double Bonus is a Jacks or Better-style game. This means that a pair of jacks is the absolute minimum you need to win. The lowest payout you can expect in the game is even money, which will be from one to five coins, depending on your bet. With this variant, four aces will pay 160 to 1, which is the higher bonus payout. The second bonus is that a player with four of a kind (with four 2s, 3s, or 4s) will receive 80-1.
What really attracts players to Double Bonus is the fact that there is a real way to play with an advantage over the house. With most games played in a casino, the house will have a discernible edge over the player. In double-zero roulette, for example, this is 5.26%. In Double Bonus poker, payouts can be as high as 100.17%. This naturally makes it an attractive game for players who don’t want to play with odds stacked against them.
Choosing Your Bets
Much like other video poker games, you will need to choose your bets in Double Bonus.
Your options are between one and five coins. That means that you can bet 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 coins to play with. The maximum bet (usually shown as “BetMax” or “Max Bet” on a machine) is five coins. It is always highly recommended that you play with five coins in order to be in with a shout of the 4000-coin payout if you land a royal flush.
When devising your basic strategy for playing Double Bonus, the first thing you should do is make sure you play with the maximum coin bet. If you think you cannot afford to play at this amount, try adjusting your bet amount and raising the coin value to five. Once you have selected your bet and coins, you can now move on to playing the game.
Once you are ready to play, hit the “Deal” button located at the bottom right of the screen. Your first five cards will now be available for you to see. If you are lucky enough to have been awarded a royal flush, for example, all five cards will be held. All you have to do is press “Draw,” and your win will be awarded. Conversely, if you have not gotten the hand you would have hoped for with your first five cards, hold the best cards (if the “Auto-hold” function has not done this for you) and press the draw button for your final hand.
The “Auto-hold” function is built into most machines and helps players by holding the cards it judges as the strongest. On some machines, you will need to turn this setting on in the options. We would also recommend always playing with this feature turned on. If you see the automatic hold function as an assistant that can point things out to you, this can really help!
Regardless of your choice when opting for or against Auto-hold, it is easy to tell when you have won. The pay table above your five cards will illuminate or flash on the winning hand you have. You can’t get any more straightforward than this!
If you are wondering how the pay table works, we will take this opportunity to explain below.
The Pay Table
When it comes to the pay table, make you sure you spend some time studying it. This will certainly help you to know what hands pay most.
The full-pay table helps players to achieve a slight edge of 0.17% over the house. This might not sound like much, but video poker players understand how pivotal this can be to wins. Any edge a player can have over a casino should be grabbed with both hands! Considering most games in a casino come with a house edge, you should be happy to have one at all.
Analyzing the Pay Table
Below, we have provided the full-pay Double Bonus table for your viewing pleasure:
As you can see from the pay table above, the royal flush is the highest payout in Double Bonus. It will pay at odds of 800 to 1, with 4000 coins the maximum payout. To win 4000 coins, you will first have to play with five coins. This is why it is always important to play with the maximum coin bet.
Taking things down to the foot of the table, you can see that jacks or better are the least you need to win (at even money). Two pairs – which generally pay 2 to 1 on any Jacks or Better game – also pay even money. From here, you can get 3 to 1 for three of a kind, 5 to 1 for a straight, 7 to 1 for a flush, and 10 to 1 for a full house.
Once we look back at the upper areas of the table, you can start to see the larger payouts. As we mentioned above, there are three separate payouts when you score a four of a kind. A straight will bag you odds of 50-1. A quad from 4 up to king pays at 50-1, while four deuces, 3s, or 4s is even better at 80-1. Four aces, however, is paid at a huge 160-1, which is pretty awesome. Studying the pay table is certainly an important aspect of understanding the strategy for Double Bonus.
Double Bonus Video Poker Strategy
It is crucial to have a strategy for the variant of video poker you are playing. Not all strategies are created equally, as they naturally depend on what type of video poker you are playing. The probabilities of making hands, the payouts, and much more come into it. In some versions of video poker – such as Joker Poker – there is an additional card (the joker). In these versions, the 53-card deck means that there are other considerations than when playing games with a standard 52-card deck.
In Double Bonus, you do not have to worry about an additional card in the deck. There are 52 cards, which removes any wild. Therefore, surprise combinations or the chance to complete a hand with a wild is not something you have to take into account. The strategy in Double Bonus involves the use of a chart, which we will break down below.
How the Double Bonus Strategy Chart Works
The strategy chart allows you to follow a set of guidelines when it comes to playing a hand. The instructions are pretty easy to follow, so there is no need to worry if you have the right tools for the job. In fact, the strategy chart below should not trouble even an absolute beginner of video poker.
The strength of hands is ranked from top to bottom, meaning the best hand appears on the first line, with the worst holding up the table.
- When using the strategy chart, you should always compare your hand with the first line at the top
- If it does not match what you have in your hand, move down the chart until it does
- Once you have your match, hold the corresponding cards and select “Draw”
- If you do not find a match – and go through the full chart – then select “Draw”
It is as straightforward as it sounds.
Double Bonus Strategy Chart
Simply follow the instructions above and match your hand to those below.
- Royal flush or straight flush or four of a kind
- Any four cards to a royal flush
- Three aces
- Straight or flush or full house
- Any three of a kind (excluding aces)
- Any four cards to a straight flush
- Any two pair
- Any high pair
- Any four cards to a flush
- Any three to a royal flush
- Any four to an outside straight
- Any low pair
- A-K-Q-J unsuited
- Any three to a straight flush
- Four to an inside straight (including three high cards)
- Q-J suited
- Three to a flush with two high cards
- Any two suited high cards
- Four to an inside straight with two high cards
- Four to an inside straight with one high card
- K-Q-J unsuited
- J-T suited
- Q-J unsuited
- Three to a flush with one high card
- Q-T suited
- K-Q, K-J unsuited
- K-T suited
- King or queen or jack
- Four to an inside straight with no high cards
- Three to a flush with no high cards
- Discard all
The strategy above is simple enough for all players to use when playing video poker. The best way to practice using this strategy is by playing free or demo games which allow you to play without staking real money. If it’s free, go for broke!
Double Bonus: The Verdict
What’s better than one bonus? Well, we do know that two is a great place to start. Double Bonus poker is one of those video poker titles which has really done a lot for the game. In promoting video poker as a fun and enjoyable way to spend some time, it has also acquainted many players with a negative house edge. In other words, with a potential expected payout of 100.17%, it shows that the house does not always have to hold the edge over players.
When you have covered the first base, you should then immediately look to study the best strategy for playing this exciting game. We covered how the strategy chart should be followed, highlighting how easy it is to use. When playing Double Bonus, this chart will help you to understand how strong your hand is, which will be useful when you are playing (and looking for the best win you can get).
Although there are arguably better games out there in the video poker sphere, Double Bonus is a great version to play. Novice players and beginners should appreciate its simplicity, but players of all skill levels and backgrounds will certainly approve of the negative house edge.