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A Beginner’s Double Double Bonus Video Poker Strategy

The Basics 

Double Double Bonus Poker is a very popular game with those who like playing for big payouts. This is because it offers huge boosted payouts for various Four of a Kind hands. The game itself is based upon Jacks or Better; however, it provides smaller payouts for the weaker hands. This is why it is ideal for those who prefer playing for the occasional big win rather than more regular smaller wins (similar to high and low volatility slots).  

It is a very simple game to play with very straightforward rules. However, it is also a game where strategy is important, otherwise, you may find yourself wasting a lot of money. It is essentially a game of five-card draw and the aim is to build the best possible poker hand. After setting your coin size and how many coins you want to bet, you will be dealt five cards. You then choose which to hold and which to discard. The discarded cards are replaced and you will then be paid out if you have a winning hand. In most versions of the game, cards will be held automatically if you have a winning hand.  

As with nearly all versions of video poker, Double Double Bonus Poker offers a boosted payout for a Royal Flush when betting five coins per hand. Therefore, it is always worth betting five coins, even if you have to reduce the coin size. For example, if you have a budget of €1 per hand, rather than betting one €1 coin, it is worth betting five €0.20 coins.  

Before moving on to the best Double Double Bonus Poker strategies, it is important that you fully understand the different types of poker hand. It is particularly important in this game as there are some bonus winning hands that are not present in other versions of video poker. 

  • Jacks or Better – A hand that contains a pair of Jacks or above.  
  • Two Pair – A hand containing two pairs, for example two 4s and two 10s. 
  • Three of a Kind – A hand that contains three matching cards, such as three 5s.  
  • Straight – A hand containing five sequential cards, such as 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. The suit is irrelevant and Ace can be at the beginning or the end of a Straight.  
  • Flush – A hand of five cards from the same suit, for example, 5, 6, 10, Q and A of Spades. 
  • Full House – A hand built of a pair and a three of a kind, for example two 3s and three 9s. The suit of the cards is irrelevant.  
  • Four of a Kind (5s – Ks) – A hand that contains four matching cards, that are 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, Js, Qs, or Ks.  
  • Four of a Kind (2s – 4s) – A hand that contains four matching cards that are 2s, 3s, or 4s. 
  • Four of a Kind (A) – A hand that contains four Aces. 
  • Four 2s, 3s, 4s with A, 2, 3, 4 – This is a four of a kind hand (2 to 4) with the fifth card as an A, 2, 3 or 4. 
  • Four As with 2, 3, 4 – This is a four of a kind hand of Aces with a 2, 3 or 4 as the fifth card.  
  • Straight Flush – A hand that combines a straight with a flush. i.e. five sequential cards from the same suit. For example, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 of clubs.  
  • Royal Flush – A hand containing a straight flush composed of the highest cards, 10, J, Q, K, A of spades/clubs/diamonds/hearts.  

The Strategy 

A great advantage of video poker is that you know exactly what cards are in the pack at any given time (when playing a single hand game). As such, you know what the chances are of different types of cards being draw. Imagine that you are dealt 5 Clubs, 9 Spades, J Spades, 3 Hearts, 2 Diamonds. In this instance, you know that there is a 15/47 chance of being dealt another 5, 9, J, 3 or 2. Thanks to this, it is possible to work out what are the best cards to hold and discard for any given hand. 

Of course, this maths quickly becomes very complicated, as you also have to take into account the sizes of the payouts offered for each hand. However, you do not need to understand the maths to follow the strategy chart.  

The chart comes in the form of a list of hands and the idea is to compare your hand to the hands on the list and stop when you reach the closest one. You then keep the cards that form part of the described hands and discard the others. While it won’t ever guarantee a win, it will help you improve your returns. When looking at the list you will see the expression “x to a y” where x is the number of cards and y is the type of hand. For instance, 3 to a Royal Flush means that you have three of the cards needed for a Royal Flush. You will also see the word ‘Kicker’, the kicker is the fifth card in a four of a kind hand. If you look back at the list of hands, you will see that there is the hand Four As with 2, 3, 4. In this instance, the 2, 3, or 4 would be the kicker.  

With that in mind, here is the strategy list for Double Double Bonus Poker: 

  1. Royal Flush 
  1. Four Aces/2s/3s/4s with A/2/3/4 kicker 
  1. 4 of a Kind 
  1. Straight Flush 
  1. 4 to a Royal Flush 
  1. 3 of a Kind: Aces 
  1. Full House 
  1. Flush 
  1. Straight 
  1. 3 of a Kind: 2s through Ks 
  1. 4 to a Straight Flush 
  1. 1 Pair: Aces 
  1. 2 Pair 
  1. 3 to a Royal Flush: JQK 
  1. 1 Pair: Kings 
  1. 3 to a Royal Flush: TJQ 
  1. 1 Pair: Jacks or Queens 
  1. 4 to a Flush 
  1. 3 to a Royal Flush: TJK/TQK, TJA/TQA/TKA/JQA/JKA/QKA 
  1. 4 to a Straight: 89TJ, 9TJQ, TJQK 
  1. 1 Pair: 2s through 10s 
  1. 4 to a Straight: 2345, 3456, 4567, 5678, 6789, 789T 
  1. 3 to a Straight Flush: 345, 456, 567, 678, 789, 89T, 89J/8TJ, 8JQ, 9TJ, 9TQ/9JQ, 9JK/9QK 
  1. 4 to a Straight: JQKA 
  1. 2 to a Royal Flush: JQ, JK/QK, JA/QA/KA 
  1. 4 to a Straight: 9JQK, TJQA/TJKA/TQKA 
  1. 3 to a Straight Flush: Ace-low, 234/235/245, 346/356, 457/467, 568/578, 679/689, 78T/78J/79J, 79T/7TJ, 89Q/8TQ, 9TK 
  1. 3 to a Straight: JQK 
  1. 4 to a Straight: 89JQ/8TJQ, 9TJK/9TQK 
  1. 2 to a Straight: JQ 
  1. 1 High Card: Ace 
  1. 2 to a Royal Flush: TJ 
  1. 2 to a Straight: JK/QK 
  1. 3 to a Flush: 2TK to 8TK 
  1. 2 to a Royal Flush: TQ, TK 
  1. 1 High Card: J/Q/K 
  1. 3 to a Straight Flush: 236/246/256, 347/357/367, 458/468/478, 569/579/589, 67T/68T/69T 
  1. 4 to a Straight: 2346/2356/2456, 3457/3467/3567, 4568/4578/4678, 5679/5689/5789, 678T/679T/689T 
  1. Discard Everything 

This may look a bit daunting at first, but after working through some examples, it will become very clear. 

Scenario 1 

You are dealt: 10 Spades, J Spades, Q Spades, K Spades, A Spades 

This is the simplest possible example and if you are ever dealt it, you can celebrate a big win. It is a Royal Flush, the first on the list and you do not need to discard any card.  

Scenario 2 

You are dealt: 7 Spades, 3 Hearts, 7 Hearts, 5 Diamonds, 7 Clubs 

This is another very simple example. You have three of a kind, 7s. Number 6 on the list is the first three of a kind hand, but it is Aces. You carry on down the list until you come to number 10, 3 of a Kind: 2s through Ks. You simply hold the three 7s, discard the other two cards, and see what comes up in the draw.  

Scenario 3 

You are dealt: J Spades, J Hearts, K Hearts, Ace Hearts, A Diamonds 

This is a more complicated example. You will immediately notice that you have two pairs (J and A), and you also have three cards to a straight flush (J, K and A of Hearts). However, thanks to the boosted payouts for four of a kind hands, it is the pair of Aces that should grab your attention. Three to a straight is number 28 on the list, two pairs is number 13 on the list, but 1 Pair (Aces) is number 12 on the list, so you would discard all the other cards and hold onto the pair.  

To Conclude 

It is understandable if this seems very complicated to begin with. In order to make the most of the strategy you need to be very familiar with the different types of poker hands and be able to spot the potentials with ease. However, this is just a matter of practise and you are sure to master it. You can even play the game in demo mode while you get the hang of things before playing with real money. Before you know it, you are sure to be spotting hand possibilities with ease, and you will even begin to memorise the strategy list, allowing you to play quickly and hopefully, successfully.  

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