Although many video poker players assume these games are more predictable
than the average slot machine, some types of video poker are more volatile than
others. Increasing payoffs in a game increases the chance the player runs out of
money before hitting a big prize. That is volatility in a nutshell. The greater
the reward you seek the more risk you take. For some people that is what makes
the game more exciting.
The Ace & Deuce variation of Double Bonus Poker comes with all the risk and
reward of the basic game. Players should also expect the complexity of Double
Bonus Poker via competing pay tables and different strategies from what they may
be used to in Jacks or Better or even simple Bonus Poker video games.
The “bonus” in Bonus Poker games is the addition of one more winning hands to
the pay table. The “Double” means they pay double the prize in the normal Bonus
game. The pay tables are adjusted on the lower end, where the more frequently
occurring winning hands already pay low prizes. You’ll see two pair drop from a
2-for-1 payoff to even money. There is no getting around that: this game forces
you to be more aggressive.
Ace & Deuce Bonus Poker Video Poker Basics
The Bonus Hands in This Game Are as Follows:
Four aces plus deuce
Four deuces plus ace
Four aces or deuces plus (3 – king)
Four (3 – king) plus (ace or deuce)
Four (3 – king) plus (3 – king)
As in other types of video poker the different pay tables are identified by
looking at the middle value hand multipliers. In this game those hands are full
house, flush, and straight. All three may change from pay table to pay table.
Hence, you’ll see people talk about “10/7/5″ games rather than”9/6” games as
they do when discussing Jacks or Better. The best pay table in Ace & Deuce Bonus
Poker is “9/6/4”.
Because of the double payouts on the two highest bonus hands players will be
more likely to bail on a possible straight flush in this game. And obviously
deuces become more valuable cards in many cases.
How to Play Video Poker Games
Video poker games follow the same general pattern. You begin by placing an
opening bet. In most games that is the only bet you will make per hand. Stud
games allow you to make additional bets. Ace & Deuce Bonus Poker is a variation
on five card draw so you only make one bet per hand.
The player bets 1 to 5 coins and clicks on “Deal”. The game then deals five
cards. The player chooses which cards to hold. If there is an obvious high value
winner the game immediately acknowledges the win and pays the prize.
The player clicks on the cards that are to be held and then clicks on “Draw”.
The game either scores the hand if all five cards are held or it replaces the
cards that are not being held.
The final hand is scored according to the pay table.
The pay table is the real magic in video poker. In most styles of video poker
the pay tables provide enough information for astute and meticulous players to
compute the probability distributions and expected return to player. You know
from the type of game you choose if you are playing with a standard 52 card deck
or a deck plus joker.
The expected return to player is defined as the percentage of wagers placed
over an extended period of time (say a month or a year) that is paid back to the
players. Whatever remains is deemed to be the “house edge”. Playback percentage
is calculated as if players make perfect choices in every game. In practice
tired, drunken players and inexperienced players will make a lot of bad choices.
Hence, casinos expect to retain more than the projected house edge on these
For that reason players often download or compute strategy cards to help them
play the possible game.
In some video poker games playback percentage can exceed
That means the games are theoretical losers for the casinos. Although some
people try to explain why the casinos would keep losing games on the floor their
monthly reports to gaming commissions make it clear that they are not losing
The wise player never assumes a game will pay back more than 100% no matter
what the calculators say. Video poker is popular because it’s a more transparent
game that demands some skill from players. It’s not popular because it’s handing
out boatloads of cash. When you win that big prize you can still put it all back
in, just as players may on other types of games.
How Does Ace & Deuce Bonus Poker Video Poker Affect Playback Percentage?
The math is a bit complicated. The nutshell explanation is that adding those
bonus hands to the pay table and paying better prizes changes the distributions
on the total payouts. In other words, these combinations are not more or less
likely to be dealt or drawn than in a Jacks or Better game. The payouts are what
change the playback percentage.
To include more high value prizes in the pay table the game has to reduce the
prizes for the lower value “winning” hands. In fact, Ace & Deuce bonus poker
technically does not add any new hands to the pay table. All it does is divide
the “four of a kind” hands into five different types of hands. If compare the
probability tables for Jacks or Better to Ace & Deuce Bonus Poker you’ll see
that most of the probabilities are very close to each other. If you add the five
probabilities for “four of a kind” hands together their sum is 0.002386. In
Jacks or Better the probability for any “four of a kind” hand is 0.002355.
Because most prizes are paid from the lower end of the pay table the extra
prize values are covered by the adjusted distribution. That is the simple,
intuitive explanation. It’s enough to understand this game is not giving you
anything extra. What the game does is collect more wagers to cover the cost of
those higher payouts. They don’t actually occur much more frequently than in
Jacks or Better.
What the Pay Table for Ace & Deuce Bonus Poker Video Poker Looks Like
The following odds were computed by Michael Shackleford based on the highest
pay table from the game. This is an illustrative example and the games you find
in play may have different pay tables.
PAYOFF (single coin)
Four aces + deuce
Four deuces + ace
Four (aces or deuces) + (3 – king)
Four (3 – king) + (ace or deuce)
Four (3 – king) + (3 – king)
Three of a kind
Jacks or Better
Ace & Deuce Bonus Poker Video Poker Strategy Tips
The rule of thumb is that if you begin with a Jacks or Better strategy it
will lower your expected return. Nonetheless, many players start there and make
some minor adjustments based on their experience. There are several different
ways to suggest strategy for this game. If you have a full strategy card to
consult you can run down a list of more than 30 options.
The following strategy is simplified and therefore easier to remember. It
sacrifices a few better opportunities, especially in the three card combos. For
example, it would probably be better to hold a low pair or AKQJ unsuited than to
hold three to a straight flush.
Hold a Royal Flush, Straight Flush, or Four of Any Kind.
Hold a Full House, Straight, or Flush Except When You Have:
Four to a royal flush
Hold Any of These Four Card Combos:
Four to a royal flush
Four to a straight flush
Four to a flush
Four to an outside straight
Four to an inside straight with 3, 2, or 1 high card
Hold Any of These Three Card Combos:
Three of a kind
Three to a royal flush
Three to a straight flush
Three to a flush with 2 high cards
How important is strategy for this game? It’s more important than in
Jacks or Better because of the volatility. If you consistently settle for lower
paying wins you’ll lose your money faster. Depending only on random luck to hand
you four aces or better is not the way to survive in this game.
Ace & Deuce Bonus Poker video poker is designed to test basic player skills.
By dangling the promise of higher payoffs in front of the player the game
encourages players to be more aggressive. Aggressive play can lead to more
mistakes but the built in volatility will make it difficult for less experienced
players to know if they are riding the roller coaster or falling out of the car.
In simpler games it’s easier to leverage the more common low value hands to
stay about even until the game deals you some nice cards. You don’t have that
option in this game. Merely settling for even money payouts means your bankroll
has to eat every loss. The estimated distribution for nothing is about 55% in
this game. You have to go for the better wins when you have the opportunities.
Don’t expect to see opportunities to put together four of a kind very often.
You will have more opportunities to upgrade to three of a kind, straight, flush,
or full house on the draw.
This game calls for a combination of wits, patience,
and a good memory or strategy card.
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