Double Pay video poker presents an interesting twist on the basic gameplay
that most video poker players are accustomed to enjoying. Without having to do
anything differently when playing the game, players essentially get two chances
at winning each hand. That’s because they can win on both the deal and the draw
Video poker was created as a kind of simulation of five-card draw, which is a
popular poker game played among friends. Players get a deal and can exchange
cards in a draw round in an attempt to make a winning hand. The most common form
of video poker, known as Jacks or Better, mimics that setup.
Yet, for players who like a little spice in their video poker play, there
were some variations added to the basic formula. On the one hand, bonus
poker games came along and featured pay structures that gave players far
more access to jackpot-sized payoffs during regular play. Then there were games
that subtly messed with the basic formula of gameplay, adding the changes to the
Interestingly enough, Double Pay video poker manages to give players exposure
to all of these extras in one fell swoop. And it does so without changing the
dynamics of basic gameplay as anyone familiar with Jacks or Better would know
it. It manages to do this by adding payouts for the deal as well as the draw.
That means that a player could conceivably win twice on the hand. If the deal
manages to produce a hand that’s a winner according to the game’s pay table, you
would win based on that. But you could also win again if you discard certain
cards and improve upon the hand by getting new cards on the draw.
On top of that, Double Pay video poker allows you to experiment with some of
the bonus pay tables that were added to the Jacks or Better format. That means
you can set yourself up for those impressive payoffs that come with hands that
are actually not out of the realm of possibilities. When you add in the
exaggerated payoffs for any rare hands made on the deal, you can see why this
game holds a lot of excitement.
Of course, the only way you can play this game is by essentially doubling
your bet on every hand. To win on both the deal and the draw, you must bet on
both the deal and the draw. And that means you’ll need some of those good hands
to come along quickly or you could find your bankroll diminishing in a hurry.
In the following article, we’ll take a look at how Double Pay video poker
works compared to regular video poker. We’ll also explain how the different sets
of pay tables work and how that affects payback percentages. Finally, we’ll talk
about strategy and give an honest assessment of how this game stacks up against
other video poker games.
Basic Video Poker Gameplay
As we stated above, Double Pay video poker creates a new spin on common video
poker, but it doesn’t require you to learn any new skills while you’re playing.
That means that you just have to get the idea of how to play basic video poker
to enjoy this exciting variation.
If you’ve never experienced video poker before, either in your favorite
casino or while playing casino games online, you’ll find that it’s an easy game
to learn. It will help if you understand how winning poker hands
are formed. But even if you lack that basic knowledge, you should be able to
learn the basics of video poker play in relatively no time at all.
Let’s walk you through the process. Again, once you have this down, we’ll be
able to compare it to Double Pay video poker so you can see where the two games
are similar and how they vary slightly. Here is a step-by-step look at video
Establishing Your Bankroll: You will insert
money into the video poker machine to start, or, if playing online, you’ll
create an account on a gambling website. The denomination of the game (a
quarter, a dollar, etc.) will either be set by the machine, or you will have
the opportunity to choose the denomination you want to play. Your bankroll
will be expressed in credits or coins, with each credit or coin being equal
to one unit of the denomination.
Making Bets: For each hand of common video
poker, you’ll wager between one and five coins. It’s always recommended that
you go with the five-coin bet if possible because it increases the
proportion of your payments for the royal flush in a significant fashion.
Yet, if that is too rich for your blood, you can always switch it to a bet
of fewer than five coins.
Getting the Deal: Once you hit the “Deal”
button, five cards will appear on the screen. These cards will come from a
simulated 52-card deck. That means that your chances of receiving specific
cards will be exactly the same as if you were playing at home with a deck of
cards that you pulled from the drawer. Hopefully, the five cards that you
are dealt will resemble one of the winning hands allowed by the pay table
for the machine.
Deciding on the Draw: After the deal, you’ll
have a chance to assess your hand and decide which cards you’d like to hold
and which you’d like to discard. You can keep all five, discard all five, or
hold and discard any combination. The goal is to use the probabilities of
making winning hands with the cards remaining in the deck when making your
Getting the Draw: Once you hit the “Draw”
button, the machine will replace the cards you’ve discarded (if any) with
fresh ones from the same deck that dealt you the original hand. At that
point, the hand is over. You will have either made a winning hand or not,
and the computer inside the machine will add any winning credits to your
Playing Again or Quitting: You can play video
poker as long as you have credits left in your bankroll, repeating steps two
through five as necessary. Alternatively, you can quit playing. If you do
quit, you’ll receive a ticket which you can cash out or use for other games
in the casino.
Really, it’s as easy as that. And once you’ve played a few hands, you won’t
have to think about the process at all. In addition, you’ll likely discover why
video poker is so popular with so many people.
On the one hand, video poker compares favorably to slot machines because it
allows you some control over the action. When you are playing slot machines, you
are completely at the mercy of Lady Luck. Luck is a factor in video poker as
well, but at least you get to decide on what to hold and discard, allowing for
In addition, the probabilities of video poker allow for some predictability
to come into play. That’s not the case with slot machines, where you can never
know how often certain winning spins might come up.
Video games also hold an edge on table games because it’s a solo experience.
There is no need to worry about other gamblers or casino employees putting a
damper on your enjoyment. You can simply play the game at your own pace without
any worries about others.
There is a lot to like about basic video poker. Now let’s talk about Double
Pay video poker and see what it is about this game that separates it from the
common video poker experience.
Double Pay Video Poker Gameplay
The big difference in Double Pay video poker is that there is a payoff
possibility for the deal round. This element of the game is almost like a slot
machine in that respect, since you won’t have any control over winning or losing
your bet. But it does mean that a good deal can be doubly rewarding.
Think about it: If you receive a great deal, the chances are that you’ll win
twice, once on the deal and once on the draw. The requirements for a winning
hand on the deal are lesser, so there is the chance that you might win on the
deal and, if you don’t improve it, not on the draw. By contrast, you can get
nothing on the deal, lose that bet, but still get lucky on the draw and come up
a winner in that part of the process.
Or you can conceivably lose in both instances. And that is the aspect of
Double Pay video poker that you have to consider before committing to it.
Because you have to make bets for both rounds, it can get very expensive,
especially if the deals and draws aren’t going in your favor.
Let’s take a look at a sample hand so we can explore how Double Pay video
This is the first area where Double Pay video poker separates from video
poker. You need to make two bets to play. One will go to the deal, and one will
go to the draw.
Keep in mind that you only have to bet one credit for each to get the Double
Pay. But, as we mentioned above, the pay tables in video poker are geared to
reward those players who bet five credits at a time or max bet. That means to
play Double Pay video poker to the maximum level, you need to bet ten credits at
Otherwise, if you manage to get a royal flush (ten through ace of the same
suit), you will receive a much-reduced payoff. Playing the game at less than the
maximum bet actually reduces your potential payback percentage, which is
something you really need to consider if you plan on playing the game often.
Let’s say, for the sake of this example, you decide to take our advice and
make the maximum bet. That means that you put ten credits in play, thereby
triggering the deal.
When you play Double Pay video poker, you’ll be given the choice of several
different variations of video poker, with specific pay tables accompanying them.
The basic four games that you’ll encounter are Deuces Wild, Double Bonus, Double
Double Bonus, and Triple Double Bonus. That’s another advantage of Double Pay:
the chance to choose the pay table of your liking.
For this example, we’re going to imagine that you are choosing to play Deuces
Wild. That means that any two that you come upon on the deal or the draw can be
changed into whatever makes the hand the best.
Here is your deal for a Deuces Wild hand on Double Pay video poker:
With this hand, you have a pair of queens because the two becomes a queen to
improve the hand. On the pay table for the Deuces Wild version of Double Pay
video poker, which we’ll show you in a bit, a pair of queens brings you five
coins in return for a five-coin wager. You are essentially getting your original
At the very least, you get your bet back with this deal. But you still have
work to do because the draw is coming up.
Part two of this hand is the draw, which is where your strategy comes into
play. You notice that you have three cards in a row: the ten, jack, and queen
all of the same suit. Not only that, with the wild card you have four out of the
five cards you need for the royal flush, since the two can become either the
king or ace of hearts.
For that reason, you decide to hold on to everything but the seven of clubs.
On the draw you receive the following:
With another wild card, you can now change the pair of twos into the king and
ace of hearts. That gives you what is known as a wild royal flush, which is what
a royal flush achieved with the help of wild cards is called. The payoff on the
draw pay table for the wild royal flush is 125 coins.
So, let’s total up what you won on that hand:
A Pair of Queens on the Deal: 5 coins won
A Wild Royal Flush on the Draw: 125 coins won
5 + 125 coins = 130 coins
When you subtract the ten coins that you originally wagered, that leaves you
with a nice profit of 120 coins. In this case, all of your profit came from the
draw, but there are many instances where you can make a solid profit on both the
deal and the draw if you get the right cards.
That’s essentially how Double Pay video poker works. As you can see, there is
nothing else that you need to know how to do other than play with solid strategy
when choosing what to hold and what to discard. The rest falls into place once
you make that extra bet that is connected to the deal.
Again, the previous example shows a successful hand. On the unsuccessful
hands, you will lose ten credits a shot. That means that your bankroll can
really take a big hit if you come upon a run of bad luck, certainly more so than
if you were playing basic video poker.
That’s a major consideration that you have to make when playing Double Pay
video poker. Now we’ll look at examples of pay tables to see if the rewards are
worth the risks.
Pay Tables for Double Pay Video Poker
There is no piece of information more important that you can have when
playing video poker than the pay table. Luckily, it’s always provided for you
right in the machine, and it’s also locatable if you’re playing online. The pay
table will show you which hands you should be shooting for and how much you can
reasonably expect to return from the game when playing a session (more on that
when we get to payback percentages).
In the case of Double Pay video poker, you’ll always be referring to two
different pay tables. One will be for the deal and the other for the draw. Since
we already talked about a hand of Deuces Wild above, let’s first show you the
pay table for the deal for that variation of Double Pay video poker:
Wild royal flush
Five of a kind
Four of a kind
Three of a kind
Pair of queens+
Now let’s move on to the pay table for that same game, only this time for the
Wild royal flush
Five of a kind
Four of a kind
Three of a kind
The first thing that you’ll probably notice is how much higher the payouts
are for certain hands on the deal compared to the draw. You might also be able
to figure out why.
It’s much easier to make certain hands when given a chance to discard certain
cards and picking up new ones. You are greatly increasing your probabilities of
making winning hands when you have a draw.
For that reason, the winning hands on the deal can pay you a huge amount.
Look at that payout for a natural royal flush on the deal with five coins played
of 60,000 coins! That towers over what you can expect on most common video poker
You also have to understand that the standard for a winning hand is much
lower when it comes to the deal round than it is for the draw round. Again, that
is because of the probabilities. The machine is essentially adjusting to account
for the increased probability of hands being made on the draw, especially, in
this case, with the wild cards in play.
Another thing that should stand out is how much more the natural royal flush
(a royal flush achieved without the help of any wild cards) pays out for five
coins played, on both the deal and draw, than it does for one through four
played. That is why we so strongly recommended earlier in the article that you
attempt to play the max bet of ten coins for every hand. It’s expensive, for
sure, but it’s worth it should you get extremely lucky and manage a royal flush.
Payback Percentages for Double Pay Video Poker
A payback percentage is a mathematical estimation of what a player can expect
to receive from a casino game during a given session. In terms of video poker,
it comes from combining the probabilities of achieving winning hands and the
payoffs for those hands as determined by the pay tables.
With Double Pay video poker, that equation gets a little bit more complicated
because of the inclusion of the deal round. Luckily, others have done the math
already, and you need simply look up the games and pay tables attached to them
to find the specific percentages.
Why is it important to know the pay tables? Well, if you are only planning on
playing a certain game for a short amount of time either at a casino or online,
it’s not overly important. That’s because luck will play a huge factor in your
success, or lack thereof, over such a short sample size.
Yet, if you decide to play a game like Double Pay Video Poker for a long
period of time or over several sessions, the payback percentage will eventually
reveal what you can expect from it. You should always look for the games with
the most competitive payback percentages when compared to other video poker
Here are the most lucrative payback percentages you can expect from the games
you can play under the Double Pay video poker umbrella:
Double Pay Deuces Wild: 97.84%
Double Pay Double Bonus: 97.65%
Double Pay Double Double Bonus: 97.42%
Double Pay Trible Double Bonus: 97.42%
How do those numbers figure into actual gameplay? Well, imagine that you
started a bankroll of $10,000. If a game had a 97.84% payback percentage, you
would, on average, come away with a bankroll of $9,784 once all that money had
That means that you would be looking at a $216 loss in that scenario. But
that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what will happen to you when you play the
game. You could conceivably hit an early hot streak and win a bunch, or you
could struggle to win many hands.
What it means is that the more that you play, the more that your own personal
percentage will start to resemble that number. That’s why serious players should
be on the lookout for the video poker variations that pay the most.
Sadly, Double Pay video poker lacks a little in that department. As an
example, simple Jacks or Better, at its most lucrative level, pays off 99.54%,
higher than any of the Double Pay games. Even though gameplay might not be as
exciting, Jacks or Better is actually the better choice for those who are going
to try to grind out earnings from video poker, either in a casino or on a top online casino sites.
That doesn’t mean that Double Pay is to be entirely avoided. If you’re the
type that likes the idea of large payments in one fell swoop, this game offers
that and then some. In fact, those jackpot-style payments soar extremely high in
the deal round; much higher than most other video poker games.
It all depends on what you’re seeking from your video poker action. If you’re
the daring type, it’s most likely that Double Pay video poker will be to your
Strategy for Double Pay Video Poker
In most cases, video poker games have specific strategy tips that can be
ladled out to players. This isn’t the case with Double Pay video poker because
the strategy should be tailored to the version of the game you’re playing.
You wouldn’t play Deuces Wild in the same manner as you would Triple Double
Bonus. The Bonus games are all pretty similar. But even with those, you could
find intricacies in the pay tables that might cause you to play certain deals
differently depending on which version it is that you’ve chosen.
So, what should you do to develop your strategy? First, you should decide
which version holds the most allure for you among the four games that can be
played with the Double Pay twist. Then you should seek out the strategy tips
that are specific to that game.
That means consulting one of the two following sources:
Video Poker Training Software: This software can
sometimes be free, but the best versions of it will cost you a few dollars.
Whichever software you end up acquiring, make sure it allows you to simulate
the version of the game that you choose. The software will allow you to play
sample hands and it will alert you when you are making incorrect decisions.
Strategy Charts: A strategy chart, which can be
found online and printed for your convenience, breaks down all of the
possible combinations of cards you might receive on the deal. It ranks those
combinations, allowing you to compare your own hand to these. Once you have
found the highest-ranked combination of cards that matches what you have,
you can then discard the cards that aren’t essential.
By practicing with these tools, you can approach and perhaps attain perfect
play. That means that you are making the hold and discard that returns the best
possible value on every single hand. Perfect play is the only way that you can
reach the quoted payback percentages, as frequent mistakes will eventually bring
down your expected payback.
Higher top-end payouts than most other video poker games
Access to several different types of popular video poker games
Cons of Double Pay
Expensive to play a max bet every hand
Pay tables lag behind simpler games
No Jacks or Better pay table available for less-advanced players
Conclusion on Double Pay Video Poker
Double Pay video poker may not pay off in the long run because of its
mediocre payback percentages, but in the short term, the opportunity for huge
payoffs in one stroke is hard to resist. That’s especially true when a single,
fortunate deal can truly double your pleasure.
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