Aces In the Hole? Don’t Press Your Luck – Video Poker Strategy

 Aces In the Hole? Don’t Press Your Luck – Video Poker Strategy

Double Double Bonus Poker is the game of choice for many video poker players, and it’s not hard to understand why. There’s a 2,000-coin jackpot for four Aces accompanied by a fifth card that’s a 2, 3 or 4. On a quarter machine, that’s a $500 bonanza, a nice payday for a $1.25 bet.

A reader emailed recently to ask about strategy with a pair of Aces and a low card. “If I have two Aces, a low card and a couple of card to throw away, do I hold the low card with the Aces,” she asked.

Again, the answer is that it’s a better play to hold just the Aces. Dealt two Aces, a 2, and a 5 and 7 of mixed suits in 9-6 Double Double Bonus Poker, the average return per five coins wagered is 9.57 coins per five-coins wagered if you hold just the Aces, and only 7.96 if you hold Ace-Ace-2.

Holding Ace-Ace-2 does give you a better chance at four Aces plus a low-card kicker, but it’s a rare event. With that start, you’ll draw the other two Aces for the 2,000-coin jackpot only once per 1,081 hands.

Holding just the Aces, the chances of completing four Aces plus a kicker drops to 1 in 1,466. But hold the Aces, and you also have a 1 in 474 shot at four Aces, no kicker, for an 800-coin pay. You have no chance at that hand if you hold a 2 with the Aces.

You also have better chances at three of a kind and full houses if you just hold the Aces. Bottom line: This is not a close call. Hold a pair of Aces, skip the kicker.

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