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Double Draw Video Poker

By: Adam Baker, Sunday January 20th 2013
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Video poker is not only played at online casinos but is played at land casinos as well. In land casinos video poker is not a table game played with dealers, but is played in a slot machine like console. As in online video poker games, land casinos video poker is driven by software using random number generation. Land casinos offer video poker variants that are not played at the popular online casinos. One such variant is Double Draw video poker. The leading online casino software provider Microgaming has announced that it would soon offer Double Draw video poker through its instant play platform QuickFire. This article explains the game play, strategy and payouts of Double Draw video poker so as to prepare players for this game.

Double Draw video poker is based on Double Bonus video poker. The hand rankings start paying from a pair and move up to a royal flush. The four or four kind hand ranking is split into four aces, four twos to fours and four fives to kings. The name Double Draw indicates that the player will be allowed to draw twice. This facility is provided only under specific conditions. If the player is dealt any hand, other than three of a kind or full house, then the game follows the exact pattern ofDouble Bonus video poker. However, if the player is initially dealt three of a kind or full house then the player gets two draws. If the player is not satisfied with the replacement cards he receives the first time then he gets to draw again.

The specific optimum strategy revolves around the action to be taken by the player when he is initially dealt a three of a kind or full house hand. In the first draw, if the player gets three of a kind then he should discard the other two cards. If he gets a full house, then he should sacrifice the full house and discard the pair. The choices to be made for the second replacement are somewhat more complex. If the hand after the first replacement consists of a four of a kind then the player should stay with it. If after the first replacement the player gets a full house he should keep it, except in the following circumstance. If the full house contains three aces, then he should discard the pair. If the player cannot improve on the three of a kind hand after the first replacement, then he should again discard the other two cards.

In order to compensate for the advantage of being able to draw twice, some penalty has to be factored in Double Draw video poker so as to level the playing field. In order to understand this, a comparison of the payout tables for the two video poker variants needs to be done. A payout of 1 to 1 for jacks or better that is present in Double Bonus video poker has been removed from the Double Draw variant. The payouts for three hand rankings have been reduced. Straight pays 4 to 1 instead of 5 to 1. Flush pays 5 to 1 instead of 7 to 1. Full house pays 7 to 1 instead of 10 to 1. The net result is a reduction in average return from 100.17% to 99.05%. These average returns are contingent on optimum strategy.

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