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The Disadvantage Of Louisiana Double Online Video Poker

By: Adam Richards, Wednesday September 2nd 2015
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A video poker variant titled Louisiana Double is available at some online casinos powered by Microgaming. It is based on a novel an interesting concept that is bound to entice newbie online video poker players. But Louisiana Double is not popular, because it offers a low average return to the player. This article takes you through the game play and payout table, explaining why it is not a good idea to play this online video poker variant with real money.

Louisiana Double online video poker is played with a special deck of 53 cards. The 53rd card is a Double card, which gives the game its name. The Double card does not participate in making poker hand rankings. Also it is not a wild card and does not substitute for another card in making poker hand rakings. If the Double card is in the final hand, then it doubles the payout generated by the remaining four cards. The most significant conclusion from this is that you cannot get doubled payouts for poker hand rankings that need all five cards.

This important issue is being clarified by way of some examples. If you hold J-J-8-7-2 you have a jacks or better hand and get paid even money. If you hold J-J-8-7-D you have a jacks or better hand with the Double card and get paid 2x. If you hold A-K-Q-J-10 of the same suit, you have a royal flush and get paid 500x, provided you have wagered five coins. If you hold A-K-Q-J-D, you do not get paid anything because A-K-Q-J is not any poker hand on the payout table. You would have realized by now that only four poker hands from the payout table can be doubled by the Double card. These are jacks or better, two pairs, three of a kind and four of a kind. This reduces the perceived advantage of the Double card.

The larger devil lies in the payout table. The poker hand rankings are the same as in the Jacks or Better online video poker variant. The payouts are compared for five coins wagered. In Louisiana Double the basic payouts are more for straight flush and four of a kind and less for royal flush and three of a kind. The crucial factor is the three of a kind hand, which accounts for about 7% of the hands dealt and reduces the average return by about 7%. After accounting for all eventualities including the Double advantage, Jacks or Better has an average return of 99.5%, whereas Louisiana Double has an average return of 93.5%.

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