Double Bonus video poker is one of the most enjoyable and exciting video poker variants available at online casinos. Thrill-seekers shouldn't be put off by the game's lack of wild cards – Double Bonus offers potentially huge payouts to those who dare.
This video poker variant also holds the title of most unique thanks to the opportunity provided to change a player's stake based on the amount that player is willing to wager. This can mean massive jackpots but also limited access; some of the bigger bonuses and jackpots might only be accessible by those wagering below a set threshold.
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Seasoned Jacks or Better players will immediate recognize Double Bonus' 52-card format. Double Bonus games often start by allowing players to change their stake to reflect the amount they’re willing to wager. Bear in mind, however, that some providers change their pay scales based on the stake players put forward. This means that big bonuses and top payouts are sometimes only available to users willing to bet above a set threshold.
Once players have decided on their bet, the game deals five cards using a random number generator (RNG). Players must then decide if they want to “hold” any cards that could lead to a good return. Although some games feature an “auto hold” option that selects cards based on the game's recommendations, it's better to have a strategy in mind and take control.
When players have selected the cards they wish to hold, pressing the “deal” button triggers a final draw, revealing the last five cards. The make-up of this hand is used to determine winnings, and at this point the game will roll on or payout.
Like Jacks or Better, Double Bonus starts to pay when a player uncovers a pair of Jacks. Where the game differs from “Jacks” versions, however, is that lower-ranking payouts are often reduced from 2/1 to 1/1 to offset high rewards for four-of-a-kind. It's also common for Double Bonus games to place special emphasis on four Aces - uncovering this combination can trigger huge returns for a lucky few.
Players considering stepping up from a low-volatility game with frequent returns might find the thought of jumping into Double Bonus a little daunting. It's worth noting, however, that the game's expected return rate can reach 100.17%. This means that Double Bonus hosts are also putting their money on the table, as the house stands to lose a lot if several players hit the jackpot.
In order to reach an expected return of 100.17%, players must hunt for the 10/7/5 pay table. This table pays 10 coins for a full house, seven for a flush and five for a straight, trumping 9/7/5 and 9/6/5 games which have average returns of 99.11% and 97.81% respectively.
Big payouts are only accessible in Double Bonus when a perfect strategy is played, which can take a lot of practice. New and seasoned players alike should take their time when figuring out which hands to target and when to hold tight.
Low payouts on lesser hands mean that Double Bonus players often go on streaks where they lose more than they will win. The pot is likely to deplete quickly before being refilled by a good-sized payout; players must be ready for this hurdle when starting their Double Bonus journey.
The game's setup means that it's usually better to risk playing for straights and flushes above pairs and two pairs – after all, this isn't run-of the-mill Jacks or Better. Despite the high stakes involved, there's a good reason that Double Bonus is popping up at the best legal and regulated US casinos: With a bit of thinking and a steady head, Double Bonus can be a thrilling ride.
"A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade."
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