In last week’s blog I described a loss rebate promotion at Molly’s, a chain of local 15-machine pubs in Las Vegas. I know many of my readers aren’t Vegas locals. While the specifics of today’s enhancement concern Molly’s, I’m hoping to make the discussion general enough so that it might be useful elsewhere as well.
Assume you take my advice of playing $2 8/5 Double Double Bonus Poker (DDB) until you’ve either lost $20 or have won $160 or more. If you do lose $20 (which will happen most of the time), you collect your $20 rebate and play it off on 25 cent 7/5 Bonus Poker (BP).
When you go to Molly’s, however, you might find a situation not described last week. On your first hand, you are dealt a pair of jacks, hold it, and after the draw it doesn’t improve. This is worth the $10 you spent playing the hand.
But instead of receiving $10, the machine asks if you want to double up. That is, risk the $10 you’ve already earned to receive equal chances of turning this into $20 or $0.
The three questions are: Do you double up? Would your answer change if you had received a full house (worth $80)? Or how about four kings (worth $500)?
Asking more questions before I give you my answers: How about after you’ve lost your initial $20 (which will usually but not always happen) and have received $20 free play, would you use the double up feature then?
I’ll tell how I answer these questions. I’m not positive that I’m correct, but I am putting my money where my mouth is! This is what I’m doing at Molly’s, when I go.
When I’m playing the $2 DDB game, my goal is to reach at least $160 or to lose $20. I know that over time I’m going to reach both of those goals several times — although the number of times I lose $20 will greatly exceed the number of times I reach $160.
If I’m still in the range of not having lost $20 nor having won $160, I’m doubling up every chance I get! If I exceed the $160, I’m no longer doubling up.
So when I receive a $10 “jackpot,” I’m definitely doubling. If I win and it goes up to $20. I’m doubling again. Same with $40. When it’s up to $80, I’m doubling one last time.
This will leave me with $160 (actually $150 because I had to pay a $10 ante to get started), but being $150 ahead is “close enough.” A successful double up from there will put me far over my goal, so it is mostly inefficient.
I will have had to win four 50-50 bets in a row (assuming I “won” $10 on my initial bet), which I’ll only do 1-in-16 times, but this way of gambling is much more efficient than playing this DDB game $10 at a time.
If I received a straight on my initial hand (worth $40), I would have doubled it and then doubled it again if I won the first time. One time in four, I’d reach my goal and quit.
If I received a $500 quad, I’m taking the money and stopping. I will have reached my “win at least $160” goal.
When I wrote the above, I was assuming the stopping point didn’t change whether or not you used the double up feature. I was wrong. A better strategy is to keep doubling until you get a W-2G, assuming you’re a professional and can write them off. If you can’t write them off, keep doubling until you’re just short of a W-2G. That is, double a $500 jackpot. If it wins, double it if you file as a professional gambler and don’t if you don’t.
Now let’s say I’ve lost my $20 on the $2 DDB game and am playing 25 cent BP. I win a hand and am presented with the double up option. Now what do I do?
I don’t double up. My goal is to play 16 hands of BP until I have used up my $20 in free play. Doubling up doesn’t reduce that number of hands I need to play. Doubling up doesn’t require an additional bet. It just gives you a 50-50 gamble on the winnings of a hand already completed.
If you want to double up more than I do, it’s not terrible. After all, it’s a 100% bet. But I spend my time gambling at games returning in excess of 100% (including everything), so betting at a mere 100% doesn’t interest me at all.
Keep in mind, that doubling up again and again greatly increases the chances of you losing today — although the occasional winning sessions will be much larger than if you didn’t double up. This takes a certain type of personality to tolerate. The suggestion to consider doubling up came from Filius Bruce (www.blog.vidpoke.com). I didn’t see the logic of it immediately, but upon reflection, I now believe it’s correct to do so as presented in this blog.