QUESTION: I play dollar Double Double Bonus Poker at a casino that has it two pretty interesting ways. It has 9/6 DDB with three progressives, on the royal, aces with kicker, and aces without kicker. It also has 9/5 DDB with just one progressive on the royal, but it has a $50,000 jackpot for a sequential royal. Is it worth giving up a unit on the flush and the ace progressives to get the sequential royal?
ANSWER: With royals at the base value of 4,000 coins for a five-coin wager, 9/5 Double Double Bonus returns 97.9% with expert play, and the sequential royal takes that up to 98.1. Each 1,000 coins added to the progressive royal jackpot adds about half a percent in value. Should you see the royal pot at about 8,000 coins -- $2,000 for a quarter player -- it’s a breakeven game to experts.
Note that that sequential royal adds only a bit more than two-tenths of a percent to the return. So without taking the progressives into account 9/5 Double Double Bonus is not as strong a game as 9/6 DDB, which returns 99.0%. Calculating a break-even point with a three-way progressive is trickier than with a single progressive. If the only progressive was on royal flushes, 9/6 Double Double Bonus would become a 100% game with the royal payoff at 5,846 credits. If the only progressive was on four aces with a 2, 3 or 4, the break-even point is a 2,760-credit return. If a progressive only on four 2s-4s with an ace, 2, 3 or 4, the magic number is 1,152.
But with three progressive levels, all contribute to raising the payback percentage. One way to get to 100% is 5,500 coins on the royal, 2,100 on the aces plus kicker and 827 on the quad low cards plus kicker. Another way is jackpot levels of 4,800, 2,249 and 900 credits.
Most of the time, the 9/6 game is going to be the higher-paying version. But there can be opportunities to work in the 9/5 game when jackpot levels are high there and low on the triple progressive.
QUESTION: What do you think about poker players who change seats to change their luck? I guess I’m mostly talking about home games here. Maybe a player will leave sometime in the evening, and another player will move to the vacated seat, saying something like, “Maybe the cards will be better over there.” Can changing seats really change your luck?
ANSWER: There’s nothing any more magical about the order in which the cards come out in poker than there is in blackjack or any other card game. If you’re changing seats because you’ve been getting bad cards and you think moving will bring you better hands, well, good luck to you.
Now, there are perfectly legitimate reasons to change seats. If you’re playing at home and a seat opens that’s closer to the refrigerator, by all means, grab it. If you’re next to a smoker and see clearer air across the table, go for it.
There are legitimate poker reasons, too. If you see a player at the table who you think you can take advantage of from a different betting position, that’s a move-worthy reason. If you’re on the other end of the stick, and a player betting before you is putting you on edge, you might think about a change.
But if you think another seat will bring better cards ... well, there’s as much chance your old seat will get better cards as that your new one will. Past deals have no effect on those in the future.
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