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Best of Elliot Frome

Gaming Guru

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There's No Place Like Home

26 October 2004

For those who frequent casinos, two glaring facts hit you after a while. Casinos don't have windows. Casinos don't have clocks. Quite frankly, the casinos pretty much want to make you forget the outside world even exists! If you were to be 'transported' to the center of a random casino, it would take a while to figure out where you are. One clue to help you would to be to look around at the Video Poker games. If you find one called Double Joker's Wild, you're almost certainly in Atlantic City. Over the years, the game has spread somewhat, and it can now be found in Connecticut casinos as well.

When Atlantic City offered almost only 6/5 jacks or better games, games like Double Joker were pure gold. The most common version pays 97.7%, but occasionally you can find the full-pay version paying 100%. The paytable for full-pay Double Joker is as follows:

Hand
Pays
Royal Flush
800
Joker Royal
100
Five of a Kind
50
Straight Flush
25
Four of a Kind
9
Full House
5
Flush
4
Straight
3
Three of a Kind
2
Two Pair
1

When the Four of a Kind pays only 8, the payback is only 97.7%.

Like all wild card games, the strategy table is broken down based on the number of wild cards in the initial draw. If dealt both Jokers, the strategy table tells us to play all 4-card straight flushes and to discard straights in favor of either Two Jokers and a 10 or Two Jokers (if no 10). Flushes should be held. One other little twist is that 4-Card Royals with a Queen or Jack High play over a Four of a Kind, so if dealt JD QD Jkr Jkr JH, you go for the Royal instead of holding the Four of a Kind. If the Royal has a King or Ace, you keep the Four of a Kind.

If dealt only a single Joker, the strategy table tells us to play all 3-Card Straight Flushes, 4-Card Straights and 4-Card Flushes. If you don't have at least that strong of a hand, hold the lone Joker. All single Joker hands have an expected value greater than 1, so once you've been dealt one of the jokers, you've got an expected winner.

Of course, you'll be dealt a Joker only about 18% of the time, or a little less than 1 out of 5 hands. The other more than 80% of the time, you almost have to be dealt a sure winner to get the expected value to be greater than 1. Throwing all 5 cards is not a good prospect, so even 2-Card Straight Flushes are playable if they are least a 5-High Straight Flush. 3-Card Straights and 3-Card Flushes are NOT playable.

If you're playing in Atlantic City or Connecticut, Double Joker can be one of the highest payback games you may find. The strategy takes some practice, as do all Joker games, but is really not a difficult strategy to master. Master the strategy, and for those on the East Coast, playing close to home may not seem as bad as it used to.

Elliot Frome

Elliot Frome is a 2nd generation gaming author and analyst. His father, Lenny Frome was considered one of the premier authors of Video Poker books. Titles include, Expert Video Poker for Las Vegas and Winning Strategies for Video Poker, which includes the strategy tables for 61 of the country’s most popular versions of Video Poker. Check out Compu-Flyers website at www.vpheaven.com, or drop Elliot an e-mail at compuflyers@prodigy.net.

Elliot Frome Websites:

www.vpheaven.com

Books by Elliot Frome:

> More Books By Elliot Frome

Elliot Frome
Elliot Frome is a 2nd generation gaming author and analyst. His father, Lenny Frome was considered one of the premier authors of Video Poker books. Titles include, Expert Video Poker for Las Vegas and Winning Strategies for Video Poker, which includes the strategy tables for 61 of the country’s most popular versions of Video Poker. Check out Compu-Flyers website at www.vpheaven.com, or drop Elliot an e-mail at compuflyers@prodigy.net.

Elliot Frome Websites:

www.vpheaven.com

Books by Elliot Frome:

> More Books By Elliot Frome