Double Double Bonus Poker – Let Us Take A Closer Look

The additional bonus payoff is great, however, be careful of the unpredictability that comes with it.

double double bonus poker

When playing Double Double Bonus Poker (DDBP), it is crucial to remember the unpredictability of this game, which means the bankroll swings tend to be greater as compared to other less unpredictable games like Jacks or Better. Double Double Bonus is a highly volatile game.

By far, DDB is a highly popular and well-known video poker game. It is popular because of its extra bonus payoff that a player gets with four aces, 4s, 3s, or 2s along with a special fifth card known as the ‘kicker,’ and it comes in the same hand as the 4-of-a-kind. Listed below are some exclusive details regarding this game, both good and bad, including a few tips on how one can improve their chances of winning.

Double Double Bonus Poker’s Kickers

One of the first-ever video poker games to introduce Kicker was Double Double Bonus Poker. That is how this game received its name. The name ‘Double Double Bonus’ was given due to the fact that the game’s payoffs for special 4-of-a-kind hands ends up paying double the amount that gets paid in Double Bonus in the presence of a Kicker. In the DDB game, a Kicker is usually a 2, 3, 4, and an ace.

The key hands in the game that results in a bonus payout are as follows:

Payout with 5-Coins PlayedHand
2000 coins4 Aces with 2, 3, or 4 kicker
800 coinsFour 2s, 3s, 4s with A, 2, 3, or 4 kicker

Hence, there is a possibility to get paid the equal of half a royal flush, like $500 on the quarter-denomination machine, whenever a player is dealt 4 aces along with a 2, 3, or 4 kicker. So, when will this take place? The answer is: once in 16,000 hands, roughly. That is a lot greater as compared to the once in 40,000 hands occurrence in the case of the royal flush. That is why this payout consisting of half a royal flush is why players love DDB.

Double Double Bonus’s Pay Schedules

The table below showcases the different pay schedules for the game that players are likely to come across, including the expected returns (ER). The most dominant pay schedule is the 9/6 one. This game’s expected return is 98.98%, if a player ends up playing each hand perfectly and they play max coins. It is highly encouraged to not go for a 9/5 or an 8/5 Double Double Bonus game, because both of their expected returns are terrible.

As you can see, a 10/6 pay schedule comes with a 100.06% expected return. However, this pay schedule is not easily available in a lot of the gaming jurisdictions. They can be found in specific local casinos that are located in Las Vegas. Over there, the 10/6 pay schedule is available for $1 plus lower denominations. You can visit to see the list of casinos offering 10/6 DDB.

Here’s the payout per coin played:

Pair of Jokers, Queens, Kings, and Aces1111
Two Pair1111
Full House89910
Four 5 through Kings50505050
Four 2s, 3s, 4s80808080
Four 2s, 3s, 4s with A, 2, 3, or 4 kicker160160160160
Four Aces160160160160
Four Aces with 2, 3, 4 kicker400400400400
Straight Flush50505050
Royal Flush250*250*250*250*
Expected Returns (ER)96.79%97.87%98.98%100.06%

*4000 for a 5-coin royal flush.

What Should Be The Playing Strategy In Double Double Bonus?

It might be obvious that the playing strategy of DDB and Double Bonus would be the same, since the name of the two game are nearly alike. However, this is not the case here. A factor that will greatly impact the strategy in the game is the payoff for the flush, instead of the full house and straight. When it comes to the flush payoff for 9/6 DDB, it is six coins times the player’s bet, while it is seven coins in Double Bonus. Also, the playing strategy in the case of DDB is a lot closer to 9/6 Jacks or Better, because the flushes in the latter game pay six coins times the player’s bet.

Moreover, the playing strategy in the case of Double Double Bonus is quite unique due to the additional value of Aces and the Kickers. If a person plays DDB, for example, and they have a full house consisting of 3 aces, they will break up the full house and then hold the three aces. Similarly, if a player has a hand that consists of 2 pair and one of those pairs is aces, then the player will only hold the 2 aces. Plus, the player would also mostly go for inside straights when playing DDB, as compared to Jacks or Better.

Players can find a more accurate playing strategy for this game at, which is a video poker page. Plus, there is a list consisting of 39 practice hands that can help test a person’s playing skills. It is also recommended to use a video poker software training program that can be used on a person’s home computer in order to practice the game’s strategy. Also, you don’t have to be embarrassed or feel shameful when you bring a strategy card to a casino you are visiting.

Double Double Bonus’s Variance

One highly crucial fact a player needs to remember about Double Double Bonus is that this game is very volatile and unpredictable, which means that the bankroll swings tend to be a lot greater as compared to a less volatile game like Jacks or Better.

A great reason why this game is more unpredictable is due to the juicy 4 of a kind jackpot hands that contain aces through 4s along with a Kicker take place infrequently. This happens at the cost of a reduced payoff for the frequently hit 2 pair, straight, flush, and the full house hands. Thus, if a player doesn’t get lucky and ends up getting at least one 4-of-a-kind hand in a session, then their bankroll is going to head downwards quite quickly. Since DDB is quite unpredictable, it needs a greater bankroll to get a player through the long stretches when it comes to several jackpots. Every player should be mentally, financially, and even emotionally prepared for the volatility that comes with this game.


To summarize everything, Double Double Bonus comes with the following characteristics:

  • This game offers its players mini jackpots for infrequent 4-of-a-kind hands with a Kicker.
  • The expected returns of the common 9/6 DDB is about 98.98%, meaning the majority of the recreational players might lose the game in the long run, since it is a rarity to discover casino perks that is going to increase the overall ER and make it greater than 100%. If you happen to be in Las Vegas, take this opportunity to play the 10/7 DDB game.
  • A player needs to learn the playing strategy for this game prior to playing it, because it a unique one. A strategy used in Double Bonus will not work with DDB, despite the similar names.
  • Since this game is highly volatile, a player should expect massive swings in their bankroll.

An Exclusive Playing Tip

Let’s say you have five cards in your possession and their order is as follows: a red ace of diamonds, a black ace of clubs, a red ace of hearts, a black two of spades, and a red eight of diamonds. So, how will you play this specific hand in Double Double Bonus?

Mostly, a player will hold the 3 aces with a Kicker and hope to draw another ace, hence giving them 4 aces plus a deuce Kicker for a great half-royal payoff. But, making that move is a massive mistake in DDB. In this case, if you possess 3 aces plus a two through four Kicker, you should not hold on to the kicker. Instead, you should hold the 3 aces and draw 2 cards; this play has a higher expected value.

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Kelly Spritzler
After finishing her degree in Publishing and Writing, Kelly started her career as a copywriter for the gaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news and guide are written to the highest standard possible.
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