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Best of John Robison

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Ask the Slot Expert: Multipliers and dealt royals on Double Super Times Pay

19 June 2019

Question: I just read your piece last week about the person whose wife hit the Royal on Double Super Times Pay.

I don't know if you are aware that the rules of the game state that if you are dealt a Royal with any multiplier you automatically get the 10x multiplier on the deal and the draw. Somebody hit this at the "M" last year on $5 play for a $400,000 payday.

Answer: It's amazing what you can learn about a machine from reading the rules.

"...on a dealt natural royal flush with 7 credits bet...if a deal multiplier is awarded, both the deal and the draw multipliers are awarded at 10x."

Thanks for pointing that out. I've only played Super Times Pay and Double Super Times Pay for a little while at low stakes just to get a feel for the games. I wasn't aware of the guarantee on a dealt royal with multiplier.

And the couple who hit that hand weren't aware of it either. I'm glad they didn't know. They would have been much less excited to see the 10x pop up on the draw if they had known it was already specified in the rules. This way they had a triple header of excitement: the excitement of being dealt a royal, the excitement of getting a 10x multiplier on the deal, and the excitement of getting another 10x multiplier for the draw.

I feel sorry for my friends who work the slot floor. Players can ask them questions about any of the machines on the slot floor. The staff can't possibly know all of the ins and outs of all of the games on the floor. Some of these machines have a half dozen or more help screens, so finding the answer to a question may not be easy. It once took a slot floorperson and myself five minutes to figure out why my friend was paid a certain amount for a spin. (The machine had multiplying wild symbols and it took us that long to work out what the base combination was.) There's a new Flintstones machine I've spent some quality time with. I've checked the help screens a few times and I still can't figure out how you win the progressive jackpot.

Speaking of $400,000, the slot director at the Desert Inn told me this story of a big hit there. He was on the golf course one afternoon when his cell rang. It was the person in charge of the slot floor that day. He told my friend that someone hit a royal flush on the $100 video poker machine. My friend asked if there was anything unusual or anything he should be aware of. The other guy said that there were no red flags raised before the hit. Everything looked legit. He asked what he should do.

My friend said, "Pay the man."


Question: I mostly play Super Bonus Deuces Wild video poker. I can not find strategy charts or strategy cards for this game.

What strategy differences should I use compared to regular Deuces Wild game? Should I keep an ace kicker because four deuces plus an ace pays 2,000 coins? Or never keep a kicker in this game?

Answer: There are a number of Windows programs that generate strategies for a paytable. I use the online strategy maker at the Wizard of Odds' site. You can use this page to generate the strategy and then compare it with the Deuces Wild stategy you are using. There are a number of Deuces Wild paytables. I can't tell you the specific changes to make because I don't know which Deuces Wild paytable you're playing — or the Super Bonus Deuces Wild paytable, for that matter.

As for whether you should hold a kicker, let's guess before we do the math. Should we hold an ace with one deuce? Two? Three?

I'm going to take a cue from the Triple Double Bonus and Double Double Bonus strategies and guess that you never hold the kicker with only one or two deuces. A hand with three deuces and an ace is trickier. In Triple Double Bonus you sometimes hold kickers and in Double Double Bonus you never do. I'm going to guess that we don't hold the kicker. We want to maximize our chances of getting the fourth deuce.

The Wizard has a hand analyzer at this page. I used the default Super Bonus Deuces Wild paytable, but I don't think it matters which paytable you choose for this situation.

Let's look at one deuce and an ace plus three irrelevant cards. Holding the deuce alone has an expected return of 0.977 compared with 0.936 for holding both the deuce and the ace. Hold the deuce only.

Let's add another deuce to the hand. Holding the two deuces is worth 3.01 versus holding the deuces and the ace at 2.72. Hold just the two deuces.

Now for the exciting hand, three deuces and an ace. One hand is worth 15.23 and the other is worth 14.73. Do we hold the ace kicker? Yes, we do. Holding both the deuces and the ace has the higher expected value.

This exercise shows how important it is to do the math to analyze a situation. We can make educated guesses about which cards to hold, but the number never lie.


John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots