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Double Down on Video Poker Playing Online?

Discussion in 'Online Casino and Poker Complaints - old section' started by joe mehm, Apr 7, 2006.

    Apr 7, 2006
  1. joe mehm

    joe mehm Dormant account

    internet sales
    I couldn't find any info regarding the odds/percentages for doubling down on video poker so I'll start one here.
    I've been playing video poker for about 18 years now and have tried them all. Every type of machine and every game.
    One thing that I've always had fun doing is doubling down when I get most any kind of hand (full house on down). I'll usually double from one time up to five times per hand, depending on how lucky I feel.
    My largest payoff from doubling down was on a Carnival cruise where I was playing the $1 Jacks or Better machine and hit two pair. It was the end of the night on the last day of a 3 day cruise and I was WAY down so I said what the heck, let's go for it! I doubled nine times not counting a couple pushes. I turned a $10 win into $5,120. I almost fell out of my chair. Yes, I cashed out. :)
    Anyway, more recently I've been playing online and here is where my issue starts. I'm used to have moderate chip swings when doubling. When you double down you theoretically should have a 50/50 chance of winning. When I play on cruise ships or at a land based casino I have times that I win as much as $10,000-$13,000 and other times I drop $8,000-$10,000 but it seems to average out in the long run. But since playing online and mainly with sites that use Microgamming software I've noticed HUGE swings consistently in the houses favor. I've been tracking every hand that I double down on lately and have seen the house win 19% MORE hands than me. Does that seem odd? Does that seem fair? Does anyone track the stats on that part of the game?
    The latest site I've been playing at is CrazyVegasCasino (casinomeister approved) and when I complained to them by email about it all they did was send me a generic preformatted email saying this:

    "We confirm that Microgamings Random Numbers Generator which is independent from any other part of the system runs all our games. Our systems have been independently reviewed for fairness and conformity with the rules, payout regulations, and standards of fairness found in the major casino locations.
    The Casino is reviewed on an ongoing basis by one of the world's leading major
    auditing companies."

    Any thoughts? Am I wrong? Why wouldn't they offer their percentage info on double downs if my numbers were off?
  2. Apr 7, 2006
  3. 42ndSSD

    42ndSSD Dormant account

    I've seen some pretty wild swings--in both directions. When I was first playing online a few months ago I played about 5,000 hands with double-up and recorded the results; reasonably close to 50/50, even though at times it seemed the house was winning more than expected. (I ended up slightly ahead in terms of wins from double-up.)

    While the double up feature indeed has a probability of 0.5, the overall variance is higher than a simple coin flip. (Consider the effect of the dealer or player hitting several high cards in a row. Runs are more likely, and you'll have to play it a lot more to reach the expected results.)

    When you give the 19% figure it's important to state how many trials in your sample. 19% in favor of the house over 200 tries is quite possibly due to random chance, but 19% over 20,000 hands could indicate something fishy is going on.

    I'm not too worried about the casinos cheating in this way (if they wanted to cheat they'd do it in a much less detectable manner) but there's never anything wrong with checking on them anyway.

    Another question worth considering is whether the double-up feature is worthwhile.

    Double-up increases variance. Increased variance reduces the effect of house edge in the short-to-medium term but at the expense of greater bankroll swings. (And if you use double up, "long-term" is that much longer.)

    If you're in this for the very long haul and don't mind the wild fluctuations, then go for it. Me, I can't stand the thought of losing multiple big payoffs in the name of reducing house edge by .05%.
  4. Apr 7, 2006
  5. jsp377

    jsp377 Dormant account

    Williamsburg, VA
    This is completely untrue. Doubling up in videopoker has LOWER variance than a coin flip, because there's a possibility of a push. The standard deviation of VP-doubling is .4851, while the standard deviation of flipping a coin is .5000.
  6. Apr 7, 2006
  7. joe mehm

    joe mehm Dormant account

    internet sales
    I wouldn't consider what 42 said was untrue. I don't count a push as a win OR loss. I'm talking about the wins versus losses on a double down.
    Anyone else out there tracking their double down win/loss percentages? I'd really like to know.
    For me it's back to my favorite sit down machines. Carnival here I come!
    Speaking of Carnival (little plug for you guys). I've hit a royal flush on two different Carnival cruises in the past on the $1 machines. Once on the Triumph and once on the Spirit. I also him one online which is posted in this forum. :)
  8. Apr 8, 2006
  9. Weedlayer

    Weedlayer Dormant account

    Cruise ships have some of the worst paying video poker I've ever seen. Happy for you that you've been able to buck the odds, with and without doubling :)
  10. Apr 10, 2006
  11. Annorax

    Annorax Dormant account

    This is somewhat suspect... as most VP doubleups I've seen, both live and online (RTG mostly, but IIRC there was one Micro as well), stipulate the player loses on ties. Maybe I'm playing at the wrong places, but the variation exists and puts the player at a 1/13 disadvantage. Could this be what's really going on?
  12. Apr 10, 2006
  13. jpsartre

    jpsartre Dormant account

    Which Micro was that? I've never seen that....
  14. Apr 10, 2006
  15. spearmaster

    spearmaster RIP Ted

    Devil's Advocate
    If you ever see a "ties lose" on a double-up, RUN, don't walk, as fast as you can and as far away from that casino as possible.

    Or maybe that should be "UNINSTALL" as fast as you can... :D
  16. Apr 13, 2006
  17. joe mehm

    joe mehm Dormant account

    internet sales
    Re: Cruise ships have some of the worst paying video poker I've ever seen.

    If cruise ships use the same RNG software as the others shouldn't they pay the same as any other?
    Also, I'd still like to hear from someone who knows a little more about double down percentages. Take away the ties (push or not). I just want to know if they should all technically be 50/50 odds. I still think something is going on with these online casinos when you double down. I've been losing my shirt for quite a while and I'm really starting to doubt that I could have that long a losing streak. I'd like to see some independant audit/facts if someone had some.
    Thanks, Joe
  18. Apr 14, 2006
  19. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Not if the pay table is different.

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