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Triple Triple Bonus Video Poker

17 September 2020

By John Grochowski

A few months ago I mentioned Triple Triple Bonus video poker. It puts major emphasis on big jackpot hands by paying a royal-sized 4,000 coins per five wagered on four Aces with a 2, 3 or 4 kicker, and on four 2s, 3s or 4s with an Ace kicker.

With four 2s, 3s or 4s accompanied by a 2, 3 or 4, the return is a half a royal, or 2,000 coins.

It’s the 2, 3 and 4 quads that prompted a player named Jan to contact me with a strategy question.

“Is there ever a time to hold a single 2, 3 or 4?” she wrote in an email. “You’ve said no in Double Double Bonus Poker, but here the jackpots are so high. Is it time to throw caution to the wind? Would you hold a 3 instead of a Jack, or maybe a 2 instead of an inside straight?”

To skip straight to the final answer, no, there is never a time to hold a single 2, 3 or 4 in a non-wild card game. Not even Triple Triple Bonus’s big jackpot hands are enough incentive to try to force the pace on quads quite that much.

Pairing up a low card doesn’t bring a paying hand like pairing a Jack or higher will do. Rewards when the quads don’t come are lower on Triple Triple Bonus than on other games because three of a kind pay only 2-for-1 instead of the usual 3-for-1, straights pay 3-for-1 instead of the usual 4-for-1.

The rarity of drawing three matching cards when holding one is part of the equation, too.

Let’s look at some numbers on the two hands Jan. Assume the 9-6 pay table, which returns 99.75 percent with expert play.

  • 3 of hearts, 5 of spades, 7 of diamonds, 8 of clubs, Jack of spades: If you hold the 3 and discard the other four cards, there are 178,365 possible draws, and 148,672 are losers. You’re going to lose 83.3 percent of all hands.

You’re reducing the chances of saving the hand by drawing a high pair both by keeping the 3 and by discarding the Jack.

And with reduced paybacks on three of a kind and straights, Triple Triple is a low-paying game when the quads don’t come. Quads make up only 52 of those 178,365 draws – three hundredths of a percent. Only 15 of them are kicker hands

Bottom line: The average return on holding the 3 by itself is 1.42 coins per five wagered. Hold the Jack instead, and you eliminate your slim chance at the kicker hands but dramatically improve your shot at a low pair. The average return on holding the lone Jack is 2.05 coins.

  • 3 of hearts, 5 of clubs, 6 of spades, 8 of diamonds, 9 of clubs: In Double Double Bonus, the best play is to hold 5-6-8-9 and hope for the inside straight. In Triple Triple, the reduced pay on straights turns that into a non-viable play.

That doesn’t mean holding a lone 3 is viable. There’s no need to walk through the possibilities, which differ from the previous hand only in that a high card is not discarded. That raises the average return on the 3 to 1.47 coins per five wagered. ]

A complete five-card redraw is better with a 1.55 average.

Despite the jackpot possibilities, a redraw is better than a lone low card. So to answer Jan, no, there is no right time in Triple Triple Bonus Poker to hold a lone 2, 3 or 4.

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field. Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago.

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