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Double double bonus strong draw for fans

John Grochowski

John Grochowski

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casino NOTE

Hollywood Joliet is helping to trim your tree with its Holiday Ornament Giveaway from 8:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Nov. 24. No play is required, but you must have a valid Club Hollywood card. Visit hollywoodcasinojoliet.com.

Updated: December 19, 2012 10:51AM



A shuffle through the Gaming mailbag:

Q. I saw that Hollywood Joliet is boasting of better video poker. Is that true? How good is it?

A. The new video poker area on the lower level at Hollywood Joliet is a pretty strong attraction, especially if you like Double Double Bonus Poker or, for dollar players, Bonus Poker.

On games marked Super Pay Royals, both dollar and quarter players get 9-5 Double Double Bonus with progressive jackpot on royal flushes, and a 50,000-coin bonanza on royals in sequence, 10 through Ace.

With royals at the base value of 4,000 coins for a five-coin wager, 9-5 Double Double Bonus returns 97.9 percent with expert play, and the sequential royal takes that up to 98.1. Each 1,000 coins added to the progressive royal jackpot adds about half a percent in value. Should you see the royal pot at about 8,000 coins — $2,000 for a quarter player — it’s a break-even game to experts.

Double Double Bonus is a volatile game with much of its return in rare hands, such as the 2,000-coin bounty for four Aces with a 2, 3 or 4 as the fifth card. It’s a game of big wins, but it’s also a game of fast losses.

Not every quarter machine has that pay table. Some multigame machines have 8-5 Double Double Bonus, a step down to 96.8 percent with expert play. Other quarter games include 8-5 Jacks or Better (97.3), 6-5 Bonus Poker (96.9) and a Deuces Wild version that reduces wild royal payoffs to 20-for-1 and five of a kind to 12-for-1, resulting in a 97.1 percent return.

Dollar players get a better deal. One star attraction is 8-5 Bonus Poker (99.2), with 8-6 Jacks or Better (98.4), and a 98.9-percent version of Deuces Wild. Dollar players also have the option of 9-6 Double Double Bonus (99.0) with no sequential royal, but with a three-way progressive on royal flushes, four Aces with the kicker, and four Aces without the kicker.

My recommendation: Quarter players should stick to Double Double Bonus with the sequential royal, while dollar players get the best deal on the 9-6 Double Double Bonus with the three-way progressive.

Q. I understand that dollar slot machines pay more than quarters, and quarters pay more than nickels or pennies. Is that a rule, or do casinos just do that?

A. There is no rule, regulation or law that forces casinos to pay more on higher-denomination games. It’s all about profitability, marketing goals and what it takes to keep players at the games.

John Grochowski is a local freelance writer. Look for him on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44); Twitter (@GrochowskiJ) and at casinoanswerman.com.



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