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Cryptologic Double Bonus Video Poker

• Double Bonus compared to Jacks Or Better
• Changes to Jacks strategy for Double Bonus
• Frequencies and percentages chart
• Volatility
• Recommended casinos
• Game location and denominations of play

Cryptologic Double Bonus screen at Intercasino

Double Bonus compared to Jacks Or Better

Cryptologic Double Bonus pays out an average of 99.94% with perfect play. Below is the paytable:

cryptologic double bonus paytable

Now compare with the Jacks Or Better paytable:

Jacks or better paytable

The paytables are similar in many ways - "The Gamemaster" refers to this game as "Fortified Jacks", and with good reason - it's basically Jacks Or Better with a kick.

There are two fundamental differences in Double Bonus:

• Four of a kind is divided into three categories, all of which pay more than the single four of a kind category in Jacks Or Better - 50, 90 and 150 compared to 25.

• Full house, flush and three of a kind all pay less.

This makes for a more volatile game, because the high-paying hands are the more infrequent ones - see the volatility section below.

Changes to Jacks strategy for Double Bonus

These differences necessitate a few changes to Jacks Or Better strategy in order to achieve the maximum return in Double Bonus. If you simply follow the standard Jacks strategy you won't give away much in value - the "mistakes" you'll make as a result are rare and inexpensive. All but one of these exceptions are listed on the Double Bonus supplement 1 page, and the last one, extremely inexpensive and a little more complex, is explained on the Double Bonus supplement 2 page.

Let me repeat that these various strategy changes can well be considered "luxuries", for the purpose of garnering the maximum possible payout; just following standard Jacks Or Better strategy will produce a return in the region of 99.935% as opposed to 99.4%.

Frequencies and percentages chart

The hand frequencies and percentage return chart below gives us an idea of what we can expect in the short term from Double Bonus:

double bonus 
       frequencies and percentage return chart
(Reproduction courtesy of Winpoker)

Unlike Jacks Or Better, in which the relatively frequent hands make up 97% of the overall payout (refer back to the JOB frequencies chart), in Double Bonus those same hands make up only about 90%. This comes from the fact that three of the common hands, three of a kind, flush and full house, are all downgraded by one, and consequently their part of the overall return is cut by fully 10%, from 39.3% in Jacks Or Better to just 29.5% in Double Bonus. Beyond that, about half the remainder is focussed on quads 2s through 4s, hitting approximately once every 2000 hands, and the 5% remainder kicks in with the hands starting at once every 5000 hands - 4 aces - followed by the straight flush and royal. There is ALWAYS this trade-off in video poker - the highest paytables always seem to have the greatest volatility. At the end of the day we should bear in mind that this is only a short-term consideration; this is an excellent game overall.


If Jacks Or Better is volatile, Double Bonus is even more so. This is because, as mentioned above, the more frequent hands pay less, compensated for with the less frequent hands paying more. In fact, Double Bonus is fully seventy percent more volatile than Jacks Or Better. The flip side of this is that Double Bonus is also a much better game; factoring in comp value (see the comps article) the return is over 100%. Nevertheless, excellent value notwithstanding you must still avoid playing beyond your means. There is a large selection of denominations available, and you should select the one at which you feel most comfortable playing. NEVER over-bet your bankroll.

Recommended casinos

Double Bonus is no longer offered by several Cryptologic casinos. Amongst those that DO still offer the game, I recommend:

  ♠ The Ritz Club London ♠

  ♠ William Hill ♠

William Hill is open to US as well as British citizens. The above link takes you through to the "Euro" site. If you want to play in US dollars or UK pounds, simply click the "UK sterling" or "US dollar" links to the right of "currency options" towards the top right-hand corner.

Game location and denominations of play

For the location of the game, see the picture below:

Double Bonus location at Sands Of The Caribbean

As you can also see from the screenshot, you can play one, three, five and ten-line video poker at Cryptologic casinos, from as low as one cent per coin - single line, 5 cents maximum coins - to $5 per coin - 10-line, $250 maximum coins. The more lines you play, the lower the volatility of the game assuming you make the same initial wager. For example, $1 single line (Five $1 coins, $5 overall) is more volatile than 10 cent 10-line (Fifty 10 cent coins, $5 overall). You get the same money through the machine but with much lower bankroll fluctuations, which is a big plus, because you can play at much higher denominations on multi-line on a given bankroll than you can for the equivalent initial wager on single line.

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