Wish me luck on Monday. It’s a very big day for me.

I’m a big fan of dumb luck. I like most things dumb… like Jessica Simpson, low calorie cookies, and American Idol. Dumb is free. Dumb is fearless. Dumb is like the twin sister of luck that we rarely acknowledge because she walk with a limp.

But why the hostility?

Here’s what fellow poker blogger “Big Slick Nuts” (it’s a reference to a poker hand mom and dad… not profanity) uses as a banner:

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

-Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was smart. That’s strike one. Plus, I hate it when people say things like, “You make your own luck.” I mean, it’s too ignorant to be dumb.

Seneca, a dead Roman guy, said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” That’s pretty dumb too. These are the same people slot gacor who used to add and subtract with numbers like “X” and “V” and “mcmxxvii”… which, with the exception of Super Bowls, is pretty damn dumb.

I think the great American thinker Frank Sinatra said it best, “Luck be a lady Tooooonight.”

As I type right now there’s some guy from Children International, one of those adopt a poor foreign kid groups, on TV. I feel pretty lucky I wasn’t born a poor foreign kid.

…….

There are some people who understand this concept, so central to our understanding of poker. Take “Predator314,” another blogger, who left this comment on a recent BadBlood post:

“2.) Even if you are by far the strongest player in the field, you will still need to get lucky to win.”

He’s talking about any large MTT, or as I call them, MMTTs (Massive Multi-Table Tournaments). He’s absolutely right.

Sometimes we get so lost in our defense of poker itself that we lose sight of basic facts. Poker, we say, isn’t a game of chance, it’s a game of skill. That’s true to a point. But POKER IS GAMBLING and luck is always a factor.

If you play in a tourney you MUST win some coin flips. That’s luck. It’s Gambling.

If you play in a tourney you WILL make mistakes. None of us is perfect. Part of CJ’s “luckbox” reputation comes from the suckouts he’s unleashed. Truth is, he’s an awesome player and suckouts are just part of the game. Plus, CJ is a problem gambler.

Luck is your friend. Don’t deny her.

My bankroll experiment is going very well. I withdrew almost ALL of my Stars account and have been building it back up. From $6.50 last week I’m over $200 now. The low limit SNGs are free frikkin’ money and I’ve won most of them outright. The one I didn’t money in, I lost because of BAD luck. I’ve won 2 because I got lucky.

We spend so much of our time online focused on better play. I hope we do at least. Part of the motivation for the bankroll experiement was my tendancy to GAMBLE more with a bigger roll and I was losing the focus I needed. It took stripping the game almost bare to make that happen.

I’ll need some luck to build it further.

I think we can MANUFACTURE our own success to some degree. That much is true, but nobody does it without luck.

Gamblers are deeply afraid of luck. We really shouldn’t be.

…………..

The NEW YORKER has a good piece on “Happiness” this week. Our concept of it has changed a great deal. In fact, our need to BE happy is a fairly recent Western desire. Cavemen weren’t happy. The wanted to stay alive.

Even at the beginning of philosophy and all Western thought, people had the sense that things happened TO them… not because OF them. If the Gods will it, so it shall be. In the simplest sense, “Shit happens.” Back then, our concept of “free will” was a few centuries away.

It was around the time of our nation’s birth that we started our “pursuit of happiness” as if it was something we could work to acquire. Happiness is no longer a divine gift, it’s something we earn. Of course, most of that pursuit leads us to an ever-unhappy void. Without the void, what would we advertise, I need a swiffer sweeper to fill the unhappy hole.

We turned our back on lady luck.

In this sense, by ignoring the progress of modern ideas, dumb gamblers stayed smart.

Luck Happens. Work all you want.

………………

Again, I need good luck on Monday. Take the day off from poker and send the positive suckouts my way.

I won’t be playing poker but a possibly life changing opportunity is coming my way.

I’m qualified and prepared.

It’s up to luck now.

I have saved Double Bonus to the last, because I think it is the most difficult machine to play correctly. The high payoff for flushes (35 coins) means that three-card flushes come into play. The high payoff for straights (25 coins) mean that inside straights are more important, also. The result is there are a lot of things to think of when you a dealt your five cards. Here is the full-pay table:

HAND PAYS RETURN FREQUENCY

Royal Flush 4000 1.66% 1 in 48048

Four Aces 800 3.18% 1 in 5030

Straight Flush 250 0.56% 1 in 8841

Four of a Kind (5-K) 250 8.03% 1 in 622

Four of a Kind (2, 3, 4) 400 4.19% 1 in 1908

Full House 50 11.18% 1 in 89

Flush 35 10.46% 1 in 67

Straight 25 7.50% 1 in 67

Three of a Kind 15 21.65% 1 in 14

Two Pair 5 12.46% 1 in 8

Jacks or Better 5 19.23% 1 in 5

Loss     1 in 1.7

TOTAL 100.17%

If you were to simply play the normal Jacks-or-Better strategy on a Double Bonus machine, you would be giving up about one half of a percent back to the casino. I have an expert strategy sheet for Double Bonus that has the complete strategy. Here is a summary of some of the differences between it and Jacks-or-Better:

If you have a pat full house with three aces, you discard the pair to go for the aces alone. Surprisingly, though, this is the only major modification that the four aces mini-jackpot induces. If you have two pair with a pair of aces, you still hold both pairs. If you have three high cards in different suits, you still save the lower two. I recommend that you save the single ace when you have ace-king, ace-queen, or ace-jack in different suits, but that is a very close call: it actually depends on what other cards you have. If you were to play it the other way, the net effect is negligible.

You save the four-card flush, not the three card royal flush, if you have a choice. I suspect this is the main reason that this game is the least likely to give you a royal flush (1 in 48,000).

You go for an outside straight rather than save a losing pair.

A “less than zero gap” three-card straight flush is also better than a losing pair, unless the pair is 2’s, 3’s, or 4’s. How can you have a straight flush with less than zero gaps, you ask? The hands are queen-jack-nine and jack-ten-nine. Remember, in my “gap method”, you count -1 gap for every high card you hold.

With inside straights, a lot depends on how many high Slot Gacor cards are in the straight. The three and four high card inside straights (ace-king-queen-jack, ace-x-x-ten or king-queen-jack-nine) are better than two-card royal flushes. The one and two high card inside straights (jack-x-x-seven, queen-x-x-eight,  ace-x-x-four, or ace-x-x-five) are inferior to two-card royal flushes, but preferrable to saving a pair of non-suited high cards.

You must take into account three-card flushes, and this gets complicated. With two high cards in the flush, you go for the flush instead of the two-card royal flush, except for QJ. With one high card in the flush, you go for the flush instead of two non-suited high cards, except for QJ, KQ, and KJ.

You rarely discard five cards. If you have no high cards, inside straights and three-card flushes come back into play, in that order.

If you play perfectly, this game is very slightly in your favor. However, it is often possible to find dollar machines with this payoff. (Dollar machines for full-pay Deuces Wild or Jokers Wild have disappeared, as near as I can tell.) If you play a dollar Double Bonus machine, your expected return per hour is almost exactly the same as a Deuces Wild quarter machine. But, if the casino has a slot club, playing dollars will get you significantly more benefits. Beware, though, this is a very high variance game! If you do not hit fours of a kind, you will lose quickly. It is not that unusual to be down $1000 after an evening at dollar Double Bonus. Trust me on that.

Double Bonus Payoff Variations

Many casinos on the Strip in Vegas will make one modification to the payoff table: they will pay 45 for a full house, not 50. This does not affect the strategy, but it does affect the return of the game significantly–1.11% more for the casino. If I am playing one of these games, I have been known to do something that some people might find silly: if I hit a full house, I will pay myself the missing 5 coins. (Like many people, I keep my gambling money separate from my regular cash.) After an hour, this might mean I will have transferred $7 or $8 into the gambling funds. This helps remind me how small a 1% difference in return really makes, at least in the short haul. Compared to whether or not I have been lucky or unlucky in the session, the $7 or $8 seems almost inconsequential. Nonetheless, all of us who write about video poker–and I may be the worst offender–sweat over percentages that are much smaller. For example, I re-did my Double Bonus strategy because my first version had an error of 0.03%. I mention this only to help you keep a sense of perspective on this whole thing. The purpose is to have fun, not berate yourself for every mistake.

 

11.1 All wagers placed with a casino operator shall be paid, taken or disposed of by the casino operator strictly in accordance with the applicable rules. A player’s entitlement to winnings shall be governed by and determined in accordance with the rules, irrespective of any overpayment by the casino operator, and the casino operator shall be entitled to recover any such overpayment.

11.2 The casino operator shall ensure that all winning wagers are paid in chips, unless the rules of the game or approved procedures specifically permit payment by other means.

11.3 Subject to the application of any rule or approved procedure permitting the payment of winnings otherwise than by means of chips, where it is not possible to pay the exact amount of winnings in chips, the winnings shall be increased to the next highest amount in which payment can be made in chips.

 

  1. Unclaimed Wagers and Winnings

 

12.1 Players are responsible for claiming and collecting wagers and winnings due to them pursuant to these rules.

12.2 Where a wager is, or winnings are, not collected by the player the casino operator shall hold and dispose of it or them in accordance with approved procedures.

 

  1. Issue and Redemption of Chips

 

13.1 The casino operator shall, during the hours of Slot Gacor operation of the casino, at the request of a casino patron:

(a) exchange chip purchase vouchers or chips issued by the casino for chips or other chips, as the case may be, as requested of an equivalent total value;

(b) redeem chips or chip purchase vouchers issued by the casino for cash of an amount equivalent to the value of the chips or chip purchase vouchers, provided however that the casino operator, if requested by the patron, may at its discretion issue for the whole or any part of the amount to be paid in cash, in lieu of cash, a check made payable to the patron.

13.2 Where the casino operator has issued a chip gratuitously or in exchange for less than the value marked on the chip, rule 13.1 shall apply subject to the terms and conditions (if any) on which the chip was issued.

 

  1. Value and Non-Value Chips

 

14.1 Where the rules of a game provide for wagers to be made with or represented by chips, such chips shall be value chips unless the rules permit non-value chips to be used.

14.2 The following provisions shall apply to non-value chips:

(a) the non-value chips in use at a gaming table shall constitute a set, each bearing the same distinguishing emblem or mark to differentiate it from non-value chips of other sets in use at other tables. Each set shall be subdivided into various colors;

(b) non-value chips issued at a gaming table shall be used only for gaming at that table and shall not be used for gaming at any other table or location in the casino;

(c) where a non-value chip is used to place a wager in breach of subparagraph (b), the wager shall, to that extent, be void;

(d) except with the approval of the casino operator, non-value chips shall be presented for redemption only at the table from which they were issued, and shall not be redeemed or exchanged at any other location in the casino;

(e) no person shall be issued with non-value chips which are identical in color and design to non-value chips which have been issued to any other person at the same table;

(f) where a person buys non-value chips, the specific cash value to be assigned to such chips shall be declared by that person at the time of purchase and before play. This value shall be clearly denoted by a non-value chip and a corresponding marker button displayed at the table.

14.3 Where the rules of a game permit the use of non-value chips for wagering, the casino operator may limit the use of value chips by a player, or require a player to use non-value chips in lieu of value chips, at any table where that game is conducted.