Further Analyzing Dotty’s Double Up Promotion

Last week I went through the basics of playing NSU Deuces Wild for $75 per hand and using the Double Up feature every hand until it was either at least $1,200 (generating a W2g) or reduced to zero. 

I never played this personally. I didn’t believe the promotion would last, and so I let others do it. But, for today, I’d like to discuss my method of figuring out how much it was worth.

Betting $75 a hand is like playing with $15 tokens, five at a time — except $15 tokens are non-existent. Still, you can use commercial software to analyze the game.

Adding 1% to each of the payouts (because 10% of the W2gs receive a 10% bonus), basically adds 1% to the total payout, or it would if NSU were a 100% game. But since NSU only returns 99.728%, the addition is a mere 0.99728% rather than a full 1%.

I wanted to prove this to myself. And I also wanted to see if there were any strategy changes between regular NSU and the NSU game with the W2g bonuses.

My choice was between using WinPoker or Video Poker for Winners. I could have used either subject to the following parameters. WinPoker requires all payouts to be integers. Video Poker for Winners requires all payouts to be integers divided by 5.

Betting $15 per hand, flushes return $45. No problem with either software. But when you add 1% to that, you get $45.45, which becomes a problem. Neither software can easily handle that.

After looking at all the numbers, I decided to multiply all of the returns by 120 and use WinPoker. That will make all the 5-coin returns integers.

Here is what I got, after deleting a few columns in the WinPoker analysis:

The first column is the name of the hand. Columns 2-4 give the results for the base game. Columns 5-7 give the results for the game where all returns are multiplied by 1.01. At the bottom, I divided the returns by 120 so as to bring them into perspective.

By comparing the payouts between the two games, you can see how I added 1% to each payout. Once you see it done, it’s easy to conclude that this was an easy adjustment to make. And it was.

As expected, the return of the game increased by almost 1%. (The slot club paid 0.2% during certain hours and there were other promotions as well.) A 1% edge on a game where you play $75 a hand is pretty big. Playing for stakes that size, most video poker players have to make do with much smaller edges.

I didn’t expect there to be any strategic changes since everything went up by 1%, but it was comforting to see it in the numbers. WinPoker says full houses, for example, occur every 38.29139 hands in both games. That’s a lot of decimal places. If there were strategy adjustments, the frequency of the hands would be different. Since the frequencies didn’t change, the strategy stayed the same. Many promotions change the strategy. This one didn’t.

Kudos to those players who figured this out in real time. I wasn’t one of those players. After the fact, had I figured it out earlier, I may or may not have decided to play it. Yes, it wasn’t going to last for long. But it was a bountiful promotion while it did.

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