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Blackjack double down v. video poker double up


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blackjack double down v. video poker double up


In the Intercasino article I wrote earlier today, I highlighted one casino's different treatment of the video poker double up feature and the blackjack double down:



For clarity an individual bet relates to the total amount wagered on one spin of the roulette wheel, one individual hand against the house in table games or blackjack (double up in any individual hand is permitted), one deal of the cards in video poker (no matter how many hands are chosen to play with) and one spin of slots.



Intercasino clearly - and correctly - considers that the blackjack double down wager doesn't infringe their betsize limitations with regard to bonuses. On the other hand, on the basis of the situation discussed in the above article, it's evident that they view the video poker double up feature in a different light.


So how is double down in blackjack different to double up in video poker?


It might be useful to recap the logistics of the two bets to get a better idea.


Blackjack double down


After the deal of the initial two cards to both player and dealer, the player is presented with a series of options. The only circumstance in which the player is given no option at all is in the case of an ace and a ten, a natural 21 which cannot be improved or beaten. Aside from that, the hand is always considered incomplete until the player has made at least one more play decision.

One such option is the double down bet, an extra wager which results in the receipt of one more card to the player hand.

Once the player has made his decision / decisions, his hand is complete.

At this point, play turns to the dealer's hand, and the round is concluded.

As such, it is noted that the double down bet is an integral part of the round of play - the hand is never considered complete until the option is accepted, or rejected on the basis of either another option being taken or there simply not being a double down option available in the first place.

While the double down option is live, the hand is incomplete.


Video poker double up


The player receives five cards. He then has the option of discarding any of the cards he wishes. Discarded cards are replaced, and if a winning combination has been achieved it is paid as appropriate.

The hand is now complete.

If the player has achieved a winning hand, he is offered the double up option. If he accepts it, one more card is dealt to both player and dealer. If the player's card is higher, he wins the double. If the dealer's is higher, the winnings are lost.

Crucially, the video poker double up bet is not an integral part of the main wager, but a separate bet altogether. It has no relation whatsoever to the base video poker game, the only connection being that the winnings from the base game are used to make the wager.

In fact, the double up game could exist in its own right, without being offered as an optional extra to another game. Equally, it could be attached to non-video poker games - roulette, baccarat or any other.


In summary: the blackjack double down is an integral part of the round of play, whose acceptance or rejection has an effect on the outcome of the wager; the video poker double up is a non-integral, distinct bet whose acceptance or rejection has no bearing on the outcome of the main wager.


Returning then to the rules I quoted at the top and the adherent discussion, it would appear reasonable to put restrictions on the video poker double up when a bonus is in play, as it is as separate and distinct a wager as the initial wager on the VP game, and can reasonably be ruled as governed by the same "percentage of bonus" rules that govern the initial bet.



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