Video Poker – Double Your money and risk

Some video-poker machines have an option that allows you to risk the winnings on a hand for a chance at doubling your money. While many players believe that this is simply another ploy by the casino to take your remaining stake, it’s actually one of the best bets in the casino. It’s exactly 50–50 that you will be able to double your money. No house edge; no tricks. So what’s the catch?

You may double as many times as you wish, and because the odds are even, you’ll eventually lose. It’s a risk the casino is willing to take, but by examining the law of diminishing returns, it’s one that will be risky for the player.

While each decision is exactly 50–50, the odds of winning more than one in a row decrease sharply. After the first hand, you’re not gambling on the individual hands, you’re gambling on the sequence, and that is stacked heavily in the casino’s favour.


From the Double Your Risk chart, above, you can see that the chances of winning your double diminish the more times you attempt to buck the odds against the sequential wins. The odds against winning ten in a row before you begin to double is less than one tenth of one per cent. Not very good odds, although the odds against winning any individual double down is 50–50.

Some players will try to suggest that the machine “”knows”” when you are doubling a high win. That’s nonsense. You can see that the casino wants you to try to double as many times as possible, but there is no need to rig the machines. You’re already bucking some pretty big odds for more than two in a row. The casino is very happy to offer you 50–50 odds on each bet. Try it at your own risk.