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Reason #3 why the Wizard likes Bovada: Excellent Odds
In my opinion many online casinos are too stingy when setting the odds on their games. They think they will make more money that way but I believe they are misguided, because when players lose too quickly it's not fun, and those players might not come back.
Bovada is one of the few casinos that understands this. They offer generous odds to let you play longer and get you a better chance of winning. Among their generous offerings are Full-Pay Jacks or Better returning 99.54%, five other video poker games paying over 99%, single-zero roulette, and my favorite, Double Jackpot Poker, returning 99.63%!
Kudos to Bovada for not being afraid to give their players a good gamble.
Flush Fever is a video poker game I noticed at Figaro's pizza restaurant in Philomath, Oregon, on June 21, 2011. It was on an IGT Game King machine titled "Video Lottery" at the top. Although the game is run by the Oregon Lottery, the cards are dealt as fairly and as randomly as they are in Nevada, per Oregon gaming regulations. In particular, Regulation 177-200-0070.
The game has the following pay table. Due to a $600 maximum win, the return goes down after six coins. The player may bet up to eight coins but is not rewarded on the royal for the 7th or 8th coin bet.
Flush Fever Pay Table
|Four of a kind||25|
|Three of a kind||2|
In addition, there are the following bonus rules.
- If the player gets any flush, straight flush, or royal flush, then he shall win 7 Flush Fever Games.
- Unlike free games, the player must still make a bet equal to the initiating bet for all Flush Fever Games.
- The suit that triggered the Flush Fever bonus shall be known as the Fever Suit.
- In additional to any pay table wins, each card in the final hand of a Fever Game in the Fever Suit shall win an amount equal to the initiating bet.
- Fever Games may earn more Fever Games, up to a total of 56 per bonus.
- The $600 maximum win per the Oregon Lottery applies to each individual initiating game and Flush Fever game.
The following table shows the expected return of initial spins. This table does not implicitly count the value of earned bonuses, but the probabilities of each hand reflect the fact that a flush, straight flush, and royal flush are worth about an extra 12 credits due to Fever Spins. The lower right cell shows a return of 63.70% from non-bonus wins.
Flush Fever Return Table — Initial Spins
|Four of a kind||25||38,423,682,000||0.001928||0.048190|
|Three of a kind||2||1,127,665,371,096||0.056572||0.113144|
The next table shows the expected return of Fever Spins. This table does not implicitly count the value of additional Fever Spins earned in Fever Spins, nor Fever Suit wins. The lower right cell shows a return of 46.84% from non-bonus wins.
Flush Fever Return Table — Fever Spins
|Four of a kind||25||26,515,426,776||0.001330||0.033255|
|Three of a kind||2||871,582,046,262||0.043725||0.087450|
The average number of Fever Suit cards earned per Fever Spin is 2.075903. Aside from additional Fever Spins earned, the value per Fever Spin is 0.468364 + 2.075903 = 2.544267.
There is a lot that goes into calculating the value of a Flush Fever bonus. Here is my train of thought.
- The Flush Fever bonus starts with 7 free games.
- As the probability table above shows, the probability of a flush (including straight flush and royal flush) within a Flush Fever game is 0.017700.
- The expected final number of free games is 7/(1-7×0.017700) = 7.989970.
- The cap of 56 maximum bonus spins is almost negligible. I show it lowers the expected number of Fever Spins by 0.000639. So the adjusted number of Fever Spins per bonus is 7.989970-0.000639=7.989331.
- The probability of a flush, straight flush, or royal flush in an initial spin is 0.025231.
- The expected number of Fever Spins per initial spin is 0.025231 × 7.989331 = 0.201580.
The next table combines both initial spins and Fever Spins to get an overall return of the game. The lower right cell shows a return of 95.70%.
Flush Fever Return Table — Combined Return
|Type of Spin||Spins per Initial Spin||Ratio of Spins||Win per Spin||Expected Win|
For the advanced reader, who is not satisfied with the 2.075903 average Fever Cards per Fever Spin, the following tables break down the possible outcomes in Fever Spins — poker value crossed by Fever Cards. The next table shows what each outcome in Fever Hands pays, according to the poker value and number of Fever Cards.
Combinations in Flush Fever Hands
|Four of a kind||25||26||27||28||29||30|
|Three of a kind||2||3||4||5||6||7|
The next table shows the number of combinations of each hand crossed by number of cards in the Fever Suit for Fever Hands.
Combinations in Flush Fever HandsExpand
|Four of a kind||0||15,212,352,972||11,303,073,804||0||0||0||26,515,426,776|
|Three of a kind||37,919,054,430||333,365,054,208||384,816,777,126||115,481,160,498||0||0||871,582,046,262|
The next table shows the probability of each hand crossed by number of cards in the Fever Suit for Fever Hands.
Probabilities in Flush Fever Hands
|Four of a kind||0.000000||0.000763||0.000567||0.000000||0.000000||0.000000||0.001330|
|Three of a kind||0.001902||0.016724||0.019305||0.005793||0.000000||0.000000||0.043725|
The next table shows the return from each hand crossed by number of cards in the Fever Suit for Fever Hands. The lower right cell shows that each Fever Suit hand has a return of 2.54 times the initiating bet.
Returns in Flush Fever Hands
|Four of a kind||0.000000||0.019842||0.015310||0.000000||0.000000||0.000000||0.035153|
|Three of a kind||0.003805||0.050172||0.077221||0.028967||0.000000||0.000000||0.160165|
StrategyThe Oregon Lottery is kind enough to suggest which cards the player should hold in all video poker games. The cards they suggest to keep are already held. If you accept their advice all the player needs to do is keep pressing the deal/draw button, like a slot player. The player may also override the advice if he wishes.
The help screens say that the advice may not be optimal. However, I trust IGT, the maker of the Game King machine, to get the advice feature right. In Fever Spins, 82% of the return is from Fever Cards. Thus, the player can expect the Fever Spin strategy to be mostly trying to accumulate as many Fever Cards as possible.
- IGT, for helping me with some questions about the rules.
- CrystalMath, for suggesting I base the return on all bets, not just the initial bet.