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Last Updated: October 18, 2018

Deal or No Deal Poker

Introduction

I first saw Deal or No Deal video poker on October 3, 2018, at the Red Rock in Las Vegas. The game is based on Super Double Double Bonus video poker, but with two twists. The first twist is a multiplier on the next hand for any win of two pair or greater on the draw. The second is a "Banker Offer" to trade whatever you might win, as the cards on the draw are revealed in situations with at least a high pair.

Rules

  1. The player may play 60 to 300 credits*, in increments of 60.
  2. The base game is Super Double Double Bonus. The specific pay table is shown below.
  3. After making a bet, the player will be given five random cards and may choose any ones he wants to hold, as in conventional video poker.
  4. Directly above the five cards on the draw will be 20 suitcases, four for each card.
  5. After pressing the "draw cards" button, the suitcases in the columns of held cards will be opened and the cards inside revealed.
  6. The player will be prompted to choose one of the four suitcases above the position of each discarded card. Each suitcase shall contain one of the 47 remaining cards in the deck. As the player picks suitcases, they shall be opened to reveal his replacement cards, as well as the other three in each column to show the cards the player didn't pick.
  7. As the player chooses his replacements cards, if he forms a hand of a high pair or higher, he will get a call from the Banker with an offer to sell any direct winnings from the hand. The player will still win any multiplier earned, whether he accepts the Banker offer or not. It is possible the Banker also makes an offer on high expected value situations, like four a to royal flush, but I didn't play it enough to see such a situation.
  8. Hands on the draw of a two pair or higher win a multiplier on the next hand of 2x to 5x. The player must still make a bet on the subsequent hand of the same amount as the hand that earned the multiplier.
  9. Each multiplier has a weighting and the probability of winning that multiplier is proportional to its weight. There are different settings available to the casino operator. The most liberal set of weights I'm aware of is shown below.
  10. Multipliers are not multiplied by each other. For example, if the player wins a 4x multiplier in a hand that already had a 3x multiplier, then the next hand will have a 4x multiplier (not 12x).

The following table shows what each hand pays on the draw by the amount bet. Note there is no incentive to bet max coins.

Pay Table

Win Bet of 60 Bet of 120 Bet of 180 Bet of 240 Bet of 300
Royal Flush 24,000 48,000 72,000 96,000 120,000
Straight Flush 1,500 3,000 4,500 6,000 7,500
Four Aces with any 2,3,4 12,000 24,000 36,000 48,000 60,000
Four Aces with any J,Q,K 9,600 19,200 28,800 38,400 48,000
Four 2s, 3s, 4s with any A,2,3,4 4,800 9,600 14,400 19,200 24,000
Four Js, Qs, Ks with any J,Q,K,A 4,800 9,600 14,400 19,200 24,000
Four Aces 4,800 9,600 14,400 19,200 24,000
Four 2s, 3s, 4s 2,400 4,800 7,200 9,600 12,000
Four 5s thru Ks 1,500 3,000 4,500 6,000 7,500
Full House 210 420 630 840 1,050
Flush 180 360 540 720 900
Straight 120 240 360 480 600
Three of a Kind 90 180 270 360 450
Two Pair 60 120 180 240 300
Jacks or Better 30 60 90 120 150

Footnotes:
* While the game at the Red Rock went up to 300 credits per met, Gamblink, the game maker, tells me there is a configurable setting, allowing for a wider range of bets.

The following table shows the weighting for each multiplier under the most liberal setting for the game.

Liberal Weighting Table

Multiplier Weight
2 492
3 600
4 2,100
5 2,550
Total 5,742

Analysis

The following table shows the win (before considering the multiplier), number of combinations, probability, and contribution to the return, assuming optimal player strategy. The lower right cell shows the player can expect to win 55.97% of the amount bet, before considering the multiplier.

Return Table

Hand on Draw Pays Combinations Probability Return
Royal Flush 400 35,233,752 0.000021 0.008484
Straight Flush 25 180,308,491 0.000109 0.002714
Four Aces with any 2,3,4 200 92,242,314 0.000056 0.011106
Four Aces with any J,Q,K 160 97,568,842 0.000059 0.009398
Four 2s, 3s, 4s with any A,2,3,4 80 247,317,223 0.000149 0.011911
Four Js, Qs, Ks with any J,Q,K,A 80 316,807,768 0.000191 0.015258
Four Aces 80 168,847,716 0.000102 0.008132
Four 2s, 3s, 4s 40 667,438,461 0.000402 0.016072
Four 5s thru Ks 25 2,341,297,690 0.001409 0.035237
Full House 3.5 18,603,466,086 0.011199 0.039198
Flush 3 18,212,391,017 0.010964 0.032892
Straight 2 20,207,073,329 0.012165 0.024330
Three of a Kind 1.5 125,979,020,716 0.075841 0.113761
Two Pair 1 215,929,781,064 0.129992 0.129992
Jacks or Better 0.5 336,162,430,695 0.202373 0.101187
All Other 0 921,861,317,936 0.554970 0.000000
Totals 1,661,102,543,100 1.000000 0.559671

The table above shows the probability of getting a two pair or better is 0.242657.

The next table shows the probability and contribution to the average for the multiplier, under the most liberal setting. The lower right cell shows an average multiplier of 4.168234.

Multiplier Table

Multiplier Weight Probability Expected
Multiplier
2 492 0.085684 0.171369
3 600 0.104493 0.313480
4 2,100 0.365726 1.462905
5 2,550 0.444096 2.220481
Total 5,742 1.000000 4.168234

As stated above, the probability of getting a multiplier is 0.242657. The average multiplier, under the most liberal setting, as shown above, is 4.168234. The overall average multiplier can be expressed as:

Probability of multiplier × Average multiplier + Probability no multiplier =
0.242657×4.168234 + (1-0.242657) = 1.768795.

The overall return of the game can be expressed as the product of the base return and the average multiplier =
0.559671 × 1.768795 = 0.989944.

I would like to remind the reader that the average multiplier used in these calculations is for the more liberal setting only. There are settings available with lower average multipliers, which would obviously lower the return. Without taking a large sampling, there is no way to know the average multiplier of any given game.

Strategy

Using my Video Poker Strategy Maker, I present this strategy for Deal or No Deal Video Poker.

If you wish to use another strategy maker, you should add to the win for all hands of two pair or better an amount equal to the product of 1.773170 and the amount bet. This 1.773170 constant is the product of the probability of getting a multiplier and the additional multiplier won above the 1x the player is entitled to for his bet, i.e. 0.242657 × (4.168234 - 1).

As far as accepting or rejecting the banker offers, I'm told in the most liberal setting the Banker offers are 95% of the expected value, rounded down to the nearest credit. In tighter settings, I believe the banker offers are a lower percentage of expected value. I can say that in the most liberal setting, the player should always decline the Banker offers. I suspect in tighter settings the Banker offers are a lower percentage than the base game itself, and thus should always be rejected as well.

  • Video demonstration. I would advise against holding a 10 kicker with a pair of nines.
  • Discussion about Deal or No Deal Video Poker in my forum at Wizard of Vegas.

Written by: Michael Shackleford

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