Most pokies have a side game where you can try to double your winnings by choosing a suit or a colour. Unlike the spins on the reels these bets have no advantage to the casino, they have natural odds. This means that the feature is probably a better way to win than on the spins. Below we have an example of how this works.
Lets say you are playing the Queen of the Nile. The top jackpot is 9,000 credits for five of the wild Cleopatra symbols. The odds of lining up this combination is no better than 2,500,000 to 1. The payout for five kings with one Cleopatra is 500 credits. The odds of hitting this combination are much better that the top jackpot.
Red or Black
If you were to gamble the 500 credit win on red or black five times you would have a win of 16,000 credits. The odds of getting five red or black gambles correct in a row are 1 in 64. When you consider that this win is 7,000 credits bigger that the top jackpot and the odds are drastically better it is clear that the best way to win on the pokies is to use the double up.
The Suits (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs & Spades)
Doubling up with the suits can lead to even bigger wins but the odds are not quite as good. The chances of getting five correct suits in a row are 1 in 1024. In the example above the five kings gambled five times on the suits would lead to a massive 512,000 credit win - $5,120 on a one cent game.
The suit example shows how you can get a win that is 56 times bigger than the top jackpot with odds that are much better. The only problem with using the double up to win is that you have to a get a win to begin with. When you consider this it probably effects the real odds compared to the maths.
Some pokie machines give you the option to just gamble half of your win. This can be a great way to try out the double up without risking all of your winnings, In general if you press the gamble button again while on the gamble screen you will see if the half gamble is an option.
Other Styles of Gamble Feature
While the red / black and suits gamble option is the most common there are a few other variations of the gamble option that can be found on pokies. These include a times win style of gamble and the "Cardie" style option.
The "Times Win" is the one found on games like Superbucks 3 where you can choose to spin a reel to win either X2, X3, X5, X10 or X100. The odds of winning for each option are the same as the multiplier so for example on the X2 reel there might be 100 positions with half being the Win and the other half being the Lose.
The "Cardie" style option goes back to the days when pokies where based on poker games. This option works by dealing five cards with one face up. You then have to pick one of the other cards and win if your selected card is higher than the face up card.