Double Up or Not When Playing Slots: Odds Explained

If you have never heard of the double-up feature in connection with slot games, here’s what it means: When players score a win on certain video slot machines, the feature will offer them a chance to double their win or lose it altogether by guessing the color of a face-down card. Now, the variations of this feature may differ. 

Some games also let you try and quadruple your win by guessing the suit of the said card. In some cases, you may try and guess the color/suit several times in a row – that is if you guess correctly on each previous occasion. 


What are my odds when doubling up?

First things first, you don’t have to take the double-up offer. You can easily reject it by tapping on the collect button instead of the gamble option, thus securing your hard-earned win. Though If you decide to go for the card gamble, you’ll have a 50% chance of guessing the color correctly and a 25% chance of hitting the right suit. Get it right and your reward is doubling your win in the first case and quadrupling it in the second. 

Curiously, in the gamble feature, there is no house edge, so statistically, this is the very best bet you can ever make in a casino. Even low house edge games like video poker or blackjack will never quite give you a 50% chance of winning. 

Let’s put this 50% winning chance into another perspective. When you play slot games, you’ll naturally not win on every spin. The term hit frequency means how often a slot machine pays out. The average hit frequency of slot games is between 20% and 30%, meaning that out of 10,000 spins, 2,000 to 3,000 will result in some form of a win. Now consider this: the “hit frequency” of the double-up feature is 50%. It is not hard to see why this option is so tempting for slot machine fans. 

Restriction on the feature

Doubling-up certainly has its appeal to gamblers and certain countries with strict gaming regulations decided to block it altogether.
There may be game or casino-specific restrictions to the feature too, such as an upper limit to the sum that can be gambled.


So, should I double up?

There is no clear yes or no answer to this question as this depends on your risk appetite, your bankroll, your temperament etc. Nevertheless, let us rack your brain with a few more numbers that may help you decide.

Earlier, we talked about hit frequency but didn’t give you the whole pi. You’ll experience small, medium, and large wins when you play slot games, and volatility also influences how often these different wins occur. The lower the win the more often it occurs. You may wager $10 and hit a $5 win, which basically means losing half of your bet. Would we recommend doubling up in this case? Oh, yes! 

On the other hand, jackpot wins are few and far between and wins hit an average of x 1 per 10,000 spins. So, you won 5,000 times your bet. Should you risk it? We would say, no! Then again, high rollers often like to risk more and there is nothing wrong with that. They may as well turn that 5,000x win into a 10,000x win. The question is, will you beat yourself up if you lose it?

Ultimately, it is your choice whether you double up when the option is there. Doubling up is a straightforward equation. The risk is perfectly in line with the reward.