bobbartop
bobbartop
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September 28th, 2023 at 1:12:13 PM permalink
As long as I have been playing videopoker, I never noticed until a few days ago that there is a version of Shockwave that is called Super Shockwave. The difference from regular Shockwave is that instead of receiving 10 hands in "Shockwave Mode" that pay 4000 coins for another set of Quads, you get an option before playing in Mode. There are FIVE choices. You can play 20 hands and receive 2200 coins, or 15 hands and receive 2800 coins, or 10 hands and receive 4000 coins, just like the regular game, or 8 hands and receive 5000 coins, or finally you can play 5 hands and receive 7800 coins on getting another set of quads.

Remember, I just learned of this, whereas most of you reading this probably already knew this ages ago and are way ahead of me. So be patient. :-)

I had to look this "Super" version up and find out what it is, and then I TRIED to figure out the difference in the other options, mainly by looking at Wizard's section on Shockwave. I can't do it. I'm too stupid.

Say for instance, typical full paytable returns 99.55%. Is there an easy way, or easy place to find the info, on what each option would look like mathematically, in this Super Version? Can someone point me to that place? Please.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
drrock
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September 29th, 2023 at 11:14:35 AM permalink
The method used by the Wizard makes use of formulas for sums of a finite number of terms in geometric series. While these are well known among mathematicians and actuaries, they can be a little tricky; and, ironically, they are slightly more complicated than the formulas for summing an infinite number of such terms.

The Wizard then computes the expected profit during the "shockwave" mode when the value of quads is at the higher rate. And he adds that expected profit back to the value of a quad during the "normal" mode when the value of quads is lower. This gives him a slightly more aggressive strategy when trying to move the machine to the shockwave mode.

As you might expect, when computing the choices, the manufacturer of the game likely fashioned the choices, matching different quad payouts with different numbers of hands, to get the shockwave quad in such a way as to make the expected values of each choice approximately equal. That being said, I would think it might be more important for some players to satisfy goals other than maximizing expected values since the EVs are all very close. For example, different players might choose differently (1) to avoid W-2Gs, (2) to achieve quads more quickly (selecting the shorter durations), or (3) to enjoy the shockwave rounds more (by selecting longer durations).

When doing "quick" calculations for the full pay version of Shockwave (12-8-5), I found that expected profit during the shockwave mode for the various choices differed by, at most, about 0.64 bets (numbers below are rounded, of course). That fraction of a bet over 440 hands (approximately a complete cycle including shockwave and normal modes for the highest value) can gain you about 0.14% in EV, but some of the differences are considerably smaller. For example, the difference between the top 2 values is only about a quarter of that, about 0.04%. And the differences from the bottom 3 are less than 0.005% in EV.

20 hands and receive 2200 coins: 18.77 bets
15 hands and receive 2800 coins: 18.74 bets
10 hands and receive 4000 coins: 18.78 bets
8 hands and receive 5000 coins: 19.22 bets
5 hands and receive 7800 coins: 19.39 bets

So, if you don't mind W2-Gs and are inclined to finish up more quickly and have higher variance, it appears that the way to go, for this pay schedule, is for the higher reward, particularly if you want to maximize EV. I imagine other pay schedules would have similar differences, but of course, their expected losses during the normal mode would be worse. And there might be some other slight surprises.

There are more complicated ways to eke a few more thousandths or millionths of a percent out of these games, but I imagine few would think it was worth the trouble. E.g., in his original writeup, for simplicity, the Wizard used the same probabilities for hitting quads for all the different pay schedules.
bobbartop
bobbartop
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September 29th, 2023 at 3:22:49 PM permalink
Thank you so much, drrock. Interesting.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
bobbartop
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September 30th, 2023 at 12:45:34 AM permalink
This was very helpful, drrock. I wanted to say thank you again.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
vetsen
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February 25th, 2024 at 9:51:23 AM permalink
Did you factor in that you get a new shock mode series if you hit a quad within shock mode? I think this makes the 20 hands the best option.
drrock
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February 27th, 2024 at 9:05:46 PM permalink
Quote: vetsen

Did you factor in that you get a new shock mode series if you hit a quad within shock mode? I think this makes the 20 hands the best option.
link to original post

That was not factored in. I understand that hitting the 2nd quad within the prescribed number of hands pays off the higher "shockwave" amount, but hitting the 2nd Four of a Kind actually stops the shockwave mode and puts the machine back in regular mode. Then a 3rd quad would be necessary for another shockwave round.
vetsen
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February 28th, 2024 at 5:21:33 AM permalink
Thatís how regular shockwave works, yes. But in SuperShock it also triggers a new Shock mode. I'm 100% sure of this, Iíve played it quite a bit.
drrock
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February 28th, 2024 at 6:34:28 AM permalink
Quote: vetsen

Thatís how regular shockwave works, yes. But in SuperShock it also triggers a new Shock mode. I'm 100% sure of this, Iíve played it quite a bit.
link to original post

Hmmm... well, if you can trigger a new set of shockwave hands during shockwave mode, I agree with you that such a feature would mean more hands at a lower jackpot would have greater improvement than fewer hands at a higher jackpot, holding the different jackpot amounts constant.

With the full pay version, my original calculations had the difference in EV favoring the 5-hand option at 0.125% higher than the 20-hand option. The first iteration shows me that the additional trigger has instead the EV of the 20-hand option eking out the 5-hand option by 0.032%. What happens is that, in general, the new EVs for the various options are closer together than the old EVs were. They are so close that maybe the other differences that I outlined in the earlier post might be more important to any given player than the EV.

Additional iterations might change these calculations minutely, as might the actual pay schedules, since I don't imagine that the ones that you have been playing have the old 12/8/5 pay schedule.

Thanks for adding to my practical video poker knowledge. My calculations have all been purely theoretical as I have never played Super Shockwave, let alone hitting the 2nd quad during shockwave mode.

What pay schedules are common for your play?
vetsen
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February 28th, 2024 at 7:24:04 AM permalink
Thanks!

Iíve only played the 12/8/5 version.
bobbartop
bobbartop
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May 11th, 2024 at 8:45:35 AM permalink
Thank you too all who helped me with this. I know I was late responding and have neglected looking at the forum lately. I see there is some later discussion that I missed. Thanks to all, for everything.

best regards.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
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