BONUS POKER STRATEGY
Bonus Poker differs from Jacks or Better. This game pays a bonus for some of the four of a kind hands. Four 5s through Kings are paid 25 for one just as they are in Jacks or Better. However four 2s, 3s, or 4s are paid at a rate of 40 for one. Four aces are paid at the still higher rate of 80 for one.
As you learned in chapter one, this game and others that followed were developed to satisfy the gambling public’s quest for larger jackpots. Jacks or Better has only the royal flush as a true jackpot. In that game any four of a kind pays enough for you to play 25 additional hands so they are not really jackpots, although it really helps out. Bonus Poker on the other hand pays 80 for one for four aces. On a quarter machine this amounts to $100 with five credits played. While this is not a huge jackpot, it is enough to make you feel like you have won something substantial and you may even decide to stop playing at that point with what you consider a nice win for the session. Also, where the royal flush happens only once every 40,000 hands or so, four aces will occur roughly once every 5,100 hands, which is eight times as often. Playing at a rate of 500 hands per hour, the Bonus Poker player will get four aces once every 10 hours of play, on average.
In order to pay for the increased pays for four of a kind hands, other pays have to be lowered. In Bonus Poker pays for the full house and flush are reduced to eight for one and five for one from nine for one and six for one respectively on the full pay Jacks or Better game. This makes the return from the “full pay” version of this game 99.17 percent. This is certainly not as good as a full pay Jacks or Better, but it is still not bad.
It is getting harder to find full pay (9/6) Jacks or Better games both in live casinos as well as online casinos. Full pay Bonus Poker games still tend to be quite readily available, however. The return, variance, and playing strategy complexity for 8/5 Bonus Poker are all decent. This makes full pay (8/5) Bonus Poker game a good play when the best Jacks or Better game that is available is an 8/5 version. The return is relatively high at better than 99 percent and the variance is low at 20.9. The strategy is also fairly straightforward and matches Jacks or Better fairly closely. Consider playing this video poker game when no good Jacks or Better games are available.
TEST YOURSELF – BONUS POKER
In order to test your understanding of how to use the bonus poker strategy charts, see if you can properly play the following hands based on the strategy for the 8/5 full pay version of Bonus Poker. Decide which of the cards in each hand below you would hold (if any).
- K♥ | Q♠ | 10♦ | J♣ | 10♣
- A♥ | Q♠ | J♠ | 10♦ | 10♣
- Q♦ | 3♣ | 4♣ | Q♥ | 5♣
- J♠ | 8♣ | J♣ | 9♣ | 10♣
- K♣ | 10♣ | A♥ | Q♣ | A♦
- J♦ | Q♦ | A♦ | 5♦ | K♦
- 4♣ | 6♣ | J♥ | 5♣ | Q♥
- 4♣ | 7♦ | 5♥ | 8♣ | 2♦