Bonus Poker is a video poker game available at nearly every casino in the United States. It is offered on Game King machines, which are distributed by IGT. Bonus Poker is typically the game found in the top left of the machine menu on a Game King and often has multiple titles.
The typical denominations are $.25, $.50 and $1. Some smaller casinos offer the game in nickel denominations. Las Vegas Strip casinos have the game as high as $25 in the salon. All online casinos offer this game. It is often on an IGT platform skinned with a casino site’s logo. Some online casinos use Amaya Gaming’s version known as Regal Poker.
Bonus Poker is a variant of Jacks or Better. The game is just as easy to learn and the pay table is slightly altered from Jacks or Better. There is a bonus pay on four of a kind if it involves aces, twos, threes and fours. The kicker does not affect the payout.
The best video poker game at most casinos is often Bonus Poker. The standard full pay version returns 99.17% with perfect play. Bonus Poker is often the best video poker game on the casino floor, even when the highest pay table is not available.
Best Bonus Poker Pay Table Per Coin
– Royal Flush: 800 (250 if fewer than five coins wagered)
– Four Aces: 80
– Straight Flush: 50
– Four of a Kind 2’s, 3’s and 4’s: 40
– Four of a Kind 5’s through Kings: 25
– Full House: 8
– Flush: 5
– Straight: 4
– Three of a Kind: 3
– Two Pair: 2
– Pair of Jacks or Higher: 1
Jacks or Better vs Bonus Poker
The difference between Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker is the additional pay on four of a kind aces, 2’s, 3’s and 4’s. In exchange for this, a full house only pays 8, while a flush pays 5, when compared to full pay Jacks or Better. Many casinos offer this pay table for Bonus Poker but do not spread 9/6 Jacks or Better. In some cases, the payout on a full house and flush will be identical between Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker. If your favorite casino is that way, always play Bonus Poker because of the higher payout on special four of a kind hands.
How to Increase Your Return at Bonus Poker
One of the most important parts of getting the most for your money when playing Bonus Poker is to find the best pay table. The one we outlined above is the highest return available. Some casinos will only pay six or seven on a full house. These are terrible games and should be avoided if possible. There is another Bonus Poker pay table spread by some sawdust joints that pays 10 on a full house, 8 on a flush and 5 on a straight. That sounds great at first glance, but it only pays even money on two pair. The hold on that game is nearly 7%.
Using A Players Card
Once you have found 8/5 Bonus Poker, head over to the players club to get a loyalty card. Most casinos offer this type of program. Video poker machines should have a reader to insert the card into the machine. It tracks the amount of wagers made by the player. The additional return ranges from 0.05% at the worst places to 0.3% at good locals and regional casinos. This amount may be awarded in comps, free play or cash back. A great casino may offer comps and free play/cash. Always ask the players center for the casino’s policy when it comes to comps.
Some benefits are awarded in the form of mailers. These are based on the amount of average play per visit to the casino. The first session often triggers the best mailers. These often include free slot play. It may also involve a free hotel room or food voucher.
Online casino players do not have to worry about this inconvenience. All play is tracked by the software. Cash back, free play and reload bonuses are accumulated from the video poker action. Some casinos require players to opt into these programs. It is as simple as clicking a checkbox.
How to Play Bonus Poker
The players club perks and pay tables do not mean anything if you do not know the right cards to hold. The Bonus Poker basic strategy is exactly the same as Jacks or Better which is very simple to learn if you do not already know it. The additional payout on four aces, 2’s, 3’s and 4’s does not change how three of a kind should be played.
Always hold a royal flush, straight flush and four of a kind. After that, keep a full house, flush and straight.
This is how other Bonus Poker hands should be played in the order of the best hand to hold:
– Three of a kind
– Four to a straight flush
– Two pair
– Pair of jacks or higher
– Three to a royal flush
– Four to a flush
– Pair of tens or lower
– Four to an open ended straight, also known as an inside straight
– Two suited cards jack or higher
– Three to a straight flush (An advanced player will avoid holding two-gapped straight flushes, which adds 0.06% to the player return)
– Two unsuited cards jack or higher, keeping only the two lowest if three are dealt as this creates more straight draws
– Suited 10 with a jack, queen or king
– Bare jack, queen, king or ace
– Throw all cards away
Common Bonus Poker Mistakes
The biggest mistake Bonus Poker players make is using the basic strategy for higher variance bonus games. Double Bonus and Double Double Bonus video poker players should throw away bottom pairs to full houses when three aces are dealt in the hopes of drawing quads. The return at Bonus Poker makes that play incorrect. Other poor plays include going for inside straights. The only exception is when three of the cards are jack and higher.
Some players try to avoid variance by holding four to a flush when three of the cards are ten or higher. This is only a correct play when not playing enough coins to trigger the 800-1 payoff on a royal flush. Bonus Poker should only be played with max coins. If your bankroll does not allow this, drop down a denomination, even if the pay table is worse.