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Double Bonus Poker Guide: Rules, Strategies & Expert Tips

Double Bonus Video Poker

This article shows our strategy for Bonus Poker. The expected return of Bonus Poker is 99.17%. This version of video poker is very popular so this strategy is very handy to learn.


The first versions of Video Poker came about at the same time as personal computers in the 1970s. These were very basic however and offered only a couple of versions, nothing like what is available now. Video Poker has grown since then to become one of the most played games in casinos as it offers players the chance of solitude as well as some nice wins, especially if the holy grail of poker hands the Royal flush comes in.

Bonus Poker Rules

Bonus Poker is a version of Video Poker that is very similar to Jacks or Better.

In fact, the only difference is that in Bonus Poker you get better payouts for Four of a Kind.

So, to start you need to choose your stake, then you are dealt 5 cards from a standard 52 card deck. At this point, you can hold or discard each card. Any you discard are then replaced by other cards from the same deck. You are then paid out based on the strength of your hand. You aren’t playing against a dealer or other players, so if your hand is a Pair of Jacks or better, you get paid. It’s that simple!

You still get a payout for a pair of Jacks or better as the screenshot below demonstrates.

Bonus Poker Strategy

As you will see above, Four of a Kind Aces pays out significantly more than a Straight Flush, Four of a Kind 2’s, 3’s or 4’s pay slightly more than a Straight Flush whilst any other Four of a Kind – 5’s through to Kings – pay the same as a Straight Flush. As with most versions of Video Poker, playing with 5 coins increases the jackpot for a Royal Flush significantly.

Paytable and Odds

The table below outlines the payout for each hand, the number of possibilities for each hand and the probability of each coming in.

HandPayout (with 5 coins)CombinationsProbability
Royal Flush4,0004954431360.000025
Straight Flush25021296042640.000107
4 of a Kind Aces80039037758120.000196
4 of a Kind 2’s to 4’s400105098663280.000527
4 of a Kind 5’s to K’s250326884173360.001640
Full House452295168699240.011514
3 of a Kind1514843911678560.074468
2 Pair525775236037520.129308
Jacks or Better542908109814440.215259


Bonus Poker Strategy

The strategy shown below gives you the best chance of getting a payout with Bonus Poker. As there are many variations of Video Poker and each has a slightly different strategy, make sure it is Bonus Poker you are playing before referring to it.

Start at the top of the table, working your way down until you find a hand that is relevant for the initial 5 cards you are dealt with. When you come across your hand, follow the instructions for the best chance to win.

Bonus Poker has an expected return of around 99.17% which makes it not a bad game to play from a payout perspective.

Best to Worst Hands

1Royal Flush
2Straight Flush
3Four of a Kind
44 of a Royal Flush
5Full House
7Three of a Kind
94 of a Straight Flush
10Two Pair
11High Pair
123 of a Royal Flush
134 of a Flush
14Unsuited 10, J, Q, K
15Low Pair
164 of an Outside Straight
173 of a Straight Flush
18Suited J, Q
194 of an Inside Straight
20Suited J, Q or J, K
21Suited A,K A,Q or A,J
22Unsuited J,Q,K
23Unsuited J,Q
24Suited 10,J
252 Unsuited High Cards, K High
26Suited 10, Q
272 Unsuited High Card, A High
28J only
29Suited 10,K
30Q only
31K only
32A only
33Garbage, discard everything

Outside Straight is a hand that needs a card at either end – e.g. 5, 6, 7, 8 – either a 4 or 9 would complete the Straight.

Inside Straight is a hand that needs a card in the middle – e.g. 3, 4, 6, 7 – only a 5 would complete the Straight.

This is meant as a guide only but if followed correctly it will give you the best chance of winning the session.

Related Articles:

Advanced Video Poker Strategy
How To Play Joker’s Wild Poker

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About the author

Jennifer Lynn
Head of Content
Jennifer Lynn, with 14 years in the industry, is a seasoned Online Casino Reviewer and Gambling Expert. An Arizona State University journalism graduate and professional poker player, she offers deep insights into casino games and strategies. Beyond her professional life, she enjoys equestrian activities and yoga, blending her career with a well-rounded lifestyle.



What is Double Bonus Poker?

Double Bonus Poker is actually the first type of Video Poker game that has implemented kickers. which boosted the popularity of Double Bonus Poker. The game earned a reputation as a high payout game. Actually, the name 'Double Bonus' is based on the fact that the Four-of-a-Kind hand pays double the amount of paid payoffs, thanks to a kicker in the game. Keep in mind that a kicker can be a 2, 3, 4, and an ace. With the game, you can expect potentially high payouts for poker hands that feature Four of a Kind. Otherwise, it's a standard poker game played with a card deck that consists of 52 cards, and when you play online, the cards are shuffled automatically since you are playing against a computer.


What is a kicker in Double Bonus Poker?

In Video Poker in general, and by default in Double Bonus Poker, the kicker is an 'extra' card that you would like to match up hopefully with your draw cards. This card may be used to break ties between hands of the same position. That said, you won't find a kicker in Full House or Flush. Kickers are therefore available in 3 of a Kind, 4 of a Kind, Two Pair as well as a pair of 8's, 5's, 2's, or Jack's.


Where can you play Double Bonus Poker for real money?

You can play Double Bonus Poker in land-based casino and in online casinos as well. However, keep in mind that it's not as widespread as other casino games like Slots or regular Video Poker machines. That being said, it's still available online for anyone who has a stable internet connection and can find a reputable and licensed online casino that offers the game. Because you are playing RNG based games online, the cards are shuffled automatically, and the outcome of the game is randomly generated on the casino site.


How to play Double Bonus Poker?

If you have played Video Poker before, then there isn't any major difference, even if you choose to play the game online. First, you need to select your bet or coin size. Then you need to click Deal to be dealt five cards. From these cards, you have to select which ones you need to hold and which need to be disregarded. In some versions, the game will automatically hold the winning hand for you. Otherwise, you need to click Draw in order to be dealt with other cards and change the discarded cards from the game.


What are the strongest winning hands in Double Bonus Poker?

The strongest hands that you should watch out for are - Four of a Kind, Royal Flush, and Straight Flush.


How do you win a Double Bonus Poker?

In the case of Double Bonus Poker, you need to assemble a winning hand from the cards you're dealt. The main advantage is that the payout is higher for Four-of-a-Kind hands. For example, if the Four-of-a-Kind is made of Aces, 2, 3, or 4, you can expect great pay-outs.


What are the cards you should hold onto in Double Bonus?

If you choose to play Double Bonus, make sure to watch out for a Royal Flush, Four Aces with a kicker, Four of a Kind, Three Aces, and a Straight Flush.


Is Double Bonus Poker a good game?

A Double Bonus Poker is a great game because it offers you a chance to potentially boost your payouts and can have a better RTP than other video poker games. But this also depends on the type of Double Bonus Poker game you are playing, so make sure to check out the RTP of the particular game that you want to play. That said, this varient has a higher variance typically than other video poker games.

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