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.
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.
Payout (with 5 coins)
4 of a Kind Aces
4 of a Kind 2’s to 4’s
4 of a Kind 5’s to K’s
3 of a Kind
Jacks or Better
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
Four of a Kind
4 of a Royal Flush
Three of a Kind
4 of a Straight Flush
3 of a Royal Flush
4 of a Flush
Unsuited 10, J, Q, K
4 of an Outside Straight
3 of a Straight Flush
Suited J, Q
4 of an Inside Straight
Suited J, Q or J, K
Suited A,K A,Q or A,J
2 Unsuited High Cards, K High
Suited 10, Q
2 Unsuited High Card, A High
Garbage, 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.