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Bonus Video Poker: Strategy & How To Play

bonus video pokerIn this guide, we’ll focus on Bonus Video Poker.

This is another popular variant of Jacks or Better which can be found at many land based casinos, especially in Vegas, and also on most of the best video poker apps and sites.

Today, I’ll show you how to play Bonus Poker, and explain the similarities and differences between this and other similar video poker variations such as Double Bonus Poker.

You’ll also learn a perfect play strategy that you can use at any real world, online or mobile casino to massively increase your returns on this game.

How To Play Bonus Poker

If you’ve played Jacks or Better before, then you know how to play this game as well. If you’re new to video poker, check out our how to play Jacks or Better guide to get the basics.

The rules and gameplay are the same. Bonus Video Poker uses a standard 52 card deck with no Jokers and no wildcards in play.

But the pay table and strategy for Bonus Poker are not the same as in other versions.

The basic idea of all of the Bonus Poker Variations (including double and double-double), and where they differs from the standard JoB, is that the player gets an increased payout (the bonus) for getting specific 4-of-a-kind hands.

Sounds good, but obviously, nothing comes for free! The trade off for the bonus is that the payouts on lower ranking hands are less.

Hand Ranks & Pay Table

A typical pay table from a RTG game of Bonus Poker might look like this.

bonus video poker pay table

You’ve probably noticed that the hand rankings look similar to JoB, except 4 of a Kind has been split into three:

  • 4 Aces – pays 80x
  • 4 2s 3s or 4s – pays 40x
  • 4 5s to Ks – pays 25x

Bearing in mind that a standard Jacks or Better table pays 25x for any 4 of a Kind, and you can now see the difference. Bonus Poker gives you a significant extra reward for getting 4 Aces, 2s, 3s or 4s.

There is also no increased payout for getting a Royal Flush when playing maximum coins on Bonus Video Poker. The game returns the same no matter how many coins you choose to play.

Bonus Video Poker Strategy

A successful strategy for Bonus Video Poker looks very similar to a Jacks or Better strategy. However, changes need to be made to get fewer lower paying hands, and to place more emphasis on the lower 4 of a Kind hands that trigger the bonus payments in this version of the game.

Employing a perfect play strategy like the one below, on a full pay Bonus Video Poker game, will return 99.17%. This applies online, on mobile or on a physical VP machine in a casino.

What Cards To Hold

bonus video poker strategyAfter the deal, you should hold these hands in order of preference, and discard everything else.

Work down the list and see if your deal matches any of these, and if so stop there. Hold the cards specified, discard the rest (if any) and hit the draw button.

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Any Four of a Kind
  4. 4 to a Royal Flush
  5. Full House
  6. Flush
  7. Straight
  8. Three of a Kind
  9. 4 to a Straight Flush
  10. Two Pair
  11. High Pair
  12. 3 to a Royal Flush
  13. 4 to a Flush
  14. KQJ10 Unsuited
  15. Low pair
  16. 4 to an outside straight
  17. 3 to a straight flush
  18. AKQJ Unsuited
  19. 4 to an inside straight w/ three high cards
  20. Unsuited JQK
  21. Unsuited JQ
  22. KQ, KJ Unsuited
  23. J10 Suited
  24. AK, AQ, AJ Unsuited
  25. Ace
  26. KT, QT Suited
  27. Jack, King or Queen
  28. Discard Everything

Bonus Video Poker is an appealing alternative if you enjoy hunting the bigger payouts, and if you have the time and bankroll to do so.

It’s important to note that the return is based on a best case scenario and a full pay game. Changes to the pay table can affect the RTP percentage (both positively and negatively) so keep an eye out for better paying machines.

Although you can use this strategy on similar games such as Double Bonus and Double Double Bonus, and get better results than the casual player who has no system, it won’t be perfect. These variations require different strategies for best results.

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Last Updated on January 12, 2021