Bonus Poker Video Poker
Bonus Poker Video Poker is frequently the best-paying option in an entire online (or land-based) casino, and it’s based around a set of special payouts for certain large hands. This creates a style of play that celebrates more chances for big wins, which is the kind of thing most players are after anyway.
Casinos with Bonus Poker Video Poker
An Introduction to Bonus Poker Video Poker
If you look at the video poker selection at any online casino, you’ll normally see Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild first and foremost. Just behind that in popularity on the wild side of things is Joker Poker, and the equivalent that’s just behind Jacks or Better on the non-wild side is Bonus Poker.
With Bonus Poker Video Poker, you get a similar situation where there is a relationship to Jacks or Better, but it’s a very different game just like Joker Poker and Deuces Wild are quite different in a variety of ways.
The main thing to understand about this form of video poker is that some of the strategies are quite different from other forms of non-wild games in the genre. On top of that, the volatility is significantly higher than other titles because of how stacked the top of the pay table happens to be.
The Importance of Bonus Poker
Bonus Poker Video Poker has a very important place in the overall scheme of things when it comes to the portfolio of video poker games at any given casino. To have a balanced set of titles available, you need games with different levels of volatility within each sub-genre of games, and video poker is no different.
With Bonus Poker, you get a game that has a fairly high volatility compared to other non-wild titles. Usually if you want a higher volatility, you have to switch to a game that uses wild cards, but not everyone likes the style of play and higher level of strategic complication that comes along with that sort of thing.
That means that this game is very important to a non-trivial portion of the overall video poker audience who want an increase in volatility without having to deal with learning four or five times as much strategic material. That’s a pretty reasonable thing to want, and that’s the role that this game serves.
It’s also worth mentioning that this particular title can often be the best-paying game, or at least one of them, in the entire online casino depending on the pay tables for other video poker machines.
Rules and Gameplay
The rules of this game are in line with how other video poker titles are played, but if you aren’t familiar, then here’s what you need to know.
- You begin by choosing a number of coins to wager and a size for those coins for your wager.
- Once your wager is placed, you’re dealt five cards from a standard 52-card deck.
- You get the choice of which, if any, of those five cards to discard. You can discard between zero and five.
- After receiving new cards in place of your discards, your hand is compared to the pay table below, and you will be paid for the single best hand that you qualify for.
The number of coins that you play with here is actually really important, and you should always use five. This makes sure that you’re going to get the best payout rate available and the lowest house edge available compared to only betting between one and four.
Payout Structure and House Edge
There are a few different pay tables for Bonus Poker Video Poker, but there’s only one that you should play. It’s called the 8/5 table, named after the payouts for the full house and flush wins, and it’s listed in what follows.
- Royal Flush (800x) – AKQJT in all of the same suit
- Four Aces (80x) – Four aces with a fifth card that doesn’t matter
- Straight Flush (50x) – Five cards of the same suit and also consecutive ranks
- Four 2s, 3s, 4s (40x) – Four twos, threes or fours with a fifth card that doesn’t matter
- Four Ks-5s (25x) – Four of a card from king through five with a fifth card that doesn’t matter
- Full House (8x) – Three of a card of one rank with two of a card of another rank
- Flush (5x) – Five cards all of which share the same suit
- Straight (4x) – Five cards all of which are in consecutive order
- Three of a Kind (3x) – Three of a card of the same rank
- Two Pair (2x) – Two of a card of one rank with two more cards of another matching rank
- One Pair, Jacks or Better (1x) – Two of either jacks, queens, kings or aces
When you have this pay table and correct play, your payout rate is 99.17 percent, which means you have a house advantage of about 0.83 percent. There are very few games available in any online casino that has a lower house edge than that, and most of them have much more complicated strategies that are a lot harder to learn.
What Makes Bonus Poker Special?
To understand what makes Bonus Poker Video Poker important, you have to understand the overall video poker landscape. There are two major sides to the video poker spectrum: wild card and non-wild card games.
On the non-wild card side, there aren’t many titles with a high volatility. In fact, they have some of the lowest volatility available outside of the ones that happen to have progressive jackpots.
Bonus Poker does not typically have a progressive jackpot, and as a result, it’s one of the only non-wild card games that has a fairly high volatility. This means that your ability to hit jackpots and run up several big wins in a row happens to be higher than what you find in most other games. This is a gameplay style that sacrifices a percentage of small and medium wins to achieve this dynamic.
This style of play is also something that certain players absolutely prefer over everything else. In their minds, they’re interested in “going big or going home.”
Basic Strategy for Bonus Poker
The strategies for bonus poker are similar to Jacks or Better, but there are a number of exceptions that are worth learning that are created because of the top-heavy pay table and the lower payout for a flush at 5x instead of the more common 6x.
The basics stay the same: High pairs are worth more than flushes, flushes are worth more than low pairs and low pairs are worth more than open-ended straight draws. On the high card hand front, however, some other hands change as well, and studying the game is largely about learning all of the exceptions to the regular rules.
The reason that Bonus Poker Video Poker has the level of popularity that it does, even in today’s modern era of online casinos, is that it’s packed full of opportunities to win bigger payouts than you would otherwise get in most video poker games, and the high payout rate for correct play doesn’t hurt the situation.
If you’re looking to expand past the usual Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild games that most people get started with, then Bonus Poker is the next logical choice on the non-wild side of things. It brings a lot of action with good chances to win larger payouts on average, but the volatility isn’t so high that it’s out of control like what you might find with a progressive jackpot game.
Which online casinos have Bonus Poker Video Poker?
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