4-5 Bonus Video Poker

4-5 Bonus Poker video poker might scare some regular video poker players away because they think they might be at a disadvantage. Instead of five cards on the deal, you only receive four cards in this interesting twist on the game. But you can end up scoring big if the draw goes your way thanks to boosted payouts in the game’s pay table.

Video poker players often boast that their game is the best of any of those that can be found in a casino or on a gambling website. It combines the best traits of slot machines and table games. And it comes in a format that is ridiculously easy to learn even for beginners.

If video poker players had a complaint about the game once upon a time, it was that the action could get a bit stale after a while. The routine of deal and draw can drag if you’re playing the most basic version of the game known as Jacks or Better. And Jacks or Better games also make it difficult for you to score payouts that are the equivalent of jackpots in other casino games.

To combat this, video poker manufacturers began creating twists on the basic format. They created new pay tables, also known as bonus pay tables, that rewarded players who achieved a four of a kind hand much more than basic games. These bonus machines quickly drew fans of those people who wanted to make a lot of money in just a short amount of time.

4 Draw Options

On top of that, creators of video poker kept identifying new ways of changing the basic construction of the game. They did this by including games with special features. In most cases, these games required players to add something extra to their bets to activate these features.

4-5 Bonus Poker video poker comes with the extra feature built right into it. And you might be able to guess it right from the name. Players receive only four cards on the deal, instead of the normal five, before eventually ending up with a five-card hand after the draw.

This twist actually seems to put the player in a tough spot, or so it would seem at first glance. Without getting five cards, you can’t quite make the same kind of informed decision. You have to rely on the luck of the draw more so than if you did get the normal amount on the deal.

But the makers of 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker found a great way to compensate players for this disadvantage. They boosted the payouts for just about every winning hand over what you would get for a typical Bonus Poker machine. As a result, players can win significantly more money playing this game on a single hand than other Bonus Poker games.

Keep in mind that just about every winning hand gets a boost, from the common ones like two pair to rare ones like four of a kind. And 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker even pays out 2 to 1 for a pair of aces, distinguishing it from most other games in that regard. Those boosted payouts can help to compensate for getting only four cards on the deal.

Unfortunately, that compensation can’t quite make the game as friendly to bettors in terms of payback as other machines. That means you might struggle to keep your winnings level when playing 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker if you don’t get a big hand. Get a big hand, however, and you can expect a profit that will last you a long while.

In the following article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the game known as 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker. We’ll talk about basic video poker as well as the twist to this specific variation on it. And we’ll also explain what the game is like in terms of its pay tables, payback percentages and strategy.

Basic Video Poker

4-5 Bonus Poker video poker takes the standard format of video poker and gives it a little bit of a twist. Luckily, the twist isn’t so outrageous that it’s hard to understand. And that’s especially the case if you know how to play video poker at its most basic level.

Video poker makes for one of the best games that you can possibly play in a casino or on a gambling website. You can learn to play it in minutes. And there are so many different variations of it, like 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker, that you’ll never get bored.

Video Poker

In one way, video poker resembles slot machines. You play against the machine and you don’t need anybody else in the casino to be around to play it. But that’s pretty much where the similarities between the two games end.

Slot machines require no strategy to play them. While some people might like that aspect of them, others might feel helpless. After all, you have no way of controlling the outcome of each hand.

Slot machines also leave you in the dark about when you can expect to win or how much. You have no way of knowing how often certain winning spins are expected to show up during gameplay. And you don’t know if the machine you’re playing is any more or less lucrative than the one right next to you in the casino.

Video poker flips the script on that. First of all, since you only have 52 cards in a deck, probabilities of attaining certain hands are set in stone beforehand. A little math will tell you how often certain hands like two pair or a full house are bound to show up during gameplay.

In addition, you can take the probabilities of reaching winning hands and combine it with the amounts on the pay table to create a payback percentage. This number can easily be found for variations of video poker such as 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker. All you need to do is search it out on the internet and you can tell how much your machine will pay on average compared to others around it in the casino.

Finally, video poker gives you a chance to directly influence winning and losing. When you choose which cards from your hand you want to discard and which you want to keep, you are exerting your impact over the game. And it’s great, because the players who make the best decisions will eventually make the most money playing the game.

In case you’re wondering, video poker machines generally pay back a higher amount than slot machines. As a matter of fact, many machines bring back the kind of return that you can get from table games like blackjack or roulette. You can play at your own pace without any interruptions.

It all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is. Video poker enthusiasts will tell you that it’s the top game, bar none.

But first, you have to learn how to play it, which isn’t that hard. We’ll talk about the twist to 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker in a minute. First, let’s get you settled on how to play the basic version of video poker with this quick tutorial.

Step 1: Building Your Bankroll

To play any video poker machine or any version of the game online for real money, you must first have a bankroll in place to put at stake. When playing a machine, you must insert money to create this bankroll. Those playing online have to create an account at the online gambling site you’ve chosen.

The bankroll usually won’t show up in terms of the money you’ve inserted or allotted. Instead, you will see that it has been registered as credits or coins. Each credit or coin equals one unit of the denomination you’re playing.

Denominations can run from lower amounts like a penny or a nickel to more significant amounts like a dollar. Try to pick a denomination that will let you play for the length of time you want without losing it all. Keep in mind that, once you learn to play, you can usually churn through several hands of video poker every minute.

Step 2: Making Your Bet

Most video poker machines, including 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker, give you the opportunity to wager between one and five coins every hand that you play. You can bet the same amount every hand. Or you could switch it up as you go.

But we recommend that you play five coins, also known as the max bet, on every hand. Why? Well, when we get to the pay tables for 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker, you’ll notice something interesting.

When you play between one and four coins, the payback for the royal flush, which is the most lucrative hand in video poker, sits at 250 to 1. That’s pretty hefty. But it’s nowhere near the 800 to 1 payback you’ll receive for betting five coins on the hand.

If you find that it’s too much on your budget to bet five coins per hand, you should try a version of 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker that features a lower denomination, if available. That will let you keep the best ratios of payback without breaking your bank.

Step 3: Playing Your Hand

If you’ve ever played a little poker at home or with friends and have somewhat of an idea of what constitutes a winning hand, you’ll have a head start with video poker. Even better if you’ve played Five-Card Draw, since the mechanics of that game are very similar to what you’ll get playing video poker.

Even if not, however, you can really learn video poker quickly. Once you’ve learned the basic way to play a hand, it won’t be hard to move on to 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker.

Since we’re learning the basics, we’re going to describe to you how video poker works when you receive five cards on the deal. Then, we’ll move on to the twist in 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker where you only receive four.

You’ll see five cards appear on your screen the moment you make your bet. These cards are your deal. Within these cards, you’ll be looking for possible winning hands.

What are the winning hands in video poker? Well, some games deviate from the main group of winning hands. But 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker does not, with one minor exception we’ll talk about in a bit. Here are the hands you’ll be trying to form:

  • Pair of jacks or better
  • Two pair
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight (five cards of consecutive rank, like 3-4-5-6-7)
  • Flush (five cards of same suit)
  • Full house (three of a kind and two pair in the same hand)
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush (straight with five cards of same suit)
  • Royal flush (ten, jack, queen, king, and ace of the same suit)

These hands are listed from the most commonly achieved at the top to the hardest to attain at the bottom. That also means the hands at the top of the list pay the least and the ones at the bottom pay the most.

You will be looking at your deal to see if you have any of these combinations of cards already in place. Even if not, you can still draw to a winning hand. The draw allows you to replace certain cards from your deal with others from the deck which you were dealt.

Remember that the deck will contain 47 cards at that point. That number comes from subtracting the five cards you were dealt from the original 52. After all, you will not receive any card that you discarded back again on the draw.

Your goal when assessing your deal is to decide which of the cards can be held and turned into something better. Or you might find that all five of your cards are too scattered and all need to be replaced. You can replace any or all of the cards from your deal, or you can keep them all if you already have a winning hand with which you’re satisfied.

When making the decision about what to hold and what to discard, you’ll be thinking in terms of the probabilities. What chances do you have of drawing three of a kind, a straight, a flush, or whatever hand you’re targeting?

You’ll also be thinking in terms of the potential payout. In some cases, you might think it’s best to go for one of the more common hands and assure yourself of something in return. Other times, you might feel that you have a good opportunity to try for one of the rarer hands that pay a lot.

It all comes down to risk and reward. And video poker requires you to make those decisions on each and every hand. You might find that some hands are easy to figure out, while other deals leave you with two or three possibilities that seem hard to separate.

In any case, once you make your selection about which cards to hold (if any) and which to discard (if any), you will press the buttons under the cards you want to keep. The computer software inside the machine (or the online game) will then draw you cards from the top of the simulated deck that dealt you the original five. This is the end of the hand, and it will be scored.

By scoring, we mean that the machine will recognize if the final hand that you made is a winner according to the pay table. It will then add any credits to your total based on the hand that you made.

Keep in mind that your original bet will be subtracted from your credits the moment you start the hand. Therefore, you won’t be credited again at the completion of the hand if you don’t have a winner.

That is essentially how hands of basic video poker are played. You can continue playing the game as long as you have credits left in your bankroll. If not, you’ll have to replenish.

You can also cash out your remaining credits at any time. If playing at a machine, you’ll receive a redemption ticket. Depending on what you want to do from there, you can either use that ticket for other games in the casino or get cash for it at a redemption machine or window.
Now that you have the basic gist of play under control, it’s time to look at how a hand of 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker works.

Getting Four Cards on the Deal

When you start up your hand while playing 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker, you’ll immediately notice the difference. Instead of seeing five cards show up on the screen, you’ll only see four.

That creates a number of strategic problems. For one, it will make choosing between the hands you want to pursue more difficult because you don’t have as much information.

Let’s walk you through what we’re talking about. Take a look at a sample deal in a hand of 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker.

Four of Diamonds, Four of Clubs, Five of Clubs, Six of Clubs

This is a pretty good deal for 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker. But it presents an example of how hard it can be to strategize.

Imagine if this were a game of normal video poker and that the fifth card that you received on the deal was a seven of clubs. Your decision would be much easier.

Not only would you have a flush, but you would also have four cards to a straight flush as well. It would be a pretty simple choice to discard the four of diamonds.

On the other hand, what if the hypothetical fifth card on the deal was another four? Again, the choice would be much simpler. You would already have three of a kind in tow and you could improve it to a full house or even four of a kind on the draw.

But 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker doesn’t afford you that opportunity. It’s like you have to make a decision with incomplete information.

It puts a little bit more guesswork into the situation. Let’s take a look at another sample hand and, this time, we’ll follow it through to the draw.

Jack of Hearts, King of Hearts, King of Spades, Ace of Hearts

The good news with this hand is that you already have a winning combination in the original four-card deal with the pair of kings. But you also have three cards to a royal flush. That’s obviously tempting to chase, because of how much a royal flush pays off.

The right play here is to go with the two kings, since you’re guaranteed a winning hand and can even do better on the draw. But what if the draw comes and you receive the following:

Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts, King of Spades, Ten of Hearts, Four of Clubs

You received the two cards that, if you had kept the original three to a royal flush, would have completed it for you. And that illustrates why the decision-making process in 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker is so difficult.

On the one hand, you are deprived of that fifth card on the deal that could make your decision about what to hold and discard that much clearer. Then, add the fact that you are receiving a fifth card on the draw over which you have no control. You just have to live with whatever you get.

So, why would anyone play this game if there are other video poker games where you get that fifth card on the deal? Well, video poker manufacturers always try to even out the score in some way or another.

They understand that the format of 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker makes it more difficult for you to make decisions and form winning hands than would be the case if you were playing a game with a five-card deal. To compensate for that, they adjust the pay tables. And that’s our next step in examining this challenging game.

4-5 Bonus Poker Video Poker Pay Tables

Whenever you play video poker, one of the first things that you should be doing is looking for the pay table. It’s not just because you want to know how much you can win, although that’s part of it.

The pay table shows you what your strategy should be, because it makes clear which hands are the most lucrative. In addition, the pay table will allow you to tell if the game is worthwhile compared to other video poker games.

Let’s talk about the pay table for 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker. First of all, you need to know that it is modeled after Bonus Poker pay tables. That means four of a kind hands have payouts that are boosted above what you might get in Jacks or Better games.

In addition, you can get higher payouts for certain four of a kind hands than you can for others. Again, this differs from Jacks or Better, which pays out all four of a kind hands the same.

Let’s take a look at the most commonly-found pay table for 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker:

Coins/Hands 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight Flush 100 200 300 400 500
Four of a Kind (Aces) 200 400 600 800 1000
Four of a Kind (2s, 3s, 4s) 100 200 300 400 500
Four of a Kind (Any Other) 80 160 240 320 400
Full House 12 24 36 48 60
Flush 10 20 30 40 50
Straight 6 12 18 24 30
Three of a Kind 4 8 12 16 20
Two Pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or Better 1 2 3 4 5

Reading this pay table requires you to follow the rows over to the columns depending on the specifics of your situation. For example, if you made three of a kind on a five-coin bet, look at where those two intersect and you can see the number 20. That means you receive 20 coins in return for a 15-coin profit (20 minus the original 5 that you wagered).

If you’re new to video poker, you might not have much of a clue what separates this 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker pay table from any other that you might find. Let’s provide you with a little context then.

The pay table below is one for a common Bonus Poker machine, one that gives you five cards on the deal. You can see that the hands that payout are pretty much the same, but the amounts are far different:

Coins/Hands 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal Flush 200 400 600 800 4000
Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a Kind (Aces) 80 160 240 320 400
Four of a Kind (2s, 3s, 4s) 40 80 120 160 200
Four of a Kind (Any Other) 25 50 75 100 125
Full House 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two Pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or Better 1 2 3 4 5

One thing you’ll note right off the bat is that the 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker gives a special 2 to 1 payoff for a pair of aces that is not included in the regular Bonus Poker pay table. That’s a nod to the difficulty of playing with only four cards on the deal.

Meanwhile, the payout for every single hand, with the exception of the royal flush and the pair of jacks through kings, is significantly higher in the 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker game. That helps to make up for the fact that the game is a little bit harder to play in terms of strategizing.

You can see, through the pay table, how 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker spices up the proceedings. The question is whether or not it spices things up enough. And for that answer, you have to look at the payback percentage.

Payback Percentage for 4-5 Bonus Poker Video Poker

If you plan on playing video poker in a casual manner, payback percentage may not concern you too much. After all, those playing the game only occasionally for short periods of time will find that their winnings and losings have more to do with luck than anything else.

Serious players, including those who want to play video poker often for a long period of time, should be concerned about making a profit. If that fits your description, you have to know what the payback percentages are for every machine that you play.

Payback percentages let video poker players know how much they can expect from the game in return. These figures are based on the mathematics of the game. You can combine the probabilities of making each winning hand with the payouts for those winnings hands to come out with the percentage.

When you are playing a video poker game with regularity, ideally, you should be aiming for a payback percentage of over 99%. That would mean you would be losing only 1% of your bankroll on average.


“Average” is an essential word when it comes to understanding payback percentage. If you play the game for a short span of time, luck will dictate how much you win or lose more than anything else. You might win or lose significantly more than the quoted payback percentage.

But as you play the game more and more often, you’ll find that your results will be closer to what the payback percentage says. The probabilities will make sure of that as luck evens out.

If you found a machine that pays back 99% or above, you could make up the losses through royalty programs at casinos or top gambling websites. In that way, you could conceivably make a profit.

All of which leads us to the bad news about 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker. The payback percentage for the pay table listed above rests at only around 97.6%. Obviously, that doesn’t meet the 99% threshold we stated above.

But that doesn’t mean you should turn your back on the game completely. It all depends on what you’re looking for from your game.

If you’re the type who wants to play for a long time, 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker will probably come up short of what you’re looking for. It falls too far below the standard where you could conceivably make a profit.

But if you’re someone who likes to play video poker with the idea of making a big profit in a small amount of time, 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker represents one of the best games you can choose. You just won’t find payouts for the basic winning hands like most other video poker variations.

4-5 Bonus Poker Strategy

Choosing the cards you want to hold and discard for each hand is how you strategize on video poker. Unfortunately, the structure of 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker, with only four cards dealt, renders the normal ways of teaching strategy ineffective.

Video poker training software doesn’t really work for 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker because they generally don’t have an option of receiving only four cards on the deal. Strategy charts might be a little more effective, because they rank the combinations of cards you receive on the deal. But these charts, which can be found online, don’t take into account the fact that only four cards are being dealt.

Your best bet for devising a strategy for 4-5 Bonus Poker video poker is to use common sense. Take winnings where you can, since the payouts will be more substantial no matter what winning hand it is. And you’re probably better off playing it safe and going for more common hands when you have a choice simply because of the uncertainty.


4-5 Bonus Poker video poker might make you wish there was a good way to figure out how to play four-card deals. But it can compensate with the big payout boost you receive from the winning hands you do make. You just have to judge whether the uncertainty of it all is worth the potential for big winnings in a hurry.