The two most common and popular games in video poker are Jacks or Better and
Bonus Poker. There are only a few differences between the game rules. Like these
other 2 games, ACE$ Bonus is a five card draw style video poker game.
ACE$ Bonus Video Poker adds an additional flourish to the basic Bonus Poker
game. We find that player opinions are divided on the ACE$ Bonus game
experience. Some players express frustration at the variation in pay tables.
Other players are confused by the subtle differences in strategy.
Once you master the essentials in this game you’ll be able to quickly decide
if you want to play it when you come across a machine on the casino floor. There
are more challenging video poker games and we suggest that players who are
honing their skills give this game a shot.
ACE$ Bonus Poker Video Poker Basics
What makes this game distinctive is that the ace cards are marked with one of
four symbols: “A”, “C”, “E”, and “$”. As the cards are dealt or drawn, if your
final hand spells out “ACE$” (or “$ECAS” in some variations) starting in either
the 1st or 2nd position you are paid a bonus. If you finish with four aces but
they do not spell out “ACE$” or “$ECA” then you still win a better prize than
getting four of a kind for any other rank but it’s considerably less than for
spelling the game name.
To adjust for the bonus prize value without upsetting too many player
expectations the game adjusts the value of non-ace four of a kind hands down.
While they still pay better than a full house, flush, or three of a kind,
players should be mindful of the variation.
The game otherwise plays out very much like Jacks or Better. A final hand
with at least a pair of cards from jack through ace pays even money. See the pay
table below for details.
The pay tables can vary considerably, however. Standard JorB differences like
the 9/6 (full house / flush) and 8/5 (full house / flush) combinations exist.
Before you sit down to play the game, check the pay table.
How to Play Video Poker Games
Video poker is easily as popular among casino regulars as slot machines.
Because most video poker games use a single deck of either 52 or 53 cards it is
easy for players to calculate the theoretical player payback percentage.
Playback percentage is the expectation of how much of all wagers played over a
period of time would be paid to players as prizes, assuming perfect play by the
payers. The difference between this theoretical playback percentage is called
the “house edge”. In other words, that is how much revenue the casino expects to
earn from a game in a given period measured in months or years.
In practice the house edge is usually better than expected because many
players lack the skill or experience to make the best decisions. You can
practice playing video poker games for free. Some Websites also provide free
strategy cards you can download or print out for many video poker games. Using a
strategy card is very straight forward. As you are dealt your cards by the game
you start at the top of the list and find the best match for your initial deal.
The strategy card suggests whether you should hold or discard certain types of
Strategy guides do not ensure success. The game depends on the random deal
and drawing of cards, and that random factor cannot be predicted by any player
To begin playing video poker you deposit from 1 to 5 coins. On some games you
may be able to deposit more coins. On a machine that allows you to play multiple
hands you make as many wagers as you play hands. For example, if you are playing
10 hand video poker you could bet 50 coins in total.
After you set your wager the game deals you several cards. If it is a draw
style game you are prompted to choose which cards you will keep (or “hold”).
Then you click “Draw” and your non-hold cards are replaced by new cards. The
game scores your final hand according to its pay table.
How Does ACE$ Bonus Poker Video Poker Affect Playback Percentage?
Unlike most versions of video poker the position your ace cards appear in
matters. You cannot move the cards around in your hand. Hence, if your first ace
is marked with a “C” or “E” the best you can hope for is a royal flush or four
As we mentioned previously the pay table for this game is adjusted to
compensate for higher bonus paid for finishing with four aces spelling the
game’s name. Lower ranked four of a kind hands pay less than the ace hands. The
low value four of a kind hand should appear more often than four aces merely
because you have 12 non-ace ranks in a standard deck of cards.
There is a very slight greater chance of finishing with a zero value hand in
this game than in Bonus video poker. That does affect the theoretical return to
player (the playback percentage). The higher rewards for four aces offset those
probabilistic changes. Hence, ACE$ Bonus video poker offers about a 0.3% return
to the player than regular Bonus poker. Some players accept this as sufficient
reason to switch to ACE$ Bonus when both games are present and using the same
What the Pay Table for ACE$ Bonus Poker Video Poker Looks Like
Depending on who designed the game the higher hands may have different
payouts. This table is provided only for illustrative purposes. Players should
expect to see some variations in the pay tables depending on where they play
Note that variations of the game which recognize “$ECA” pay less for that
combination than for “ACE$”. The “$ECA” combination is not used on most machines
but may pay around 250 coins times bet.
ACE$ or -ACE$
Three of a kind
ACE$ Bonus Poker Video Poker Strategy Tips
To begin with, compare the pay tables of different machines before choosing
which version of this game you will play. On machines that allow you to choose
your game, if Bonus video poker has a better pay table than ACE$ Bonus then go
with the regular Bonus game.
Because ACE$ Bonus and Bonus video poker are so similar to Jacks or Better if
you know the strategy for that game well it should be okay to follow while you
learn these games. However, if you already know basic strategy for Bonus video
poker it is better to use the strategy for that game while learning ACE$ Bonus
The differences in strategy are minor and less than perfect play won’t hurt
you as much in this game as if you use the Jacks or Better basic strategy in some other
video poker games.
Beginning players may try for four of a kind on every hand. If you are dealt
a pair most experts recommend building up from that because it’s already a
Some players will sacrifice a second pair if they are dealt two aces.
Finishing with three aces pays the same as finishing with two pair. A full house
or four aces will pay better than holding the two pair. Of course, if you are
dealt two pair you could try for the full house but you’ll sacrifice a chance
for four aces.
Experienced players who are dealt a full house containing three aces often
choose to discard the other two cards in the hope of obtaining the four ace on
the draw. Although this move potentially costs the player a larger prize three
of a kind still pays double the bet.
Never play any machine that only offers a 6/5 breakout for full house and
Some versions of the game may offer a progressive jackpot. If the pay tables
and coin values are acceptable play the progressive versions.
Players who are still learning about the variety that video poker offers
should enjoy learning this game. The progression from Jacks or Better to Bonus
video poker is natural but if you want to get a jump on other learners than look
for a solid implementation of ACE$ Bonus and learn this game.
One of the great things about this game is that it makes players think about
risk versus reward when they are dealt winning hands. The two pair question may
be easy to overlook. Because there is usually no advantage for replacing two
pair with three of a kind conservative players are less likely to sacrifice that
second pair. ACE$ Bonus gives the player an additional incentive to be a little
more aggressive when two aces turn up on the deal.
The reward for finishing with four aces is so much more satisfying that some
players rarely play the simpler games again, unless they just cannot find this
game or a good pay table.
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