Bonus Poker Plus Video Poker

Bonus Poker Plus video poker awards players who love to go for four of a kind
hands. It’s among the most aggressive bonus poker variations in terms of its
payouts to relatively rare hands. And it isn’t a hard game to understand, since
all quad hands are paid off equally, so you don’t have to weigh holding certain
cards over others.

Bonus Poker Plus

When you enter a casino or settle on an
online casino site to play video
poker, you’re likely to encounter two types of games. First of all, there is
Jacks or Better video poker, which is easy to understand because the rules and
the ranking of the hands are very similar to your typical five-card draw game
you might play at home. Beginning video poker players could easily learn this
game and, most likely, wouldn’t do too badly in terms of strategy.

You might also encounter one of the many bonus games on the market. Bonus
video poker machines were created with the intent of beefing up payouts for
single hands. These games are perfect for those gamblers who are impatient with
the slower pace of Jacks or Better.

Bonus Poker Plus video poker is no doubt one of the more exciting versions of
bonus poker. The payoffs for four of a kind hands in this game stand at an
impressive 100 to 1, regardless of which hand is included in the foursome. For
comparison, the straight flush, which is a tougher hand to achieve, comes in at
only 50 to 1.

On top of that, Bonus Poker Plus video poker also offers competitive payouts
for middle hands like the flush and full house, especially on the highest-paying
version of the machine that you might find in casinos or online. All of that is
good news, but there must be compensation somewhere along the line for all of
these bonuses, otherwise the machine would lose money to players.

In the case of Bonus Poker Plus, those compensatory factors come in the form
of lower payouts for common hands like a three of a kind and a two pair. This
makes for very volatile play, which means you might lose or win large amounts in
a short period of time. It also means, on the whole, that your overall expected
payout percentage would be higher if you were playing Jacks or Better.

Read on and we’ll explain all of the particulars about Bonus Poker Plus video
poker. We’ll talk about how to play, how the pay tables work, and what kind of
strategy you should employ while playing. Finally, we’ll go over all of the
advantages and disadvantages surrounding this exciting take on video poker.

Advantages of Video Poker

People often talk about video poker as occupying a sweet spot between table
games and slot machines. And you could make a case that it’s better than both.

Video Poker Over Table Games

  • Because you don’t have any pressure on you about how to play. Table
    games often mean pressure from other patrons and casino employees about the
    way you conduct yourself. That doesn’t come into play with video poker.
  • Because you can play at your own pace. When you’re playing table games,
    you have to get your bets down in a certain amount of time or risk getting
    shut out. With video poker, you could play in a hurry or at a leisurely pace
    depending on your preference.
  • Because the game is simple. Many table games require a working knowledge
    of a long list of rules. But video poker, at least in its most basic form,
    can be learned in a matter of minutes. And that time can get shaved down
    even further if you have a working knowledge of poker hands from playing
    with a deck of cards.

Video Poker Over Slot Machines

  • Because you have control over gameplay. Slot machines simply require you
    to hit a button and hope that luck goes your way. But video poker allows you
    to have some control over the action by deciding which cards you want to
    hold and which you want to discard from your original deal.
  • Because you know what to expect in payback. Video poker machines have
    pay tables that tell you what each hand will pay. There are also
    probabilities in play that govern how often you can receive those hands,
    something that doesn’t come into play with slot machines.
  • Because the paybacks are better. The average slot machine comes in at
    around 92% expected payback, which means an 8% house edge. Even the
    least-competitive video poker machine should top that percentage.

Gameplay for Bonus Poker Plus Video Poker

If you understand one type of video poker, you generally understand them all.
There are a few games here and there which mess with the basic rhythm of
gameplay, but luckily, Bonus Poker Plus video poker isn’t one of them.

Again, the game mimics the
five-card draw poker
that you have likely played informally at home or maybe formally in a casino.
And the probabilities are the same because the machines use a virtual 52-card
deck when dealing and making the draw after you discard.

Let’s walk you through a sample hand:

The Bet

Once you’ve put money into the machine (or funded an account online), you’ll
have a bankroll of credits for the machine. You can play between one and five
credits to activate a hand. We’ll explain in a bit why it’s always best to play
five credits per hand if at all possible.

The Deal

The computer will deal you five cards. Ideally, the cards that you have will
make up some combination that constitutes a winning hand. Winning hands run from
a simple pair of Jacks or Better all the way to the royal flush (ten, jack,
queen, king, and ace of the same suit).

More likely than not, you’ll need to exchange some of the cards in your hand
to try and improve it. If you’re already a winner, you can keep all five cards.
If you’re not, you can discard one through five of the cards that you’ve been

The Draw

Now the computer will draw you cards to replace the ones that you’ve
discarded. Remember that it will be using the same deck that it used to deal you
your original hand. That means that there is no chance that you’ll receive two
of the same cards in your final hand.

At that point, the machine will score your hand and see if you’ve won
anything. From there, you can continue playing if you still have funds. Or you
can cash out and either move on to a different game or redeem your ticket.

Comparing Bonus Poker Plus Video Poker to Jacks or Better

We’ve already established that playing Bonus Poker Plus video poker is
basically the same as if you were playing common Jacks or Better. The big
difference comes in terms of the payouts. As is the case with most bonus poker
games, Bonus Poker Plus places a premium on four of a kind hands.

The best way to illustrate this is to look at a pay table for Bonus Poker
Plus video poker. This pay table is what’s known as a “full pay” table. In other
words, it’s the highest-paying version of the game that is known to be in

Full Pay 9 / 6 Pay Table

Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind 100 200 300 400 500
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pair 1 2 3 4 5
One pair 1 2 3 4 5
All other 0 0 0 0 0

This is the table that you will see on the machine when you encounter this
version of Bonus Poker Plus video poker. It shows how much you can expect to be
paid for each winning hand. All you need to do to read it is check your winning
hand against how much you’ve bet.

For example, imagine that you’ve made a straight (five cards in consecutive
order, such as 2,3,4,5,6) and you’ve made the max bet of five coins, or credits.
The “Straight” row intersects with the “5 Coins” column at the number 20. That
means that you’ll receive 20 coins, or a 15-coin profit when you take your
original 5-coin bet into consideration.

So, how does that compare to Jacks or Better? All of the winning hands that
pay off are the same. (When it says “One Pair” on the Bonus Poker Plus video
poker listed above, it means a pair of jacks, queens, kings, or aces, just as in
Jacks or Better games.)

But the amount of the payouts is different for three of those winning hands.
Let’s take a look:

Hand Bonus Poker Plus Payout Jacks or Better Payout
Four of a kind 100 to 1 25 to 1
Three of a kind 2 to 1 3 to 1
Two pair 1 to 1 (Even Money) 2 to 1

Since Bonus Poker Plus video poker is a bonus game, it’s no surprise that the
payouts for a four of a kind are higher. What’s notable is that the quad payout
is higher than basic bonus poker games (hence the “Plus” in the name). And the
fact that there is no distinction between four of a kind hands in terms of which
cards are included also makes the game stand out a bit.

As you can see, Jacks or Better gives you higher payouts on three of a kind
and two pair hands. When you play video poker, those hands will come around
often. Even though you might not think the difference in payouts is much for
those small hands, the frequency with which they pop up will make you notice
that difference quickly.

It means that Bonus Poker Plus video poker is a volatile video poker game,
especially when you compare it to Jacks or Better. Jacks or Better gameplay is
steady, without a lot of big wins but also without long strings of losses. Bonus
Poker Plus features a lot of wild swings in momentum which is typical of a
high-volatility game.

High-volatility games require you to bring a bankroll capable of withstanding
those swings. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your entire stake in quick
fashion. Keep that in mind when deciding if the potential big payouts for a four
of a kind are worth your trouble when playing Bonus Poker Plus video poker.

Payback Expectations for Bonus Poker Plus Video Poker

Most games that you encounter in a casino or on a gambling website possess an
expected payback percentage. This number represents what a player can expect to
return from his original bankroll in an average session. The key to this concept
is the word “average.”

Let’s start by explaining that the payback percentage for the full-pay
version of Bonus Poker Plus video poker is 96.96%. That means that the house
, which is the average amount that the casino takes from the player, is
3.04% (100% minus 96.96%).

If you put $10,000 into Bonus Poker Plus video poker, your average return
would be $9,696, which is a $304 loss. But, again, it’s an average. It’s not a
binding number that will represent what you would take, every time out, from the

For example, you might play Bonus Poker Plus and luck out right off the bat
with a four of a kind hand. Chances are, if you only play for a short period of
time after that hand, your return will be extremely high, or you might play
another time and lose every single one of your first ten hands, in which case
your return is zero.

But if you play Bonus Poker Plus video poker over a long period of time, your
return would eventually come in at around that 96.96% level. The good news is
that the four of a kind bonuses lead to the possibility of big winnings with
quick strikes. Unfortunately, the bad news is that the lesser-paying common
hands make this game lag behind Jacks or Better every step of the way:

  • Jacks or Better Expected Payout: 99.54%
  • Bonus Poker Plus Expected Payout: 96.96%

In a short span, that difference might not matter to you. Those taking a few
bucks into a casino to spend some time at a machine might not care about the
slightly lower payout for Bonus Poker Plus video poker. They might even prefer
the game if all they want is a better chance at a big payoff.

But if you want to play a game for a long period of time, Jacks or Better is
actually a better choice. The math is simply in its favor.

Other Payback Percentages for Bonus Poker Plus Video Poker

We mentioned earlier that the pay table listed above is the “full-pay”
version of Bonus Poker Plus video poker. But there are several other possible
pay tables you might witness that also are listed as Bonus Poker Plus games,
either in specific machines or in a Game King-style machine that holds many

You need to be aware of these different versions and understand what they
will do to your payback percentage. Let’s take a look at some of them. The
numbers that define the games refer to the payouts for the full house and flush,
which are the only two hands where there will be a discrepancy between the 9/6,
full-pay version listed above.

  • 9/5 Bonus Poker Plus: 95.87%
  • 8/5 Bonus Poker Plus: 94.71%
  • 7/5 Bonus Poker Plus: 93.57%
  • 6/5 Bonus Poker Plus: 92.52%

You can see how the payback can be significantly lower depending on which pay
table you find. Your best bet is to hone in on the pay tables, specifically the
pay for the full house and flush hands, before choosing your Bonus Poker Plus
video poker machine (or online game). That will ensure you get the best possible
payback out of the options you have available to you.

Learning Strategy for Bonus Poker Plus Video Poker

It should be noted that all of the above percentages are based on the idea of
perfect play. Perfect play requires you to make the correct decision about what
to hold and what to discard on every single hand of Bonus Poker Plus video poker
that you play. But how do you know what is correct?

Let’s imagine that you encounter the following hand during Bonus Poker Plus
video poker play:

Eight of Spades, Nine of Clubs, Ten of Diamonds, Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts

If you’ve ever played five-card draw before, you should be able to tell that
there are two possible plays that make sense. On the one hand, you can hold on
to the pair of jacks and hope to improve upon that and get a two pair, three of
a kind, full house, or even a four of a kind. Alternatively, you can hang on to
everything but one of the jacks and hope to draw a seven or a queen, which would
give you a straight.

The mathematically correct choice, in this case, is to keep the jacks. This
means that if you played this hand over and over, the probabilities, combined
with the payoffs for the possible hands you could make, lead to the fact that
you would make more money playing the Jacks.

What makes this tricky is the fact that a correct choice doesn’t always turn
out right. Imagine that the first card drawn is a seven of hearts. That would
give you the straight, but it wouldn’t help the jacks at all.

But you have to learn the right plays so that you can maximize your winnings
over time. If you plan on playing Bonus Poker Plus video poker often and are
going to put a decent amount of money into it, you should know the proper plays
each time out.

There are three ways that you can make that happen:

  1. Strategy Charts: These charts can be located for
    just about every version of video poker with a little internet searching. A
    video poker strategy chart ranks the combinations of cards that you might get on the
    deal so that you know what you should be holding and what you should
    discard. If you can memorize the chart, you might be able to achieve perfect
  2. Video Poker Training: When you purchase one of
    these software training programs or download them for free, you can play as
    if you were playing on a video poker machine but with nothing at stake. More
    importantly, the software will alert you whenever you make a mistake on a
    hold. In this way, you can make sure your strategy is airtight once you
    enter the casino or go online to play for real.
  3. Free Play: This is basically the same as video
    poker training in that it simulates play, but it will not let you know when
    you make an incorrect play. Free play is good for beginners, but it will
    eventually come up short of teaching you perfect play unless you played a
    ton and were to keep detailed records of how each hand should be played.

Quick Strategy Tips for Playing Bonus Poker Plus Video Poker

  • Play the Max Bet: Check out the pay table that
    we’ve listed above and note how the payback jumps for the royal flush when
    you play five coins as compared to one through four. That is why we implored
    you earlier to bet five coins each and every hand. Otherwise, you’ll be
    sorry if you luck into a royal flush.
  • Don’t Get Conservative: If you’re going to play
    a bonus game, you have to accept the volatility. You might want to stay
    alive by going for small hands, but you’ll end up hurting yourself in the
    long run. Better to sell out for the four of a kind hands wherever possible.
  • All Quads Are Equal: The fact that every four of
    a kind hand pays off the same is one of the reasons that strategy for Bonus
    Poker Plus video poker is a bit easier than for other bonus games. Just
    don’t fall back into old habits if you’ve played other Bonus games that
    reward certain quad hands over others. Always play to the pay table, and
    this one requires you to go for any quad no matter the card.

Pros and Cons of Bonus Poker Plus Video Poker

Pros of Bonus Poker Plus

  • Exciting opportunities for big payoffs on four of a kind hands
  • Strategy made easier because all four of a kind hands pay the same
  • Gameplay is the same as

    Jacks or Better
Cons of Bonus Poker Plus

  • Bankroll will dwindle if you don’t make four of a kind hands
  • Paybacks are less competitive than Jacks or Better games
  • Paybacks really drop for some pay tables associated with the game


If you’re looking to score a quick, significant payoff, even if you’re only
playing for a short time, Bonus Poker Plus video poker is an excellent
selection. After all, you’ll be able to really boost your winnings with a four
of a kind hand. Those looking to play video poker over a long period of time
might be well-advised to choose a game with a better payback percentage.