Bonus Poker Plus

Bonus Poker Plus

The video poker variant known as Bonus Poker takes basic Jacks or Better and adds bonus pays for making various four of a kind combinations.

In the game of Bonus Deluxe Poker, the separate tiers of strength for those "quad" hands are removed, with a flat bonus of 80 coins per coin wagered for all four of a kind combinations.

And adding to the evolution is Bonus Poker Plus, a variant which uses the foundation built by Bonus Deluxe Poker and makes just two simple tweaks.

First and foremost, that 80 coin bonus pay for quads has been boosted to 100 coins.

But in order to compensate for that extra "juice" going to the player's side, the house has tweaked the payout for three of a kind from 3 coins to 2 coins.

Other than those two adjustments, however, Bonus Poker Plus is essentially just Bonus Deluxe Poker with a higher incentive pay for making four of a kind. However, that higher payout comes at a cost, because this game offers a significantly lower payback percentage than its predecessor.

We'll dive into those details a few sections down the road, but for now, we recommend heading over to our full page on Bonus Poker Deluxe for a quick study session. Once you know the base game well, learning how Bonus Poker Plus adds and subtracts from that formula is that much easier.

When you're done, head back here to learn everything you ever wanted to know - and plenty you didn't even think to ask - about Bonus Poker Plus game play.

Bonus Poker Plus Basics

Before we begin exploring the intricacies of Bonus Poker Plus, we'll spend a few minutes explain how the game works from the perspective of a pure beginner. That means a thorough walkthrough of the machine itself, how it works, and other foundational lessons designed for rank rookies.

So, if you've already spent some time in extended sessions on a video machine, feel free to skip over this section and get right to the good stuff.

For everyone else, let's introduce you to the greatest casino game ever invented: video poker.

Your first job will be to locate a Bonus Poker Plus machine, and thankfully, a brightly lit title screen is used to signal each variant's name to passersby. And in most cases, modern Game King machines are designed to hold dozens of different variants, so don't be afraid to play around with the menu and search for your game of choice - it won't cost a coin anyhow.

After setting the controls to Bonus Poker Plus, be sure to check the pay tables shown onscreen. These are typically presented as a grid containing five columns, usually outlined in bright yellow. Each column is headed by a number, running from 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 - with these signifying the coins you'll be betting.

No matter which coin denomination you choose - from pennies, nickels, quarters, or dollars - video poker uses a 1 to 5 coin wagering system. We'll teach you all about the pay tables for Bonus Poker Plus later on in the page, but for now, just remember the key figures of 9 and 6.

These are the payouts offered under the 1 coin column when you make a full house and a flush, respectively. And unless your machine is set to offer those 9 / 6 payouts - known as the "full pay" version in video poker parlance - you won't be getting anywhere near the best odds on your money.

We'll save that discussion for the section on pay tables though.

Now that you're sitting at a 9 / 6 full pay version of Bonus Poker Plus, it's time to set your wager amount. This rule is important, so pay close attention: always bet the maximum of 5 coins.

That's $1.25 when playing at quarter stakes, or $5 when using a $1 coin denomination. If those bets per hand are too rich for your blood, don't fret. You can always dial things back by sliding the coin denomination downward. Betting the maximum of 5 coins at nickel stakes puts you at $0.25 per hand, while penny stake players can get away with $0.05 wagers on each deal.

No matter what your bankroll limitations happen to be, video poker is designed to allow anybody to get in the game at an affordable price point.

And why are we directing you to bet the maximum?

That's a good question...

The reason video poker experts advise everybody to max bet at all times is simple - the game is setup to reward max bettors. When you get down to the pay table section, be sure to take a look at the patterns in place. For all hands, and all coin denominations, the payouts will climb incrementally. That is, a 1 coin payout for making one pair of jacks or better while betting 1 coin rises to 2 coins on a 2 coin wager, and so on up the ladder.

And when you make a royal flush while betting 1 to 4 coins, the payouts climb from 250 to 500, 750, and 1,000. But for max bettors putting 5 coins in per hand, the payout for a royal flush becomes a jackpot, jumping all the way from the expected 1,250 coin reward to a whopping 4,000 coins. In other words, rather than earning 250 coins per coin wagered on a royal flush, you'll pocket 800 coins for each of the 5 coins you put at risk.

This incentive pay for royal flushes handed out to max bettors is the sole reason to bet the highest amount possible. Again, we're not saying to bet above your means, so always choose the coin denomination that fits your bankroll best.

But after that, always slide the dial to the far right of the pay table and bet 5 coins per hand, because otherwise you're sacrificing a massive amount of equity in terms of expected return.

Now then, where were we?

That's right, teaching you the ropes of video poker in general.

Once you've selected the max bet, the game truly begins.

Clicking on the "DEAL" button will command the virtual dealer to dispense five cards onscreen. These form your initial five card starting hand, and the objective of the game is to hold and / or discard some, all, or even none of these cards ahead of a single drawing round.

Let's say you snag something nice like the As Ks 7s 5s 2s. That's a pat flush, which pays 6 coins per coin wagered, so all you need to do here is hold all five cards and take the win.

To hold a card, look for the "HOLD" button located underneath each card graphic. One click will lock it into place, while a second click will unfreeze it.

But what about non pat hands, something like the Ah Js 10d 6h 2c?

In this case, you'll need to apply basic strategy to decide which cards to hold, and which to ditch in favor of replacements. In this case, we'd hold onto the Ace and the Jack, while discarding the other three cards.

After choosing your holds / discards, pressing the same "DEAL" button will prompt the game to deliver your replacement cards. From there, your five card poker hand is finalized, and you'll be paid out according to that hand's strength - or not paid out if you fail to connect.

Holding that Ace and Jack, we'd be looking for either an Ace or Jack to make one pair of jacks or better. And obviously, the more Aces and / or Jacks, the better in this spot. Another combination that we could draw would be K Q 10, which would turn our high cards into the "Broadway" straight (10 J Q K A).

After the game assesses your hand strength, and awards the corresponding payout, clicking "DEAL" once more will cause the cycle to continue from scratch.

And that, my friends, is how you play this beautiful game of ours.

What Is a Payback Percentage in the Context of Bonus Poker Plus?

Every gambling game under the sun can be analyzed and broken down, and when we do so, two terms are used above all others to compare their relative playability:

  • 1The house edge
  • 2The payback percentage

That first term is pretty straightforward, as it simply measures the advantage - or edge - that the house holds over players on a particular bet or wager. We use house edge primarily when speaking about table games, such as blackjack (0.50 percent), baccarat (1.06 percent on Banker bets; 1.24 percent on Player bets), or roulette (2.70 percent on single zero wheels; 5.26 percent on double zero wheels).

Obviously, the higher the house's edge, the lower your chance of deriving a profit will be. In a game like blackjack, where player decisions and skill come into play, the house holds an edge of just 0.50 percent on basic strategy players.

In other words, somebody playing blackjack perfectly can wager $100 and the house would expect to collect just $0.50 on their action.

But wait a minute, how can somebody lose two quarters
when wagering a black $100 chip on the blackjack tables?

Well, they can't. Not in a single wager anyway. But over the infinite long run - which a casino can actually experience by virtue of offering blackjack on dozens of tables, 24 hours a day, every day of the year - an average of $0.50 will be hauled in by the house on every $100 in bets.

Change the game to roulette, a skill free game based on guessing and blind luck, and the house's edge balloons to 2.70 percent. And that's when the wheel only has a single zero. American casino operators managed to add a second zero to the wheel, thereby doubling their own edge all the way to 5.26 percent.

That's a cool $5.26 per $100 bet on roulette - or more than 10 times what they collect against blackjack bettors - which is why roulette is favored by the house and passed up by savvy players.

As video poker players by trade, we tend to speak in terms of payback percentage instead of house edge - but both metrics really measure the same thing.

For every variant of video poker, and every pay table used by those variants, you'll face a predetermined payback percentage. We'll explain more about how probabilities for each hand, relative to the payouts assigned, create payback percentage in the next section.

For now, however, let's confine the discussion to Bonus Poker Plus, which offers a payback of 96.96 percent when set to the 9 / 6 full pay table.

This term simply flips the script so to speak, measuring a game's viability from the player's perspective, rather than that of the house.

Thus, while playing Bonus Poker Plus (with optimal strategy), you can expect to collect $96.96 back from every $100 wagered over the long run.

That's a loss of $3.04 per $100 put up, which is quite bad when you compare Bonus Poker Plus to almost any other video poker variant. After all, traditional Jacks or Better runs at a 99.54 percent payback, while Bonus Deluxe Poker offers an even higher 99.64 percent payback.

Astute readers with a mathematical mind probably notice some symmetry by now. By taking any payback percentage rate and subtracting it from 100, you'll calculate the house edge for a video poker game.

That means the house edge on Bonus Poker Plus is rather high at 3.04 percent - which tops single zero roulette - while Jacks or Better and Bonus Deluxe Poker offer house edge rates of 0.46 and 0.36, respectively. Those are even better than you'll find as a perfect strategy specialist on blackjack, which is why video poker is such a beloved game amongst the skill player community.

You can feel free to use either house edge or payback percentage of course, as they both inform players about the same basic odds against them. Just make sure you know what both terms mean, and how to use one to calculate the other, and you'll be a step ahead of most video poker players right off the bat.

Now that we've introduced you to the house edge and payback percentage concepts, be mindful of two crucial caveats:

1 - These Are Theoretical, Long Term Predictions Only.

Some readers may have completed the preceding passage and come away believing that they'll always bring back $96.96 when betting $100 on Bonus Poker Deluxe. Of course, that's not the case.

Who would play a game that guaranteed a loss anyhow?

Instead, the payback percentage rate is a long term measurement that takes every bet you ever make on the game into account. By averaging your wins and losses over an entire lifetime, the numbers would come quite close to that payback percentage - meaning you'd win some, lose some, and usually finish with a $3.04 loss per $100 bet.

When we say lifetime though, even that can be misleading. Let's say you play 10,000 hands of video poker per year, every year from when you turn 21 until you retire from casino gambling at 71 years young. That would result in a sample size of 500,000 video poker hands - and while that might be quite large, it's still not enough to measure the proverbial long run that probabilities account for.

So with that in mind, use house edge and payback percentage rates as a rough guideline for comparison purposes. A higher house edge hurts your bottom line - maybe not today, or this year, but over that infinite long run. You'll still enjoy some nice wins here and there, but if you bring your bankroll to a game offering a higher payback percentage, those wins will come slightly more often - and pay slightly more - on average.

2 - These Numbers Assume You're Playing With Optimal Strategy.

In order to derive the full payback percentage from a gambling game; you'll need to play it according to perfect basic strategy. We've got you covered on that front a little later on, but until you have every trick in the book down pat, just know that your experience won't be perfectly aligned with the theoretical odds. Remember, a proficient blackjack player earns that 0.50 percent house edge - but the rank and file recreational player who uses instinct alone sees the house edge triple to 1.5 percent. The same word of warning applies to video poker, so be sure to study your strategy chart diligently until it becomes second nature.

How the Pay Tables for Bonus Poker Plus Work to Create a Transparent Payback Percentage

Below you'll find the 9 / 6 pay table, also called the "full pay" table, used for Bonus Poker Plus:

Full Pay 9 / 6 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

The reason this pay table is known as "9 / 6 full pay" comes from the respective payouts for making a full house and a flush. These are essentially the cornerstone payouts, and any adjustment to them can significantly impact the 96.96 percent payback rate offered to players.

Just take the commonly found 9 / 5 alternative, which pays 5 coins for making a flush rather than 6 coins. When using this inferior pay table, your payback percentage drops down to 95.86 percent - a full percentage point lower.

Every experienced gambler will tell you that success is defined by pressing the slightest of edges over the long run. With that in mind, ask yourself one thing:

Why would anybody willingly sacrifice more than 1.00
percent of their overall payback for no good reason?

And if you come across a Bonus Poker Plus game offering an 8 / 5 pay table, that setup slices your payback percentage down to 94.71 percent.

Simply put, finding a 9 / 6 full pay version of Bonus Poker Plus is your best bet, especially given the game's lower payback percentage relative to close cousins like Bonus Deluxe Poker (99.64 percent).

Unfortunately, casino operators know full well that recreational gamblers will seldom notice the slight downgrade from 6 coins to 5 coins on a flush. For that reason, the lesser pay tables are far more common in tourist traps like the Las Vegas Strip.

For this reason, even those who master optimal strategy for Bonus Poker Plus may be at a disadvantage, simply because they've unwittingly sat themselves at a 9 / 5 or 8 / 5 pay table. We've got your back though, so you'll learn all about locating the best machines later in our penultimate section.

FFor now, let's run through a quick review of the five card poker hands you'll be playing for during a Bonus Poker Plus session:

Royal flush

The mother of all poker hands, a royal flush is a rare sight indeed, coming in once every 40,000 hands on average. To earn the game's jackpot payout, you'll need to string together a 10 J Q K A "Broadway" straight, while using the same suit for all five cards. It's always going to be a longshot, but if you can find a royal flush while betting the max, it's time to celebrate with bells, whistles, and a sweet 4,000 coin hand pay.

Four of a kind

Straight flushes are actually harder to make than four of a kind, but in the Bonus Poker Plus setup, this hand actually pays out the bonus of100 coins. To earn it, you'll be looking for four identical cards in the same rank (2 2 2 2 A, A A A A 2).

Straight flush

Normally the straight flush would be second only to the royal variety, but Bonus Poker Plus prioritizes quads, so the strong hand sits third on the list. For this one, you'll need any five card straight that happens to be a flush as well (4h 5h 6h 7h 8h, 9s 10s Js Qs Ks).

Full house

When you have three of a kind plus one pair, you've made a full house. Examples include 2 2 2 A A, 5 4 5 4 5, and Q K K K Q.

Flush

Forming a flush requires any five cards that are all in the same suit. Examples include 7h 8h 10h Kh Ah or 3d 6d 10d Jd Kd.

Straight

To make a straight, link five consecutive unsuited cards according to rank. Straights can be formed both ways using the ace, with the A 2 3 4 5 "wheel straight" and the 10 J Q K A "Broadway" straight, but any five in a row like 7 8 9 10 J will work.

Three of a kind

Known lovingly as "trips" to poker people, three of a kind is simply three of any card rank (4 4 4 8 10, A A A 7 2, or 8 8 8 J A are all examples).

Two Pair

Take one pair and add another to form two pair. Examples include (K K 6 6 2 or 3 3 9 9 A).

One Pair

Relying on the same "jacks or better" principle that forms most video poker pay table foundations, Bonus Poker Plus uses one pair of jacks, queens, kings, or aces as its minimum qualifying hand.

Now that you know which hands pay what, and how to form them, the puzzle of Bonus Poker Plus can be put together.

To do so, mathematicians who have a little gamble in them have analyzed each and every hand on the list above, looking for all possible combinations that can be made using a 52 card deck, five starting cards, and between zero and five replacements. This yeoman's work has produced hard and fast probabilities for making all Bonus Poker Plus hands, each of which offers its own distinct expected return rate. /p>

And by averaging all of those individual expected returns together, you arrive at the total rate for the game (and pay table) itself.

Let's run through some examples to see what we mean.

While playing an extended session, it can easily seem like your "brick out" - or make no qualifying payable hand at all - more than half the time. And that's exactly right, as the odds show you'll hit a non paying hand at a 55.0 percent clip.

By multiplying that probability (55.0 percent) by the payout (0 coins), we can calculate the expected return for any one pair of 10s or worse. And obviously, that would be exactly zero in this case.

But what are the chances of landing one pair of
jacks or better to collect a 1 coin reward?

In this game, your likelihood of finding jacks or better is 20.9 percent. Taking advantage of the same Probability x Payout formula (20.9 percent x 1), we find that the expected return on one pair stands at 20.9 percent.

You'll face 12.8 percent odds of scoring two pair, and with the same 1 coin payout, that makes the expected return on this one 12.8 percent.

Three of a kind comes in 7.4 percent of the time, and with a payout of 2 coins, the expected return jumps to 14.8 percent.

Climbing the hand ranking ladder even higher, we find the straight, which will hit your screen on just 1.30 percent of deals. But plugging that into our formula along with a 4 coin payout (1.30 percent x 4) gives us an expected return of 5.2 percent.

You can use this formula to find the expected return for every hand in the game, as shown below:

Expected Return Table for Bonus Poker Plus

HAND PROBABILITY RETURN
Royal flush 0.002 percent 1.848 percent
Straight flush 0.011 percent 0.544 percent
Four of a kind 0.236 percent 23.545 percent
Full house 1.146 percent 10.314 percent
Flush 1.176 percent 7.057 percent
Straight 1.296 percent 5.184 percent
Three of a kind 7.380 percent 14.760 percent
Two pair 12.786 percent 12.786 percent
One pair (JoB) 20.923 percent 20.923 percent
Nothing 55.044 percent 0.000 percent
Total 100.000 percent 96.96 percent

As you can see, when we take all the separate expected returns for each hand and add them up, the result is 96.96 percent - or the payback percentage for the entire game (9 / 6 full pay version of course).

Of course, any payback percentage figure you see when studying video poker assumes that you'll be playing perfectly according to optimal strategy. And that can be difficult indeed, what with an astounding 19,933,230,517,200 possible hand combinations.

But by taking advantage of our handy Bonus Poker Plus strategy section below, you'll be making the best possible plays by default in no time flat.

Bonus Poker Plus Strategy Tips

The reason for video poker's enduring appeal is simple: it's a skill based game that allows thinking players to influence the outcome via strategy.

Just like blackjack, a smart player who has a firm grasp of optimal strategy can shave the house's edge down to practically nothing - giving themselves a breakeven proposition (or near to it) over the long run. Breaking even may not sound like much fun, but in the wild world of casino gambling - where losing is all but assured even for the best of us - nullifying the house's precious edge is akin to the holy grail.

Of course, the game of Bonus Poker Plus isn't the best suited video poker variant for that pursuit, what with its relatively low 96.96 percent payback rate. You can do much better with basic Jacks or Better (99.54 percent), and if you love the Bonus Poker concept, Bonus Deluxe Poker offers a generous 99.64 percent payback.

We all have our preferences as video poker players though, so if your game of choice is Bonus Poker Plus, learning the tenets of basic strategy is integral to sustained success. Yeah, we all know what to do when the screen lights up with a pat hand, and most five card deals will present straightforward options - even single clear decisions in many cases.

But what about when you land something tricky like Js Jh 10h 9h 7h?

Borderline cases like this are what video poker strategy attempts to solve, because at first glance players appear to have two viable options.

You can hold the pair of jacks and guarantee a payout of at least 1 coin - while giving yourself a shot at better hands like two pair, three of a kind, a full house, or even four of a kind for the bonus.

Alternatively, one might decide to go for the gusto, holding the four card straight flush draw and hoping to find an 8h for a big time payout. And as a failsafe, holding these four cards creates chances to land a basic straight (with any 8), or a basic flush (with any heart) - so there's tremendous potential to scoop premium payouts.

Again, we ask you: what's your play here?

For those players flying by the seat of their pants, using instinct or card sense alone to govern their decision making process, both decisions have merit. But for perfect strategy players, the probabilities of hitting combined with the possible payouts form a math formula, one which dispenses exact expected return rates for each draw.

We'll let this one simmer in your mind for moment, so take care to run through your own video poker memory banks to decide what your top play holding Js Jh 10h 9h 7h would be.

For now, let's run through the optimal strategy chart used by Bonus Poker Plus experts. To use this chart, all you need to know is which hands and / or draws you currently hold. Simply scan the screen, assess your holdings, and find the one which ranks highest on the list. That's always the best play, even with several seemingly close options to choose from.

Key: T = 10, J = Jack, Q = Queen, K = King, A = Ace
  • 1Full House or better - Scoring pat hands like a full house or higher on the first deal is a dream come true. When you do, be sure to press "HOLD" on all five cards carefully, before claiming your immediate payout.
  • 2Four to a Royal Flush - Even though the odds of hitting a royal flush stand at 40,000 to 1 or so, finding four pieces to that puzzle presents players with the second strongest hand in this game. Sure, you'll miss the big draw more often than not, but when you do complete a royal flush, that 800 coin per coin wagered max bet payout will be well worth it - hence the hand's premium ranking on the list.
  • 3Three of a kind - Video poker can be a funny game sometimes, as evidenced by three of a kind being ranked higher than flushes and straights - both of which are better, higher paying hands. However, the mathematics behind expected return rates take the juiced up 100 coin Bonus Plus payment for making four of a kind into account when assessing three of a kind starting hands. In other words, holding three of a kind is better than holding a pat flush or straight, simply because you'll give yourself added chances to form the bonus paying quads.
  • 4Flush - As for those flushes and straights, unless you have something ranked higher on this list to work with, always hold the pat hands and take the sure payout.
  • 5Straight
  • 6Four to a Straight Flush - Similar in nature to the four card royal flush draw, landing any four cards that put you on the edge of a straight flush offers tons of potential. So much potential that you'll be better served holding this draw than two pair or one pair.
  • 7Two pair - Whenever you have two pair - or the one pair (of jacks or better) hand ranked directly below it - but no other higher ranked draws, the best play is to hold them and hope for further improvement.
  • 8One pair: Js / Qs / Ks / As
  • 9Three to a Royal Flush: TJQ, TJK / TQK, JQK, JQA / JKA / QKA - We're now diving deep into the minutiae of Bonus Poker Plus strategy, with the realm of two, three , and four card draws. The best play when holding an unconnected five card starting hand, but one which seems to offer some possibilities at least is to size them all up and hold the highest one on the list. Obviously, a three card royal flush draw holds the most potential for a jackpot payout, so it's ranked higher than a standard four card flush draw.
  • 10Four to a Flush
  • 11Three to a Royal Flush: TJA / TQA / TKA
  • 12Four to a Straight: TJQK
  • 13One pair: Tens or lower
  • 14Four to a Straight: 2345, 3456, 4567, 5678, 6789, 789T, 89TJ, 9TJQ
  • 15Three to a Straight Flush: 345, 456, 567, 678, 789, 89T, 89J / 8TJ, 8JQ, 9TJ, 9TQ / 9JQ, 9JK / 9QK
  • 16Four to a Straight: JQKA
  • 17Two to a Royal Flush: JA / JQ / JK, QA / QK, KA
  • 18Four to a Straight: 9JQK, TJQA / TJKA / TQKA
  • 19Three to a Straight Flush: Ace low, 234 / 235 / 245, 346 / 356, 457 / 467, 568 / 578, 679 / 689, 78T / 79T, 78J / 79J / 7TJ, 89Q / 8TQ, 9TK
  • 20Three to a Straight: JQK
  • 21Four to a Straight: 89JQ / 8TJQ, 9TJK / 9TQK
  • 22Two to a Straight: JQ
  • 23Two to a Straight: QK
  • 24Two to a Royal Flush: TJ, TQ
  • 25Two to a Straight: JK
  • 26Two to a Straight: JA / QA / KA
  • 27Two to a Royal Flush: TK
  • 28One high card
  • 29Three to a Straight Flush: 236 / 246 / 256, 347 / 357 / 367, 458 / 468 / 478, 569 / 579 / 589, 67T / 68T / 69T
  • 30Four to a Straight: 2346 / 2356 / 2456, 3457 / 3467 / 3567, 4568 / 4578 / 4678, 5679 / 5689 / 5789, 678T / 679T / 689T
  • 31Discard everything

Learning to use this table may appear like a daunting task, but in all actuality, it's quite straightforward after you've put a few thousand hands under your belt.

Those top ranked hands tend to play themselves, as do the substandard hands rounding out the bottom of the table. The meat of your work as a student of Bonus Poker Plus strategy comes in the middle ground, which covers the most difficult borderline decisions.

Which brings us back to that Js Jh 10h 9h 7h challenge from earlier.

What did you decide?

Well, if you went with the "riskier" option of drawing at the straight flush, congratulations - you made the best play from the perspective of probability.

Scanning the table above shows that a four card straight flush draw is ranked sixth, while one pair of jacks or better is slightly worse in eighth. Both hands are quite good, which is where our dilemma arose from in the first place. But, by using optimal strategy to play Bonus Poker Plus perfectly, you should be ditching the "sure thing" and shooting for the moon given those five cards to start.

Bonus Poker Plus Variants

The video poker family tree is quite crowded in 2017, and with every branch that is added, it seems like a few more offshoots come with it. You'll find detailed pages like this one covering every variant under the sun, but for now let's take a look at a few popular spin offs which were based on Bonus Poker Plus:

Double Bonus Poker Plus

Designed by famed gambling device manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT), maker of the legendary Game King machine, the game of Double Bonus Poker Plus is one of the more unusual variants out there. And it's not exactly out there anymore, as IGT wound up discontinuing production at some point in the past - but you'll still find a few of these oddities scattered throughout the American casino landscape. In the game of Double Bonus Poker Plus, the basic Jacks or Better pay table is used, as are bonus payouts for making four of a kind. The major change comes from those quad hands, however, as this variant divides them up into different classes, a la basic Bonus Poker.

Four aces will pay a 160 coin per coin wagered bonus, while four 2's, 3's, or 4's is good for 80 coins, and any other quad hand is worth 40 coins. But, in an unusual addition to video poker game play, Double Bonus Poker Plus pays the same 160 coin bonus if you make four 2's, 3's, or 4's using adjacent cards on the screen. And with four adjacent aces, you'll bag a big time bonus payout of 400 coins per coin wagered - second only to the royal flush.

The adjacent cards provision adds a ton of strategic elements to the game, so much so that an optimal strategy for Double Bonus Poker Plus has yet to be calculated.

Double Double Bonus Poker Plus

This one riffs on the original Double Double Bonus video poker template, so you'll be shooting for quad hands plus a certain "kicker." That means the fifth card, or the odd man out, when you make four of a kind. The best hand - aside from the royal flush obviously - is four aces with a 2, 3, or 4 kicker, which offers a bonus payout of 400 coins per coin wagered.

Triple Bonus Poker Plus

Despite the name, Triple Bonus Poker Plus isn't really related to the Double version. Instead, it takes its cue from plain old Bonus Poker - paying out tiered bonuses for making four aces (240 coins), four 2's, 3's, or 4's (120 coins), or any other quads (50 coins).

That's triple the 80 coin payout four quad aces in regular Bonus Poker, while the 40 coin reward for four 2's, 3's, or 4's is also tripled, hence the game's title.

Where to Find Bonus Poker Plus Games (Online or Off)

Once you've decided on a game of choice, and mastered it's optimal strategy to the best of your abilities, the real fun begins: finding those full pay machines.

Thankfully, the heroes over at VPFree2.com have compiled a comprehensive database which includes detailed information on every video poker machine in North America. That's a bold claim, but believe us when we say, you'll find information on machines - broken down by pay table - for every region on the continent. And these aren't just broad overviews either, so you'll literally be pointed in the right direction, with instructions like "walk past the nightclub, take two rights, and you'll find the full pay games."

With that said, Bonus Poker Plus isn't exactly one of the more popular games out there, due in large part to the low 96.96 payback percentage even on the full pay machines.

That leaves the house a healthy edge of 3.04 percent - better than they hold over roulette players on a single zero wheel.

Most video poker players who enjoy the Bonus Poker concept flock to Bonus Deluxe Poker and its 99.64 percent payback instead.

So the selection of Bonus Poker Plus machines out there today isn't all that high, and you may have a tough time locating one in the wild.

The same goes for online casinos as well, with players simply skipping over such a house friendly game in favor of options offering better odds. By all means, take a shot and try to find Bonus Poker Plus if you prefer it above other variants, but if you strike out, try searching for Bonus Deluxe Poker instead.

Conclusion

Bonus Poker Plus isn't the most creative addition to the video poker world, as it simply takes Bonus Deluxe Poker and changes the payout for quads from 80 coins to 100 coins. And indeed, while its predecessor clocks in with an admirable 99.64 percent payback percentage - higher than even Jacks or Better - the Bonus Poker Plus concept offers a much worse rate at 96.96 percent.

Unless you simply have a soft spot for this particular game, or a lack of available options to choose from in terms of Bonus Poker type machines, we'd recommend steering clear of this one. That dip of 2.68 percentage points in your payback is astronomical, in statistical terms anyway, and for video poker players who need every edge to get over the hump, that's just too steep of a hill to climb.

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