Bonus Poker Deluxe sounds like it would be a more involved game than regular Bonus Poker, but the opposite is actually the casino—it’s a simpler version of the game.
In fact, Bonus Poker Deluxe is even more like Jacks or Better than regular ol’ Bonus Poker. That’s because the game offers a single big payout for a 4 of a kind, without differentiating between the rankings of the cards that make up that hand.
This page provides an overview of how to play, what the difference between this game and the other 2 similar games is, and what the best strategy is for getting the highest payback percentage.
It’s probably easiest to think of Bonus Poker Deluxe as a variation of Jacks or Better, which is the most basic video poker game of them all. If you’ve read the other pages about video poker on the site, you probably already understand the basics. But if you haven’t, here’s what you need to know:
In Jacks or Better and its related games, all of which have no wild cards, the lowest paying hand is a pair of jacks or higher. For purposes of this, the games include jacks, queens, kings, and aces. A single pair lower than this doesn’t pay out at all. This hand usually pays off at even odds.
What happens with the hands between a pair of jacks or higher and a royal flush is what differentiates one game from another. In Bonus Poker Deluxe, the payoff for 2 pairs is reduced from a 2 to 1 payoff (in Jacks or Better) to even odds, just like you’d get for a single pair. But in exchange for this difference, you get an increased payoff on a 4 of a kind.
In most variations of Bonus Poker, the payoff for a 4 of a kind varies based on the ranks of the cards. 4 aces pays off the most, usually, while 2s, 3s, and 4s also have an increased payoff. With most Bonus Poker games, all other 4 of a kind hands have an even lower payoff.
But in Bonus Poker Deluxe, there’s one payoff for a 4 of a kind. So it’s basically a Jacks or Better game with 2 differences:
Since 2 pairs comes up relatively often (a little more than 10% of the time), you’ll see more volatility in Bonus Poker Deluxe than you will in Jacks or Better. That’s because the increased payoff for a 4 of a kind is nice, but it doesn’t happen nearly as often as you’d probably enjoy.
That being said, Bonus Poker Deluxe can often provide excellent odds for the player. The rest of the page looks at the pay tables for the different versions of the game as well as the correct strategies to employ when you’re playing.
The pay table for Bonus Poker Deluxe is what determines the game’s payback percentage. Here’s how that works:
The payback percentage is just another phrase for the concept of expected return.
The expected return is the product of the chances of getting each hand and the payoff for that hand. It’s just a matter of multiplication and division.
Here’s an example:
You’ll get a pair of jacks or higher about 21% of the time. Since that pays off at even odds, that’s 1 multiplied by 21%, or 21%.
You’ll get 2 pairs less often than that—more like 11% of the time. That also pays off at even odds in Bonus Poker Deluxe, so that’s 11% of your expected return.
When you add up the expected return of all the possible hands—including the hands which don’t pay off at all—you get the overall expected return for the game. This number represents the percentage of each of your bets that the casino anticipates being paid back to the player over the long run. In any casino game, the long run starts with tens of thousands of bets. The more trials you have in a probability situation, the closer your actual results are going to resemble the mathematically expected results.
On almost all video poker games, the expected return (or payback percentage) is less than 100%. You can find rare games with a slightly higher payback percentage, but they’re hard to find, and most players aren’t skilled enough to get that payback percentage anyway.
Like Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker Deluxe games are usually described based on the payoffs for a full house and a flush. On a full pay Jacks or Better game, the payoffs for these hands are 9 to 1 and 6 to 1. These games are called 9/6 Jacks or Better games.
In the case of Bonus Poker Deluxe, the best pay table is the 9/6 structure. The only differences between Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker Deluxe are the payoffs for 2 pairs (which has been reduced) and 4 of a kind (which has been increased).
Here’s a 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe pay table:
This is also a good example of one of the differences between video poker and traditional poker. In a traditional poker game, a straight flush is a better hand than 4 of a kind. But in Bonus Poker Deluxe, the payoff for 4 of a kind is significantly better.
The payback percentage for the 9/6 version of this game is 99.64%, which is marginally better than the payback percentage for 9/6 Jacks or Better (99.54%).
This means for every $100 you put through the machine, the casino expects to pay you out $99.64. This assumes you’re playing with perfect strategy, too. In the short run, the casino will actually do better than this, because so much of the expected return on this game comes from 2 hands—the royal flush and the 4 of a kind. Neither of those hands come up often.
We could share additional pay tables for you, but the reality is that Bonus Poker Deluxe games only vary based on the payouts for those 2 hands. Below we’ve listed the payback percentages based on the payoffs for a full house and a flush:
As far as we know, these are the only pay tables available for Bonus Poker Deluxe.
Bonus Poker Deluxe strategy is calculated in the same way that strategy is calculated for every other video poker game. You want to make the decision with the highest expected return on every possible hand. This is usually represented with a list of potential hands, from best to worst. You start at the top and go down, hand by hand, until you find the hand that matches what’s in front of you. Those are the cards you keep.
Here’s a representation of the correct strategy for Bonus Poker Deluxe:
We should point out that this isn’t a perfect strategy, but it’s close enough that you should come within 1% of the expected return for the game.
Unlike some of the more exotic video poker variations out there, Bonus Poker Deluxe is easy to find at online casinos. You can play for free or for real money. We recommend trying the games at Bovada Casino or at Slots.lv. Both are reputable properties with excellent pay tables.
The free games are a good opportunity to learn how the controls work and to get a feel for the game. But the real fun in video poker comes from putting some money on the line and testing your skills. Gambling isn’t gambling if there isn’t money on the line, so we encourage you to play for real money even if you can only afford to play for low stakes.
Bonus Poker Deluxe has at least as much in common with Jacks or Better as it does Bonus Poker. The only 2 differences are the payoffs for these 2 hands:
You get a higher payoff on any 4 of a kind, but the game “pays” for this higher payoff by reducing the payoff on the 2 pairs.
With appropriate strategy decisions, Bonus Poker Deluxe can offer an even better payback percentage than Jacks or Better. A 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe game has a payback percentage of 99.64% as contrasted to the 99.54% payback percentage for Jacks or Better.
In either case, the games’ pay tables are described based on the payoffs for 2 hands:
The best possible pay tables pay 9 to 1 for the full house and 6 to 1 for the flush. Any reduction to the payoff for one of those 2 hands results in a lower overall payback percentage for the game.
Another aspect of Bonus Poker Deluxe that we like is its ready availability in online versions. We recommend trying the game for real money at Bovada Casino and/or Slots.lv. Both are reputable properties with a good reputation for paying off their winners in a timely manner.