Bonus Poker

Bonus Poker is a popular variation on Jacks or Better where four of a kinds of a certain rank pay more than others. Read on to find out how these special payouts affect the house edge and ideal strategy, and where Australians can play the best real money Bonus Poker online.

United States Best AUD casinos to play video poker online

Best AUD casinos to play video poker online

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Click/tap the links above to play online video poker at one of our trusted Internet casinos. Each of our recommended websites is fully secure, with advanced SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryptions and independently approved RNGs (random number generators) to that every interactive casino game is fair and every AUD transaction is protected. Our top-ranked Australian video poker site is Royal Vegas, with more than 500 Microgaming casino titles, real cash mobile poker for iOS, Android and other smartphone and tablet devices, and a sign-up bonus of up to AUD $1200 free for Aussie punters.

Online Bonus Poker Payouts

The basic rules and gameplay of Bonus Poker are identical to any other form of Internet video poker based on five card draw. This style largely resembles the ever-popular Jacks or Better format, but with a small yet significant twist in the way the payouts are arranged.

Here is the pay chart for Microgaming’s Bonus Poker title, as found at Royal Vegas Casino:

Royal Vegas Casino Bonus Poker Online

The bonus aspect comes from the fact there are three different payouts available when you hit a four of a kind – Aces pay 80 for 1, Deuces, Threes and Fours pay 40, and the rest pay 25. In Jacks or Better, by contrast, all four of a kinds pay 25 for 1 regardless of rank. Thus, Bonus Poker gives us a significant advantage – or so you would think.

Take a closer look at the chart above, and you will see that a full house pays 8 for 1 and a flush pays 5 for 1. Compare that to full-pay Jacks or Better poker, where the full house pays 9 and the flush pays 6. Believe it or not, this disparity has a far greater effect on house edge than the supercharged payouts for four of a kinds in Bonus Poker.

House Edge

When playing five coins per hand (as is recommended with all video poker games), the house edge in Bonus Poker stands at 0.83 per cent. While this figure looks excellent when compared to other casino games such as roulette, baccarat and Australian pokies, it is a different story when stacked up against other Web-based video poker titles.

As you can see below, 9/6 Jacks or Better actually has a noticeably better theoretical return than Bonus Poker, with a gap of 0.37 per cent. However, BP does produce a more impressive probabilistic return than online versions of Double Bonus Poker (99.11 per cent), Double Double Bonus (98.98 per cent) and Bonus Poker Deluxe (98.49 per cent).

Game House Edge % Theoretical Return %
Jacks or Better 0.46 99.54
Bonus Poker 0.83 99.17
Double Bonus Poker 0.89 99.11
Double Double Bonus 1.02 98.98
Bonus Poker Deluxe 1.51 98.49


Aussie gamblers can play all these interactive video poker games and more at our top real money casinos recommended in the casino table above.

Bonus Poker Strategy Guide

The list below demonstrates the traditional strategy for 8/5 Bonus Poker. When in doubt about which hand (or partial hand) to hold, consult this chart and choose the highest ranked option.

For example: let’s say we are dealt Nine of Clubs, 10 of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts. We have a completed straight, but we could also shoot for a royal flush. According to this strategy guide, we should discard the Nine and play for a royal flush.

  1. Royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind
  2. Four cards to a royal flush
  3. Full house, flush, straight
  4. Three of a kind
  5. Four cards to a straight flush
  6. Two pair
  7. High pair
  8. Three cards to a royal flush
  9. Four cards to a flush
  10. K Q J 10 off-suit
  11. Low pair
  12. Four cards to an open-ended straight
  13. Three cards to an open straight flush (one high card, one gap or less)
  14. A K Q J off-suit
  15. Any two high cards on-suit
  16. Three cards to an open straight flush (no high card, no gaps)
  17. Four cards to a closed straight (three high cards)
  18. K Q J off-suit
  19. Q J off-suit
  20. Three cards to a straight flush (one high card, two gaps)
  21. K Q, K J off-suit
  22. J 10 on-suit
  23. A K, A Q, A J off-suit
  24. Ace
  25. Three cards to an open straight flush (no high card, one gap)
  26. K 10, Q 10 on-suit
  27. King, Queen, or Jack
  28. Three cards to a straight flush (no high card, two gaps)
  29. Discard all

Get up to AUD $1200 free on real money Bonus Poker at Royal Vegas Casino – our #1 Australian video poker website.