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Video Poker "Jacks or Better" and "Bonus Poker" are among the most common and popular games. They are popular by both beginners and experienced casino visitors. The main reason for this popularity is a high interest in the theoretical return of the video poker.

We have prepared for you, the readers of Casinoz, a full description of Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker, so you can decide which model to prefer. However, it is possible that you will equally like both versions.

Key Features

Let's start with a description of the main features of this video poker game. They both have classic rules of one deck without jokers. The user gets five cards, if necessary, changes any number of them and gets the win for the resulting combination.

Differences between Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker tables are in odds ratios. They are very similar. Minimum hand is a pair of jacks, maximum - royal flush.

The main difference is that in Jacks or Better all quads (four of a kind) are paid equally - 25:1, and in Bonus Poker, this combination is available in three varieties: quad fives - Kings (25:1), quads deuces - quadruples (40:1) and quads aces (80:1).

It is clear that large payments in Bonus Poker for quads, of aces, deuces, threes or fours give players a significant advantage. One such combination can significantly improve the funds, that's why many fans of video poker lke Bonus Poker.

The theoretical return in this video poker

But do not think that Bonus Poker is a better kind of Jacks or Better. Increasing payments for individual quads casino loses mathematical advantage over the players. To get it back, it reduces the coefficients for other combinations. In this case, the "victims" are full house and flush.

The most profitable kind of "Jacks or Better" is called a 9/6 Jacks or Better. These nu,mbers mean that a full house is paid 9:1 and flush - 6:1. In the most generous version of Bonus Poker, these coefficients are reduced by one, and make 8:1 and 5:1. Accordingly, the best option is 8/5 Bonus Poker.

And now the main thing. The theoretical return in 9/6 Jacks or Better is 99.54%, in 8/5 Bonus Poker it is 99.17%. As you can see, inflated payments for some four of a kind can not fully compensate for truncated coefficients for full house and flush.

Of course, all fans of video poker would like to see in the casino offers exceptional model of 9/6 Jacks or Better, or 8/5 Bonus Poker, but the reality is much harsher. Jacks or Better is in versions 8/5, 9/5, 7/5, and sometimes 6/5. "Bonus Poker" may be 7/5 and 6/5.

Of course, such a reduction in payments considerably reduces the theoretical return of video poker. See for yourself:

  • 9/6 Jacks or Better - 99,54%
  • 8/5 Bonus Poker - 99,17%
  • 9/5 Jacks or Better - 98,45%
  • 8/6 Jacks or Better - 98,4%
  • 8/5 Jacks or Better - 97,3%
  • 7/5 Bonus Poker - 98%
  • 6/5 Bonus Poker - 96,87%

The games range of IGT has two interesting variants of Bonus Poker, where all squares are paid equally - 35:1 or 30:1. In this case a full house and flush give eight coins and five coins, respectively, at a rate of one coin. So, the theoretical model of 35/8/5 refund is 99.66% (very good), and in the version of 30/8/5 - 98.48% (much worse).

Dispersion in video poker

Possible fluctuations of bankroll, often called dispersion in Jacks or Better, are quite low. This means that it is easier to play with a small amount of money. In Bonus Poker it is slightly higher, although in comparison with the other video poker games, it is also small. In any case, you should consider this Bonus Poker, if your finances are limited.

Progressive jackpot

You can choose Jacks or Better or Bonus Poker video poker with the cumulative jackpots. Usually, it is won by users who get royal flush at a bet of five coins. With the increase in the amount of the jackpot ,a theoretical return of the game also increases. For example, in the 8/5 Bonus Poker, coins are denominated in twenty-five cents and casino advantage as soon as the jackpot exceeds approximately $1,400. Keep it in mind when choosing a video poker.


So which video poker to choose? Of course, if the casino has the most favorable terms for Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker, you need to play Jacks or Better, because this version is more profitable. But we must say that in today's casinos (especially online) Bonus Poker often offers higher theoretical return than Jacks or Better. So always consider this parameter.

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