Super Aces Bonus Video Poker Strategy

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Super Aces Bonus Video Poker is a variation of “Bonus Video Poker” that pays additional bonuses for special premium hands. The “super Aces bonus” is typically a payout of 400:1 for four Aces rather than the standard 80:1 bonus. Additionally, a straight flush receives a bonus, paying 60:1 rather than 50:1. Other four-of-a-kind combinations are paid according to the “double bonus” schedule, namely 5~K pays 50:1 and 2~4 is worth 80:1.

The trade-off for the added bonuses comes from a reduction in the payout for two pair to even money (1:1) instead of the standard 2:1. In most versions of Super Aces Bonus Poker, the full house pays 8:1, but some machines reduce the payout to 7:1 or even 6:1, which greatly reduces the player’s odds of winning. A pair of Jacks is still worth even money (1:1), just as all of the other “premium” hands retain their “bonus” values: three of a kind (3:1), straight (4:1), flush (5:1), and Royal flush (800:1).

As in Bonus Video Poker, a losing hand—one containing less than a pair of Jacks—can be expected on about 55% of all deals. A high pair (Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces) or two pair paying even money—neither winning nor losing—will come up about 33%~34% of the time. The premium hands make up the remaining 11%~12% of all hands. The expectation for four Aces is just 0.0238%.

Decisions for a Pair or More

Compared to Jacks or Better, the additional bonus values cause a shift in how the player should treat the initial five cards when dealt a premium hand (three of a kind or better). Although the basic rule of thumb to “always keep the winners” holds true for such pat hands as a straight flush, Royal flush or four of a kind, breaking up a winning combination is the proper play in certain situations, similar to “Double Bonus Poker.”

One of those special situations is to hold three Aces from a full house and discard the pair, hoping to catch the fourth Ace. Also, for straights or flushes, if four of the cards form part of a Royal flush, discard the fifth card and attempt to improve the hand to a Royal. Otherwise, hold straights or flushes as well as any three of a kind, and draw one card to a potential straight flush.

Two Aces is a particularly good pair to keep and worth breaking up two pair. On the other hand, two pair is preferred over any other high card combination. When holding just one pair, keep the pair if they are high cards (Jacks, Queens or Kings). For pairs of lesser value, keep them unless there is a four-card flush draw or a four-card open-ended straight draw containing at least one high card, a Jack or greater.

All Other Decisions

For initial hands valued at less than a pair, look to hold three to a straight flush with no gaps or else no more than one gap if a high card is among the three. Hold four to an open-ended straight, two to a potential Royal flush with no ten or four to any possible straight containing a high card. Other than these combinations, the best card to keep is a single Ace.

If no Ace is dealt initially, the list below shows the priorities of cards to keep, from highest to lowest:

  1. K-Q-J unsuited
  2. 3 to a straight flush with 1 gap
  3. 4 to an inside straight holding at least one high card
  4. K-Q, K-J or Q-J unsuited
  5. K-10, Q-10 or J-10 suited
  6. A single high card (K, Q or J)
  7. 3 to a straight flush with two gaps
  8. 4 to an inside straight with no high card

Any hand that does not fit one of the patterns described above is “garbage” and the player should discard all five cards. If this strategy is followed exactly, the player can expect a return rate slight less than 100%.

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