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A sleeper bonus!

Aug 24, 2004 2:19 AM

In Las Vegas and other key gaming locales, Double Bonus video poker is the game of choice for many players. But players who want a nice bang for their buck should give Triple Bonus poker a shot.

Triple Bonus Poker is a bit newer than the other bonus games. Its payback is a very reasonable 99.6 percent, and as such, can be considered to be the "sleeper " of bonus games. Although, it is not nearly as popular as the "Double" versions, it offers a better payback than many of them.

One of the key features of Triple Bonus Poker is that it pays on kings or better instead of jacks or better. It pays even money on two pairs, but pays higher than normal for flushes and full houses. It also pays triple on quads (four-of-a-kinds), relative to Bonus Poker, earning its name. A full-pay Triple Bonus Poker machine will have a paytable similar to the one depicted here.

Hand

Pays

Royal Flush

250

Straight Flush

50

Four of a Kind — Aces

240

Four of a Kind — 2-3-4’s

120

Four of a Kind — 5-K’s

75

Full House

11

Flush

7

Straight

4

Three of a Kind

3

Two Pairs

1

Kings or Better

1

With kings the lowest paying pair, the strategy table becomes one of the shortest, most intuitive and easiest to learn. As usual, there are some key points to remember. The first of these is that, once again, three aces ranks over a full house. This is the only set of trips that ranks over a full house. The difference is not even close, with the trip aces having an expected value (EV) of 13.6 vs. the 11 for a full house.

Other key strategy points for Triple Bonus Poker are as follows:

”¡ Four-card straight flushes beat all pairs, even aces.

”¡ Two pairs including aces are discarded in favor of the pair of aces.

”¡ Four-card flushes beat all pairs except kings or aces. The same goes for three-card royals.

”¡ All pairs beat all four card straights.

”¡ Three-card double inside straight flushes and four-card straights are the lowest playable hands, besides holding onto a single king or ace.

That’s the good news. Now for the bad news. If you don’t get your fair share of quads, you will find your session painfully short. Almost every form of jacks or better machine, from Bonus to Double Double Bonus has a 55% frequency for non-winning hands. Triple Bonus Poker suffers with a 65% frequency for non-winning hands. This will make your session at Triple Bonus feel very different than a session of jacks or better.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve covered the highlights of some of the more widely available and potentially profitable Bonus games. The games I’ve covered should not be assumed to be exhaustive to say the least. The number of games out there increases regularly and no single person could cover them all! If you see a game that you find intriguing, feel free to drop me a line that includes the paytable and where you found it, and I’ll do my best to get to it. I can be reached at [email protected]