ACE$ Bonus Poker

ACE$ Bonus Poker

The two most common and popular games in video poker are Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker. There are only a few differences between the game rules. Like these other 2 games, ACE$ Bonus is a five card draw style video poker game.

ACE$ Bonus Video Poker adds an additional flourish to the basic Bonus Poker game. We find that player opinions are divided on the ACE$ Bonus game experience. Some players express frustration at the variation in pay tables. Other players are confused by the subtle differences in strategy.

Once you master the essentials in this game you'll be able to quickly decide if you want to play it when you come across a machine on the casino floor. There are more challenging video poker games and we suggest that players who are honing their skills give this game a shot.

ACE$ Bonus Poker Video Poker Basics

What makes this game distinctive is that the ace cards are marked with one of four symbols: "A", "C", "E", and "$". As the cards are dealt or drawn, if your final hand spells out "ACE$" (or "$ECAS" in some variations) starting in either the 1st or 2nd position you are paid a bonus. If you finish with four aces but they do not spell out "ACE$" or "$ECA" then you still win a better prize than getting four of a kind for any other rank but it's considerably less than for spelling the game name.

To adjust for the bonus prize value without upsetting too many player expectations the game adjusts the value of non-ace four of a kind hands down. While they still pay better than a full house, flush, or three of a kind, players should be mindful of the variation.

The game otherwise plays out very much like Jacks or Better. A final hand with at least a pair of cards from jack through ace pays even money. See the pay table below for details.

The pay tables can vary considerably, however. Standard JorB differences like the 9/6 (full house / flush) and 8/5 (full house / flush) combinations exist. Before you sit down to play the game, check the pay table.

How to Play Video Poker Games

Video poker is easily as popular among casino regulars as slot machines. Because most video poker games use a single deck of either 52 or 53 cards it is easy for players to calculate the theoretical player payback percentage. Playback percentage is the expectation of how much of all wagers played over a period of time would be paid to players as prizes, assuming perfect play by the payers. The difference between this theoretical playback percentage is called the "house edge". In other words, that is how much revenue the casino expects to earn from a game in a given period measured in months or years.

In practice the house edge is usually better than expected because many players lack the skill or experience to make the best decisions. You can practice playing video poker games for free. Some Websites also provide free strategy cards you can download or print out for many video poker games. Using a strategy card is very straight forward. As you are dealt your cards by the game you start at the top of the list and find the best match for your initial deal. The strategy card suggests whether you should hold or discard certain types of cards.

Strategy guides do not ensure success. The game depends on the random deal and drawing of cards, and that random factor cannot be predicted by any player strategy.

To begin playing video poker you deposit from 1 to 5 coins. On some games you may be able to deposit more coins. On a machine that allows you to play multiple hands you make as many wagers as you play hands. For example, if you are playing 10 hand video poker you could bet 50 coins in total.

After you set your wager the game deals you several cards. If it is a draw style game you are prompted to choose which cards you will keep (or "hold"). Then you click "Draw" and your non-hold cards are replaced by new cards. The game scores your final hand according to its pay table.

How Does ACE$ Bonus Poker Video Poker Affect Playback Percentage?

Unlike most versions of video poker the position your ace cards appear in matters. You cannot move the cards around in your hand. Hence, if your first ace is marked with a "C" or "E" the best you can hope for is a royal flush or four aces.

As we mentioned previously the pay table for this game is adjusted to compensate for higher bonus paid for finishing with four aces spelling the game's name. Lower ranked four of a kind hands pay less than the ace hands. The low value four of a kind hand should appear more often than four aces merely because you have 12 non-ace ranks in a standard deck of cards.

There is a very slight greater chance of finishing with a zero value hand in this game than in Bonus video poker. That does affect the theoretical return to player (the playback percentage). The higher rewards for four aces offset those probabilistic changes. Hence, ACE$ Bonus video poker offers about a 0.3% return to the player than regular Bonus poker. Some players accept this as sufficient reason to switch to ACE$ Bonus when both games are present and using the same pay table.

What the Pay Table for ACE$ Bonus Poker Video Poker Looks Like

Depending on who designed the game the higher hands may have different payouts. This table is provided only for illustrative purposes. Players should expect to see some variations in the pay tables depending on where they play this game.

Note that variations of the game which recognize "$ECA" pay less for that combination than for "ACE$". The "$ECA" combination is not used on most machines but may pay around 250 coins times bet.

Royal flush 800 1600 2400 3200 4000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
ACE$ or -ACE$ 800 1600 2400 3200 4,000
Four Aces 80 160 240 320 400
Four 2-4 40 80 120 160 200
Four 5-k 25 50 75 125 150
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 2 4 6 8 10
Two pair 2 4 6 8 10
Pair 1 2 3 4 5
Nothing 0 0 0 0 0

ACE$ Bonus Poker Video Poker Strategy Tips

To begin with, compare the pay tables of different machines before choosing which version of this game you will play. On machines that allow you to choose your game, if Bonus video poker has a better pay table than ACE$ Bonus then go with the regular Bonus game.

Because ACE$ Bonus and Bonus video poker are so similar to Jacks or Better if you know the strategy for that game well it should be okay to follow while you learn these games. However, if you already know basic strategy for Bonus video poker it is better to use the strategy for that game while learning ACE$ Bonus video.

The differences in strategy are minor and less than perfect play won't hurt you as much in this game as if you use the Jacks or Better basic strategy in some other video poker games.

Beginning players may try for four of a kind on every hand. If you are dealt a pair most experts recommend building up from that because it's already a winning hand.

Some players will sacrifice a second pair if they are dealt two aces. Finishing with three aces pays the same as finishing with two pair. A full house or four aces will pay better than holding the two pair. Of course, if you are dealt two pair you could try for the full house but you'll sacrifice a chance for four aces.

Experienced players who are dealt a full house containing three aces often choose to discard the other two cards in the hope of obtaining the four ace on the draw. Although this move potentially costs the player a larger prize three of a kind still pays double the bet.

Never play any machine that only offers a 6/5 breakout for full house and flush.

Some versions of the game may offer a progressive jackpot. If the pay tables and coin values are acceptable play the progressive versions.


Players who are still learning about the variety that video poker offers should enjoy learning this game. The progression from Jacks or Better to Bonus video poker is natural but if you want to get a jump on other learners than look for a solid implementation of ACE$ Bonus and learn this game.

One of the great things about this game is that it makes players think about risk versus reward when they are dealt winning hands. The two pair question may be easy to overlook. Because there is usually no advantage for replacing two pair with three of a kind conservative players are less likely to sacrifice that second pair. ACE$ Bonus gives the player an additional incentive to be a little more aggressive when two aces turn up on the deal.

The reward for finishing with four aces is so much more satisfying that some players rarely play the simpler games again, unless they just cannot find this game or a good pay table.

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