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Bonus Deluxe Video Poker and Splitting 5/5 at Blackjack

1 Oct 2023

By John Grochowski
QUESTION: I've been playing a lot of Bonus Poker Deluxe. We don't have top of the line pay tables, but there is 8-6 Bonus Deluxe. I play twice a month and have hit two royals this year, so I've done OK.

Last week, I was dealt a full house with three Aces and two Jacks. I held the full house, but in the back of my mind I remember a tip about breaking up full houses to go for four Aces. Then I started thinking that in Deluxe, all fours of a kind pay the same, so if you'd break up a full house to hold three Aces, it would make sense to hold three Kings, three Queens, three Jacks all the way down.

I finally decided to take the full house. Was I right?

ANSWER: Breaking up full houses to hold three Aces usually is the strategy with the highest average return in games that pay 800 or more coins per five wagered when you draw the fourth Ace. Bonus Deluxe pays 400 on all quads. It's best to hold the full house.

In 9-7 Double Bonus Poker, a five-coin wager will bring you 45 coins if you stand on your full house. But four Aces pay 800. Even though you drop to a 15-coin return if you don't improve on the three of a kind you hold. that four-Ace bonanza brings the average payback to 50.36 coins.

Per 1,081 draws, you'll drop to three of a kind 968 times, so much more often than not, you're worse off than when you started. But you'll draw other full houses 67 times, and the 46 draws than bring a fourth Ace make the average return soar.

In Bonus Poker Deluxe, a potential 400-coin return on quads isn't enough to make break up full houses worthwhile.

In the 8-6 games you've been playing, standing on a full house will bring a 40-coin payoff. The 400-coin payoff on four of a kind doesn't balance a risk of dropping to three of a kind. The average return when breaking up a full house to hold three Aces is only 32.93 coins.

You are correct that in Bonus Deluxe, if it was the right play to break up a full house to hold three Aces, it also would be the correct play to hold three of anything else. If all quads paid 800 instead of 400, the average return in the 8-6 game for holding three of a kind would be 49.95 coins regardless of whether you held 2s, Aces or any other three of a kind.

But that game doesn't exist. In real-world Bonus Poker Deluxe, it's best to hold you full houses.

QUESTION: Can you give me some numbers on splitting 5s? I always play it as a 10, which means I double down against 2-9 and hit against 10 or Ace. My brother insists on splitting against 5 or 6, saying he wants to chance to resplit and get more money on the table.

ANSWER: Keep playing 5-5 as a 10. In a common six-deck game in which the dealer hits soft 17, average returns for $1 of your original bet for 5-5 vs. 5 are a loss of 15.31 cents if you stand and profits of 26.68 cents if you hit, 53.97 cents if you double and 1.65 cents if you split.

If the dealer's up card is a 6, average returns are -11.39 cents on a stand, +29.38 cents on a hit, +58.75 cents on a double, or +1.04 cents on a split.

By splitting, your brother is costing himself money.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

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