Flop Poker Bonus

Flop Poker Bonus logoThe original patent application for a hybrid table game known as Casino Flop Poker was filed by casino game designer T. Christian A. Schlumbrecht in 2005, but the game was first devised in 2003.

A prolific inventor of casino games, as well as toys and other goods, Schlumbrecht created concepts like Casino Tic Tac Toe and River Card Poker as part of his company National Table Games.

Eventually given the name Flop Poker Bonus, which can become “Progre$$ive Flop Poker Bonus depending on the house rules,” Schlumbrecht’s game has become a modest hit within the brick and mortar casino industry. In addition to the usual locales of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, Flop Poker Bonus has secured installations in venues across Mississippi and Washington state.

Player versus Player

As one of the few hybrid table games featuring the word “poker” to actually incorporate that game’s true spirit – pitting players against one another along with the dealer in order to claim a collective pot – Flop Poker Bonus is a truly inspired addition to the casino landscape. Throw in an escalating pay table and a pivotal player decision point, and Flop Poker Bonus offers an interactive, entertaining gameplay experience for players of all skill level.

If you’re planning a trip to Mississippi sometime soon, with a few casino stops on your itinerary, learning about Flop Poker Bonus is a great way to get a leg up on the competition. This page serves as your one-stop shop for all things Flop Poker Bonus, beginning with a detailed rundown of the rules and gameplay setup, followed by a guide to finding the game in your favorite casino, and finally, an introduction to proper strategy.

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Rules and How to Play

The game of Flop Poker Bonus is an offshoot of community card poker games like Texas Hold’em, which means a standard 52 card deck of playing cards is used. Instead of the multiple deck shoes found in blackjack and other table games, just one deck is used for each hand, which is then reshuffled before a new hand begins.

Game Objective

The objective of the game is to form the best possible five-card poker hand – using you’re your own three hole cards and any two of three community cards (known as the flop) – based on the traditional hierarchy of poker hand rankings.

Poker Hand Rankings

If you haven’t played poker in a while, or your recollection on which hands beat the other is a little fuzzy, please consult the table below to see how poker holdings stack up:

HAND DESCRIPTION
Royal Flush Broadway straight (A K Q J 10) in the same suit
Straight Flush Five consecutive cards (9 8 7 6 5) in the same suit
Four of a Kind Four of same card (Q Q Q Q A)
Full House Three of a kind + one pair (Q Q Q A A)
Flush Five cards in the same suit (2h 6h 9h Kh Ah)
Straight Five consecutive cards (6 5 4 3 2)
Three of a Kind Three of same card (Q Q Q 2 A)
Two Pair Two pairs of the same card (Q Q A A 2)
One Paid One pair of the same card (Q Q 4 3 2)
High Card No pair, highest card is rank of hand (A K 4 3 2)

Playing Flop Poker Bonus

Step #1: Placing Your Ante Bet

To begin the game, all players must place a pair of mandatory wagers: the Ante bet and the Pot bet. The amount of the Ante bet is up to you, so long as it meets the table minimum (usually $5 in most casinos), while the Pot bet will always be equal to the table minimum.

Each chip put up by players for the Pot bet will be piled up in a separate area in the middle of the table, with the entire pot awarded to the player holding the highest hand.

As an example, we’ll use a running hand in which we’ve put up $5 for the Ante bet, and $5 for the Pot bet.

Step #2: You Get Three Cards

Once all players have put up their Ante and Pot bets, the dealer will then distribute three cards face down to each player.

You may examine your own cards of course, but sharing any information about your hand with other players is not permitted.

For the running example hand, let’s imagine we’ve been dealt the Kh Qh 10h. At this point, we hold no pairs to speak of, but with three cards to a straight and three cards to a flush in hearts, this starting hand still has plenty of potential.

Step #3: Fold or Raise

After taking a peek at your three hole cards, the game’s pivotal decision point comes into play. Based on the relative strength or potential of those three cards, you may now decide between two options: Fold or Raise.

  • FOLD: you simply surrender your Ante bet straight away. Under the rules of Flop Poker Bonus, however, even when you fold you’ll still keep your cards, and if you happen to connect with the flop, you’ll still be eligible to claim the Pot bets (more on this in a minute).
  • RAISE: you’ve decided to continue in the hand, so you’ll need to place a Flop bet equal to exactly the amount of your Ante bet.

For the running example hand, we’ll go ahead and place the Flop bet for another $5, holding three high cards with straight and flush possibilities.

Step #4: The “Flop”

Once all players have either folded or raised, the dealer will then distribute three cards face up to the middle of the table. These cards are known collectively as the “flop,” and they serve as community cards which can be used by all players at the table to create the best possible five card poker hand.

In traditional Texas Hold’em and other flop based poker games, players can use one, two, or all three of the flop cards to create their final hand, but Flop Poker Bonus limits you to just two of the three flop cards.

Returning to our running example hand, in which we’ve put up $5 a piece on the Ante and Pot bets, along with another $5 on the Flop bet, while receiving the Kh Qh 10h as hole cards, the flop can improve our hand in a number of ways.

When the flop comes something like Ks 9c 2s, for example, we’d improve to one pair of kings by using the Ks and the 9c to fill in our five card poker hand. A flop of Ah 5h 3c, on the other hand, would give us the two hearts we needed to complete a flush. And if the flop were to come something like As 8h 4d, we’d end up with no pair, and As Ks 9c 8h 4d for ace king high would be our best five card hand.

Step #5: Check Your Hand Strength

Once the dealer has revealed the flop, they will then turn over each player’s hole cards to assess the strength of their best five card poker hand. When you make a hand equal to one pair of jacks or better, your Ante bet will be paid out at even money, while the Flop bet will pay out according to the escalating pay table.

Returning to our running example hand when we make one pair of kings holding Kh Qh 10h in the hole and Ks 9c 2s on the flop, our $5 wager on the Flop bet would produce an even money payout of $5. When we make a flush on the Ah 5h 3c flop, however, that payout climbs all the way up to $100 at 20 to 1 odds.

Step #6: Which Player Wins

Finally, with all player hands exposed and all Ante and Flop bets either settled or claimed by the house, the dealer will then determine which player hand is the strongest overall. This hand will claim the accumulated Pot bets sitting in the middle of the table. With the usual four to six players ringing the table, the pile of Pot bet chips will typically run between $20 and $30.

On occasions when two players show down hands of identical strength, the accumulated Pot bets will be chopped up evenly between the two players.

One thing to remember about Flop Bonus Poker is that even players who have folded, and surrendered their Ante bet, can still take down the Pot bets by making the best hand. This wrinkle in the rule adds another dimension to the overall gameplay, as you can find the fold button when the situation warrants, while still maintaining a chance to scoop a decent chunk of change when the hand ends.

Step #7: Start Over

With all bets now settled, the dealer will reshuffle the deck and begin a new hand.

Favorable Flop Bet Pay Table

HAND PAYS
Royal Flush 1,000 to 1
Straight Flush 500 to 1
Four of a Kind 100 to 1
Full House 30 to 1
Flush 20 to 1
Straight 11 to 1
Three of a Kind 4 to 1
Two Pair 2 to 1
One Pair (Jacks or Better) 1 to 1
Any Other Loss

Alternate Flop Bet Pay Table

One note to keep in mind when preparing to play Flop Poker Bonus: this pay table above provides the game’s most player friendly conditions. However, some casino operators have slightly adjusted the payout for a straight, producing the following alternative pay table:

HAND PAYS
Royal Flush 1,000 to 1
Straight Flush 500 to 1
Four of a Kind 100 to 1
Full House 30 to 1
Flush 20 to 1
Straight 10 to 1
Three of a Kind 4 to 1
Two Pair 2 to 1
One Pair (Jacks or Better) 1 to 1
Any Other Loss

As you can see, both pay tables are identical – except for the drop from 11 to 1 down to 10 to 1 when you make a straight. This difference may not seem all that meaningful, but as you’ll discover later on in the strategy section, sacrificing your 11 to 1 payout for straights can wreak havoc on your bottom line when it comes to the house edge you’ll need to overcome.

Best Places to Play Flop Poker Bonus

Recommended iconDespite claims by National Table Games that Flop Poker Bonus is “a staple game and one of the most recognizable games in the casino industry,” the list of locations housing the game is actually rather slim.

The highest density of Flop Poker Bonus tables can be found in Mississippi, which makes sense as Schlumbrecht’s company is based out of neighboring Louisiana. In addition, Washington state has also approved the game, along with Nevada and New Jersey.

Brick-and-Mortar US Casinos

Take a look at the following list of brick and mortar casinos which currently carry Flop Poker Bonus:

  • Isle Casino Hotel (Biloxi, Mississippi)
  • Harrah’s Gulf Coast Hotel and Casino (Biloxi, Mississippi)
  • Treasure Bay Casino and Hotel (Biloxi, Mississippi)
  • Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City (Atlantic City, New Jersey)
  • Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport (Shreveport, Louisiana)

This list is by no means comprehensive, however, as Flop Poker Bonus is quite popular across the American south.

Call Your Local Casinos

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to place a phone call to your favorite local casino and ask for the table games manager. Even if that particular property doesn’t offer the game, chances are one of the higher ups there has heard of it, and can point you in the right direction.

Also, during your search, remember that this game can also be referred to as Flop Poker, or Progre$$ive Flop Poker Bonus.

Strategic Considerations for Flop Poker Bonus

Fortunately for savvy players looking to improve their odds, the actual decision-making process which takes place during each hand of Flop Poker Bonus can be boiled down to a simple set of guidelines.

Courtesy of renowned casino game theorist and mathematician Michael Shackleford – better known as the Wizard of Odds online – take a look at the basic strategy for Flop Poker Bonus.

When to Raise and Fold

Players should always raise when holding any of the following hand, while folding all other hands:

  • Any one pair hand
  • Any single card ranked Jack or higher
  • Any three cards to a flush
  • Any three cards to a straight

Generally speaking, you can expect to be raising about 86 percent of the hands you see, so when it feels like you’re playing too many hands, in all actuality you’re probably sticking closely to optimal strategy.

Different Pay Tables

Expanding on the strategic concerns players need to be mindful of when playing Flop Poker Bonus, let’s examine the difference between the two most commonly used pay tables.

  • When playing on the player-friendly pay table, which uses an 11 to 1 payout on straights, the house edge against you stands at 5.42 percent.
  • When you sit at a table using the alternative pay table, which pays out at a slightly reduced 10 to 1 rate on straights, the house edge immediately jumps to 6.49 percent.

Clearly, one of the most fundamental strategies you can apply as a Flop Poker Bonus player concerns game selection. You should never play the 10 to 1 pay tables, as a house edge of nearly 6.50 percent borders on “sucker bet” territory. If your only option is the 10 to 1 pay table, your best bet is to simply avoid Flop Poker Bonus in favor of a lower volatility game.

Play with Caution: High House Edge

Finally, when assessing Flop Bonus Poker in terms of its relative value versus other table game alternatives, the house edge of at least 5.42 percent puts it right on the borderline. Caribbean Stud Poker offers very comparable gameplay, for example, but the house edge on those tables falls to 5.22 percent.

Overall, given the creative nature of the game and the ability to at least exert some influence over the result, Flop Poker Bonus ranks as a playable table game, albeit one which will entail a certain level of volatility.

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