Bonus Poker Guide

Written by: Sadonna Price, OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker
heading image for bonus poker with title and two casino chips

Bonus Poker is a variant of video poker that expands on the standard game by offering higher payments for certain hands, enhancing the excitement of poker play.

This guide will provide all the details you need to know to understand how to play and use strategies to your advantage

Read on to learn more about 8/5 poker with information on paytables, how to play, tips, and strategies.

What is Bonus Poker?

This video poker variant is very similar to standard poker play—where you must create a five-card hand to win, but with subtle differences.

You can earn a higher payout from the game if you earn a four-of-a-kind hand with twos, threes, or fours. You earn an even larger payout if you earn a four-of-a-kind with four aces.

Four aces pay off at a higher level than a straight flush, which makes this game stand out from standard poker options. 

Why Do I Play Bonus Poker?

I enjoy playing Bonus Poker because exploring a poker variant with high payout potential is fun. Plus, I only need to remember poker basics to play this game.

For example, I can earn payouts from standard poker hands and increase my earning potential by securing a four-of-a-kind with lower-level cards.

I love this variant because it is easy to play and offers unique payouts.

Overall, it’s an excellent option for seasoned players and beginners alike, as it provides simple gaming with the unique features of additional paytables for four-of-a-kind matches.


Bonus Poker Paytables

Like every poker game, there is a paytable that shows you how much you can earn based on the hand you play.

It’s important to understand the hand rankings to be able to know when to play and when to fold. 

Use the information below to see how to earn a payout based on Bonus Poker hands.

Basic Bonus Poker is known as 8/5 and has a return to player percentage of 99.17%. Double Bonus Poker is another variation you may see at times.

8/5 Bonus Poker Payouts Table Desktop
8/5 Bonus Poker Payouts Table Mobile

Best Online Casinos to Play Bonus Poker 

Now that you understand how 8/5 Bonus Poker works, it’s time to play. Below is a list of our top-rated real money casinos that feature the game.

Create a new account with our links to play this unique video poker version.

1 BetUS Logo BetUS VIDEO POKER GAMES 24 BONUS 150% up to $3,000 Play Now
2 Super Slots Logo Super Slots VIDEO POKER GAMES 4 BONUS 250% up to $6,000 Play Now
3 Red Dog Casino Logo Red Dog Casino VIDEO POKER GAMES 26 BONUS $8,000 Welcome Bonus Play Now
4 Wild Casino Logo Wild Casino VIDEO POKER GAMES 10 BONUS 100% up to $5,000 Play Now
5 High Roller Casino Logo High Roller Casino VIDEO POKER GAMES 21 BONUS $8,000 Welcome Bonus + 100 Free Spins Play Now

Top Picks for Bonus Poker Casino Sites 

I recommend each of the following sites because they offer premium gaming, seamless banking methods, enticing promotions, and a solid selection of Bonus Poker titles.

Red Dog Casino

Cafe Casino Bonus Poker

Red Dog features the classic variant of Bonus Poker, perfect for beginner players.

You can play Bonus Poker with buy-ins ranging from low to high.

The game setup is simple, with the option to wager one to five coins per hand.

Select your wager and see what your potential payout will be based on the paytable on the screen.

Red Dog Casino
Red Dog Casino
$8,000 Welcome Bonus

Las Atlantis Casino

Bovada Casino Video Poker Games Bonus Poker Deluxe Logo

If you are searching for an assortment of Bonus Poker games, sign up for an account at Las Atlantis.

The site includes Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Bonus Poker, and Double Double Bonus Poker.

Each game has affordable buy-ins and includes easy-to-read paytables and simple controls.

Las Atlantis Casino
Las Atlantis Casino
280% up to $14,000

How’s Double Bonus Poker Different from Bonus Poker?

Bonus Poker and Double Bonus Poker are played the same. The only difference is the paytables.

It’s important to note these differences to see how much you would earn based on the hand rankings.

Use the table below to learn more about the payout differences per hand

Bonus Poker vs Double Bonus Poker Payouts Table Desktop
Bonus Poker vs Double Bonus Poker Payouts Table Mobile

Is Double Bonus Poker Better than Bonus Poker?

Poker Question Mark Icon

Both games are great options if you are interested in video poker. The only difference between the two is the paytables.

Double Bonus Poker offers better payouts for higher-ranking hands.

If you are new to poker, start out with Bonus Poker and then switch to Double Bonus Poker.

Overall, Double Bonus Poker offers better payouts for the most common hands.

You will earn larger prizes for most winning hands versus Bonus Poker payouts.

How to Play Bonus Poker

Knowing the game’s basics can be beneficial before playing it for the first time. Use our step-by-step guide as a reference.

You can also look for demo mode options to practice a Bonus Poker game before you spend real money.

Learning how to play Bonus Poker is essential to feeling comfortable once you start playing hands with cash deposits.

  1. Pick Your Favorite Online Casino
    You can select one of our recommended online casino sites to play Bonus Poker.
  2. Make Your Bet
    Open the game and decide on your wager for the hand. Select your bet.
  3. Click on the DEAL Button
    The game will then deal five cards from a deck of 52.

    Look at your hand and decide what you want to hold on to and what you want to discard. You can decide to fold and not play.
  4. Decide Which Cards to Keep on Your Hand
    Hit the draw button once you are ready to replace any cards and continue with the hand.

    The discarded cards are removed, and new ones are added to your hand.
  5. Receive Payment (If You Have a Qualifying Hand)
    You can then see if you earned a win. If your hand qualifies, the payout is added once the round ends.

    Choose your bet again and start another hand, repeating the full process.

Play Bonus Poker for Free

Apply the game fundamentals, tips, and strategies you’ve just learned to the free version of a real money casino poker game.

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Play This Game for Real Money Once You Feel Ready

Red Dog Casino
Red Dog Casino
Accepts US players with a $8,000 Welcome Bonus

Bonus Poker Tips & Strategies

Now that you know how to play Bonus Poker and understand the hand rankings, it’s time to implement a few video poker tips and strategies.

Adding a Bonus Poker strategy to your gameplay can boost your overall win potential with every hand.

Watch for Twos, Threes, and Fours

In traditional poker, you wouldn’t give the lower cards the time of day.

However, with Bonus Poker, there is nice payout potential for the three lower cards.

Be mindful of your hand when you have the lower cards in case you can build a solid win with an Ace included.

Don’t Worry About an Inside Straight

Holding on to cards that could give you an inside straight is common in traditional poker.

However, by doing this in Bonus Poker, you could end up with a non-winning hand.

If you have a three, four, five, and seven, the chances of drawing a six are small and not worth the low payout for a straight.

Post the Max Bet

If you can afford to post the max bet, you can earn the top payouts in the game, including for the Royal Flush.

Your win will be quite large if you land one of the higher-paying hands.

Learn the Payouts and Poker Hands

In general, new players to Bonus Poker or Poker can benefit from learning the poker hands and payouts in the game.

Knowing what scores a win, you can consider your strategy to hold or fold certain cards.

Best Decisions Based on Hand

Tough decisions occur in video poker whenever you have multiple hands to choose from, as holding or discarding the wrong cards can slowly erode your overall expected return.

This chart takes each possible hand and numbers them in order of strength, so whenever you have two or more hands to choose from, simply keep the highest one on this list.

1.Four of a Kind, Straight Flush, Royal FlushHold pat hand
2.Four cards to a Royal FlushDraw one card
3.Straight, Flush, Full HouseHold pat hand
4.Three of a KindDraw two cards
5.Four cards to a Straight FlushDraw one card
6.Two PairDraw one card
7.One high Pair (Jacks or better)Draw three cards
8.Three cards to a Royal FlushDraw two cards
9.Four cards to a FlushDraw one card
10.Unsuited K Q J 10Draw one card
11.One low pair (Tens or lower)Draw three cards
12.Four cards to open-ended StraightDraw one card
13.Open ended three-card Straight Flush (1+ high cards)Draw two cards
14.Unsuited A K Q JDraw one card
15.Two suited High cards (Jacks or better)Draw three cards
16.Three cards to a Straight Flush (no high cards)Draw two cards
17.Four cards to inside Straight (with 3 high cards)Draw one card
18.Unsuited K Q JDraw two cards
19.Unsuited Q JDraw three cards
20.Three cards to a Straight Flush (gaps, 1 high card)Draw two cards
21.Unsuited K Q or K JDraw three cards
22.Suited J 10Draw three cards
23.Unsuited A K, A Q, or A JDraw three cards
24.One AceDraw four cards
25.Three cards to a Straight Flush (no high cards)Draw two cards
26.Suited K 10 or Q 10Draw three cards
27.K, Q, or J as high cardDraw four cards
28.Three cards to a Straight Flush (two gaps)Draw two cards
29.Discard everythingDraw five cards

*In order to read the chart, all you need to do is assess your five-card hand and determine which position(s) on the list you currently hold.

Pros and Cons of Bonus Poker

If you’re still unsure about giving Bonus Poker a try, you can take a look at what I think are its main pros and cons, to help you make a more informed decision.


  • Low Pressure: Being a video poker title, you can enjoy the game at your own pace and bet lower amounts.
  • Strategy Can Apply: If you like using strategies with your gameplay, you can easily do so with Bonus Poker.
  • Nice Payout Potential: With this game, you can win for several hands, and the title has a high RTP of 99.17%.


  • Payout Reductions: This video poker version has a reduced payout for lower-ranking hands.
  • Availability: You may not find Bonus Poker at every online casino site you visit.

Mix Up Your Play Trying Different Poker Variants

As you can see, Bonus Poker is a fun alternative to traditional video poker games, offering additional hands in the payout table for more prize potential.

It’s easy to play with basic knowledge of poker gaming and offers low to high buy-ins

Try the game yourself by visiting one of our recommended casinos. You can’t go wrong with these options, and will also find additional video poker games to try!

Get started today by signing up to one of the many Bonus Poker sites we recommend on this page.

Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker

Sadonna is a former professional poker player. Passionate about writing and loves using her creativity to provide insight into the interesting gambling world.

Learn More About Sadonna