How to Play Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker
A round begins by placing the Ante bet after which, the dealer deals two hole cards to the player and themselves, and five community cards are dealt face down. The player’s hole cards are then revealed and players can choose between Call and Fold. If a player chooses Fold then they abandon the hand and lose the Ante bet. If a player chooses Call then they place a second bet equal to twice the Ante and the dealer reveals the first three community cards.
Players can then choose whether to Bet on the Flop (the term used for the first three community cards) or Check. If a player chooses to Check, they do not lose their bets (like Fold), rather the play of the hand continues with no increase in bet. Alternatively, players can choose to Bet, which places a third bet equal in size to the Ante. At this point, the fourth community card is dealt. Players can once again decide whether to Bet or Check on the Turn (the term used for the fourth community card). Finally, the fifth community card is dealt (the River).
The player and dealer must then produce the best five-card poker hand possible using their own hole cards and the five community cards. The hands are then compared to decide the winner.
Unlike many other Casino Poker games, there is no qualification hand for the dealer. This means, that regardless of what the dealer is showing, it will be a direct comparison of the two hands that determines the winner. If the player loses, then all bets placed are lost. If the player wins then the payout depends upon what hand the player has. If the player has a Three of a Kind or weaker, then the Ante bet is returned to the player and the Call, Turn and River bets pay at 1:1. If the player has a Straight or better, then all bets are paid at 1:1.
Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker Hands
The basic gameplay of Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is very straightforward and it will take you no time to understand. However, at each stage, when deciding whether to bet more, fold or check, your decision will be based upon the hand that you are holding or believe you can form. As such, it is essential that you are very familiar with the standard poker hands and are able to spot them quickly. There are just 10 standard hands that you need to know and they are very simple. From strongest to weakest, the hands are:
- Royal Flush – This is the strongest hand possible and it contains the cards 10, J, Q, K and A all from the same suit.
- Straight Flush – This is five cards in numerical order from the same suit; for example, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 of Hearts. If both player and dealer have a Straight Flush then the hand with the highest value card wins.
- Four of a Kind – This is a hand that contains four cards of same value, such as 7 Diamonds, 7 Clubs, 7 Spades, 7 Hearts. If both player and dealer have Four of a Kind, then the hand with the higher ranking cards win.
- Full House – This is a hand that consists of three of a kind together with a pair, for example, three 2s and two 9s, the suit is irrelevant. If both player and dealer have a Full House, then the hand with the higher ranking Three of a Kind wins.
- Flush – This is a hand of five cards all from the same suit, for example, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 10 of Diamonds. If both player and dealer have a Flush then the hand with the highest value card wins.
- Straight – This is five cards in numerical order, the suit is not important. For example, 3 Hearts, 4 Spades, 5 Diamonds, 6 Clubs, and 7 Hearts. If both player and dealer have a Straight then the hand with the highest value card wins.
- Three of a Kind – This is three cards of the same value and two unrelated cards. For example, 5 Hearts, 5 Clubs, 5 Diamonds, 6 Spades and Jack Hearts. If both player and dealer have a Three of a Kind then the hand with the higher ranking card wins.
- Two Pair – This is a hand that contains two individual pairs of cards and one unrelated card. For example, 5 Spades, 5 Hearts, 7 Diamonds, 7 Spades, 3 Hearts. If both player and dealer have Two Pair, then the hand with the high value pair wins. If they have matching pairs then the second pair decides. Should both pairs match, then the kicker card (the fifth card) decides the winner.
- Pair – This is a hand that contains two matching cards and three unrelated cards. For example, Ace Spades, Ace Clubs, 5 Diamonds, 7 Clubs, 9 Hearts. If both player and dealer have a Pair then the higher value pair wins. If both pairs are of the same value, then the kicker card decides the winner.
- High Card – If a hand does not contain any of the above, then it is judged according to the highest value card in it.
Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker Side Bets
The word ‘Bonus’ in the name of this poker game is due to the Bonus side bet that players can place with each round. It is an entirely optional side bet on the hole cards and it can be won regardless of what actions players choose to take with their hand. The payouts may differ slightly depending on the version of the game that you are playing but a typical pay table might be:
- Player and Dealer AA – 1000:1
- AA – 30:1
- Suited AK – 25:1
- Suited AQ or AJ – 20:1
- Unsuited AK – 15:1
- Pair of Ks, Qs or Js – 10:1
- Unsuited AQ or AJ – 5:1
- Par of 2 up to 10s – 3:1
Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker Strategy
The optimal strategy for Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is very complicated and difficult to memorise. However, there are a number of simple rules that you can quickly memorise that will go a long way towards improving your returns.
When to Fold
In this game, folding is very rarely the best option. You should only fold before the flop if you have a hand that is 2-3 to 2-7 unsuited. If you really want to minimise your risk, then you can also fold 2-8 unsuited, 3-4 to 3-8 unsuited, and 2-3, 2-4 suited.
When to Check
In general, you should never raise your bet unless you have a made hand that is at least a pair, unless you are on a draw with a greater than 50% chance of hitting it. There are a few exceptions, such as if you have an Ace King or Ace Queen, it would be ok to bet on a rainbow flop (a flop containing cards of completely different suits).
When to Raise after the Flop
There are just a few rules to remember for this situation:
- Raise if you have a pair or better while using a hole card
- Raise if you have two pair or better
- Raise if your starting hand was A-K, A-Q or A-J
- Raise if you are one card from a Flush
- Raise if you are one card from a high straight and have the over cards in your hand
- Raise if you have an Ace and another over card on a low rainbow flop with no straight draws
When to Raise after the Turn
Once again, there are a few easy rules to remember:
- Raise if you have a middle pair or better using a hole card
- Raise if you have two high kickers with a pair on the board
- Raise if you are one card from a Flush and have the Ace
- Raise if you have an Ace with two pairs on the board
If you are able to memorise and use the above rules, while it won’t mean that you are playing with perfect optimal strategy (to do that, you will probably have to use an online calculator as there are so many possible combinations), it will mean that will be reducing the house edge and giving yourself a better chance of winning.
Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is a fantastic game for all poker fans. While it is largely a game of luck, there is some skill involved, which means that you can work to improve your chances. The game takes no time to learn, and the above strategy is not very complicated, so start playing today and hopefully, you will soon be having a great deal of fun.