How To Play Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker

Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is a popular casino table game offered at a wide variety of online casinos and land-based casinos around the world. It’s owned and licensed by a company called Mikohn Gaming — also known as Progressive Gaming International Corporation — and it’s based quite strongly around Texas Hold ’em poker.

However, there’s a key difference in that there’s no river card deal.

In this guide, we will be taking an in-depth look at how the game works and the best strategy to play it. We’ll also be looking at the history of the game and how it came to be such a popular choice among players. We’ll also be looking at some side bet options and variations of the game.

See Related: How To Play 3 Card Poker

Rules & How to Play Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker

Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is easy to play. First, we should point out that the game is played with a standard 52-card deck of cards. Once you’re ready to play, you’ll need to choose how much you want to put down as your ante bet; the ante bet is mandatory, and every player at the table needs to place this bet before the game begins if they want to get in on the action. At this point, most versions of the game allow you to place a bonus bet, but we’ll cover details of this later on in this guide.

Once the ante bet has been placed, the dealer will deal you two cards, both face-up. The dealer will also deal themself two cards, although these are dealt face down. At this point, you have a decision to make; you either need to hold your hand, forfeiting your ante bet, or you need to place a flop bet; the flop bet is equal to 2X your ante bet.

Three community cards will then be dealt, assuming your ante bet (ante wager) is still going. These community cards are dealt face-up in the middle of the table, and all players can use the community cards. The purpose of the community cards is to try and help you to improve your hand. You are then given a choice to match your ante bet (ante wager) once more with another round of betting if you like your hand. You can also check — although if you’re playing Las Vegas rules, sometimes you need to bet more here. Once you’ve made your decision, a final card is dealt with the community cards. There are now five community cards on the table, and you’re now given a chance to place a river bet. Once all river bets have been placed, the betting is over, and the dealer will then turn over their two cards.

The best five-card hand wins, and if you’re playing at online casinos, this is all calculated automatically. As you can see, the main point of Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is to make the best 5-card poker hand, so it’s not too dissimilar to conventional Texas hold ’em poker!

Ante Bet Payouts

Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to work out what payouts you’ll get when you’re playing this exciting casino table game, and if your hand beats the dealer’s hand, your ante bet will be paid out at 1/1. However, your ante bet is only paid out as a winner if the winning hand you manage to form is a straight or better; if it’s lower than this, the bet is simply returned to you as a push.

If you and the dealer both share the same hand (i.e. you both use the same five cards), then the game is considered a push, and again, the ante bet will be returned to you. Naturally, if the dealer wins, you’ll lose your ante bet, but this doesn’t affect the optional bonus bet if the player wins or if the dealer wins. 

Bonus Bet

In almost all Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker game variations, you’ll find a bonus bet option available, and the bonus bet pays based on your cards, so the dealer’s holdings don’t matter at all. What this means is that you’re betting on your two hole cards matching one of the premium combinations, and if they do, your bonus bet is a winner, and the player wins.

As with most casino table games, the bonus bet house edge is higher than the main game — especially when playing Atlantic City or Las Vegas rules. Still, it can be a fun way to increase the slot’s volatility, and if you’re looking for those big wins, it’s the bonus bet where you’ll find them. Below, you’ll see the payouts for most Texas Hold’em Bonus variations:

  • Ace-Ace (player and dealer) 1000:1
  • Ace-Ace 30:1
  • Ace-King 25:1
  • Ace-Queen or Ace-Jack (suited) 20:1
  • Ace-King (unsuited) 15:1
  • King-King, Queen-Queen, or Jack 10:1
  • Ace-Queen or Ace-Jack (unsuited) 5:1
  • 10-10 through 2-2 (pairs) 3:1

Texas Hold’em Bonus Strategy

When it comes to playing Texas Hold’em Bonus, there’s actually minimal strategy involved with playing the game. Plus, when it comes to the side bets, there’s no possible strategy, as all of the side bets you’ll come across are made before any of the cards are dealt, which means there’s nothing you can do once these bets have been placed.

However, we should point out that if you’re looking to improve the house edge as much as possible, then it’s probably worth staying away from these bonus bets. The RTP of them is typically a lot lower than if you were playing the regular ante bet. For example, the typical bonus bet payout when playing Texas Hold’em Bonus is generally set at around 91.46%, which is a lot slower than the ante bet, making it a poor decision in the long run.

However, when it comes to playing the game, there is a small amount of strategy to consider, and this all comes down to which hands you should play and which you should fold. For example, it’s widely accepted that you should play all starting hands aside from 2-3, 2-4, 2-5 and 2-7. It’s worth noting, however, that even if you are dealt these hands, you may want to consider playing them as, remember, you are simply playing against the dealer and therefore, it may be worth a punt.

In fact, many players choose to play blind; this means that they choose to play all of their hands without even looking at their cards, and this isn’t actually a bad strategy as you do pretty much have the same chance of winning a hand as the dealer.

Like most casino table games, however, the game is centred around little more than luck. If you choose to avoid the side bets, you’ll typically find that your balance stays pretty much the same thanks to the game’s low house edge, meaning you can play with a relatively small balance for quite some time.

History of the Game

While little is known about the game’s origins, it appears as though the first variation of the game was found at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas; according to the Wizard of Odds, it was first seen back in September 2005. Since then, it’s also been seen in Atlantic City, although the Las Vegas rules and Atlantic City rules differ slightly, with a different house edge in both variations of the game.

As we mentioned earlier, the game is owned and licensed by a company called Mikohn Gaming, also known as Progressive Gaming International Corporation. They appear to have all licensing rights on the game.

Since the game’s popularity has continued to increase over time, it’s become available at even more online casinos, and Evolution Gaming, the world’s leading developer of live dealer games, now has its own variation of the game.

Today, it can be found at virtually all online casinos, both in virtual and live form. While it’s not as common at land-based casinos in the UK, it can be found at many land-based casinos in the USA, proving its popularity.

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