Microgaming Bonus Poker GamesBy: Fabian Rictor, Monday May 10th 2010
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Bonus video poker games are essentially games in which the "four of a kind" payline has been expanded and provided with enhanced payouts as compared to the payout offered to four of a kind in the Jacks or Better variant. Microgaming offers a number of different bonus video poker games. Some of these are discussed in this article.
The simplest game in the Microgaming bonus series is Bonus Poker. In this video poker game the four of a kind is split into three different paylines with enhanced payouts. Four aces offer a payout of 400. Four 2s to 4s offer a payout of 200. Four 5s to Ks offer a payout of 125. (All payouts referred to in this article are in coins for a wager of 5 coins.) The payout for four of a kind in Jacks or Better is 125. If no other change was made to the payout table then the average return to the player would exceed 100% and this is something online casinos cannot afford. Bonus Poker compensates for this by reducing the payouts for full house from 45 to 40 and for flush from 30 to 25. A small reduction in these two paylines allows for "bonus" payouts for some four of a kind paylines without any substantial change in the average return to the player. To a new player this may seem incongruent. But it works because full house or flush will occur over 2% of the times, whereas four of a kind occurs less than 0.2% of a time. To put it in practical terms, if you play Bonus Poker instead of Jacks or Better you will be marginally worse off more often, but when you are better off you will be substantially better off.
The other Microgaming bonus video poker games extend this philosophy further. The next game in this series is Double Bonus Poker. It has the same paylines as Bonus Poker but doubles the payouts of the four of a kind paylines. Four aces offer a payout of 800. Four 2s to 4s offer a payout of 400. Four 5s to Ks offer a payout of 250. Further reducing the payouts of full house and flush would make the game seemingly unattractive and therefore Double Bonus Poker adopts a different route to balancing the payouts. It reduces the payout of two pairs from 10 to 5. Two pairs occur 13% of the time and the reduction in payout overcompensates for the bonus payouts in four of a kind. Therefore in Double Bonus Poker the payout for flush is also increased from 30 to 35.
The third game in the series is Double Double Bonus Poker. Two additional paylines are introduced. Four aces with the fifth card being from 2s to 4s offers a whopping payout of 2000. All other four aces have the Double Bonus Poker payout of 800. Four 2s to 4s with the fifth card being aces or from 2s to 4s offers a payout of 800. All other 2s to 4s have the Double Bonus Poker payout of 400. In order to pay these "double double" bonuses the payout for flush has been changed to 30 and that for straight has been changed to 20.
All these games can be played at Microgaming online casinos like Platinum Play, All Jackpots, Spin Palace and River Belle
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