Bonus Poker is based on Jacks or Better video poker, so gameplay is similar. You start by inserting money into the Bonus Poker machine, and the screen updates to display the number of credits you have. You then decide how many coins you want to play for—1 to 5.
The computer then deals you a virtual hand of 5 cards. Video poker is based on draw poker, so you’re allowed to discard between 0 and 5 cards. The computer then deals you new cards to replace the ones you discarded. Based on the poker rank of your final hand, you get a payout, based on the pay table for the game.
In Jacks or Better video poker, the lowest paying hand is a pair of Jacks or Better, and the highest paying hand is a Royal Flush. Bonus Poker offers bonus payouts for the 4 of a Kind hand, based on what rank the cards are as part of that hand.
Since the odds of getting a particular hand are based on a standard 52 card deck of cards, you can calculate the appropriate strategy to maximize your odds of winning. You can also determine the payback percentage for the game, which is something that’s impossible to do with slot machines.
The reason should be clear, but in case it isn’t—you know the odds of getting a particular card out of a 52 card deck. There are only 4 cards of each rank, and there are only 13 cards of each suit.
But with a slot machine, you have no way of knowing what the odds are of a particular symbol coming up. Even though you know what the payout is for a particular combination, you have no idea what the odds of hitting that combination are.