Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus Video Poker
Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus video poker is a variation of Bonus Poker that provides even bigger bonus payouts if you get a 4 of a kind than in normal variations of Bonus Poker. The catch is that you have to place an additional bet of one coin in order to get those bonus payouts.
Here’s how the game works:
How to Play Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus Video Poker
Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus is similar to other video poker variations in a lot of respects. We’ve covered in a great amount of detail how video poker in general works on some of our other pages, but we’ll provide a quick, broad overview here for those who haven’t had a chance to read those pages yet.
Video poker looks like a slot machine on the surface, but it’s actually a lot better game in a lot of different ways. For one thing, with a slot machine, you have no way of knowing how much of an edge the house has over you mathematically. That’s because even though they tell you how much each combination of symbols pays off, they don’t tell you the probability of getting that combination of symbols.
Video poker, on the other hand, is based on a deck of playing cards. Since a particular card has a 1/52 probability of turning up, it’s relatively easy to calculate the overall odds for a video poker game. You just multiply the probability of getting a certain hand by the payoff you’d get if you won that hand. You add all those numbers (the expected return figures) to get the overall expected return for the game.
That number is usually well under 100%, but it’s not as far under 100% as you’d see if you were playing a regular slot machine. Most slots top out at about a 95% payback percentage, but that’s usually the starting point for video poker games. Many of these games have a payback percentage of 99% or higher, in fact.
That’s because the royal flush—which is the highest paying hand in the game—pays off at 250 to 1—unless you’ve made the max bet. If you’ve made the max bet, the hand pays off at 800 to 1.
That’s a big difference in a payout, so you should always play for 5 coins. If you can’t afford to play for 5 coins, you should go down in denomination. You’re better off playing a quarter machine for 5 coins ($1.25 per hand), than you are playing a dollar machine for one coin ($1 per hand).
That’s one of the things that makes Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus so interesting—you get the option of placing a 6th coin bet. This activates a fun and exciting bonus feature.
Here’s how it works:
When you’ve bet the 6th coin, and you wind up with a 4 of a kind, you get to play a bonus game.
During this bonus game, you get to pick between one and 3 cards from a 53 card deck.
The number of cards you get to pick is based on the rankings of the cards in your 4 of a kind, as follows:
- 4 aces = 3 picks
- 4 deuces, 3s, or 4s = 2 picks
- Any other 4 of a kind = 1 pick
You then get prize amounts based on the rank of the cards you pick. Here’s what they’re worth:
- The joker is worth 3996 coins. (The joker is the ultimate bonus, by the way. Once you’ve picked a joker, the bonus amount tops out at 3996 coins, and you don’t get to choose any additional cards. If you had another card on a previous pick, it’s “canceled out”. 3996 is the maximum bonus amount.)
- An ace is worth 400 coins.
- 2s, 3s, and 4s are worth 300 coins.
- All other cards are worth 200 coins.
One option you have when playing this game is to only play for 5 coins. If you do so, then the game is treated just like whichever video poker variation it’s based on. We look at whether or not that’s a good idea in the strategy section below.
Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus Video Poker Pay Tables, Odds, and Strategy
We’ve already pointed out that one of the big differences between video poker and slots is that VP is a game where you have all the information you need to figure out the odds of winning. It’s also a game where you have enough information to determine the best strategy for playing. This includes not only how to play each hand, but how much you should bet on each hand.
Since we know the frequency with which we’ll see the various bonus amounts, we can calculate the payback percentage for the game as it would be played with a 5 coin bet versus how it would be played with a 6 coin bet.
Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus is similar to several other video poker games in the respect that it’s a bonus added on to an existing game. For example, the pay table for Double Bonus might be used for this game. Here are the payouts for one of the more popular versions of Double Bonus:
We know that the payback percentage for this game is 95.27%, which is not one of the better payback percentages for the game. But when you add in the 6th coin and the bonus potential, the payback percentage increases to 98.01%, which is significantly better. So you should certainly play for all 6 coins.
We’ve explained the concept of a payback percentage on other pages of our site, but in case you missed it there, here’s a brief overview. A video poker game’s payback percentage is the amount of each bet that the player can expect to win back over the long run, assuming close to optimal playing strategy.
So if you’re betting $1 per hand, and the game has a 98% payback, you expect (over a long enough time) to win 98 cents per hand, for a net loss of 2 cents per hand. That doesn’t sound like a lot of money for the casino, but when you consider that the average gambler plays 600 hands per hour, it adds up pretty quickly.
Ultimate 4 of a Kind is available in the following versions:
- Bonus Poker
- Bonus Poker Deluxe
- Deuces Wild Bonus
- Double Bonus
- Double Double Bonus
- Jacks or Better
- Joker Poker
- Super Deuces Wild
If you’re able to find a Jacks or Better version with a 9/5 or an 8/6 pay table, you can actually play with an edge over the house—assuming you play with close to perfect strategy. The payback percentage for those 2 games is 100.15% and 100.09%, respectively.
The strategy for any of these games can be found on the appropriate page on our site. Other than making sure to place the additional 6th coin bet on every hand, you don’t have to make any strategy adjustments for this game. Just follow the perfect strategy for the base game, and you’re all set.
The strategy for each game is presented as a hierarchy of hands from best to worst. You start at the top and keep going down the list until you get to a hand which matches what you have. Those are the cards you keep. Many of the decisions are common sense, but the subtleties between one game and another can result in some significant differences in how much your payback percentage amounts to.
Where to Play for Free and/or Real Money Online
Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus hasn’t really caught on with Internet casinos, but you can play the game online at VideoPoker.com for free. That site doesn’t offer real money games, though, and to the best of our knowledge, this game isn’t available to play for real money in any online casinos.
In fact, Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus isn’t that common at land-based casinos, either. But if you can find it, you should give it a try—it’s a fun twist on the game.
Ultimate 4 of a Kind Bonus video poker is a fun variation where you get to play a bonus game any time you get a 4 of a kind. Unlike some variations, the 6th coin bet that activates these bonus features is worth making, because the bonuses actually improve your odds over the house. It’s just too that online casinos haven’t caught on to how much fun this game is—the only online version we could find was a free version. As far as we know, no online casino offers the game for real money.