We’ll continue our coverage of ‘Bonus 2.0’ games with another ‘Ultimate Aces/Bonus Poker‘ mashup. This one is a bit unusual, even by ‘Bonus Poker‘ standards. Mixing in the ‘Ultimate Aces‘ feature makes it all the more bizarre. ‘Ultimate Aces Bonus Poker Deluxe‘ like the garden variety ‘Bonus Poker Deluxe‘ is technically a ‘Bonus Poker‘ variant since it gives a higher payout than usual for Four of a Kind hands. Unlike the other ‘Bonus Poker‘ games which give bonuses to hands made with certain cards and with specific ‘kickersBonus Poker Deluxe‘ is more ‘all or nothing. Every Four of a Kind pays 400 coins with max bet. Throw in the ‘Bonus Multipliers‘ feature of this game and a Four of a Kind is a potentially huge jackpot.

The common feature of the ‘Bonus 2.0’ games is that the player has to pay an additional bet amount to ‘activate‘ the bonus feature. Depending on the game, this can range from an extra coin (making a ‘max bet’ six coins) to a full additional bet per hand (making ‘max bet‘ 10 coins per hand). While some of the ‘Bonus 2.0’ games have rules that materially impact gameplay and strategy (for example, the 6 card poker variations) many just offer another layer of bonus without altering the strategy. The game we’ll discuss today is an example of this.

Ultimate Aces‘ is usually found in a multigame format that includes a variety of common rulesets. In Nevada casinos (and other land-based casinos) the game usually includes Jacks or Better, several ‘bonus poker‘ variations such as Bonus Poker and Double Bonus Poker along with a couple of Deuces Wild variations. We’ll cover each of the games individually since they each have a unique paytable and in some cases their own dedicated strategy decisions.

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The ‘Ultimate Aces‘ rules are the same regardless of which variation of the game you’re playing. The basic premise is that for an additional bet per hand the player gets a bonus on any hand with a dealt Ace. Since the game is typically found in ‘triple play‘ form this means that max bet is 15 coins for three hands (5 X 3) plus 15 ‘bonus bet‘ for three hands (5 X 3) equaling 30 coins per play.

Any time an Ace shows up on the first deal the player automatically gets a bonus on all winning hands. Note that you do not have to hold the Ace to get the bonus. The bonuses are random but the more Aces in a hand the higher the bonus amount. The bonus amount ranges from 2X to 10X. According to game manufacturer IGT the average bonus multipliers are as follows:

  • 1 Ace: 3.4X
  • 2 Aces: 4.5X
  • 3 Aces: 6.0X
  • 4 Aces: 7.6X


Since there’s no advantage for a four of a kind hand in a specific denomination that makes strategy much simpler. With the low paying ‘minor’ hands and the huge four of a kind payout its obvious that the strategy is to go after the quads hard. In my personal experience, there is little ‘middle ground’ with Bonus Poker Deluxe in any format. If you’re hitting 4 of a kinds it’s a great game but if you’re not it can be anguishing. That volatility is even more pronounced on the ‘Ultimate Aces‘ platform. It’s definitely not a game that you’re going to ‘grind out‘ a profit playing. If the rule set wasn’t ‘feast or famine‘ enough the return percentage on the most common pay table is 97.87%. Horse racing has a term for bettors that like playing prohibitive favorites: ‘bridge jumpers‘. If video poker had such a thing as ‘bridge jumpers‘ this would be their preferred variation—the format of the game means that if you’re not hitting quads and making a killing you’re going to get ‘ground out‘ very quickly.

The strategy for Ultimate Aces Bonus Video Poker Deluxe is identical to basic ‘Bonus Poker Deluxe’ and is as follows:

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • 4 to a Royal Flush
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a Kind
  • 4 to a Straight Flush
  • Two Pair
  • Four to a flush with three high cards
  • High Pair (Jacks or Better)
  • 4 to a Flush
  • 3 to a Royal Flush
  • 4 to an outside straight
  • Low Pair
  • 3 to a straight flush
  • 4 to an inside straight w/ three high cards
  • Jack, King or Queen
  • Discard Everything