Activating the Bonus in Wheel Poker Deluxe

 Activating the Bonus in Wheel Poker Deluxe

Video poker areas in casinos liven their mix with bonus games that can multiply your winnings when triggered by certain winning hands.

These games usually are variations on Triple Play, Five Play and Ten Play Poker, where you play three, five or 10 hands at once. And all such games require an extra bet to activate the bonus feature.

Recently, a player asked me about the game Wheel Poker Deluxe, which requires an extra five coins per hand to activate a wheel-spinning bonus. Without a bonus feature, Triple Play carries a maximum bet of 15 coins, or five per hand.

Is it worthwhile to activate the bonus, or does it reduce your payback percentage?

Let’s first look at how the bonus works. Anytime your initial hand includes three of a kind — and that includes full house and four of a kind hands as well as three of a kind — you get a spin of the bonus wheel.

When the wheel stops, it gives you a starting hand for a draw along with a number of hands to be completed. Your bonus could be Triple Play with four parts of a royal, giving you three chances at a big winner. It also could be Hundred Play with two pairs — 100 chances to upgrade to a full house.

There are other possibilities, with all being strong starting points for multiple hands.

IGT, which makes the bonus games, has said the return on the bonuses is no lower than on the main game. The precise figure depends on the game, but at wizardofodds.com, calculations by Michael Shackelford show the payback percentage is higher on the bonus than on the main games.

In fact, the bonus is better than break-even, with a return of 100.9 percent. If you’re playing 8-5 Bonus Poker, normally a 99.2-percent return, adding the deluxe wheel takes the overall return up to 99.9 percent. If the best you can find is 6-5 Bonus, the wheel increases the overall return from 96.8 to 97.8 percent.

As always, be careful not to overbet your bankroll. If you can’t afford to lose the bonus bet, don’t make it. But if the bonus fits your budget, it improves your overall return.

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