I’ve wanted to make a simplified Texas Hold’Em Bonus strategy for a while, for the occasional trips to Vegas, and for the occasional person looking for it. The first strategy I posted was way too complex to remember, and was only useful as a reference guide. While the game ideally returns a -2.037% EV, and my old complex strategy returns -2.3%, the new simple strategy below returns a respectable -2.9%.
I made the strategy based on what I normally look for when playing Hold’Em carnival games (like Ultimate Texas Hold’Em). The most common cases are addressed, and I include some less frequent, though interesting situations that you’ll probably want to know about. The strategy is actually very simple, and very easy to remember.
|Pre-Flop||Fold 23o thru 27o, else|
|2x bet all others|
|Flop||Bet two pairs or better, else
Bet your pair with any board undercards, else
Bet your pair with any draw, else
Bet bottom pair unless board suited, else
Bet any combo flush and straight draw, else
Bet 5th nut flush draw or better, else
Bet an open-ended straight draw with both hole cards 8 or higher, else
Bet 2nd nut kicker against a tripped board, else
Bet nut kicker against a paired board, else
Bet 1st and 4th nut kickers against a non-suited board, else
|Check all others|
|Turn||Bet your two pairs or better, except for a pocket underpair with no draws, else
Bet your pair (except bottom or underpair) if not a scare board, else
Bet nut kicker if the board is double-paired, else
If not scare board, bet nut kicker with open-ended straight draw, or 4th nut flush draw, else
|Check all others|
where “scare board” means open-ended or 4-to-a-flush on the turn, and “your” hand means your hand that beats the board.
I’ve seen Texas Hold’Em Bonus all over Las Vegas, but I didn’t know basic post-flop strategy, so I’ve never played it. It seems to be particularly popular Downtown, where the casinos usually have Texas Hold’Em Bonus (“Bonus”) but Ultimate Texas Hold’Em (“Ultimate”) is not to be found. As a rule, I won’t play a game unless the house edge is reasonable, and I know basic strategy. So while I knew the game had a small 2.037% house edge, I had no idea how to play it post-flop. It looked inviting, but I needed to develop basic strategy before playing it.
Well, I finally got around to devising a basic strategy for Texas Hold’Em Bonus. I tried to organize and minimize the betting rules, and though it might look a little daunting at first, it will probably make a lot of sense once you have experience with the game. The rules for betting the flop are very similar to Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, while the decision for betting the turn is a little more conservative then the river bet in Ultimate. This more conservative nature of the game is due to the fact that once you’ve made the 2x pre-flop bet, you may check the hand all the way to showdown.
I’ll definitely play the game the next time I see it at the casino. That might be a while from now, and I’ll probably publish its Flash game before I play it for real.
The collusion angles to this game seem promising, because folding pre-flop could be a lot cheaper than betting another 2x to see the hand, given knowledge of confederates holding your outs. I’ll work out some numbers in an upcoming post.