Saturday, June 03, 2006

Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma'am - All Aces Video Poker Strategy For Fun and Profit

After hitting three Royal Flushes, I was in need of more thrills. But thinking about slogging through dozens of hours of play for that moment of euphoria was giving me a headache. It's just too much foreplay when all I really wanted was a quick score.

That is when I took a serious look at Microgaming's All Aces Video Poker game. All Aces offers the best of both worlds: There are big jackpots and they come relatively fast. What's more, All Aces has the highest return of Microgaming's VP games (over 99.9%).

Let's look at the payout schedules for All Aces versus two other popular video poker games.

Microgaming's Video Poker Pay Tables
HandAll Aces PaysBonus Poker PaysJOB Pays
Royal Flush400040004000
Straight Flush300250250
Four Aces2000400125
Four 2,3,4400200125
Four 5-K200125125
Full House354045
3 of a Kind151515
Two Pair51010
Jacks or Better555

The hit frequency for 4oK-Aces is approximately 1 in 4167 hands. Not bad for a $500 payout! (playing 5 quarters). For comparison, a Royal Flush pays out $1000, but you can only expect one every
40,000 hands.

All Aces Strategy
What follows is not a comprehensive All Aces strategy guide, but rather it is a quick look at rankings of some common starting hands. When I play, I still keep Winpoker active in the background for when I have an issue between different sets of cards to hold. There are probably exceptions to these rules, and I will be adding to the list as I find them.

All Aces Simple Strategy:

  • Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind
  • 4 to a Royal Flush
  • Three Aces
  • Full House, Flush, Straight
  • Three of a Kind, 4 to a Straight Flush
  • Two Aces
  • Two Pair
  • Two Jacks, Kings or Queens
  • 4 to a Flush
  • Pair (other than Aces, Kings, Queens, or Jacks)
  • 4 to a Straight (no gaps)
  • 4 high cards (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten)
  • 2 suited face cards
  • Ace
  • 2 unsuited face cards

For instance, when dealt an Ace with a face card, you keep only the Ace unless it is the same suit as the Ace. Also, when dealt two Aces with another pair, you keep only the Aces. You would even break up a Full House if it contained three Aces. These are three of the main strategy differences for All Aces (compared to JOB and Bonus Poker) that you need to keep in mind while playing.

Where To Play All Aces

With a return of over 99.9%, we just need a little help from bonuses or comps to turn this game in our favor. I played most of the available sign-up bonuses, so I am left with reload bonuses. The table below details the sites I like to play. If you haven't played all the Microgaming casinos, see for a list of video poker sign-up bonuses.

CasinoComp RateReload BonusesSign-Up Bonus
Miami Paradise0.02%12.5% EZBonus150% up to $45
Roxy Palace0.04%15% Bi-Weekly100% up to $100
Ruby Fortune0.1%By Invite125% up to $100
Spin Palace0.1%By Invite100% up to $75

My Results

I started playing All Aces on May 28th and used every opportunity to claim reload bonuses and comp points as I could. The results thus far
are summarized in the table below.

CasinoDepositBonusEnd Balance
(Cash In)
Net Win (Loss)Cumulative Wins (Losses)
Ruby Fortune$20None$0($20)($20)
Ruby Fortune$50None$0($50)($70)
Roxy Palace$40None$0($40)($110)
Roxy Palace$50$7.50$0($50)($160)
Roxy Palace$70$10.50$0($70)($230)
Miami Paradise$200$25$0($200)($430)
Ruby Fortune$50None$250$200($230)
Miami Paradise$50$6.25$250$200($30)
Spin Palace$20None$0($20)($50)
Roxy Palace$75$11.25$0($75)($125)
Miami Paradise$50$6.25$500$450$325
Roxy Palace$50$7.50$0($50)$275
Ruby Fortune$50$25$0($50)$225
CasinoDepositBonusEnd Balance
(Cash In)
Net Win (Loss)Cumulative Wins (Losses)

As you can see, this game can be a wild ride. I hit a low of ($430) before turning it around with some lucky sessions and finally hit 4-Aces at Miami Paradise Casino.