How to Play High Speed Poker

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Published: 06/08/2012

Multi-hand High Speed Poker has been touted as the “Fastest Paced Poker Game Ever.” It is the creation of software developer Microgaming, a rather recent addition to the company’s Gold Series table games collection and most often seen at online casinos affiliated with the Microgaming Network.

Like the majority of online poker games, High Speed Poker is played against the dealer. The game features wagering in three forms—the Ante Bet, the Play Bet and an optional Bonus Bet. The latter offers payouts that depend on rank of the player’s hand, with bonuses awarded for hands containing Three of a Kind, Three Cards of the Same Suit or Three Cards of the Same Colour. In some versions of the game, there is also a Poker Bonus to add to the winning opportunities. It is given to players whose hands contain a Straight Flush, Three of a Kind or a Straight.

As the name implies, High Speed Poker is intended to be a fast game. The table features five betting positions so that an individual player may wager on up to five hands at a time. To start the game, a wager of at least one unit and no more than the table’s posted maximum must be made in the appropriate “Ante” circle in front of each position.

Once the Ante wagers have been made, three cards are dealt face up to each active position plus three cards face down to the dealer. One unusual aspect of this game that makes it go a bit faster than similar multi-hand games is that the cards are not dealt one at a time. They are instead dealt out in groups of three cards, which means less waiting time to see one’s hand.

The player has only one decision to make in High Speed Poker—to play on or to fold. A decision to fold, of course, means forfeiting the Ante wager. A decision to play on (or “call”) requires making an additional wager equal in amount to the original Ante. This second wager is placed in the “Play” circle on the table surface.

At this point, the dealer’s hand will be revealed, but it is not simply a case of the best hand wins. The dealer’s hand must contain at least a Queen or higher, otherwise it fails to “qualify.” In this case, the player receives a payout of even money for the Ante and the amount wagered for the “Play” bet is refunded, regardless of the value of the player’s hand.

However, if the dealer’s hand qualifies, three outcomes are possible. First, the dealer’s hand beats the player’s hand, in which case both the Ante and Play amounts are lost. Second, the dealer’s hand loses to the player’s hand, in which case the player receives even money for both the Ante and the Play bets. Third, the dealer’s and player’s hands are identical, resulting in a “push” with no winner or loser; both of the player’s wagers are refunded.

To aid the player in making quick decisions, the software flashes the value of each hand directly below the cards on the table. For example, a hand made up of J-K-10 shows as a “King High” whereas one composed 9-J-3 will show as “No Hand.” Strategically, it is a bad idea to make the Play bet with anything less than a Queen High hand. There is no drawing round, so the hands must stand as dealt and cannot be improved.

Those who wish to participate in the optional Bonus Bet must make their wagers at the time of the Ante. High Speed Poker rewards Three of a Kind with a payout of 27-to-1. Obtaining three cards of the same suit (spades, hearts, diamonds, or clubs) pays 6-to-1, while any three cards of the same color pays 2-to-1.

Published on: 06/08/2012

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