Video Poker Variations

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Many of the forms of Video Poker seen in casinos and online are simply basic 5-Card Draw Poker, Jacks or Better to win, with adjustments made to the pay tables. The games known as Double Bonus, Double Double Bonus, Triple Bonus, and so on award bigger prizes for certain combinations such as a Royal Flush or four Aces.

Other common variations, like Three Play, Five Play, Ten Play, Fifty Play and Hundred Play, allow the primary hand to be played numerous times at once, but are otherwise the same as Jacks or Better. True innovation is seen, however, in some of the newer versions of Video Poker, which require different thinking and strategies in order to win. Literally dozens have been created. Here are some of the more popular variations available today.

Joker Poker – This version of Jacks or Better is played with 53 cards. A wild joker has been added to the deck and can be substituted for any other card. The lowest winning hand may be a pair of Kings or Aces, although some variations require at least two pair for a payout. Five of a Kind is the second highest hand after a Natural Royal Flush. A variation of this called “Joker Joker Poker” features 54 cards and two wild jokers.

Deuces Wild – It’s still Jacks or Better, but deuces can be substituted for any other card, thus allowing special hands to be made, such as Five of a Kind, which typically pays less than a Wild Royal Flush but more than a straight flush. The lowest winning hand is Three of a Kind. Four Deuces usually outrank a Wild Royal, but not a Natural Royal. The version called “Loose Deuces” has a bonus round, where drawing a card higher than the Dealer’s card doubles the winnings.

Anything’s Wild – This video poker game allows the player to select any rank as the wild card. Thereafter, it plays like Deuces Wild, with three of a Kind being the lowest winning hand.

Ace Invaders – This is Three Play Jacks or Better with a twist. When three lines are active, gravity will pull down any Aces to the hand immediately below if they help make the hand rank higher.

Ultimate X Poker – Select three, five or ten hands to play at a time. Bonus multipliers for each hand are determined by the value of the current hand in play and applied to the next hand. Although Ultimate X Poker pays the standard 800-to-1 for a Royal Flush, the multipliers can be worth 2~12 times that. To access the multipliers, additional credits must be purchased.

Spin Poker – Combining the spinning motion of a three-reel slot machine with Video Poker, this is a one- to nine-line game that spin-draws cards in three hands. The primary hand is dealt on the center payline, and identical hands are dealt from two additional decks, one above the main hand and another below. Cards held on the center hand are also held in the top and bottom hands. Pressing the Draw button spins the unheld cards in each hand, resulting in up to nine different winning combinations. When “Max Bet” is wagered on all nine lines, a successful Royal Flush pays 216,000 credits.

Multi-Strike Poker – This clever Video Poker game has four levels of hands, each of which is worth twice as much as the one below. Much like an arcade game, the first level must produce a winning combination to move up to the second level, and so on to the top. Random “Free Ride” cards are dealt to allow automatic access to the next level.

Big Split Poker – Loosely based on Pai Gow Poker, eight cards are dealt, which must be arranged into two poker hands: a five card hand and a three card hand. The object is “qualify” for a win with pairs of Jacks and Twos or better in the five-card hand. Pairs, Trips, Straights and Flushes count in the three-card hand. The top prize is 80,000 credits for a Royal Flush plus Three of a Kind. A Deuces Wild version, Joker Poker and Joker Joker Poker are also available.

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