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Best of John Grochowski
So naturally enough, video poker was a big part of the IGT both at Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, with games including new Ace-based multipliers and a marriage of poker and keno.
The multipliers come in Ultimate Aces, a multihand game. Every time an Ace or multiple Aces come up on screen, they create multipliers that make your winning hands more valuable. The multiplier format has served IGT well in games such as Ultimate X and Super Times Pay.
Triple Play Keno Draw Poker features Triple Play Poker with an optional side bet on a keno card. The keno card not only has its own wins and pay table, but also creates multipliers for the poker hand. Alternatively, IGT is offering a poker-keno combo with a single poker hand tied to four keno cards. For those who can’t decide between poker and keno at a multigame machine, here’s your game
There’s some fun bonusing in Triple Play Poker with Match Card. At the end of a draw, you get three cards off to the side. If there’s a match between hand and extra card, you get a multiplier. As IGT’s video poker demonstrated, a match with a 6 of clubs multiplied winnings by three. The multipliers can go up to 11x if two of the extra cards are matches. Daley demonstrated a hand in which the Match Cards included Kings of diamonds and hearts. The bottom hand was a big winner with four Kings, and since it matched two of the extra cards, the quads were multiplied by 11. When you get a multiplier on a big hand, it’s almost as good as drawing a royal flush.
While IGT rules the video poker roost, slot giant WMS Gaming and relatively new, creative competitor Incredible Technologies are trying to claim a niche. Both were showing off poker product at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.
WMS had on display two products I’d mentioned here after a visit to its studios this summer. My Poker offers players customization features including card style, position of the cards on the screen, even a sequencing option so the initial deal is displayed in order of card rank or with suits grouped together. That makes it easy for players to tell at a glance if they have a draw for a straight or a flush.
I’m intrigued by its Winning Streak Poker, a new approach to multihand games. If you have a winning hand, it’s moved up a level signifying a one-times pay table winner, and you’re dealt a second hand. Win again, and the second hand moves to the 1x slot, while the first moves up to 2x, where additional wins move it to 5x and 10x. You keep playing as long as the winning streak holds up.
Incredible Technologies rolled out an upgraded version of the Magic Touch multigame machine with an updated operating system that allows for progressive jackpots. A new user interface adds information such as player speed and a skill rating. As on its initial video poker games, IT offers the ProTip feature, where you earn tips as you play. Then, when a difficult strategy decision comes up, you can rely on the pro. The tips are accurate too --- I checked.
Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44); Twitter (@GrochowskiJ) and at casinoanswerman.com.
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