High Variance Forms of Video Poker in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Video Poker Machines
Video poker is one of the most popular games on a casino floor.  It is often the choice of experienced gamblers.  This is because of the low house edge and the fact that skill can improve the results.

The variance is lower in video poker compared to slots.  Each video poker game title and pay table offers its own swings.

It is always best to look for the best pay tables in a casino.  VPFree2.com is a great resource for this information.  Once a player has the knowledge of the best games, it is time to determine the level of variance desired.  Players with low-risk tolerance prefer lower variance games.  Gamblers with a higher bankroll and ability to withstand risk may prefer a game with major variance in an attempt to hit the big score.

Multi-hand Video Poker

Multi-hand video poker is the first step towards high variance.  Players start by deciding how many hands to play.  The machine then deals one hand.  The player chooses the cards he wishes to keep and they stay in every hand where a wager was made.  The video poker machine then replaces the discards across every hand.  Discards cannot return but the same cards can appear in multiple across hands.  A fresh card does not die just because it was dealt earlier in the draw on a lower hand.

Some machines offer as many as 100 hands.  Other options are 3, 5, 10, 25 and 50 hands.  The denominations are usually lower on these games than regular video poker machines that only deal one hand.  Unfortunately, the pay tables are usually lower, too.  The big hit comes when a jackpot hand is dealt.  This puts the monster hand across each one played.  A 100-play machine would award that many royal flushes if one was dealt in the first five cards.

Ultimate X

Ultimate X is a favorite among serious gamblers.  There are multiple reasons for this.  Ultimate X is a multi-hand video poker game.  The game is high stakes comparatively with the denominations available.  There is a bonus multiplier on winnings hands that apply to the cards dealt in the following hand.  This requires a five-coin bonus bet per line.  The pay tables are typically worse than a standard single hand video poker game.  The multipliers make up for some of this disadvantage.

Super Times Pay

Super Times Pay is a multi-hand game that requires the player to wager one extra coin per line for the bonus.  This feature randomly awards a multiplier that applies to every hand.  This occurs once every 15 hands.  The average multiplier is four.  That makes the extra coin worth more than just wagering the standard five coins.

Dream Card

Dream Card is a unique video poker game that does exactly as it sounds.  Players that wager an additional five coins per line can receive the chance of receiving a Dream Card on the fifth card.  This means that the perfect fit for the hand is dealt when the Dream Card feature is triggered.  A player that is dealt three of a kind when the Dream Card feature happens would receive a dealt four of a kind.  The Dream Card appears in all available hands.  This occurs about a third of time, depending on the video poker title.  The player has the option of changing the Dream Card to whatever he wishes, although the video poker machine will usually choose the best one based on the other four cards dealt.

Good Times Pay

Good Times Pay generates bonus pay on different hands that are determined through a random number generator.  The player may wager up to five additional coins per hand to trigger the feature.  The game will then apply a multiplier to each hand within the multi-play game.  Each hand often pays a different amount.  A multiplier may apply to one rank and not others.  For example, a flush and straight may pay seven times more than usual, while all other ranks stick to the standard payout schedule.

Multi-Strike Poker

Multi-Strike is a four-hand video poker game.  Unlike other multi-hand games, the cards in each are independent.  The player starts by getting dealt four cards.  The player may then double up or check before seeing the fifth card.  If the hand meets the minimum payout for a hand once the fifth card is revelaed, the second hand starts with the same structure where the game deals four cards and asks the player if he wants to raise.

The payout doubles on each line.  The first line is a single pay.  The second line is double.  The third goes up to four times, with the top line paying eight times.  The hand ends when a player does not make the minimum hand to continue.  In Jacks or Better, this is a pair of sixes or better.  A free ride occurs about once every 12 hands.   This means that a player moves on regardless of whether the hand obtains a payout tier.

Spin Poker

Spin Poker combines the thrill of video poker and slot machines.  Five cards are dealt on the screen.  There are nine lines.  A player determines what cards to hold based on the cards dealt across the center pay line.  The discards are removed and the game spins and replaces the discards across three lines, placing a total of fifteen cards on the screen.  There are three lines of five cards.  The nine lines are then used to determine the winner, much like a slot machine would.

Three Way Action

Three Way Action has three steps in the action.  The game is typically found in the Double Double Bonus format.  Five cards are dealt.  The player is immediately paid based on the quality of hand.  The minimum payout starts at a pair of 3’s on Double Double Bonus Poker.  The player then decides which cards to hold and draws for replacements.  This works in the same way that a traditional video poker hand would.  The hand is then ranked and paid accordingly.  Two more cards are then dealt, giving the player a total of seven cards.

The jackpot hand in the Double Double Bonus Poker version is four aces with three of a kind of twos, threes or fours.  Any quads with a trips kicker is a massive payoff.  This seven-card hand pays more than making a royal flush.  The goal is to get four of a kind aces on the five-card hand with a two, three or four kicker and hope it matches both of the last two cards.

Wheel Poker

Wheel Poker is available in three and five-card versions.  It triggers a bonus when a player makes four of a kind.  This feature requires an additional coin wagered per line.

There are two versions of Wheel Poker available.  One has a wheel on the top of the machine that resembles the Wheel of Fortune slot machine.  There is a coin prize on each spot on the wheel.

The other version is called Wheel Poker Deluxe.  This game does not pay a cash bonus.  Instead, it has a bonus round where the wheel spins with a new start hand.  This can include three or four to a royal flush, trips, four to a straight flush and two pair.  The player is dealt these cards and plays the hand for free with the bonus hand determined by the wheel.

John Mehaffey

John Mehaffey Expert on Las Vegas Casinos, Games, and Travel

John Mehaffey is a poker and casino expert who has been playing online games for money since 2001. He knows how to find the best video poker and table games and writes about casino players' clubs, promotions, and things to do in Las Vegas, where he currently resides.

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