An Overview of Shockwave Poker Video Poker Variant

August 19th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

Shockwave Poker is the newest video poker variant created by CTXM, an online casino software developer. It is now only available through the instant play mode at Bodog Casino. The video poker variant can be played in real money games or practice mode.

Visual Differences from Other Variants

The game differs from standard video poker variants in several ways. First, it is visually different as the arena is set to a futuristic background with different cards. All picture cards such as Kings, Queens and Jacks are crafted like alien robots. Also, the regular card pictures are arranged differently to attract new players.

Payout Table

Also, the payout table for the game begins at Jacks or Better, but not the regular Jacks or Better most players are accustomed too. Instead, Shockwave Poker offers the 8/5 variant where a full house pays 8-to-1 while the standard versions offer 9/6 Jacks or Better with a 9-to-1 full house payout and 6-to-1 flush payout.  Additionally, the payout for two pairs has been reduced to even money from 2-to-1.

Directions for Playing the Game

The game begins similar to any other video poker variant. Players are first required to select the number of coins and denomination from $0.10 to $5.00. The first hand is dealt and players must select which cards to hold. All remaining cards are replaced and the final hand is tallied. Gameplay can be controlled through the usual buttons in other variants. Also, a doubling bonus is available after each win which allows players to stake their entire win to double up.

Shockwave Mode Bonus Round

Shockwave mode is triggered when the player acquires a four-of-a-kind hand. During this mode, the player receives ten free hands immediately beginning with the next hand following the four-of-a-kind. If the player receives a second four-of-a-kind during the Shockwave mode, the player is paid at a bonus rate.

Final Determination of the Game

The greatest limitation of the game is that the bonus rate is never displayed or is not present in the help files. Therefore, players are completely unable to conduct a cost-benefit analysis and decide whether the lower payouts are adequately compensated. Unfortunately, to acquire two four-of-a-kind hands within only ten or less hands is extremely rare. Therefore, based on the little information provided, it is best to play Shockwave Poker in the practice mode only.

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Understanding Paylines in Video Slot Games

October 19th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

The most common video slot games have five reels that sequentially align when a button is pressed. Greater than 90 percent of all video slot games follow this specific format. A payline is a combination of symbols displaying on the reel that pays out an amount. For instance, a payline occurs when all the same symbol aligns in the second row of all five reels which would be a winning combination according to the payout table.

The largest category of games found in online casinos is video slots. Within any given game, the number of paylines varies from 5 to 1024. Therefore, the trend indicates the greater number of paylines, the increased frequency of wins. However, do more paylines equate to a greater amount of return to the player?

An example is in order to answer this question. Let’s take a video slot game with 15 paylines. Without changing the payout table of any rules, by increasing the number of paylines to 25, the average return increases considerably. It is possible to go beyond a 100% return and wipe out the finances of the casino. Unfortunately, this does not indicate that every video slot game with 25 paylines offers better return over 15 paylines.

Instead, paylines only represent one of many factors contributing to the average return. There are many other factors such as:

  • Payouts
  • The payout table
  • Number of bonus games offering payout
  • Frequency of symbols on different reels

Therefore, if you encounter a video slot game with a high number of paylines, chances are the other factors have been adjusted to make up for this large quantity. The average return will always linger around 95%. Therefore, choosing a video slot game with a high number of paylines to win more often is not a correct strategy.

The primary reason online gaming software developers increase the number of paylines is to differentiate their games from the competition as well as improve innovation to attract new players. For instance, most slot games have between 9 and 50 paylines. Microgaming always takes the lead with a large number of paylines to diversify from the norm.

Most players feel a large number of paylines means their frequency of winning will drastically increase. Although this adds to the excitement of the hunt, over the long-term, the casino will win and the expected return of around 95% will prove to be true.

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