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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A Review of Winners at Table Games Progressive Jackpots

June 6th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

Major hits on progressive jackpots at online gaming sites are always a big topic for discussion. However, it is rare to hear about progressive jackpot hits at table games and video poker. This is primarily because the hits are not as large or as glamorous as slot machines. Several table game progressive jackpots were recently hit.

Playtech Progressive Blackjack Jackpot

The most recent win of a progressive jackpot game occurred at an online game of Blackjack through a Playtech-powered casino. The hit occurred on May 22nd, 2011 for a total of $76, 787 and was the largest hit in six months. The player hit the progressive jackpot by being dealt four aces of the same suit. Also, to activate the jackpot, a side bet was required. The Playtech Progressive Blackjack is available at Casino Tropez and Omni Casino.

Vegas Technology Progressive Blackjack

An identical Progressive Blackjack is also provided by Vegas Technology. Similar to Playtech, the jackpot is hit when a player is dealt four aces of the same suit. A hit on this game also recently occurred on May 18th for $160,059. The Vegas Technology Progressive Blackjack is only available at Online Vegas Casino and Go Casino.

Let’em Ride Progressive Jackpot

Bodog online casino is powered by Realtime Gaming but the progressive jackpots are not linked into the Realtime Gaming Network. Instead, the casino has a stand-alone progressive jackpot. On May 20th, the Let’em Ride progressive was hit for the amount of $104, 397. Around the same time, the Realtime Gaming Network Let’em Ride progressive jackpot was hit for $172, 887.

Megajacks Jackpot

Megajacks, a popular video poker online game from Playtech, was also recently hit numerous times. Megajacks utilizes the Jacks or Better payout table which resulted in the jackpot being hit numerous times between $910 and $3,551. The jackpot is activated when a player draws a royal flush with all five coins wagered.

The Growth of the Cryptologic Progressive Blackjack

However, despite the many recent hits during the final weeks of May 2011, there are several jackpots that continue to grow. The Cryptologic Progressive Blackjack is at over $80,910 and is available at InterCasino and VIP Casino. The game holding this wealth is called Triple Sevens.

Progressive jackpots are an excellent method of increasing the amount of traffic at a casino. Although there were recently many hits on these progressives, they tend to build a large sum back up quickly. This proves that table game progressives can be just as profitable as slot game jackpots.

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An Introduction to Smart Phone Video Poker

April 4th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

International Game Technology (IGT) is a designer and manufacturer of computer-based gaming equipment such as slot machines. As a result, the company has their hand in almost every aspect of gaming. Through WagerWorks, the company is able to develop online games for casinos. IGT has expanded their operations to include mobile gambling such as their recent announcement of Jacks or Better video poker for handheld devices.

Jacks or Better Gameplay

Jacks or Better is currently offered at a number of WagerWorks online casinos. Due to the game’s success online, players will be able to enjoy the action on their iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android gadgets. The mobile version of Jacks or Better is similar to the online variant in which players are distributed five cards from a 52-card deck and have the option to discard or hold. The lowest paying hand is a pair of Jacks.

The Main Difference in Games

The primary difference between the mobile and online versions is whenever the player receives any type of payout, the “Double-Up” features is activated. This bonus requires players to select between red, black and collect. If a color is chosen and the next card dealt matches the color selected, the previous amount won is doubled. If the color does not match, they lose their winnings. The collect button allows players to keep their current winnings and not participate in the game.

Adding Value to Online Casino Operators

The Vice-President of IGT stated that this is an innovative product that will add significant value to mobile and online casino operator’s portfolio. With the advances in smart device technology, software development companies will be able to exhibit their strengths while building on popular online game titles to create an instantly recognizable online brand.

A Variety of Jacks or Better

At its online gaming sites, WagerWorks delivers a variety of Jacks or Better video poker games with the two most popular being Phantom Belle and Lucky Draw. The standard version is Phantom Belle Jacks or Better which is visually attractive due to advanced animation. Lucky Draw Jacks or Better features a western-theme with a four hand format.

With the slow expansion of online gaming to the mobile platform, this gives players additional ways to access their favorite games. In the near future, it is expected that the mobile device platform will explode for shopping, internet usage and of course, online gamble. Therefore, IGT seems to be far ahead of the competition with their continued mobile releases of popular online gambling games.

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New Video Poker Game Released by Vegas Technology

March 3rd, 2011  |  Published in Gambling Games

Vegas Technology, one of the leaders in online gaming developed, recently released a new video poker game. This is the first time the company has gone live with a game that is not a variant of slots.  Known as, Bump-It-Up, the game places an innovative twist on video poker. The chosen video poker variant is Jacks or Better.

Multi-hand Video Poker

The players have the option of playing four hands at the same time. However, Bump-It-Up pays out in double multiples which differ from most multi-hand video poker games. For instance, the second hand pays 2x, the third hand pays 4x and the fourth hand pays out 8x the normal winnings. The catch is the player must beat each level to advance to the next multiplier. The coin size varies between $0.01 and $5.00 with players selecting up to four wagers.

Therefore, if a player chooses to bet on all hands with four $5.00 coins per bet, the maximum wager is $80 which will be immediately deducted from the player’s casino balance. The payout table is available at all video poker games and is displayed in coins as per the number of coins wagered. There is a direct correlation between the number of coins wagered and the payout.

Winning the Game

After the betting denomination is placed, the player clocks the Deal button followed by the distribution of cards. Like most other video poker games, the player can hold specific cards and eliminate those that do not help their hand. If no winning hand combination is determined in the first round, the game is over and the player loses all wagers (even those placed for four hands).

On the other hand, if there is a win in the first round, the player will advance to the second and automatically keep the initial winnings. At this point, the payouts are doubled, based on the payout chart. As the player progresses, the winnings are multiplied for that level. If the player loses at any level, they cannot progress to the next round be do keep their accumulated winnings.

Doubling Up

Another option is to double the accumulated winnings. On the winners screen, there is a button titled Double. This is a bonus game of sorts in which the player is dealt four cards, three down, one up. The player must select any of the face down cards and will win if that card is of higher value than the face up card. A loss results in the player losing all bets.

This game puts an innovative spin on a classic betting game. The addition of multipliers makes this game extremely fun and can be highly profitable. Look for this game at all Vegas Technology casinos.

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A Closer Look at Unusual Video Poker Games

November 16th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Video poker is an excellent game to learn due to the many variants that continue to develop. Different online software developers offer video poker games that only differ slightly. These typically include:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Joker Poker
  • Deuces Wild

As a result, online gaming developers have created innovative variants of these classic versions to stand out from the competition. It is worthwhile playing these games occasionally to veer from the monotony that can occur from the standard games. Some of these games display minor differences from the traditional games while others are significantly different.

Playtech released a game called 2 Ways Royal which is the same video poker game with a different pay table. The Royal Flush is a straight-flush of the top five cards. In 2 Ways Royal this is known as a Hi Royal Flush while the bottom cards are a Lo Royal Flush. Both pay out 4,000 coins with 5 wagered.

Cryptologic has developed a series of video poker games that parallel the traditional standard. The first is known as Bonus Video Poker which has the same rules as the regular version except the discarded cards are placed back into the deck which is shuffled prior to dealing replacement cards. This is a disadvantage to players as they can potentially be dealt the same cards they just discarded.

To compensate for this disadvantage, Bonus Video Poker pays a bonus if the player receives the same card they rejected. The bonus payout is a percent of the total amount wagered. The percentage varies per casino but is typically between 15% and 21%.

Microgaming has also created a video poker variant called Level Up Poker. The game begins with the player placing four equal wagers for four hands. The cards in the first hand are distributed. If the player wins they proceed to the next level, if they lose, four more hands are dealt. As the player advances to the next round, the payouts double if they win. If the player wins all four hands, they win eight times the original payout.

These three video poker variants give players a new and exciting way to play the game and give the casino an advantage over the competition with regards to game selection. New games are introduced regularly to please the customer and improve the experience of the online gaming site.

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Visit Ruby Royal Online Casino

November 3rd, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

Ruby Royal Casino is a new casino powered by Rival Gaming software. Owned and operated by Silverstone Overseas Limited (a segment of Bonne Chance NV), Ruby Royal is regulated by the reputable gaming country of Curacao. The casino opened in 2009 and provides some excellent advantages with only a few minor disadvantages.

There are five primary advantages to playing at Ruby Royal Online Casino, many of which are not evident in the competitive online gaming industry. These include:

  • Excellent software features
  • Plethora of games
  • High matching bonus
  • Top-notch customer support
  • Accepts American players

The first noticeable benefit of this casino is the excellent software features. The software is available for instant play on the internet or via downloaded application. Also, there are plenty of full screen animations and the layout of the casino is easily navigable. Furthermore, the random number generator within the software is certified by CertainKey Cryptosystems to ensure fair play.

Another benefit is the plethora of games offered by the casino. Ruby Royal provides over 100 games including, progressive slots, classic slots, I-slots, video slots, table games, scratch and win, video poker and specialty games. The I-slots variant, which is interactive slots that follow a story and offer bonus rounds, is the most popular game at the casino.

Additionally, the casino offers a high welcome bonus of 200% up to $1000 with a minimum purchase of $25. Other bonuses include Refer-a-Friend and Alternative Payment. Furthermore, top-notch customer support is available for all of your questions via live chat, telephone and email. Finally, the Ruby Royal accepts players from the United States.

Despite these many advantages of this casino, there are a few disadvantages. First, unlike their competitors, there are no VIP levels. As you play, you are not accumulating points at different levels. Second, the progressive games have a low payout compared to other casinos. These disadvantages are fairly insignificant compared to the excellent advantages this casino provides.

Ruby Royal is a top-notch casino with many software features and games available to the average player.  Also, there is a large matching bonus for first time players and the customer support rivals any casino in the industry. Best of all, they accept American players which puts them greatly ahead of those casinos that do not. Overall, Ruby Royal Online Casino is a great place to try your luck.

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A Review of Realtime Gaming

September 20th, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

Realtime Gaming was established in both Atlanta and Costa Rica in 1999, prior to the internet gaming boom. Due to over 10 years in the online gaming industry, they have built a reputation among owners and players as being one of the top online gaming casino providers in the industry. Realtime Gaming offers a wide variety of gambling options, with the most famous being their “Real Series” of slot games.

Since the passing of the UIGEA, the company is the industry leader in those accepting wagers from United States players. As a result, they have cornered this particular market segment.

There are many advantages of Realtime Gaming software including:

  • Small game sizes
  • High hit frequency
  • Easy navigation
  • Numerous game selection
  • Top video poker software
  • Great customization

One major advantage is the small game sizes within the downloadable client. Also, the frequency of winning the progressive jackpot is higher than other casinos. Additionally, the lobby and games offer easy navigation. Furthermore, there are over 100 games to play at those casinos utilizing this software with more added constantly. Also, Realtime Gaming offers some of the best video poker software in the industry.

Finally, Realtime Gaming software offers excellent customization options for the owners. For instance, operators have the luxury of selecting the limit of the payout percentages for each individual game. Most other gaming software providers only allow the operators to set a universal payout percentage.

There are only a few advantages to utilizing this software including:

  • Lackluster download client
  • Not the biggest global provider
  • Audio and visuals are average

One of the primary complaints is that the download client is sub par. It can be slow at times and has not received great reviews. Also, although they are a major provider for United States players, globally the company is on the small side. Furthermore, the sound and graphics are standard and on par with competitors, there is nothing that stands out.

Realtime Gaming has been around for a long time and has been able to tweak their software to cater to changing needs and business demands. They are a robust and solid online gaming provider that continues to show many advantages with little disadvantages. For online gaming operators (especially those looking to attract players from the United States), Realtime Gaming software should be at the top of the list.

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Novice Video Poker Tips

August 30th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

There are a number of variants of video poker games found at both online and land-based casinos. For a new player, this can be a difficult choice. Also, beginners will need to find a game appropriate for their skill level.

Luckily, there are a few tips for novice video poker players. These pointers include:

  • Avoid multi-hand games
  • Choose the most basic variant
  • Research different online casinos

Online casinos make these tasks much easier for new players. The video poker games are usually divided into two categories; single hands and multi-hand games.  Single hand games are just that, one hand per session. Conversely multi-hand games can range from 4 to 100 simultaneous hands. An increased number of hands equates to faster-paced game play and a more interesting experience. Ideally, new players should begin with single hand games until they feel comfortable.

Since there are so many different types of video poker games available, it is important to choose the most basic variant which is Jacks or Better. This is because the play is simpler than other versions and the strategy is easier to learn. Other types add new elements that improve variety, but might be confusing to a new player. Additional variants include; the addition of wild cards, Deuces Wild and Aces and Faces.

Most online casinos offer video poker with the Jacks or Better variant. However, does one software provider have an easier Jacks or Better game than another? The rules and payout will be the same, there is a single feature found in some casinos that make the game play much easier; when a player has a winning hand combination the software automatically marks them as “Hold”. This feature prevents new players from throwing away a winning hand.

As a result, new players should conduct research to find online casinos that offer this feature. It can easily be found by perusing different casinos and even emailing the support desk so you do not have to sign up at multiple sites to find this beneficial feature.

New players to video poker should not be disheartened by finding the simplest version of video poker. Instead, look at it as making an informed choice as a customer and saving your hard earned money from placing wagers on complicated games. By practicing and following the previously mentioned tips, you will be able to advance to different versions quickly.

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Grand Vegas Online Casino Review

August 19th, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

Grand Vegas Casino is yet another online gaming entity that accepts players from the United States. Grand Vegas is powered by Vegas Technology software and is brought to you by the developers of GoCasino, Online Vegas Casino and Crazy Slots Casinos. The Casino is regulated in Curacao, a reputable gaming country.

There are a few advantages of playing at Grand Vegas Casino including:

  • Weekly bonuses
  • Well-rounded offering of casino games
  • Accepts United States players
  • Low wagering

The initial sign-up bonus for new players is 100% of their first deposit up to $555 with a minimum deposit of $25. Grand Vegas Casino offers reload bonuses every Tuesday and Friday with the option of a deposit bonus or cash back. Also, players can choose a prepaid gift card bonus.

Grand Vegas Casino also offers over 100 games categorized into four groups; Slot games, Table games, Video Poker games and Specialty games. The Slot games category is the largest and provides seven reel, five reel and three reel games in addition to progressive jackpots. Popular games like baccarat, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker and video poker are offered in addition to specialty games.

Another nice feature is the acceptance of players from the United States. This opens up a whole new market for Grand Vegas Casino while providing an additional gaming experience for U.S. players. Additionally, Grand Vegas Casino offers lower wagers for those new to the game or the online gaming experience.

Finally, the software and graphics are visually-rich and appealing to all players. The navigation around the site is easy due to the availability of the most important functions directly in the lobby. This adds to the ease of use of the site.

On the other hand, there are a few disadvantages to playing at Grand Vegas Casino. First, the VIP Club is by invitation only. Other online casinos allow all players to enter their VIP Club to accumulate points. Another limitation is that bets can only be made in U.S. dollars. Therefore those overseas will have to use a currency calculator prior to making a deposit or withdrawal.

Due to being in a large network of casinos, Grand Vegas has a lot to offer with minimal limitations. With excellent promotions and a signup bonus, a variety of games with progressive jackpots, low wagering amounts and excellent software and graphics, Grand Vegas Casino will become an industry leader in the near future.

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The Essential Strategy for Video Poker

August 19th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Video poker is an extremely popular casino game because of the payouts. Some pay a return of over 100 percent while others pay close to 100 percent. When playing correct poker, over the long run, Video Poker has the potential to be profitable to many players. However, a few simple mistakes can take away the slight advantage you may have. Therefore it is vital to utilize strategy and play hands correctly throughout the course of each session.

Each video poker game has its own strategy in order to be successful. At a casino or online, it is beneficial to utilize a strategy card. It is similar to a cheat sheet, displaying the correct method of play for each hand. Utilizing this card will help you maximize your return. Practice at a play money table in an online casino using the strategy card prior to entering into a live game.

Once prepared for a live game, head to a real-money game with your strategy card. While utilizing the card, the main tactic to implement is the basic strategy. This is primarily used by beginners but is relevant to all players. The basic strategy can be used for three common Video Poker games including:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Deuces Wild
  • Double Bonus Poker

The strategy is based on the odds given on the chart. To use it, simply glance at the hand you are dealt. Next start from the top of the strategy chart and move down the list until you reach your hand. The hand nearest the top is the correct hand to play. Many charts come color-coded to make it easy to find the correct hand. Also, lower-case letters such as “s” indicate cards of the same suit. For example, QJs indicates Queen-Jack suited (of any suit).

Strategy cards are an invaluable tool in Video Poker. They can give you an edge which results in maximized profits with the correct playing technique. It is always beneficial to have handy at a casino or at an online casino in the case there is a hand which you do not know how to play.

Video Poker can be a simple game if you are familiar with the rules and hand-rankings in poker. Strategy cards will help you a considerable amount. There are other Video Poker strategies available, but for beginners, focus on the basic strategy. Once mastered, move on to the advanced strategy which is more complicated but can slightly further improve your edge.

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