The Evolution Of Microgaming Video Poker
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Video poker is a popular online casino game for several reasons. It replicates to some extent land casino poker. It is very simple in construction. It offers an unbelievably high average payout ratio of almost 100%. Therefore all online gaming software providers have a number of video poker variants in their suite of games.
Microgaming also offers many video poker games. Its standard format currently has more than 15 variants. These essentially follow the draw poker land casino games. Players are dealt five cards initially. They can choose to replace any number of these cards. The final hand is compared with a payout table. The different variants offered by Microgaming have been made interesting by introduction of jokers and wild cards and toggling around with hand rankings in pay tables. Some of the more popular variants are Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker and Aces and Faces.
The first innovation in video poker was the introduction of a progressive jackpot. Usually the Royal flush with maximum coins wagered gives a large fixed jackpot. In some of the games that has been converted to a progressive jackpot. As players wager on that game the jackpot amount keeps on increasing. The player who hits the royal flush gets the full amount. Jackpot Deuces and SupaJax are the progressive jackpot video poker games offered by Microgaming.
In the standard Microgaming video poker variants players can play only one hand at a time. The only disadvantage of video poker is that it gets monotonous after a while. Single hand games are more susceptible to this affliction. Therefore Microgaming introduced multi hand video poker in its Power Poker series. This series has by far the most number of video poker games offered by Microgaming. The games vary from 4 hand games to 100 hand games. In these games one hand is dealt first. The player marks which cards to hold. Then the held cards appear in all the hands. The remaining cards are dealt in each hand independently. Therefore the 100 hand game will have hundred different hands. Each hand is compared separately with the pay table and payouts made. Playing many hands simultaneously alleviates the boredom factor but on the flipside a larger bankroll is required.
Last year Microgaming introduced another innovation in its video poker games. This series of games called Level Up video poker makes the games much more interesting. In Level Up video poker players get to play four hands, not simultaneously as in Power Poker, but one after another. Each hand doubles the payouts of the previous one. However players can advance to the next level only if they have received a payout in the previous one. If they lose they can either collect their accumulated payout or try to double it in the gamble game. Microgaming has provided two interesting features in the Level Up games. One is a randomly awarded Free Ride that allows players to move to the next level even if they lose. The other is the Auto Complete which awards a compensatory payout if the player has been dealt a royal flush in the hands that he could not play. The most popular video poker variants are available in the Level Up format. These are Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker and Aces and Faces.