Casinos

While many games have made a successful transition from brick-and-mortar casinos to online casinos, a chosen few have emerged with fresh ideas and a potential for future innovation. One of these is video poker, the happy medium between a slot machine’s instant gratification and draw poker’s more strategic gameplay.

Video poker games have been relatively consistent in form and function for many years; five cards, one chance to discard and finish with the best possible hand. During video poker’s tenure at brick-and-mortar casinos, we saw the humble advent of bonus jackpots and wild card games, but it took the online transition to uncover some serious room for potential in the basic design.

First of all, progressive jackpots became possible. Once mainly a feature on slots, the increased scope of the Internet allowed online casinos to offer expanded connections between virtual video poker machines, with lucrative potential for payoffs. While not often reaching the seven-figure mark enjoyed by progressive slots enthusiasts, progressive video poker machines grant you, the player, much more of a chance to win the five or six figure jackpots that they regularly offer.

Multihand video poker is another online specialty. Instead of playing one hand at a time, you can choose multiple hands…in some cases, 100 hands in one single game! The most common variety show three to five hands on the screen at once, and you can either play them exactly as you would a normal hand, or select ‘columns’ of cards to replace all at once. Sometimes you have to make the hard decision of getting rid of a low-paying sure thing to try for a possible big win, but that’s the gamble…

If many hands at once is too overwhelming, how about playing them one by one? In multi-round video poker, some of the tournament poker craze has made its mark on the online video poker world. Your overall score is totaled as you play successive hands; losing once may knock you out of the game for good, or it may just make getting to the next level that much more difficult.

Related to multihand AND multi-round video poker is the ‘drop down’ video poker game, in which a Tetris-like gravity simulator pulls down cards from the top rows when you clear cards in the lower rows. A dose of more-than-usual strategy applies here, as you struggle to make hands using not only the luck of the draw but the placement of winning cards in a hand!