Bump-It-Up and Level-Up Video PokerBy: Adam Richards, Saturday February 26th 2011
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Bump-It-Up and Level-Up are video poker formats from the software providers Vegas Technology and Microgaming respectively. Level-Up was released by Microgaming a few years back and has five video poker variants including Jacks or Better, which was the first release. Vegas Technology has released this format just this month also with the Jacks or Better variant. This article compares and contrasts the games from the different software providers.
The basic game play is the same for both software providers. Players wager for four hands up front. The first hand is dealt and played out in the normal manner. If the player loses this hand then he loses his entire wager. If the player receives a payout in the first hand then he gets to play the second one and so on till the fourth level. At any loss the game ends but the player retains his accumulated winnings. In fact he can wager them in a gamble game with the possibility of doubling them or losing them all. The same procedure applies if the player wins all four levels. The important feature in both Bump-It-Up and Level-Up is that the payouts are doubled at each level.
Bump-It-Up Jacks or Better from Vegas Technology offers just the bare game described above. But Level-Up from Microgaming adds two interesting features. The first is the Free Ride Card. This is awarded randomly at any of the first three levels. If this card is awarded then the player can move to the next level even if he does not get a winning hand. The second feature is the Royal Flush Auto Complete. If the player is out of the game before completing all four levels, and if he happened to be dealt a royal flush in any of the levels that he could not play then he will be given the payouts for the royal flush.
Hence the player does have an advantage in the Microgaming Level-Up as compared to Vegas Technology Bump-It-Up in the game play. One would have expected Microgaming to compensate for this in the payout table. But this has not been done. Both software providers have used the standard Jacks or Better payout table for one coin wagered. There is no difference in the payouts for one coin. Bump-It-Up from Vegas Technology allows players to wager up to four coins and the payouts are the same as in the basic table but multiplied by the number of coins. Microgaming Level-Up allows players to wager up to five coins as is the practice in the normal video poker games at online casinos. All payouts are in multiples of the number of coins wagered, except for royal flush with five coins wagered. The payout is 4,000 coins instead of 1,250 coins had multiples been applied. Therefore the Microgaming version scores in the payout table as well.
There is one area in which the Vegas Technology game scores over the Microgaming one and that is the coin size range. In Bump-It-Up the coin size starts from $0.01 and goes to $10.00. In Level-Up it starts from $0.10 and goes up to $1.00. Therefore both low rollers and high rollers are better catered for in the Vegas Technology Bump-It-Up game in this respect.
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