Cryptologic New Video Poker FormatBy: Fabian Rictor, Tuesday July 27th 2010
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About two years ago Microgaming introduced a new video poker format called Level Up Video Poker. Four common video poker variants were launched in that format in the space of half a year or so and then this format appears to have been shelved. Probably the response was not what Microgaming expected. Level Up Video Poker did heighten the excitement of wagering by providing four hands with doubled payouts each time. But there was nothing in the game that required different or more complex skill and strategy. After the initial thrill a sense of déjà vu set in the video poker players. Now another online gaming software developer, Cryptologic, seems to have overcome this barrier. Last week it has released a video poker variant called Over Poker that should make online video poker players think more than they are used to. Cryptologic describes this video poker games as follows. "Over Poker is an exciting, patented video poker-style game that gives you more control over the cards and the hands you play."
The goal of Over Poker is the same as in any video poker game, which is to try and get as high a poker ranking hand as possible. The hand rankings are the same as in traditional poker hands. The payouts are displayed on the pay table in the game. Though the payouts begin from Jacks or Better, the amounts of the payouts are less than in the standard Jacks or Better payout table. This is to neutralize the advantage that players derive from the mechanics of the game.
There are levels, but these should not be confused with the levels in Microgaming's Level Up poker. In Level Up the player moves to a higher level only after completing and winning a hand at the lower level. In Over Poker it is possible to have cards at higher levels without completing the lower level game. Two cards are dealt upfront in the lowest level. Thereafter cards are dealt one at a time. For each new card dealt (this excludes replacement cards) players have to exercise one of three options - Hold, Discard or Shift. Shift moves the card to a higher level. Players can keep on moving cards upwards, but for each new level they start they have to place a new wager identical to their original one. Ultimately they have to complete the games at each level.
Another new feature in Over Poker is that players have a choice of three skins - army, factory and wooden. Over Poker can be played in all Cryptologic online casinos like InterCasino. Cryptologic says, "Experienced poker players will love this game and beginners will find it very easy to learn." Only time will tell how online video poker players respond to this new format. Whether it will be the hot new video poker game and spawn many variants or whether it will languish at Cryptologic online casinos?
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