The video poker games offered by the different online gaming software providers at their casinos are largely the same. They consist of Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker and similar variants. Therefore some of the leading software providers have introduced unique variants or formats of video poker so as to make their online casinos stand out. It is worthwhile trying out these unusual video poker variants from time to time so as to get a break from the routine games that can get monotonous after a while.
Some of the games have only minor differences to the usual video poker variants whereas other games are radically different. Playtech offers a game called 2 Ways Royal that has only a simple difference in the pay table. Normally the Royal Flush is defined as the top five cards, from ten to ace, which are of the same suit. In 2 Ways Royal this hand is defined as Hi Royal Flush. The bottom five cards, from two to six, of the same suit make up the Lo Royal Flush. Both the Hi Royal Flush and the Lo Royal Flush pay out 4000 coins with five coins wagered. Either Royal Flush has a miniscule probability of occurring, and therefore the benefit given by this additional payline is a fraction of a percent. But the best thing is that there is no corresponding take away and therefore the player has nothing to lose.
Cryptologic offers a parallel series of video poker games to the normal one. This is called Bonus Video Poker and has the same variants as normal series. In video poker games the cards that replaced from the dealt hand are discarded and cannot be dealt again. However in Bonus Video Poker the discarded cards are placed back in the remaining deck, which is shuffled prior to dealing the replacement cards. Therefore the players can be dealt the cards that they had rejected and this puts them at a disadvantage. Therefore Bonus Video Poker compensates them in an innovative manner. If a rejected card is dealt again then the player receives a bonus payout. This bonus payout is a percentage of the total amount wagered for that hand and is different for different video poker variants. The percentage ranges between 15% and 21%.
Microgaming has introduced a new format called Level Up Poker. The player places four identical wagers for four hands. The cards for the first hand are dealt and the player plays this hand in the normal manner. If the player wins this hand only then can he proceed to the next level. The benefit to the player is that his payouts are automatically doubled in the next level should he win. If the players has winning hands in all four levels he is paid at normal rates for the first hand, at doubled rates for the second hand, at quadrupled rates for the third hand and at eight times for the fourth hand. If the player loses in between he can collect his accumulated winnings or stake them in a double or quits game.
Realtime Gaming has a radically different video poker game that is not based on the usual draw poker format but on the stud poker format. In this game, called 7 Stud Poker, the player is dealt seven cards and chooses the five cards that make the highest ranking poker hand. The innovative feature is that all the cards are not revealed at the same time. Only two cards are revealed up front. The player is given an opportunity to raise his wager based on these two cards. The third card is then revealed and the player faces the same options. After that the fourth card is revealed with the player having the same options. Ultimately the player makes his final wager and all the cards are revealed. If the highest ranking poker hand matches the payout table then the player receives the corresponding payout.