Innovative RTG Casino Video Poker GamesBy: Adam Richards, Thursday December 31st 2009
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Video poker variants by and large are standard across online gaming software providers. In order to differentiate itself from the pack, Realtime Gaming (RTG) has introduced a couple of innovative video poker variants at its online casinos. These are Mystery Bonus Poker and Pick'em Poker.
Mystery Bonus Poker has the usual Jacks or Better as its base. The payout table is like the Jacks or Better table and the mechanics of play is the same as that of any RTG video poker game. The extra feature is the Mystery Bonus Feature. After the player places the wager he clicks on the Draw button to deal the cards. Before the cards are dealt, the Mystery Bonus Poker wheel on the right side of the screen spins and reveals a type of hand like Two Pair or Flush. The cards are then dealt and the game proceeds in the normal way. If the final hand matches with that indicated by the Mystery Bonus hand the player receives doubled payouts. The player receives a payout based on the payout table and also receives an identical payout for getting the Mystery Bonus Hand.
The attraction of the Mystery Bonus hand puts players in a quandary. At times the usual Jacks or Better strategy would give them a better chance of winning as per the payout table but would eliminate any chance of getting the Mystery Bonus Hand. If players try to play for the Mystery Bonus hand they will be reducing their chances of getting a winning hand altogether. Since the players are not wagering anything extra on the Mystery Bonus feature, the correct strategy would be to play for the payout table and let the Mystery Bonus really be a bonus.
The second innovative RTG video poker game is Pick'em Poker. The payout table begins with Nines or Better and the top hands like Royal Flush pay much more than in the normal Jacks or Better Game. This should not unduly elate players at RTG online casinos because winning combinations are more difficult to get. In Pick'em Poker players are dealt two cards upfront and two stacks of three cards. In each stack only the top card is face up. The players have no idea what the other two cards are. Based on their two cards and the face up card in each stack players have to choose one stack. The remaining two cards of the stack are then revealed to make a five card poker hand and payouts are made as per the payout table for winning combinations.
If the top card of any stack makes a winning combination with the two dealt cards then the choice is simple. Players have to go for that stack. Otherwise the usual video poker strategy applies. The players have to select the stack that will maximize their expected winning. The exact strategy will differ from the usual video poker games.
Both Mystery Bonus Poker and Pick'em Poker have the Double or Nothing Bonus Round. This is an optional round in which players win if they select a card higher than the dealer's card. Mystery Bonus Poker is available in a number of multi-hand formats, whereas Pick'em Poker can be played only in the single hand format. Both these games can be played at all RTG online casinos like Rushmore Casino, Cherry Red Casino, Club World Casino and Aladdin's Gold Casino.
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