Shockwave Poker Video Poker VariantBy: rkingsley, Sunday August 14th 2011
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Shockwave Poker is a video poker variant that has been developed by online casino software provider CTXM. It is available on the instant play software platform at Bodog Casino. Shockwave Poker can be played for real money and in the practice mode.
Shockwave Poker is different from the regular video poker variants. In the first instance it is visually different. Not only is the playing arena set in a futuristic environment, but the cards are also different. The picture cards - kings, queens and jacks – do not have the customary icons but are crafted like alien robots. Even in the regular cards the pips are arranged differently. This difference is such that it may put off some online casino players altogether, but on the other hand it may attract some players.
A look at the payout table for Shockwave Poker shows that the pay outs begin with jacks or better. But the discerning player will realize that it is not the regular Jacks or Better video poker variant payout table. Most online casinos offer the 9/6 Jacks or Better variant in which Full House pays 9 to 1 and Flush pays 6 to 1. Shockwave Poker offers the 8/5 variant in which Full House pays 8 to 1 and Flush pays 5 to 1. Also in Shockwave Poker the payout for Two Pairs has been reduced from 2 to 1 to even money. These changes have been made to compensate for the benefits provided in the Shockwave mode, and therefore a cost benefit analysis would have to be made.
The game proceeds like any video poker variant to start with. Players select the number of coins from 1 to 5 and the coin size from those available between $0.10 and $5.00. The initial hand is dealt and players have to decide which cards to hold. The remaining cards are replaced and the final hand tallied with the payout table. The game is controlled through the usual buttons found in video poker variants. The doubling bonus is offered in Shockwave Poker after every win. Players can stake their entire win or half their win in this round. The dealer's card is dealt face up and four cards are dealt face down. The player has to pick one of them. If it is greater than the dealer's card then the staked amount gets doubled.
Whenever the player gets a Four of a Kind final hand the game enters the Shockwave mode. The Shockwave mode begins with the next hand and lasts for ten hands or until the player gets another Four of a Kind, whichever happens first. During the Shockwave mode the counter is displayed on the screen. Once the Shockwave mode ends, the counter disappears. If the player gets a second Four of a Kind hand in the Shockwave mode then he is paid at a bonus rate.
The major problem with Shockwave Poker is that this bonus rate is not specified either on the screen or in the Help files. Therefore it is impossible for the player to do a mathematical cost benefit analysis and conclude whether the lower payouts in the hand rankings described earlier are adequately compensated for or not. All that can be said is that to get two Four of a Kind outcomes within ten hands is extremely rare. Hence Shockwave Poker is best played in the practice mode for fun only.
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