WagerWorks Video Poker GamesBy: Fabian Rictor, Friday July 9th 2010
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As in other business endeavors, competitive advantage in online casino games is obtained through differentiation. However, the video poker games from most online gaming software providers are identical in content and presentation. Wager Works has deviated from this by introducing thematic context in the presentation of video poker games.
Wager Works offers two sets of video poker games with different themes. The first set is Lucky Draw video poker games. As its name suggests the Lucky Draw games have a western theme. The games are described as "born of the wild west when guns were fast, and the stakes were high". Each video poker game in the set bears a logo of a Sheriff's star badge with the words Lucky Draw inscribed in it. The background to the cards is the wooden planking of the wall in the Sheriff's office in any western town. The pay table is depicted as a Wanted poster pinned to this wall. The video poker variants in this set are Bonus Poker, Joker Poker and Jacks or Better. Players can wager on up to four hands at a time and up to five coins per hand. The pay table automatically adjusts to display the payouts for the number of coins wagered. The game is played in the usual manner. Lucky Draw has a turbo feature in which the card dealing animations are dispensed with and that dealt cards instantly appear on the screen.
The second set of video poker games at WagerWorks online casinos is called Phantom Belle. This develops thematic content in greater detail. The setting is a dimly lit haunted casino with the player seated at the table. The cards are not presented in a flat horizontal line but are dealt across the table in a 3-D view as in casino poker based table games. The cards are dealt from a pack by an invisible phantom dealer whose gloved hands are the only thing that can be seen. Unfortunately the same three video poker variants are offered in the Phantom Belle set and the opportunity to introduce variety is thereby lost. The Phantom Belle set offers single hand video poker games. The turbo feature is available.
WagerWorks also offers the same three video poker variants in the ten hand format known as Ten Play. These are not presented in a thematic format but follow the standard display of the other software providers. One of the major disadvantages of WagerWorks video poker games is that the Auto Hold feature has not been incorporated. This feature, which is present in video poker games of leading software developers, automatically marks as "Held" the cards in the dealt hand that result in a payout. Hence new players do not discard those cards by mistake. This prevents them from needlessly forsaking payouts. As a result new players will not prefer WagerWorks video poker games. However, expert players find it more challenging to play without the Auto Hold feature and turn it off any way. They would not find WagerWorks video poker games disadvantageous.
WagerWorks video poker games can be played at Virgin Casino, which has been licensed from the gambling jurisdiction of Alderney.
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