It’s hard to believe that video poker has been a mainstay in casinos only since the 1980s. It didn’t take long for variations to come along, starting with Triple Play. One variation sits alone as the original hybrid video poker machine. It combines video poker with slot machines to make an exciting game. Spin Poker Is An Original Casino Hybrid.
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IGT and Spin Poker
One of the first innovative variations appeared at the end of the 20th century. IGT successfully brought to casinos Spin Poker™ game – a blend of slots with video poker. Spin Poker is one of the first true hybrids found on the modern casino floor. To this day, it continues to have a large fan base nearly twenty years later.
How Does It Work? – Spin Poker, An Original Hybrid
Spin Poker video poker plays like any multi-hand game, such as Triple Play, Five-Play, Ten-play, and so on. They all start with the same 5-card hand, but you draw on each line from a 52 card deck.
That’s where Spin Poker deviates from the norm. The cards are drawn from one 47-card deck, and they’re dealt from left to right in the discard spots. Why a 47-card deck? Well, remember, five cards were already dealt on the first deal.
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The Screen is Confusing
The screen can be very confusing for first-time players. It looks very different from the many single-line Game Kings games available. After all, Spin Poker Is An Original Casino Hybrid combining video poker with a slot machine format. Here’s Henry Tamburin, from Casino Player Magazine, to explain it to you.
“The Spin Poker video screen is a matrix of five vertical columns (representing the five spinning reels) and three horizontal rows (that show the three poker hands on the middle, top and bottom rows). The 15 cards that are on screen are combined into nine different sets of five-card hands, and each of these hands is evaluated to determine the payouts.Henry Tamburin, from Casino Player Magazine
Like many video poker variations, Spin Poker is just a variation that’s applied to an existing video poker game, like Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild. However, it is called Spin Poker because playing the game isn’t all that different from any other video poker machine.
Here’s how it works:
- You press the Draw button, you get your initial five cards.
2. Then, you choose any or all of the five cards to keep. The cards you hold on the centerline will be replicated on the top (2nd) and bottom (3rd) lines.
3. Then, finally, press “draw” to get the cards to fill the remainder of hands. the “video reels” spin-deal you the draw cards on all three lines. Remember, the game uses one 52-card deck, so a specific card can only appear once in any three lines. Your total payout for each round will be the sum of the payouts for any winning hands on the active lines.
You still make your choices according to base-game strategy, but the difference comes once you make those decisions. The cards from the different reels on the machine can be combined in nine different ways (other variations of Spin Poker offer 20 lines) to create brand new “hands.” All of these hands will pay off based on the pay tables you choose to play.
There are many different video poker games on the Spin Poker format (e.g., Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus, Double Double Bonus, Joker Poker, etc.). By clicking on the “More Games” button (lower left) on a Spin Poker machine, you can view all available games.
Spin Poker Strategy
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While the screen looks like a TV test pattern of sorts, it’s not as confusing as you might think. The strategy for Spin Poker is the same as it is for the base game.
However, sometimes you’ll throw away a winning hand to try to draw to a much better hand. For example, what if you have a pair of jacks and a draw to a royal flush. You’re guaranteed at least an even money payout if you hold the pair. But if you draw to the royal flush, you have a 1/47 chance of winning 800 to 1. The difference in expected value is tremendous over time and different from single line games or multi-line games, with each line receiving draw cards from its single deck.
There is a difference in the game’s volatility, though, because of the extra hands. You can expect more significant swings and longer losing streaks followed by occasional larger wins that make up for them. This is true of most multi-hand video poker formats – the payout percentage (EV) is the same as the base game, but the other hands increase the volatility slightly.
You’ll also find several popular versions of Spin Poker in casinos. Spin Poker Deluxe, which expands the game from nine to 20 lines; Super Times Pay Spin Poker, which adds a mystery “multiplier” to the payoffs; Triple Spin Poker, which features three games on the same screen with 27 pay lines; and Dream Card Spin Poker, which includes a “Dream Card” side bet.
Here are images of Spin Poker Variations. Starting top left, in clockwise order: Triple Spin Poker, Spin Poker Deluxe (20 lines), Spin Poker Super Times Pay, Spin Poker with Dream Card, and Spin Poker Ultimate X.
Pros of Spin Poker
- A little bit of both video poker and slot machines included
- Many different ways to combine the cards on the screen into winning hands
- Many different pay tables for you to choose
Spin Poker can be very exciting. But it may need a higher bankroll than the base game. But, if you haven’t tried it yet after all these years, give it a whirl!