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IGT Gets Imaginative with Its Video Poker Empire30 January 2008
International Game Technology (IGT), one of the world's leading gaming research, development and manufacturing companies, wields such a powerful presence on gaming floors with its video poker products that it's difficult, if not impossible, for the competition to mount any serious challenge.
IGT's founding father was Si Redd, who developed and acquired the original patent on video poker. The familiar computer interface and the company's eventual partnership with Ernie Moody, who invented multi-hand play, combine to make IGT video poker the games of choice for the vast majority of people who play.
The company has been challenged to develop themes outside of the core product. At last year's Global Gaming Expo, it was apparent IGT is responding to that dilemma by doing some imaginative tweaking to the existing games.
John Daley, director of video poker for IGT, told me that the solution was to add a sixth coin feature to the games, a departure from the accepted five coin max play per hand; in essence, bringing the "buy-a-pay" component of standard slots to video poker.
"We've found that if we can create that sixth coin feature and at the same time give players a bonus that happens often enough and is exciting enough, they'll pay it and we don't have to tweak the pay table," Daley said.
One of the new games is titled Ultimate 4-of-a-Kind Bonus Poker. In addition to the base game, a sixth credit buy-a-pay feature qualifies for a touch screen "pick 'em" bonus round every time the player gets any 4-of-a-kind.
When the bonus round kicks in, 53 cards (including a joker) appear face down on the screen. Any 5s through Kings quad entitles the player to select two cards; 2s, 3s or 4s, three cards; if you go in with aces, 4 cards. Each card you select has a bonus credit value of 200 for 5s through Kings, 300 for 2s, 3s and 4s, and 400 for aces. Pick the joker and you automatically win 3,996 credits and the bonus round is over.
Another new release is Ultimate X (Ultimate Times) Poker, which brings an added dimension of excitement to multi-hand play in that every winning combination you have in the current hand triggers a bonus multiplier for the next hand. Again, the sixth credit buy-a-pay wager qualifies the player for the feature.
For example, say you initiate a play on a Five Play game and win with a pair of jacks on one hand, 3-of-a-kind on another, and a full house on another. The remaining two hands are losers. On the very next play, you are awarded a 12-times multiplier on the hand you got a full house, a 4-times multiplier on the hand you got 3-of-a-kind, and a 2-times multiplier on the hand you got the pair of jacks.
This game creates anticipation for every play you initiate, hoping of course for premium hands on the ones you have been awarded the multipliers. The amounts of the multipliers are fixed as part of the pay table. You can see exactly what each winning combination pays based upon which family of game you're playing.
CASINO NEWS: The Illinois State Lottery will celebrate the release of its new scratch-off instant game, Golden Tee, by hosting a greater Chicago area Golden Tee Closest-to-the-pin competition using the popular arcade game of the same name.
Golden Tee fans from across the state will have the opportunity to participate in 16 qualifier events to compete for a chance to play in the championship finals which will be held on Wednesday, March 12, at Cubby Bear North in Lincolnshire. First prize is $5,000, 2nd prize $3,000 and third prize $1,000. Visit www.illinoislottery.com for a complete list of the qualifier event locations.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp