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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Spin Poker Stands Test of Time

8 October 2008

Unlike slot players who more readily embrace new generations of games, video poker players have displayed an unwillingness to accept any of the "bells and whistles" that manufacturers have attempted to create.

Video poker devotees just want the good old-fashioned draw poker machines available in a variety of game families (Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double-Double Bonus Poker, etc.), hopefully with player-friendly pay tables.

The only twist on traditional video poker that was met with rousing acceptance was multi-hand games which Action Gaming and IGT unveiled with Triple Play Video Poker and which quickly evolved into Five Play, Ten Play, Fifty Play and even Hundred Play.

Games that incorporate the bonus features made popular with video slots have been developed not only to expand the video poker market but also to create cross-over appeal for dedicated slot players. The success rate has been low.

There is one video poker hybrid, however, that has stood the test of time: Spin Poker, an invention developed a number of years ago by (who else?), Action Gaming and IGT.

Spin Poker was the first game to successfully blend the components of traditional video poker with those of multi-line video slot play and create something that appealed to both dedicated video poker players and slot players.

Essentially, it took Triple Play to a new dimension by offering a one-to-nine line video poker game that "spin-draws" the cards in three hands.

When you initiate a play, the first hand is dealt on the center line. Depending on which game family you are playing, the strategy is the same as regular video poker. Whichever cards you hold are held on the top and bottom hands as well.

Pressing the draw button spins the remaining cards in each hand. The result is up to nine different winning combinations which can accumulate across the three-by-five grid of cards.

Because Spin Poker in some ways plays like a video slot, a reader, Ray S. was curious about what kind of machine it really is and asked: "Is Spin Poker a slot machine or a regular video poker machine?"

I went directly to the source for the answer. John Daley, the Director of Video Poker and Barcrest USA for International Game Technology, told me: "The cards are standard 52-card deck (or 53 in the case of Joker Poker) and they work just like (video) poker machines."

This means that card selection in Spin Poker is completely random, the same as in regular video poker. Make a play and the first five cards off the top of the continually shuffled virtual deck appear. Hit draw and the next cards off the top of the deck fill in the blank spaces.

The popularity of Spin Poker even spawned some new generations of the game, including Double Pay Spin Poker, in which winning combinations from the opening hands are paid on the deal according to a unique pay table. You then can improve the hands on the draw and get paid again according to standard pay tables.

There's also Spin Poker Deluxe, which expanded the original concept by creating 20 spinning style pay lines configurable for max bets from five to 30 credits per line in multiples of five, and max wagers of 100 to 600 credits in 100 credit increments for penny denominations.

Spin Poker in its various forms can found at most casino destinations throughout the country.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp