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Best of John G. Brokopp

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Triple Play Draw Poker Has Wide Appeal

12 September 2000

Chances are the last time you visited a Chicago-area riverboat casino, all of the Triple Play Draw Poker machines were occupied. The machines have taken the casino industry by storm to such an extent that people who have never played video poker before find themselves attracted to them.

The unusual twist that the Triple Play concept has brought to video poker is that it allows a player to play three hands at once by dealing three rows of five cards. The first two rows are dealt face down while the third (bottom row) is dealt face up. The player chooses the cards they wish to hold from the bottom hand, after which those cards automatically appear in the corresponding spaces in the top two hands. After hitting the "draw" button, the player then gets three different draws from three different decks.

The beauty of the game is this: Say that you are dealt the ace, king, queen, and jack of spades on your bottom hand. You are one card away from a royal flush. On a conventional draw poker machine, you hold the four cards and have one chance to draw the ten of spades to complete your royal. On a Triple Play machine you have THREE chances...three opportunities from three different decks to draw that ten of spades!

Or say the player holds three-of-a-kind from the bottom hand. The player has three different chances of getting four-of-a-kind. I was fortunate enough on one occasion to draw four queens on my bottom hand. I held them and wound up having three four-of-a-kind hands, good enough for a 125-coin payoff in quarters for each of 'em.

Triple Play Draw Poker is a joint venture by International Game Technology (IGT) and Action Gaming, Inc. The game uses IGT's 80960 Game King microprocessor platform and is billed as the "world's fastest video poker game".

"The game so far has been a smash hit, blowing the lid off of all of our projections," said Ernest Moody, president of Action Gaming, Inc. "The game has tremendous play appeal and has generated instant acceptance from video poker players all over Nevada. We originally conceived of it as a 15-coin nickel game, but it is receiving extremely strong play on quarters and even dollars."

The Gold Dust West Casino in Reno was the first Northern Nevada casino to install Triple Play Draw Poker. It quickly became the number one game on the floor. They started with four machines. At last count they were up to 18.

"Triple Play Draw Poker has brought new life to the video poker game, especially for serious video poker players," said Wade Howard, slot tech manager for the Texas Station Hotel & Casino in North Las Vegas. "We keep adding machines because our customers are demanding them."

You can play any number of coins that you desire. It takes a minimum of three coins to have a play on all three hands, one coin for each hand. It you bet six coins, you get a 2-coin bet on each hand. Nine coins give you a 3-coin bet on each hand. The maximum 15-coin bet gives you a 5-coin bet on each hand.

The pay table increases as your bet increases. Nickel machines are the most affordable. If you play quarter machines, a max bets gives you a $3.75 investment. A max bet on a dollar machine comes out to a hefty $15 investment.

The solution is to start out play with less than the max, then hopefully build up enough of a cushion to allow you to venture bigger wagers. A winning streak can put you in the bucks. If you catch a losing streak, simply drop your wager. Prudent play can allow you to stretch your gambling dollars while at the same time generate lots of time on your player club tracking card.

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