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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Video Poker Joins Community Gaming World

20 January 2010

Community gaming, a slot experience in which participants play at separate machines but share in the excitement and rewards of interactive bonus rounds, has a niche following among casino goers.

Most of the major gaming manufacturers have come out with community games in recent years to appeal to casual players, couples and friends. Serious, more frequent slot players are less likely to be attracted to the games.

Up to now the community experience has been restricted to traditional video slots, but during last month's Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, International Game Technology unveiled the first community bonus adapted to video poker.

The game is called Hot Pursuit, and you can bet the industry will be watching closely once it hits casino floors to see how slot and video poker players will react.

Designing a communal aspect of play to video poker was a challenge, but IGT appears to have come up with a winner by incorporating a fun auto-racing competition into its popular Triple Play and Five Play formats.

The bonus aspect is for players to accumulate hands that result in 3-of-a-kinds. Each winning "trip" awards the player one lap in the bonus round. The first player to complete three laps initiates the bonus for everyone.

The focal point of the Hot Pursuit Poker carousel is a widescreen 70-inch overhead video monitor on which the progress of each player is displayed on a leader board as their assigned cars advance to the checkered finish line.

When a Big Spin Poker bonus round is triggered, each player station displays a Spin Poker screen, based on IGT's compelling game that combines the elements of video poker and video slots.

The player who initiates the bonus hits a button to "spin" the cards to reveal three premium hands stacked one on top of the other across horizontal pay lines. That player will have the opportunity to play all three hands.

Players who enter the bonus round with one 3-of-a-kind get to play the bottom hand only. Those players with two "trips" get to play the bottom and middle pay lines.

Once the participants make their decisions and the draw is complete, the results are displayed with each player receiving their award according to the bonus pay table. The base game then continues on until the next "race" begins.

Hot Pursuit Poker is a buy-a-pay game, which means that extra credits must be wagered in order to qualify for the bonus component.

It is something that may not appeal to traditionalists, but for casual players who favor video poker and are looking for elements to spice up the entertainment value, the game will hit the jackpot.

Another video poker innovation on display at the IGT booth at the Global Gaming Expo was the Super Times Pay Poker Mega progressive, the first-ever wide area-progressive outside of the traditional slot machine realm.

This highly anticipated breakthrough will at long last give video poker devotees the chance to play for a major score that was never possible with proprietary progressive banks of machines.

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