Newcomers vie for multi-game share
John Grochowski email@example.com November 9, 2012 9:22AM
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Updated: November 9, 2012 10:38AM
Video poker players may not consciously seek out International Game Technology machines, but that’s where they play. Well over 90 percent of the poker machines we see in casinos are IGT games — and that’s likely an understatement.
Two Chicago area companies are trying to break into that niche, with slot giant WMS gaming and relatively new, creative competitor Incredible Technologies both showing off poker products at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.
WMS had on display two products I’d mentioned here after a visit to its studios this summer. My Poker offers players customization features including card style, position of the cards on the screen, even a sequencing option so the initial deal is displayed in order of card rank or with suits grouped together. That makes it easy for players to tell at a glance if they have a draw for a straight or a flush.
I’m intrigued by its Winning Streak Poker, a new approach to multihand games. If you have a winning hand, it’s moved up a level signifying a one-times pay table winner, and you’re dealt a second hand. Win again, and the second hand moves to the 1x slot, while the first moves up to 2x, where additional wins move it to 5x and 10x. You keep playing as long as the winning streak holds up.
Incredible Technologies rolled out an upgraded version of the Magic Touch multigame machine with an updated operating system that allows for progressive jackpots. A new user interface adds information such as player speed and a skill rating. As on its initial video poker games, IT offers the ProTip feature, where you earn tips as you play. Then, when a difficult strategy decision comes up, you can rely on the pro.
IGT, of course, showed a number of video poker games, including new Ace-based multipliers and a marriage of poker and keno.
The multipliers come in Ultimate Aces, a multihand game. Every time an Ace or multiple Aces come up on screen, they create multipliers that make your winning hands more valuable.
Triple Play Keno Draw Poker features Triple Play Poker with an optional side bet on a keno card. The keno card not only has its own wins and pay table, but also creates multipliers for the poker hand. Alternatively, IGT is offering a poker-keno combo with a single poker hand tied to four keno cards. For those who can’t decide between poker and keno at a multigame machine, here’s your game.
John Grochowski is a local free-lance writer. Look for him on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44)and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).