In the previous section, we talked about Six Card Poker–one of the newest variations to make its way onto the casino floor. In this article, we’ll discuss another. Powerhouse Poker is one of the most recent video poker releases and is now becoming very popular in land-based casinos. It’s just a matter of time before it shows up online. As was the case with ‘Six Card Poker‘ the game is so new that the ‘ideal strategy‘ is still being formulated.

As was the case with ‘Six Card Poker’ this isn’t a dedicated Deuces Wild machine. Technology now allows a variety of games in every machine. At one point, a new game variation would require a dedicated machine unit. Now, one machine can offer dozens of game variations—for example, the ubiquitous ‘Game King‘ video poker machine. Powerhouse Poker offers eight play variations including two Deuces Wild games—basic DW and Deuces Bonus Poker. The other variations are Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Bonus, Double Double Bonus and Triple Double Bonus. There are also options to play three, five or ten hands at one time.

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This is a game that mixes a couple of popular features that have appeared in video poker games in the past—bonus hands and hand multipliers. A ‘bonus hand‘ is just that—an additional hand with the same starting cards that you can draw to. A bonus multiplier is also pretty self-explanatory—for certain hands, you get a possible bonus multiplier—note that this occurs at random and can appear on one or more of the bonus hands. We’ll go into more detail about this shortly.

Player bets 5 coins per hand (15 coins) plus 5 coins per hand for the ‘bonus‘ feature (15 coins) for a 30 coin per hand bet. This is based on three hand play—obviously, do the math and increase the bet if you want to play five or ten hands. If you’re going to play Powerhouse Poker you need to be playing the bonus feature. If not, you should play another game. Once you’ve made your bet the machine deals out a basic five card poker hand. If you’ve played the ‘max bet‘ you’ll be awarded bonus hands on any winner dealt on the first five cards. For example, say you’re dealt:

3D JC JS 6S 2W

The machine will alert you to the forthcoming bonus hands with a sign that says ‘Bonus Hands Awarded—Look Up’. The ‘bonus hands‘ are dealt on a second screen above the primary screen. Otherwise, the game plays like a basic multi-hand video poker game. Your ‘held cards‘ will be duplicated on all three paid hands—and every bonus hand if you’re fortunate enough to win one. Keep in mind that bonus hands are only awarded on ‘natural‘ winning hands in the first five dealt cards.

This sounds a lot more complicated than it really is—the game alerts you to bonus hands and walks you through everything. It’s actually very simple to play—just play your primary hand and draw to the rest.

The pay table for max coins in—and if you’re not playing max coins you shouldn’t play this game—is as follows:

With max coins bet this game pays as follows on the ‘5 card hand’:

  • Royal Flush w/o Deuces 4000
  • 4 Deuces 1000
  • Royal Flush w/ Deuces 100
  • 5 of a Kind 60
  • Straight Flush 50
  • 4 of a Kind 20
  • Full House 20
  • Flush 15
  • Straight 10
  • Three of a Kind 5

The ‘Bonus Hands‘ and multipliers are awarded as follows:

Hand Bonus Hands Max Multiplier

  • Royal Flush (w/o Deuces) 3
  • 4 Deuces 3
  • Royal Flush (w/ Deuces) 9 3X
  • 5 of a Kind 9 3X
  • Straight Flush 9 3X
  • 4 of a Kind 9 3X
  • Full House 9 3X
  • Flush 9
  • Straight 9
  • 3 of a Kind 3

The strategy for this game is just like regular ‘Deuces Wild‘. Since the bonus hands/multipliers are awarded on the initial deal there’s nothing you can do to increase your chance of getting a ‘bonus hand‘. Obviously, that means the variance of this game will be through the roof. The basic paytable isn’t particularly attractive (97.5% with perfect play) and it’s doubtful that the ‘bonus hands‘ will make up the difference. It’s tough to recommend this game for ‘serious play‘ though admittedly it’s a lot of fun.