SPIN VIDEO POKER STRATEGY

In our previous section we talked about the booming popularity of multihand video poker variants and how to tailor your strategy to them. In this section we’ll devote more attention to arguably the best of the multihand variations—at least for serious video poker players who enjoy the fast paced ‘slot machine-like’ action but don’t want to give up their ability to grind out a profit. In fact, the topic of this article is exactly that: a video poker/slot machine hybrid called ‘Spin Poker’.

Spin Poker is essentially a nine hand multihand video poker machine. But instead of the traditional format video poker the hands themselves are laid out like a slot machine and the cards dealt on ‘reels’ of five cards. A machine has three rows of five cards and players can wager on each individual payline. As you’d expect, you should wager a max coin bet on each payline for a total of 45 coins per hand. If this is too rich for your bankroll you’re better off heading to a lower denomination game that you can play for the max. Note that spin poker machines give the operator the option to change the max bet per line to a maximum of 30 coins but in most casinos (land based and online) you’ll find these games with a five coin per line max bet.

Most casino spin poker games offer the player a ‘multi-game’ option similar to the Game King machines but dealt in the ‘Spin Poker’ format outlined above. The games you’ll find include Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Jokers Wild, Bonus Poker and all of the major combinations thereof (Bonus Deuces, Double Bonus Poker, etc).

PAYLINES

Some players find this confusing but it’s simple once you know what you’re doing. The reason that it can be confusing to non-slots players is that the paylines don’t all run straight across the screen as is typical in video poker. Take a look at the diagram below and we’ll go through all nine paylines:

spin-poker-lines

Line 1: Red middle line

Line 2: Blue top line

Line 3: Navy bottom line

Line 4: Peach V line, consisting of the first card of Line 2, the second card of Line 1, the third card of Line 3, the fourth card of line 1, and the fifth card of line 2.

Line 5: Pink upside down “V” line, consisting of first card of line 3, second card of line 1, third card of line 2, fourth card of line 1, and fifth card of line 3.

Line 6: Orange line, consisting of first two cards in line 2, the third card in line 1, and the fourth and fifth cards in line 3.

Line 7: Violet line, consisting of first two cards in line 3, the third card in line 1, and the fourth and fifth cards in line 2.

Line 8: Green line, consisting of first card in line 1, second card in line 2, third card in line1, fourth card in line 3, and fifth card in line 1.

Line 9: Yellow line, consisting of the first card in line 1, second card in line 3, third card in line 1, fourth card in line 2, and fifth card in line 1.

GAMEPLAY

The initial deal is just like any other multi-hand video poker machine. Player is dealt five cards on the center line. Any cards you hold will be ‘copied’ to the top and bottom line. Let’s say you get this initial deal:

QD QC JS 5C 7S

You’d hold the pair of queens which would get copied to the line above and below. It would look like this before you hit the button to draw:

QD QC X X X
QD QC X X X
QD QC X X X

Once you hit draw, the ‘reels’ spin and cards are dealt to all of the empty positions. Note that the game uses one 52 card deck (53 card deck for ‘Joker’ games) so you’ll draw from the 47 remaining cards in the deck (52 minus the 5 you were dealt).

Here’s the beautiful thing—the strategy and EV is the same on Spin Poker as it is on any other game with the same pay table. You’ll find that the pay tables on Spin Poker are comparable to other casino video poker games.

The primary difference is that the more hands you play the more ‘streaky’ the machine will be. This is due to what mathematicians call ‘variance’. That’s another nice thing about Spin Poker—the nine hands have a fairly reasonable degree of variance. When you get up to 25, 50 or 100 hands the variance can be insane.