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    Five Play Draw Poker

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    Five Play Draw Poker Game

    What’s better than a single hand of video poker? How about playing several of them at the same time? That’s the concept behind multihand machines, which give players the chance to play more than once each time they get dealt a new set of cards. Sometimes this can be as few as three or four hands; at other times, a multihand game might allow you to play 100 hands at the same time.

    But while these sorts of machines are now commonplace, they typically only allow you to play one form of the game at a time. Five Play Draw Poker is a bit different, in that it offers players their choice of nine different popular games all in one package – and each in a five-hand format.

    All of the Classics

    If you’re not familiar with this game, IGT’s Five Play Draw Poker is the perfect way to get started (as is their Triple Play Draw Poker machine – a similar idea that has you playing just three hands at a time). The object of the game is simple. You’ll be dealt out a hand of five cards from a standard deck (sometimes with a joker added into the mix). You can then choose to keep as many of those cards as you want, discarding the rest.

    Your discarded cards will be replaced from the deck. Since we’re playing in a multihand format, this will actually happen five times: once for each “hand” you are playing, though all of the hands will keep the cards you held on to. On each hand, you will win a prize if you make a strong enough hand, with stronger holdings earning bigger rewards.

    Just how good does your hand have to be? That depends on the game you’re playing. In Jacks or Better, you’ll need at least a pair of jacks to score some money. In Deuces Wild, in which (as the name suggests) all twos are wild cards, you’ll need at least three of a kind to be rewarded. Every game has a different pay table and rules for winning, and each requires a different strategy to play well. For instance, Jacks or Better offers the following prizes for different hands:

    • Royal Flush: 800
    • Straight Flush: 50
    • Four of a Kind: 25
    • Full House: 9
    • Flush: 6
    • Straight: 4
    • Three of a Kind: 3
    • Two Pair: 2
    • Pair of Jacks or Higher: 1

    It’s worth noting that in these games, your initial stake is considered lost when you put it in the machine, much like when playing slots. That means that hitting one high pair in this game simply gets you your money back, while hitting two pair will earn you a profit.

    As we mentioned, Five Play Draw comes with nine different games, though they fit into three basic categories. There are the Jacks or Better games, which include that game and several “bonus” versions that mix up the pay table a bit to complicate things. Deuces Wild is also offered, along with its own version with a bonus pay table. And, finally, there is Joker Poker, a game in which a joker is added to the deck as the only wild card, and at least a pair of kings is needed for victory. The complete game list is as follows:

    • Jacks or Better
    • Bonus
    • Bonus Deluxe
    • Double Bonus
    • Double Double Bonus
    • Triple Double Bonus
    • Deuces Wild
    • Deuces Wild Bonus
    • Joker Poker

    A Game of Strategy

    One of the reasons why this has become such a popular game among serious gamblers is the fact that it usually has an extremely small house edge – if any at all – for those who play it well. While these machines may look like slots, they are definitely games of skill, in which proper strategy will see your results improve dramatically over trying to guess your way through each and every decision.

    Five Play Draw allows you to fully explore this idea, as you will quickly find that each of the nine games in the collection requires a different strategy to get the best results. If you read guides to these machines, you’ll find that the strategy is based on knowing what to hold when you have a decision between multiple reasonable looking possibilities. By reading down a list, you can find which option is right for you. For instance, a typical (but simplified) Jacks or Better strategy might read as:

    • Four of a Kind or Better
    • Four to a Royal Flush
    • Straight or Better
    • Four to a Straight Flush
    • Two Pair
    • Pair of Jacks or Better
    • Three to a Royal Flush
    • Four to a Flush
    • Any Pair

    And so on, down to letting you know when it’s not worth keeping anything at all.

    This may seem like a lot to learn – or read – but it’s well worth it when you realize that many video poker games offer house edges of less than 1% with proper strategy. Some live casinos even have machines that have a return over 100%, meaning skilled players can actually hold an advantage while playing.

    An Excellent Collection

    When it comes down to it, Five Play Draw is an excellent single-stop collection of video poker games. It has everything that veterans of these machines will want, while also being very accessible to new gamers who just want to dip their feet into these waters. The only restriction is that you are forced to play for five hands at a time, but that’s a manageable number for most players.

    If you want to try something a bit more complex, you might want to give our Ultimate X Poker game a try; it’s another IGT title that adds a multiplier system to these standard versions of the game. If five hands is too many, stepping down to Triple Play Draw is also an option. But for most people, we think this is a great way to play any or all of these classic machines.

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