STICKMAN'S STANCE: ULTIMATE X VIDEO POKER - A MORE EXCITING GAME
by Jerry "Stickman"
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker and advantage slot machine play. Frank Scoblete's and Jerry "Stickman's" book "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker" presents dozens of video poker games and strategies for maximum returns. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" email@example.com.
Those who play video poker with any regularity generally have one or two favorite games they play. It may be some of my favorites such as Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, or Double Bonus Poker - games which have a high payback and low variance. Others prefer a bit higher risk, but a shot at more "jackpot" sized payoffs such as Double Double Bonus Poker. Still others - usually those who don't play regularly - will try any game they come across and see if they can "get lucky."
If you play video poker regularly and find yourself getting a little bored with the same low-variance game, you might consider trying Ultimate X Video Poker.
This Game is not for the Faint of Heart
Ultimate X Video Poker comes in three- five- or 10-play versions. It can be played as a normal multi-play game by playing up to five credits per line. However, to get the maximum excitement and benefit from this game, the player must play 10 credits per line - 30 credits for three-play, 50 credits for five-play and 100 credits for 10-play. You must play all lines of the multi-play in order to trigger the bonus feature. On a 25-cent machine, the outlay per game is $7.50 for three-play, $12.50 for five-play and $25 for 10-play.
By playing the maximum coins per line, the Ultimate X feature is activated. When activated, any paying line not only collects a payoff in the current game but also earns a multiplier for any potential win on the same line in the next game.
For example, in Jacks or Better, if the second line of a three-play game scores a pair of jacks or better, this line will win 1-for-1 for the current game and also earn a 2X multiplier for the second line of the next game, meaning any paying hand on the second line of the next game will be doubled. If the second line of the next game doesn't produce a winning hand, there is no advantage to getting the multiplier.
The player does not have to activate the Ultimate X feature to take advantage of the multiplier. Normally, however, the player would activate the feature on every hand but the last hand. This is similar to buying an ice cream cone and getting a voucher for a half-priced cone the following day. This routine works well until you decide not to return to the ice cream shop the following day. So, if you are certain that the next hand is the final hand there is no reason or advantage to activating the Ultimate X feature.
By activating the feature on the hand following a win, the player is afforded the opportunity to earn multipliers on the next hand even if there is no winner on the line(s) where he won on the previous game.
The multiplier is determined by the paying hand in the current game and it varies from game to game and by number of plays. The multipliers range from 2X to 12X and in the Jacks or Better type games (including the various bonus games). The maximum multiplier is generally 12X for a full house and 11X for a flush.
Ultimate X Video Poker is manufactured by IGT and it has many game variations, including Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild, and Joker Poker.
Most of these games are configured to pay less than full-pay single play versions of the game. One exception is Double Double Bonus, which can be found with the standard full-pay 9/6 (9-for-1for a full house, 6-for-1 for a flush) which pays 98.91 percent in the single-play version.
The Ultimate X feature increases the return for the game. As mentioned above, standard 9/6 Double Double Bonus returns 98.91 percent with expert play. 9/6 Ultimate X Double Double Bonus returns around 99.8 percent with expert play. The exact amount varies slightly depending on whether it is a 3- 5- or 10-play game.
Some other examples of returns are:
Jacks or Better
Double Bonus Poker
Double Double Bonus Poker
Notice the improved returns for the Ultimate X games. In fact, the full pay (9/6) Double Double Bonus Poker return is better than full pay (9/6) Jacks or Better standard play, making this game the most popular Ultimate X game.
If you are looking for some excitement, Ultimate X Video Poker may be for you.
Advantages of Ultimate X
The advantages of playing Ultimate X Video Poker include better returns than standard games for the same pay tables, and the excitement of getting payoffs that can be multiplied up to 12 times their normal value. This game has some very high highs.
Disadvantages of Ultimate X
This game is also a roller coaster - an extreme roller coaster. Standard multi-play games have much higher variance than single-play games. Ultimate X Video Poker requires twice as much coin in to play the same multi-play game. When you win, you win big. But hit even a fairly minor losing streak, and your bankroll vanishes before your eyes.
When you play Ultimate X Video Poker, make sure you play off any multipliers you have earned. Don't leave them for the next player. You earned them, use them.
While Ultimate X Video Poker may be exciting, make sure you limit your exposure to what you can afford to lose. Enjoy but enjoy safely.
Video Poker Strategy for Ultimate X 9/6 Double-Double Bonus
Since it is the most popular version of Ultimate X video poker, let's look at the playing strategy for 9/6 Double-Double Bonus...
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