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STICKMAN’S STANCE: ULTIMATE X POKER

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” at stickmanjerry@aol.com.

This is the second article in a series on unique video poker games. This month, Ultimate X Video Poker will be examined. This game will be explored for strengths and weaknesses, pluses and minuses. Hopefully the readers will use this information to make intelligent choices concerning video poker games they choose to play.

Description

Ultimate X Video Poker is a variant of video poker that can play the same as standard video poker (when playing one to five credits per line), but the real allure of this game comes when the player doubles the max bet from five to 10 credits per line. When this happens, each winning line sets up a multiplier for that line that is activated with the next hand is played.

Ultimate X Poker is available in several of the more popular games such as Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, and Triple Double Bonus. These types of games are available in single-line play (though not very common), 3-play, 5-play and 10-play variations. Most machines offer multiple denominations from five cents through 25 cents that can be selected for play. Remember that to activate the Ultimate X feature, 10 credits per line must be bet. This means that even on a nickel 10-line game the total bet per game is five dollars - 10 nickels (50 cents) per line for 10 lines.

Multipliers and Return

The multipliers for winning hands vary depending on the type of game (Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, etc.), pay table, and number of lines played. Here is an example of the pay table and multipliers of an actual 3-play Bonus Poker game.

Notice that the pay table of the game is significantly downgraded from a full-pay 8/5 version to 6/5. It is extremely difficult to find a full-pay Ultimate X game. However, there is some good news. The multipliers improve the return of the game a bit.

For example, the return of a standard, single play 6/5 Bonus Poker game is 96.87 percent. The table below shows the returns for 3-play, 5-play, and 10-play games. Notice that the multipliers increase a bit as the number of plays increases...

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