If you’re a poker purist, there is a tendency to dislike it when gaming companies go messing with classic poker games. You might just have to suspend your resistance to change and take a chance on Microgaming’s All Aces Video Poker, because it’s an exciting new game that loses none of the elements that make classic video poker so much fun.
The game is a derivative of simple Jacks or Better poker, with play proceeding in exactly the same way: Place your bet, get your hand, replace zero to five cards, and see if your hand is strong enough to win, with a pair of Jacks being the minimum paying hand. The first difference a savvy poker player will notice is that the pay table in general looks weak, with everything from two pair to a straight flush seeming to pay at least a few credits less than normal Jacks or Better.
Don’t panic! It still pays out a robust 99.92 percent with expert play. The secret is in the payout for four aces. It is fully half of the payout for a Royal Flush! This makes for a much more volatile game, but you’ll see those four aces a lot more than you’ll see the Royal Flush, so at least your chances of a big payoff are a little more promising. Naturally, the skewed pay table does affect the basic strategy for the game.
There are a number of different minute adjustments you could make, but they could be summed up in this way: Play the same strategy as Jacks or Better, but play to maximize your chances of getting aces. This means discarding the low pair when you have two pair with aces high. Also, you should hold the solo ace under most circumstances and even discard the lower pair and lose a full house when you have three aces and a lower pair.
Overall the video poker game was fun, but the volatility could be kind of annoying, especially if you have a low bankroll or low amount of time available. You seem to lose much more quickly thanks to the lower payoffs on the low hands, but then bounce right back up when you hit the four aces. The trick is to keep playing long enough to hit the four aces. If you hit them early in your session, I advise you to take the money and run.