Aces and Faces, Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better – we’ve all played these traditional video poker games enough times to make our yawning heads spin. There’s nothing wrong with them; don’t get me wrong. With the right pay table and strategy – and a little luck – they can be quite profitable. There’s just nothing unique or interesting about them.
Throughout the years, gaming software developers have put very little effort into coming up with an innovative way to play video poker. The majority of the focus is put on slot machines, of which there are hundreds of thousands of titles available across all major platforms. Video poker has only managed to draw a collective total of less than 100 titles.
Realistically though, there are only so many ways you can play and pay an electronic 5-card poker game, so I have to give some credit to the developers who did manage to put a little something special into their video poker selections. Below is a short list of what I’ve found to be the most interesting, oddball creations of them all.
Unique Video Poker Games
These unique video poker variations may not be the easiest to find, but if you do, give them a few rounds of play and see what you think.
- Barnyard Poker: This has got to be one of the most amusing video poker games ever created. From the brilliant minds behind IGT and Action Gaming, this quirky 5-card poker variant is a Triple Play video poker machine, meaning players are dealt three hands at a time. Each time a payout is awarded, multipliers are stacked into a Multiplier Bank. At random, the barnyard animals can falls from their hay lofts, exploding on the screen and pulling the multipliers down with them to award extra payouts on the next set of hands.
- Peek and Play Poker: Also known as Look Ahead Poker, this is another IGT/AG creation that combines Triple Play video poker with a unique quality. This game gives players the ability to look at the next card to be dealt on the Draw. Such appealing opportunities don’t come cheap, of course. Players will have to bet the max 5 coins, plus insert an additional 2 coins, in order to unlock the Peek ability. But when the next card happens to be a match to an existing pair, or something even more congruous with your current hand, the payoff can be extremely rewarding.
- 7 Stud Video Poker: If you know the ins and outs of 7 Card Stud, you’ll love this video poker variation from RTG. You get to play through all the usual betting rounds, called ‘Streets’, but because there’s more cards involved, you’ll need at least a 3 of a Kind to receive a payout. With so much strategy involved and additional cards to be revealed, the fact that this game takes more than 2 seconds to play is one of its shining qualities IMO.
- Pick’em Poker: This is not your typical video poker game at all. Developed by RTG, it’s more like a combination of Hold’em poker and the Peek and Play Poker variant mentioned above. Players are given two ‘hole cards’, which they must keep. They are then shown two stacks of cards. Each stack contains 3 cards, with the top card on each stack lying face up for the player to see. Based on this information (essentially seeing the first three cards), the player can either pick the first stack or the second stack. The two hidden cards beneath the chosen stack are revealed, completing the player’s 5-card hand.
- Pigs Might Fly: This is one of the most exciting slots for 2017, but it has flown under the radar somewhat. This slot plays out like nothing you have ever seen before. You begin with very feel reels and symbols, but unlock more as you win. If you keep winning, you’ll eventually get a big game-screen with many reels. Win even more and you’ll unlock the bonus round. If you lose at any point, however, you have to start all over again.