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How good a bet are multi-play machines?

May 22, 2001 11:54 AM

It’s taken off faster than anything video poker has ever come up with, and it’s not over yet - Multi-Play Video Poker. For many, just the mere mention of this game gets the blood boiling.

At present I seldom play multi-play games because I’m not at all convinced they should be treated in the same manner as single-play when it comes to strategy. Which is exactly why I’m spending quite a bit of time this year developing a new, winning strategy for these games as well.

I have to admit, when triple play came out, I never gave a thought to the idea machines with even more games would be on the horizon. I guess it had something to do with the size of cards on the screen. I understood that regardless how many hands were played, whatever was held on the deal is what was held for all hands. When five and 10-play came out, I didn’t really like the card size, since each hand was somewhat hard to follow. But the enjoyment of watching a winning hand on the deal, or even three-of-a-kind pop out, made up for any misgivings. The 50-play machines upped the ante. More excitement, but more risk. Huge wins, but also the usual, and more frequent huge losses. Now with 100-play machines on the horizon, I have to ask if it’s really necessary, and if anyone other than seriously addicted players will really use them to their full potential. The problem I find with 50 and 100-play is knowing, or even following what is going on after you hit the draw button. One of the few times I played 50-play (quarters), the summary told me I had a royal. But I had to search for it, hardly as much fun as getting one the old fashioned way. With 100-play, I say why even bother. Just go to the 500-play version and skip all the small stuff!

All this aside, what’s really been the impact? Pay tables are basically the same as single games, regardless of the game or denomination.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s becoming clear to me that strategies will have to be different in order to approach the games with a winning attitude. And the more games, the more luck is required. And it’s possible to lose thousands in a short time.

Of course, we’ll always have the casino’s best friends broadcasting their dealt royal, while feeding their winnings back, faster than they can count their slot club points. But my assessment is this; If you like to dabble with them occasionally, hitting them up for a few bucks and leaving, fine. They’re lots of fun. But if you find yourself playing them religiously, you’ve likely got a problem.