3-Way-Action finds favor with players

May 20, 2003 3:51 AM

The advent of video poker was a benchmark in gaming history. The product was invented in 1977 by engineers Logan Pease and Bill Wells and marketed by Fortune Coin owner William "Si" Redd. It also effectively launched a company that would come to be known as International Game Technology.

The machines proved so popular that the original upright machine design was adapted to a bar-top model, which created a powerful new revenue stream for local taverns. The prototype Draw Poker machine led to multiple variations on the theme: Jacks or Better, Jokers Wild, Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild Bonus Poker, Player’s Choice Poker and dozens more.

Video poker stayed pretty consistently popular (some might say "stodgy") until 1998, when an inventor named Ernie Moody pioneered a multi-hand concept he called Triple Play Draw Poker. The new game allowed a player to play three hands at once (on a 15-coin max play) by dealing three rows of five cards.

The advent of Triple Play stimulated video poker by exponential numbers. Since then, Triple Play Draw Poker has given birth to Five Play, Ten Play, Fifty Play and even Hundred Play Poker (one hundred hands at a time!).

More recently, new games of video poker with interesting variations have caught players’ fancy. One of them that has really taken off in Las Vegas is 3 Way-Action Poker, which was developed by Ya Awada and his company, Gaming Entertainment Inc. in Las Vegas.

The game gives players three chances to win at draw poker, 5-card stud and 7-card stud. The game deals five cards initially, on which the player gets paid on any winning combination.

The player then holds cards from the first hand and draws up to five cards. The modified hand pays like traditional draw poker.

Then two additional cards are dealt and the winner is paid for the best 5-card hand using all seven cards.

The game also features the excitement of the Double Up or double-or-nothing bonus option, and a speed button for increased game speed.