Multi hand video poker works like single hand video poker. The standard hand rankings are utilized in multi-hand games as well. The biggest difference here is that the starting five-card hand players receive on the initial deal are duplicated on a given number of hands, often between five and a hundred. Whatever cards players have chosen to hold on their starting hand will automatically appear and be held in all the duplicate hands.
One of the biggest oddss of multi-hand video poker is that each duplicate hand requires a separate bet, similarly to the individual paylines on multi-line video slots. Because of this, bankroll management should be a major priority of players who are interested in betting on multi-hand video poker variants.
Another thing that will draw players’ attention is the fact sometimes they will be dealt cards of the same rank and suit in two, three or more hands. The reason for this is simple – in multi-hand video poker, the cards for each hand players have bet on are dealt from individual decks. In other words, if you opt for 50-hand video poker, as many as 50 decks will be in play on each wager you place.
The same amount is wagered on all hands you play at once. However, it is possible to come across multi-hand variations where it is allowed to make one bet on the initial hand and different bets on the duplicates. Such is the case with some multi-hand variants of the popular Jacks or Better where players can bet one credit in the original hand and up to five credits on every duplicate hand.
Multi-Hand Video Poker
The gameplay on multi-hand video poker variants largely coincides with that on single-handed games. Once your preferred multi-hand video poker game loads, you will be asked to select the number of hands you wish to play simultaneously.Games with 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 hands are among the most widespread options to choose from. Usually, it is possible to bet anywhere between one and five credits per hand.
If you want to bet a single credit on each hand, you need to click on the button that reads Bet One. Then again, if you intend to wager three credits per round, you hit the same button three times. It is also possible to adjust the value of the virtual coins/credits you bet with, with the most common denominations being 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.25, 0.50, and 1.00. Players can also conveniently bet the maximum number of credits per hand with a single click of the Bet Max button.
After you have adjusted the size of your wagers, you simply need to hit the Deal button in order to receive the five random cards your original hand will consist of. Let us imagine your original hand contains [K][J] and you wish to keep the King and the Jack. You simply are required to click on the cards you wish to hold.
Once you do that the King and the Jack will automatically be dealt in all duplicate hands you play. Then, you hit the Deal button again to replace the three discards and that is it – if you have succeeded to form qualifying hands on your duplicates as well as on the original hand, you are paid out according to the game’s paytable, depending on the hands’ ranking and the number of credits you have wagered.
In some multi-hand variants of the game, like those created by software developer Betsoft, players can change the number of hands they play at once without having to exit the main game and load it again. This is possible by clicking on the Change Hands button which will take you back to the starting menu where you can again choose from 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 hands.
This is not the case with some Playtech variations, like the 50-line Jacks or Better, where the number of hands remains fixed at 50 and there is no way to modify it – you either play all hands simultaneously or you play none.
The Double Up Feature
Almost all multi-hand and single-hand variants of video poker have an additional feature, called either Double Up or Gamble. Do have in mind this functionality is activated only after players have managed to form qualifying winning hands, though. For example, you play ten hands simultaneously and win with all of them.
You will leave the base-game and will be taken to a separate screen where the amount you have won is stated – you will be offered to double it up. Five cards will appear on the screen face-down – the first one is the virtual “dealer’s” card.
You can choose to either settle for the amount you have initially won or try to double it. If you opt for the latter, the dealer’s card will be flipped over – your goal is to pick one of the four remaining cards and if it is of a higher rank than the dealer’s, you will collect double the amount you have generated on all winning hands. If not, you lose everything.
Also, if you draw a card that is equal in rank to that of the dealer’s, it will be considered a draw but your winnings will be doubled. It is possible to try and repeat this stunt and triple your initial profits. In some online variations of multi-hand video poker, players can risk only half of the amount they have won, thanks to the Double Half functionality.
Even though doubling or even tripling your winnings may sound fun, keep in mind that this is a risky bet. If you double your win but decide to continue with another round of gamble, you might end up losing all of your winnings.
Important factors to consider when playing this poker game
There are several factors less experienced players need to consider before they start playing video poker in multiple-hand mode.
- The first thing to remember is the number of hands you play simultaneously does not affect the odds of turning a profit in any way.
- The probability of winning does not change regardless of whether you play a single hand or one hundred hands.
- Some players switch betting strategies whenever they transition from single to multi-hand video poker variants. This is not necessarily always a smart idea, especially if there are no differences in the paytables of the two game variations. Many experts share the opinion that the odds of winning do not improve by changing the amount of the wager or the number of hands one plays.
- It does not matter how many hands you have selected to play and what the size of your bet per hand is. The two most important things you need to factor in are the rules of the individual video poker variations you play and their paytables.
- The probability of winning on duplicate hands is the same as this for players’ initial hand. The only difference in multi-hand video poker is in volatility.
- Expert poker players have established that the overall variance on the initial deal and the draw increases proportionally to the number of hands one plays at a time.
- Multi-hand video poker players should make smaller bets per hand than they would normally do on single-hand games because this would help them to preserve their bankrolls for a longer period of time. The smarter thing to do would be to decrease your wagers from $1 on single hands to $0.10 or $0.25 when playing ten and five hands, respectively.
Variance in Multi-Hand Video Poker Games
To fully understand how the variance changes with the addition of hands, you can take a look at the different variants of some of the most popular video poker games.
Jacks or Better: If you have come across a 9/6 version of Jacks or Better with a single hand to bet on, the variance will be 19.5. In the same game, if you bet on 3 hands, the variance will increase to 23.4. The variance for 9/6 Jacks or Better with 5 hands is 27.4, and for 10 hands – 37.2. As the hands increase to 50, the variance becomes 115.8 and 100 hands will have a variance of 214, which is an increase of nearly 10 times the variance of the single-hand variant.
Bonus Poker: In an 8/5 variation of Bonus Poker, a single-hand version has a variance of 20.9. Increase the hands to 3 and the variance will gain to 25.1. A 5-hand version will have a variance of 29.4 and a 10-hand option – 40.0. A 50-hand play will mean the variance will be 124.8, while 100 hands will increase the level of variance to 230.8.
Double Bonus Poker: The last example is 10/7 Double Bonus Poker, which has a variance of 28.3 when it is played with one hand. When you decide to bet on 3 hands, the variance will increase to 35.0 and 5 hands will bring the variance up to 41.8. A 10-hand version will have a variance of 58.8, while a 50-hand option will raise the variance to 194.4. Lastly, a 100-hand version of 10/7 Double Bonus Poker will have a variance of 364.0.
Should You Play Multi-Hand Video Poker?
Multi-hand video poker variations are mostly fun at online casinos for certain types of players. To decide whether it is a good idea to resort to betting on several hands or to stick to the single-hand version of your favourite game, you can compare the advantages and disadvantages of the multiplay versions.
Many software developers offer their video poker games in both variants and you can easily come across a suitable version.
In most cases, multi-hand variants have the same paytables as their single-hand counterparts. This allows players to utilise the same type of strategy when they play with 1, 5, 50 or 100 hands. If you have already mastered the right strategy, you will be able to tilt the scales in your favour, no matter how many hands you bet on.
While you are increasing your bet only according to the number of hands you bet on, some video poker variations will allow you to bet more on your initial hands. If you have a sufficient balance, you can dive into a different video poker adventure and bet on several hands at once.
If you are willing to make bigger bets, however, you can give multi-hand games a try and stack up winnings much faster. (source casino guardian)