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Cryptologic Over Poker

October 16, 2010

Over Poker is a new video poker format game developed by Cryptologic. This format introduces a new move of shifting a card to a higher level. This forces the player to rethink the usual strategy and makes the game more exciting.

Two cards are dealt face up to start with. For each card three moves are available to the player. Two of the moves are the traditional moves of hold and discard. If the player chooses discard, then the card is immediately replaced. If the player chooses hold then no action is taken. The player can shift the card to a higher level. If a new level is started in doing so then that level becomes an independent hand and an extra wager is taken from the player. When the card is shifted upward a replacement card is dealt. Once the player completes the moves on the first two cards the final three cards are dealt one at a time. The same options are available to the player in each case. When the lowest level has five cards that have been acted on then the payouts for that level are made as per the payout table. Then cards are dealt to the higher level if one has been started. Otherwise the game is over.

The paying poker hand rankings are the same as in Jacks or Better, but some of the payouts are lower. This is to neutralize the advantage that the player has because of the shift move. In Over Poker three of a kind pays out at 2 to 1, flush pays 5 to 1, full house pays 5 to 1 and four of a kind pays 20 to 1. The payouts for the other hand rankings are the same as in Jacks or Better.

The shift to a higher level move, called Move Up, should be exercised with caution especially when it adds to the amount wagered. In no event should the player break a winning combination at a lower level when shifting cards upwards. He should also avoid weakening the lower level hand by reducing the chance for getting a flush or straight or any other paying combination. A new level should not be started with a card other than a jack, queen, king or ace, because the payouts begin with jacks or better.  In general players should prefer to replace the card at a lower level rather than moving it upwards unless they are increasing their chances of making a winning combination in the higher hand.

In Cryptologic Over Poker, players can wager only one coin per game and not the usual up to five coins. The coin size varies from $0.25 to $100. One of the new innovative visual features offered in this format of video poker is the choice of skins that set up the background on the screen. The first skin displays army camouflage uniform, the second skin offers a metallic appearance and the third skin offers a wooden background display. A feature that will be of tremendous help to new video poker players relates the poker hand ranking names to the cards. As the cursor is moved over the hand ranking names in the payout table a pop up display of the typical poker hand appears on the screen.

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