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Peek and Play Video Poker

Developed by IGT, Peek and Play Poker video poker allows you to see the first draw card before you make discards.

This gives you an advantage because you have more information when deciding what to discard. But it also comes at a cost since you must pay two extra coins to activate the Peek and Play feature.

Is it worth the extra cost to play Peek and Play Poker? Furthermore, does this unique variant give you a better chance to win than with regular video poker games?

Find out as we discuss how to play Peek and Play, the pay table, and proper strategy.

How to Play Peek and Play Poker

Peek and Play Poker Betting

Like standard video poker games, Peek and Play Poker sees you bet between 1 and 5 coins per hand. But if you want to enable the Peek and Play feature, you must bet 5 coins plus an extra two credits 7 total.

Also note that Peek and Play Poker usually comes in multi hand format. This means you must play 3, 5, or 10 hands per turn.

This may not interest low rollers, who have enough trouble betting 5 credits in single hand video poker – let alone 7 credits per hand in multi hand Peek and Play.

The one saving grace is that multi hand games feature nickel coin denominations. This differs from single hand video poker machines in land based casinos, where coin denominations are $0.25.

Rather than betting $1.25 to play 5 credits in single hand video poker, multi hand Peek and Play Poker requires that you bet $0.35 to play 5 credits + 2 credits for the Peek feature.

If you’re playing Triple Play Peek and Play Poker, you’ll wager $1.05 to play three hands with the Peek feature, which is cheaper than making the $1.25 max wager in single hand.

Playing Hands

Once you select your bet and click Deal, you’ll receive your 5 card hand. If you’ve activated the Peek feature, you’ll also see an extra face up card on the left hand side.

This card indicates what your first draw card will be after you make discards. You can use this information to decide what to do with your 5 card hand.

When you’ve decided what cards to keep and discard, you click Draw to receive your new cards. The software then determines whether your hand qualifies for a payout.

As you can see, this game doesn’t deviate much from standard video poker. The only difference is that you have the advantage of seeing the next card to be dealt with the Peek feature.

Peek and Play Poker Rules

Peek and Play Poker uses a standard 52 card deck, and cards are programmed to appear with the same frequency that they do in a live poker game.

Random number generator software ensures that each hand is shuffled and completely random.

If you want to use the Peek and Play feature, your extra two credit bet must be placed before your hand is dealt.

Peek and Play Poker Variations

Multi hand Peek and Play Poker comes in a game bundle, allowing you to play this game through one of the following video poker variants:

  • Bonus Poker – Just like Jacks or Better, except that you receive bonus payouts for 4 of a kind hands.
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe – 4 of a kind bonus payouts offer more than in Bonus Poker. But a two pair only pays 1 credit, as opposed to 2 in Bonus Poker.
  • Deuces Wild – 2s are wild and substitute to form better hands. A natural royal flush with no deuces pays 4,000 credits on a max bet, while a royal flush involving deuces only pays 125 credits with a max bet.
  • Deuces Wild Bonus – Same as Deuces Wild, expect with bonus payouts for 4 of a kind hands.
  • Double Bonus – Special payouts for 4 of a kinds, with four aces being the second highest payout behind a royal flush.
  • Double Double Bonus – Higher bonus payouts for 4 of a kinds, with a very large prize for four aces with a 2, 3, or 4 kicker.
  • Joker Poker – A joker wild card is added to the deck and substitutes to former stronger hands. The lowest qualifying hand is a pair of kings.
  • Triple Double Bonus – Offers the highest payouts for 4 of a kind hands. Four aces with a kicker of 2, 3, or 4 pays as much as a royal flush.

Peek and Play Pay Table and Odds

As mentioned above, Peek and Play Poker video poker can be played through multiple games. Each pay table differs from standard video poker because you’re dealing with a 7 credit bet.

Below you can see a Peek and Play pay table that’s based on Bonus Poker:

NameNameNameNameNameName
Royal flush2505007501,0004,000
Straight flush50100150200250
Four aces90180270360450
Four 2s, 3s, or 4s50100150200250
Four 5s through Ks4080120160200
Full house816243240
Flush612182430
Straight48121620
3 of a kind3691215
2 pairs246810
Jacks or better12345

If you use optimal strategy with this Double Bonus pay table, you can achieve 98.55% long term payback. This is lower than what’s offered with 8 / 5 Bonus Poker, which pays 99.17% at the top end.

Peek and Play Poker’s lower payback is surprising, given that it offers higher payouts than 8 / 5 Bonus Poker.

Specifically, Peek and Play pays 90 coins for four aces; 50 coins for four 2s, 3s, or 4s; 40 coins for four 5s through Ks; and 6 coins for a flush.

With these same payouts, 8 / 5 Bonus Poker pays 80 coins for four aces; 40 coins for four 2s, 3s, or 4s; 25 coins for four 5s through Ks; and 5 coins for a flush.

Despite the larger payouts and your ability to see the first draw card, Peek and Play Poker pays less because of the additional 2 credit wager.

While some players may appreciate Peek and Play’s unique rules, the lower payback is the biggest reason to avoid this game.

Peek and Play Poker Video Poker Strategy

Peek and Play Poker video poker creates an interesting strategy dynamic by allowing you to see the first draw card. In some cases, this alters the strategy that you’d normally use in a given video poker game.

For example, let’s say that you receive the following hand in Bonus Poker:

  • Ace of diamonds
  • 9 of diamonds
  • 8 of clubs
  • 7 of spades
  • 6 of hearts

Proper Bonus Poker strategy dictates that you go for the open ended straight draw, which means that you keep everything except the ace.

But the Peek and Play feature shows that the next replacement card will be a 7 of diamonds, which guarantees that you can’t form a straight.

This leaves your new strategy as keeping the 7 and discarding everything else, giving you the chance to form a 3 or 4 of a kind.

Strategy remains the same for any video poker variant that you play through Peek and Play. But the key is to make adjustments based on what you see from the peek card.

Sample Strategy Chart

The following strategy chart is for Bonus Poker, and you start at the top strongest hands and scan down to find your hand. Be sure to take the peek card into account and how it will affect your hand ranking:

  • Royal flush, straight flush, 4 of a kind
  • 4 cards to a royal flush
  • Full house, flush, straight, 3 of a kind
  • 4 cards to a straight flush
  • Two pair
  • High pair
  • 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 4 cards to a flush
  • K Q J T unsuited
  • Low pair
  • 4 cards to an outside straight
  • 3 cards to a straight flush
  • A K Q J unsuited
  • 2 suited high cards
  • 3 cards to a straight flush
  • 4 card to an inside straight w / 3 high cards
  • K Q J unsuited
  • Q J unsuited
  • 3 cards to a straight flush
  • K Q, K J unsuited
  • J T suited
  • A K, A Q, A J unsuited
  • Ace
  • 3 cards to a straight flush
  • K T, Q T suited
  • Kings, queen, jack
  • 3 cards to a straight flush

Conclusion

Peek and Play Poker is another IGT video poker game that puts a unique spin on the genre.

No other game besides IGT’s Look Ahead Poker gives you the chance to see draw cards before you make discards. But if you’re willing to spend an additional two credits, Peek and Play gives you this ability.

You’ll find that the Peek feature is helpful in the context of play because it shows you the first draw card. This means that rather than basing your decision off of 5 cards, you have more help in the form of an exposed draw card.

Despite this advantage, Peek and Play only offers 98.55% payback in Bonus Poker. This is lower than the 99.17% payback seen in 8 / 5 Bonus Poker.

Peek and Play Poker isn’t meant to give you a great chance at beating the house. Instead, it’s an exotic variant that you can try when you’re tired of standard video poker.