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Spin Poker

Spin Poker looks a lot like a standard 3-line multi-play video poker game, but it has some significant differences.

The main hand is in the center line, and the other 2 lines are located above and below that line. When you decide which cards to keep and which cards to throw away, those cards are kept above and below, too.

But the cards are dealt from one deck with 47 cards left in it, which makes it impossible to get the same results on all 3 hands.

How to Play Spin Poker

All video poker games share certain gameplay features. You can find detailed explanation of those in our main video poker page. But I’ll share the basics here, too:

You start by placing a bet of between 1 and 5 coins. You should always go with the 5-coin bet, though, because that activates a higher payout on a royal flush. If you bet 1, 2, 3, or 4 coins, a royal flush pays off at 250 to 1. But when you bet 5 coins, the hand pays off at 800 to 1. It’s a significant difference that affects your bottom line over time.

Once you’ve placed your bet, you press the “deal” button, and the game deals you a 5 card poker hand. You can choose to keep or discard any, none, or all of the cards in front of you.

The computer deals you replacement cards for the ones you’ve discarded, and you get paid off based on the strength of your hand. These payoffs are detailed on the pay table for the game.

Some games are “multi-play” games, where you get the opportunity to play 3, 5, 10, or even 50 hands at a time. They all start with the same 5-card hand, but you get fresh deals on each line from a fresh 52 card deck. That’s where Spin Poker deviates from the norm. The cards are dealt from one 47 card deck, and they’re dealt from left to right in the discard spots.

This is a subtle but important difference between Spin Poker and multi-line poker—in fact, it’s important enough to warrant a name change.

Spin Poker Pay Tables and Odds

Spin Poker, like many video poker variations, is just a variation that’s stapled onto an existing video poker game like Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild. It has a different name because of the 3-lines and the way the cards are dealt and replaced after the discard phase of the game.

Since this is the case, the pay tables and odds for Spin Poker are based on the base game.

Example

If you’re playing Jacks or Better with a 9/6 pay table and a 99.54% payback percentage, the same numbers hold true for the Spin Poker variation of the game. (The 9/6 refers to the payouts for the full house and the flush, respectively.)

There is a difference in the volatility of the game, though, because of the extra hands. You can expect bigger swings and longer losing streaks followed by occasional larger wins that make up for them. In the long run, you’ll lose money at about the same rate as you would in any other video poker game with these pay tables. It will just take longer for the long run to kick in. (And the long run takes a while to kick in anyway—longer than most people think. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of hands.)

We’ve covered pay tables and payback percentages in detail on a lot of our other pages, but we’ll include an example of a typical pay table below to give you an idea (in case you’re a novice). This example is for a 9/6 Jacks or Better game:

HandReturn
Royal flush800 to 1
Straight flush50 to 1
4 of a Kind25 to 1
Full house9 to 1
Flush6 to 1
Straight4 to 1
3 of a kind3 to 1
2 pairs2 to 1
A pair of jacks or bettereven money

This is also called a “full pay” Jacks or Better game because it’s the best common version of the game. The payback percentage for this version of the game, assuming you make the correct holding/drawing decisions on every hand, is 99.54%. The payback percentage is the amount of each bet that the casino expects to pay back in winnings over the long run (hundreds of thousands of hands).

Here’s how the payback percentage is used to calculate the expected profit on a machine:

You multiply the cost per hand by the number of bets you’re making per hour. You then multiply that by the payback percentage to get the amount paid back to the player in winnings. Subtract that from the amount bet per hour and you get the expected hourly loss.

Let’s say you’re playing the 9/6 game above. You’re placing 15 coins in action on each hand (3 hands X 5 coins per hand). Assuming you’re playing a quarter game, that’s $3.75 per hand. You’re going to average probably 600 hands per hour, so 600 X $3.75 = $2250 per hour. But the casino expects to pay you back winnings of $2250 X 99.54%, or $2239.65. You’re expected to lose the difference, $2250 – $2239.65, or $10.35 per hour.

But keep in mind that’s a long term expectation. In the short run, you’ll see a higher loss rate than that (probably) because you only see a royal flush once every 40,000 hands or so. The 800 to 1 payout for that hand makes up a lot of the return percentage.

Spin Poker Strategy

The strategy for Spin Poker is exactly the same as it is for the base game. You can find strategy tables for almost all of the base games available on the appropriate game-specific page on our site. If you’ve never used a video poker strategy chart before, here’s how one works:

You’re given a list of possibilities from best to worst. You compare them to what’s on your list and keep the first one that applies to your hand. The royal flush is always at the top, because it’s a pat hand that pays off more than any other hand. The correct strategy choice with that hand is to hold all 5 cards and collect your winnings.

Most “pat hands”—hands that pay off without having to be improved—are held, but not in every case and not in every game. Sometimes you’ll throw away a winning hand to try to draw to a much better hand.

Example

A game where you have a pair of jacks but also a draw to a royal flush. If you hold the pair, you’re guaranteed an even money payout. But if you draw to the royal flush, you have a 1/47 chance of winning 800 to 1. The difference in expected value is tremendous over time.

Spin Poker Deluxe

Spin Poker Deluxe is essentially the same game as Spin Poker with the addition of more pay lines. As with Spin Poker, your strategy doesn’t change, and the payback percentages don’t change. The only difference is in terms of standard deviation and volatility. In Spin Poker Deluxe, you’re dealing with 20 pay lines, which increases the chance of getting a paying hand every time you play. The difference is that you pay for each of those lines, which increases the amount of money you have in action, too.

Spin Poker with Dream Card

Spin Poker with Dream Card is the same game as Spin Poker, but for an extra 5 credits, you get the “Dream Card” option activated. To activate this option, you place 5 additional coins on your bet. When you get your initial hand, you get 4 cards plus a “dream card”, which is similar to (but not exactly the same as) a wild card. The game suggests which card would be best for you, but you have the option to change it. (And sometimes you should – Michael Shackleford suggests that sometimes the game gives the wrong advice.)

Summary

Spin Poker is an interesting fusion of a couple of different slot machine concepts with video poker play. It also resembles multi-line video poker games in some interesting ways. The nice thing about this game is that the odds and strategies are the same as for the base game, so you don’t have to learn anything new. The only disadvantage is the increased volatility, which might or might not be a problem for you. It depends on your temperament.