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Triple Play with Match Card Poker

Created by IGT, Triple Play with Match Card Poker is a video poker variation that’s similar to standard Triple Play Draw Poker.

The main difference is that you can activate a Match Card feature by doubling your bet per hand. The Match Card feature sees three cards chosen from a separate deck that can multiple your payouts.

This additional element creates more fun and excitement than normal video poker variations offer.

But is it worth making the Match Card bet? Also, do your long term chances of winning improve with Match Cards?

Find out as we look at Triple Play Match Card Poker’s betting, rules, variations, pay tables, and strategy.

How to Play Triple Play with Match Card Poker

Video PokerTriple Play with Match Card Poker Betting

This game’s betting options are much like Triple Play Poker, where you can select between 1 to 3 hands and put 1 5 coins on each hand.

In order to use the Match Card feature, you must first place max bets on all three hands 15 credits. You then double your bet to activate March Cards, making the total wager worth 30 credits.

On a quarter denomination machine, this leaves you betting $7.50 per turn. If you’re lucky enough to find a nickel denomination game, you can lower the total bet to $1.50.

Video PokerPlaying Hands

If you play all 3 hands, you’ll receive a face up hand at the bottom of the screen along with two face down hands.

You select which cards you want to keep and discard in the bottom hand, and any held cards are copied in the upper hands.

Example

You keep a pair of queens in the bottom hand, and a pair of queens are flipped over in each of the other two hands.

When you’ve finished drawing for cards, click the Draw button to complete your hands. If you’ve qualified for any payouts, you’ll be paid according to the specific video poker variation’s pay table.

Video PokerMatch Card Feature

Triple Play with Match Card Poker uses two decks: one for the 1 3 hands that you play, and a separate deck if you activate the Match Card feature.

When Match Card is activated, the game selects three cards from the separate deck. If one or more of these cards matches what you hold, you’ll receive a multiplier on any potential win.

Here’s a look at the multiplier pay table listed in the Triple Play with Match Card Poker pay table:

Match Top Card

3x
Match Middle Card

4x
Match Bottom Card

5x
Match 2 or More Cards

11x

Remember that the Match Cards must match the exact suit and value of a cards in your hand.

Here’s an example using a single hand

You’re dealt Ad 3c 9h Ac 7h, and your Match Cards are 3c, 6d, Kh. You’re playing Jacks or Better, meaning that your aces would normally only be worth 1 coin.

But since the bottom Match Card matches your 3c, you earn a 5x multiplier. This pushes your aces payout to 5 coins.

Here’s another example: You’re dealt Ks Qd Jh Ts 9c in a Jacks or Better game, along with Match Cards of As Jh 3c. Since your Jh matches the middle Match Card, you receive a 4x multiplier.

The payout for this straight would normally be 4 coins, but the 4x multiplier makes it worth 16 coins.

Video PokerTriple Play with Match Card Poker Variations

Like many unique IGT video poker machines, Triple Play with Match Card Poker houses a variety of games in the same machine. Here’s a look at the different variations that you can choose from:

  • Bonus Poker

    Offers bonus payouts for four aces; four 2s 4s; and four 5s Ks.

  • Bonus Poker Deluxe

    Offers a large bonus payout for any 4 of a kind, rather than dividing payouts up between three sets of 4 of a kinds.

  • Double Bonus

    Pays double the bonuses on specific 4 of a kind hands as Bonus Poker.

  • Double Double Bonus

    Pays the same bonus payouts as Bonus Poker and Double Bonus, expect for the inclusion of prizes for four aces w / a 2, 3, or 4 kicker, and four 2s, 3s, or 4s, w / a 2, 3, or 4 kicker.

  • Deuces Wild

    All 2s are wild, creating the possibility for four deuces and a five of a kind. The lowest qualifying hand is a 3 of a kind.

  • Bonus Deuces Wild

    Includes bonus payouts for four deuces plus an ace; four deuces; five aces; five 3s 5s; and five 6s Ks.

  • Jacks or Better

    This is the pay table that other video poker games are based on. The lowest qualifying payout is made on a pair of jacks or better.

  • Joker Poker

    Includes one joker wild card, creating a 53 card deck. Joker Poker also offers a 5 of a kind payout thanks to the joker.

  • Triple Double Bonus

    Offers larger bonus payouts than Double Double Bonus Poker for four aces w / a 2, 3, or 4 kicker, and four 2s, 3s, or 4s, w / a 2, 3, or 4 kicker.

Triple Play with Match Card Poker Pay Table and Odds

As we discussed earlier, Match Card Poker offers two pay tables, including one for the multipliers and one for the game that you’re playing.

For the sake of discussion, let’s examine a 9 / 5 Jacks or Better pay table and cover how the Match Card multipliers affect payouts:

Video Poker9 / 5 Jacks or Better

Hand

1 coin

2 coins

3 coins

4 coins

5 coins

Royal flush2505007501,0004,000
Straight flush50100150200250
4 of a kind255075100125
Full house918273645
Flush510152025
Straight48121620
3 of a kind3691215
2 pairs246810
Jacks or better12345

Given that you can get up to an 11x multiplier through the Match Cards, the highest possible payout in Triple Play with Match Card Poker is 44,000 coins.

The odds of you lining up two or more Match Cards with a royal flush are very rare. But it’s still exciting to think of the huge payouts that you can form with multipliers.

Video PokerHow Match Card Multipliers Affect Payback

From a strategy perspective, you should make the multiplier bet every time because it increases long term payback.

The standard version of 9 / 5 Jacks or Better offers 98.45% payback. But with the Match Card feature, this increases to 98.60% payback.

You’re still better off playing a game like 9 / 6 Jacks or Better, which offers 99.54% payback with optimal strategy. But if you’re going to play Triple Play with Match Card Poker, then note that you’ll win more by activating the multipliers.

Video PokerBeware of Lower Pay Tables

Due to the positive effect that Match Cards have on video poker payback, you’ll often see lower pay tables.

This can be frustrating when you want to try the game, yet don’t want to lower your chances of winning. But as long as you can find a game like 9 / 5 Jacks or Better, you have decent odds.

Below you can see what payback you’ll be facing with different video poker games / pay tables:

  • 8 / 5 Jacks or Better payback – 97.45% payback w / multipliers; 97.30% payback w / o multipliers
  • 7 / 5 Jacks or Better payback – 96.31% payback w / multipliers; 96.15% payback w / o multipliers
  • 9 / 5 Bonus Poker Deluxe – 98.67% payback w / multipliers; 98.55% payback w / o multipliers
  • 8 / 5 Bonus Poker Deluxe – 97.53% payback w / multipliers; 97.40% payback w / o multipliers
  • 7 / 5 Bonus Poker Deluxe – 96.47% payback w / multipliers; 96.25% payback w / o multipliers
  • 9 / 5 / 4 Double Double Bonus – 98.06% payback w / multipliers; 97.87% payback w / o multipliers

Triple Play with Match Card Poker Video Poker Strategy

The strategy that you use for Triple Play with Match Card Poker should be the same as standard video poker variations.

But one thing to keep in mind is that the number of discards you make has an effect on your odds of getting a multiplier. Here’s a look at how this works:

Discards

Average Multiplier

01.95
11.97
21.99
32.01
42.04
52.06
Video PokerAlways Use Match Cards

As discussed before, you always want to double the max bet so that you receive Match Cards. While the payback increase isn’t significant, you do stand to win more money with the Match Card feature.

If your sole focus with video poker is to win money, then you’ll be better off finding a game like 9 / 6 Jacks or Better or 9 / 7 Double Bonus Poker combined with a good comp rate.

After all, many Match Card Poker machines feature lesser pay tables.

Video PokerHigh Variance

Due to the fact that you need to bet 30 credits to get Match Cards, this game is volatile.

You’ll have many hands where you don’t win any regular payouts, thus negating the benefit of multipliers. You’ll also experience times where you win hands but don’t receive a multiplier.

Because of this, you’ll want to have a large bankroll before playing Triple Play with Match Card Poker video poker.

Video PokerJacks or Better Strategy Charts

The specific strategy that you use in this game depends upon the exact variation you’re playing. Jacks or Better is a good place to begin because it has simpler strategy than most video poker games.

Below you can see a couple of different strategy charts for Jacks or Better, including a simplified version and a more advanced one that will get you to optimal payback.

When using these, start at the top and scan down until you find your hand:

Simple Strategy Chart

  • 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
  • 2 pair
  • High pair aces to jacks
  • 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 4 cards to a flush
  • Low pair 10s or lower
  • 4 cards to an outside straight
  • 2 unsuited high cards
  • Suited K 10, Q 10, or J 10
  • One high card

Advanced Strategy Chart

  • 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 aces to jacks
  • 3 cards to a royal flush
  • 4 cards to a flush
  • Unsuited K Q J T
  • Low pair 10s or lower
  • 4 cards to an outside straight w / 0 to 2 high cards
  • 3 cards to a straight flush
  • Suited Q J
  • 4 cards to an inside straight w / 4 high cards
  • Suited K Q, K J
  • Suited A K, A Q, or A J
  • 4 cards to an inside straight w / 3 high cards
  • 3 cards to a straight flush
  • Unsuited K Q J
  • Unsuited Q J
  • Suited J T
  • 2 unsuited high cards w / king high card
  • Suited Q T
  • 2 unsuited high cards w / ace high card
  • Jack only
  • Suited K T
  • Queen, king, or ace only
  • 3 cards to a straight flush
  • Discard everything

Conclusion

Triple Play with Match Card Poker is totally unique to the video poker world thanks to the 3 Match Cards. These appear on the right side of the screen and give you a chance to win far bigger payouts than normal.

If you get two or more Match Cards in the same turn, you’ll receive an 11x multiplier on any potential payouts.

But while this is exciting, there’s also a price to be paid in the form of doubling the max bet. At 30 credits per turn, this is too rich for the average video poker player.

Another concern is that your primary motivation to make the multiplier bet is that you can get higher payback. But with the increase only being worth between 0.1% and 0.2%, many players will question if this is worth it.

That being said, it’s up to you to decide if the fun multiplier / card matching effect is worth the extra risk. If not, you can find plenty of other IGT video poker machines that offer cheaper features.