It seems Poker is high on the video game agenda as of late. With a wide selection of takes on the classic card game, each with a variety of different unique features it can all be a little complex. For those who want a simpler, more relaxing take on what can be a high stakes pressure filled game of chance – enter Four Kings Video Poker
Four Kings Video Poker is based on the popular casino hall slot machine variant of poker rather than the physical card game. The presentation is just like the machines littering the main hall in popular Las Vegas establishments like the MGM Grand or The Venetian Hotel. Rather than all the flashing lights and grand design of a 7ft slot machine however, all you get is the video screen itself.
Screen layout is extremely simple. Five cards are dealt, turned and presented in the centre of the screen with a number of buttons below. These are used for increasing your bet, placing the maximum bet and moving the game forward. Above this, Four Kings Video Poker outlines the potential winnings for any of the usual poker combinations most players are familiar with; from a Pair all the way up to a Royal Flush. Depending on the bet placed, winnings are multiplied up as detailed.
Four Kings Video Poker plays a variant of poker known as “Jacks or Better”. This means you need at least a pair of Jacks (or something of equal value) to win anything back from your bets. Getting a pair of eights; although a fairly decent starting hand in poker, is useless. Once the first five cards come out you have the opportunity to swap out any or all of the five cards dealt to make up your hand. You can also choose to hold or lock any cards in your hand so they are not replaced.
Once the second hand has been dealt and any cards replaced you have selected; then Four Kings Video Poker automatically tallies up your position and any potential winnings. It’s a fast turn around game and you can easily burn through five games in a minute given the speed of your decisions, bets and the game moving forward through the phases.
It’s super simple and burns time easily but there’s very little to hold the attention after twenty minutes or so given the lack of tactics required. There’s no AI or multiplayer to compete against so it’s just you and the machine. Given the main draw of these machines is the winning, the draw is reduced when no real money is exchanged and you just keep clicking the A Button whilst you burn through imaginary credits.
Four Kings Video Poker isn’t breaking any boundaries in design but it’s simple and technically proficient in what it tries to portray with a price tag to suit.