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For many years there were not many advancements in the game of video poker, that was until Microgaming introduced a new generation of games with a unique playing structure and format which they called "Level-Up Video Poker".
The Level Up series of games took video poker to the next level, adding a brand new element of excitement to the standard game. In these game variants player are able to play up to four consecutive hands each offering progressively higher returns. This means that every time you win a hand you "level-up" to the next one and a high level of payouts.
Here we'll take a look at how to play these exciting video poker variants so that you know what to expect from these games as well as what strategy elements are involved.
You commence a game of Level-Up video poker by selecting your coin size and the number of coins you would like to play. When doing so, keep in mind that you will be wagering on four hands simultaneously so whatever you bet will be multiplied by four ‐ so if you select a coin size of 0.25 and you bet 5 coins, you're looking at a bet of 1.25 credits per hand times by four which will equate to 5 credits per round.
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Once you have made your wager, the game commences and you click the "Deal" button for the cards to be dealt. Four hands consisting of 5 cards each will then be dealt and appear on your screen but on the cards in the first hand will be visible while the others will all appear face down.
The initial hand is played just like you would play any other video poker hand ‐ you click on the cards you want to keep which will hold them and then you click on the Draw button to replace the cards you are discarding with new ones.
The game will then indicate whether you have won anything or not (you can also check your cards against the paytable to see this if you'd like to) and if you have won, the amount will be added to your total.
If you win the first hand, the cards in the second hand will be turned face upwards and you will proceed to play that hand using the same method as above. The only difference in this round is that if you happen to win, the payout rate will be double that indicated on the Paytable. So for example if you have a flush and the payout rate is 30 coins, you will receive 60 at this level.
As long as you win you will continue to "level up" and advance through the game, each time the payouts will become greater. In round 3 payouts are quadrupled and in round four payouts are multiplied by eight .
If at any time, however, you lose a hand, the game is over and you will begin again at level 1 with lower payout rates.
Most Microgaming powered online casinos like Betway offer five Level-Up Video Poker variants including Aces and Faces, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Double Joker Poker and Jacks or Better games.
Each game follows a similar gameplay format as previously discussed but have different rules regarding payouts, wild cards and minimum winning hands work. So it is advisable to read through the rules before you select a particular game and if necessary play a few free play games before you spend your hard earned money.
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In order to achieve the largest possible payouts, video poker games rely on you playing according to perfect strategy in order to obtain the big win. Level-Up Video Poker also requires you to advance through the levels which may require you to play a little more conservatively than you usually would.
If you play traditional Jacks or Better video poker and hold a hand consisting of a three, seven and nine and King of diamonds and a King of Hearts, you would generally discard the latter in order to play for another diamond card to earn a flush. However if you are playing the Level-Up game, you should rather hold the Kings because while it may not be a flush it's a sure win which will means that you advance to the next round with higher payout potential.
While this is merely a suggestion and is not really a strategic "must" ‐ it's one way of looking at the game and your decision on how to play will really come down to your bankroll and what you find entertaining.