Another twist in video poker payouts is a progressive jackpot. These incorporate a progressive meter above a carousel of video poker machines, and a portion of each bet is designated to fund the progressive jackpot that is usually hit on a royal flush.
When a bank of Jacks-or-better machines offers a progressive jackpot, you won’t find 9/6 machines because the top award accounts for a larger percentage of the overall payout percentage. But don’t be fooled by being attracted to a big progressive jackpot when the payoffs for a full house and a flush aren’t at a reasonable level. You’re not getting the best bet unless you play at an 8/5 machine on a regular Jacks-or-better game.
Professional video poker players know that when the progressive meter hits £1,250 on a quarter video poker machine, they have the edge. Often a team of players will occupy every seat on such a carousel until the jackpot is hit.
IGT, the company which developed the Megabucks, Quartermania and Dollars Deluxe linked-slot systems, has had some trouble developing a similar system for video poker. Because the players can actually play for a royal flush when the progressive jackpot reaches. high levels, professional players could actually make it more likely that they’d hit the big jackpot. Requiring the winning hand to be “sequential” – that is lined up from Tento Ace left to right or vice versa – didn’t work, either, because the professional player could alter his style to go for that jackpot as well.
At one point, IGT developed what they called Star Poker. The random number generator added stars to the cards that make up a royal flush, and the players couldn’t predict when or where those stars would appear, so they couldn’t alter their playing style to try to win the progressive jackpot. But because it was so confusing, it wasn’t very popular.
Today, there is a system called Pokermania that designates a particular suit for each machine. For instance, a player sitting at a machine designated for diamonds must hit a sequential royal flush in diamonds to win the progressive jackpot. If he draws a sequential royal flush in hearts, he will get a good payout, but not the progressive. These machines seem to satisfy the player, but are still not as popular as the slot versions of the giant progressive jackpots. And because you’re supposedly playing for the big jackpot, you pay a big price in the full house/flush payout. Rarely will you see a giant linked-progressive jackpot video poker system paying more than six for a full house and five for a flush.