Hold’em Challenge Video Poker
Some people like video poker games because they don’t have to compete in real life with other players. Video Poker games are normally played against a machine and payouts are made according to a paytable. With Hold’em Challenge the world of video poker is married to the world of normal table poker. Technically, you do not bet against other players but you are competing for a better hand. Hold’em Challenge is a fusion between Texas Hold’em and your typical video poker game. The player receives three sets of two cards. The player must then choose one of the three sets to play against the other two. The other two sets of cards are called the “challengers”. After the machine deals five community cards shared by all three participants (you and the two “challengers”) a payout will be made to the player if his or her 5-card poker hand is stronger than both the challenger’s hands. This is a great game to help you get acquainted with the rules of Texas Hold’em Poker.
This interesting game was developed by IGT (International Game Technology). IGT created this game in four versions:
The first two games allow you to play 4 simultaneous hands at the same time. The last two games have 9 sets of 5 community cards which are dealt for the player and the challengers.
Where to Play Hold’em Challenge Video Poker
This game is not as common as Jacks or Better or Wheel of Fortune. You can find it at some land based casinos that have IGT games. Some of these are:
How to Play Hold’em Challenge Video Poker
As we were saying before, if you are unfamiliar with Texas Hold’em then this is the right place to start. You will get to apply similar rules without having to be under the pressure of a real breathing rival.
Let’s look first of all at a Poker Hand Chart so you can understand what cards compose each poker hand:
Royal Flush: Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of the same suit
Straight Flush: any five cards in a row of the same suit
Four: four cards of the same rank
Full House: three cards of the same rank and two of another rank
Flush: any five cards with the same suit
Straight: any five cards in a row but with different suits
Three-of-a-kind: three cards of the same rank plus any other two cards
Two pairs: two cards of the same rank together with 2 cards of another rank
One Pair: two cards of the same rank and three miscellaneous cards
The objective of the game is to create the strongest 5-card poker hand out of the 7 cards dealt (2 to you and 5 shared community cards). Your challengers will also create a 5-card poker hand from their 2 cards and the 5 community cards. Please note that it is possible for the strongest 5-card poker hand to be exactly the 5 community cards. In this case the player and challengers will have the same hand.
To begin playing insert money into the machine and select how many bets you want to place per each hand. If you are on Four Play, you can place up to four 5-coin bets for a total of 20 bets. Each bet is equal to the denomination of the machine.
Press the red Deal button to begin. The machine will deal to you 3 sets of 2 cards from a 52-card deck. Select which two cards you want to use to compete with the other unselected pairs of cards. When you have decided which pair of cards to keep, press the Draw button.
Now the machine will deal 4 (on Four Play version) or 9 (on Nine Play version) sets of 5 community cards, each from a separate deck of 52-cards that excludes the 6 initially dealt cards. Your cards and the challengers’ cards will compete to create the strongest 5-card poker hand out of the 7 cards. If you have the strongest of the 3 hands, a payout is made according to the Hold’em Challenge pay table.
This is the paytable for the regular Hold’em Challenge. If you have played other video poker games you might be wondering why it only pays 3:1 for a Full House and 25:1 for a Straight Flush. The reason is simple, with normal draw video poker you play with a 5 card hand. With Hold’em Challenge you create a poker hand using 7 cards, which increases the possibility of creating good poker hands. Therefore the developers reduce payouts according to the probability of getting each hand.
The On-Board Royal Flush refers to a Royal Flush dealt within the 5 community cards.
The Tie payout is made if you and the challenger(s) have the same winning poker hand (exception, of course, for the on-board royal flush).
You will win the High Card payout if your challengers have no pair or higher hand and you have the highest card in your two cards.
Let’s have a look at the Bonus Hold’em Challenge pay table:
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