Quick Squads Video Poker
International Game Technology released in 2008 Quick Squads, a new popular video poker game variation that is sprouting across casinos in the US. This adds one more game to IGT’s growing list of video poker variations which includes classics as Multi-Strike Poker and Spin Poker.
Quick Squads plays pretty much the same as regular video poker except that you must wager 6 coins per hand in order to get the special Quick Squads feature activated. The special feature turns 3-of-a-kinds into 4-of-a-kinds when the sum of the extra two cards in the three-of-a-kind matches the face value of the trio’s cards. So, for example, when you have three 8’s with a 5 and 3 (888-53) then the hand pays out as a 4-of-a-kind by turning the 5 and 3 into the fourth 8.
The special Quick Squads feature doubles the rate of 4-of-a-kinds appearing on a normal video poker game. It only applies for 3-of-a-kinds of 2’s through 10’s. The face cards (J,Q,K) do not count as valid kickers for the bonus feature; Aces have a value of one.
Depending on the machine’s configuration, Quick Squads may be available for single hand, or multi hand versions in Triple Play, Five Play or Ten Play. The following draw poker games are available in Quick Squads version:
- Jacks or Better
- Bonus Poker
- Double Bonus Poker
- Double Double Bonus Poker
- Triple Bonus Plus Poker
- Triple Double Bonus Poker
Each game has a different payback % but it ranges between 97.72% on the low side to 99.87% for the top paying Triple Bonus Plus Poker. All the Quick Squads games have higher payback rates than their normal versions. To get the highest payback rates there is a special strategy to apply for this game which will be shown further below.
How to Play Quick Squads Poker
The rules for Quick Squads poker are similar to other video poker games. Just make sure to bet 6 coins per hand to ensure getting the special feature:
Single Hand – 6 credits
Triple Play - 18 credits
Five Play – 30 credits
Ten Play – 60 credits
The easiest way to bet the maximum credits each time is by pressing the “Bet Max” button which will set 6 credits on each hand and deal the cards for your initial hand. IGT’s Quick Squad machine is normally provided in multi-denominational form for nickel, quarter, fifty-cent and dollar. Play a denomination you feel comfortable playing for at least 100 hands in a row.
As other multi-hand games, the player first gets dealt 5 cards for a main hand. After selecting which cards to hold, the held cards will be duplicated on the other hands. By pressing the Draw button a separate deck will deal new cards (minus the discarded cards of the initial hand) to each participating hand.
Wins are made according to the game’s paytable, for example, Jacks or Better
|Poker Hands||Coin 1||Coin 2||Coin 3||Coin 4||Coin 5||Coin 6|
|4 of a Kind||25||50||75||100||125||236|
|3 of a Kind||3||6||9||12||15||15|
|Jacks or Better||1||2||3||4||5||5|
There are a few things worth noticing here. First of all, the player must be aware that betting 6 coins on each hand will deliver the same payout as a 5-coin bet for all hands except the four-of-a-kind. This will result in getting less than the wager amount for any paying pair. However, the game still has a superior payback rate when compared to the normal version of Jacks or Better. The Quick Squads version pays out 99.61% while the normal Full-Pay version is 99.54% when played with optimal strategy. This is partly due to the payout of the four-of-a-kind which has nearly been doubled on Quick Squads version of Jacks or Better.
Tips and Strategy for Quick Squads Poker
It has been suggested over and over throughout the internet that the best way to take advantage of the Quick Squad feature is by holding a kicker card with a three-of-a-kind if it will help you. For example, if you have been dealt three 5’s and a 2 and Queen (5-5-5-2-Q), hold the 5’s with the 2. By doing this you have 4 cards within the deck that can complete the Quick Squad four-of-a-kind: the 3’s.
This rule should not be followed for pairs; never hold 8-8-2-6 for example. The chance of getting another eight is very slight.
According to a Bob Dancer article there is a further strategy to apply. Always check which of the two kickers is most convenient for holding along with the trio. Never hold a kicker that is half the size of the trio’s card value. For example, if you get 6-6-6-3-4, never hold the 3 since you will only have three 3’s left in the deck. If you hold the 4 with the 6’s, you have four 2’s in the deck to help you complete the Quick Squad four-of-a-kind. Another reason it is better to hold a kicker that is not half the value of the trio’s cards is because of the full house. If you hold 6-6-6-3, there are no cards that will help you complete the Full House. If you are lucky to get the 3, you will earn the Quick Squad four-of-a-kind but there won’t be extra cards to help you complete a Full House. If you hold 6-6-6-4, you will have four 2’s for the Quick Squads four-of-a-kind and three 4’s to complete a Full House. This increases the payback rates for any of the Quick Squads games.
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