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Entertainment USA
Card Game
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

Who on earth would want to try and top Sam Fox's Strip Pole? Certainly not Mastertronic which keeps to a poker simulation without the stimulation in this little number. Sure, it's good, clean family fun - and dead boring with it. If you're a fan of the Cincinnati Kid rather than kinky underwear you'll still be disappointed. Video Poker's similarity to the saloon bar game is simply superficial. All it actually does is copy one-armed bandit poker games and as such has all the average skill quotient of a fruit machine.

There's only one screen and unfortunately you can only play against the Speccy - a real cheat if ever I knew one. All bets are made blind (you start with twenty coins), thus cutting out any chances for bluff, double bluff and upping your stakes - in other words no Blind Mans Bluff!

You can hold any of the five cards dealt and there's one re-deal for an exchange. As in card poker you're looking for all the classic hands, from pairs (and we're not talking Sam Fox here) to Royal Flushes. Each winning hand has set odds - a pair is evens, two pairs 2-1 and, if you're lucky enough to get one, a Royal Flush is 250-1. Odds, of course, favour the house but your best bet is still to dive right in there with the big stakes as you won't get a chance to change your mind once you're playing. Your kitty is appropriately adjusted with each hand played.

Video Poker has no frills, or thrills, unless you're an ardent addict of the one-armed bandit - and there's no nudges or big knobs to play with here! If you are it might save you a few 50ps otherwise you'd be better off buying a pack of Sam Fox playing cards.