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Entertainment USA
1986
Card Game
£1.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

Other Links


132
Chris Bourne

This is a version of the game you'd see if you were in the arcade halls of the gambling capital of America. The idea is to get the highest hand of cards possible and win as much money as possible.

The screen shows what would be the front of an American Video Poker machine. The top window displays the cards, which can be turned over or changed. Below this are the hold buttons and the gambling section where you decide how many coins you are going to place as a bet.

As this is an All American game the money which you gamble with is American currency you begin with twenty coins, whether you chose nickles, dimes, quarters or dollars. There are five skill levels, ranging from very easy where predicting the cards is relatively straightforward through to the fifth, where it really is down to pot luck.

You begin with five cards, all face down. A decision must be made on how much money to place as a bet. Pressing Space releases one coin at a time from your 'bank' into the betting window. When you're happy with the stake, a press of the Enter key reveals all...

At this point you can have a completely new hand dealt or choose to hold certain cards. Pressing Enter activates the dealer. The screen will now either start flashing madly, signifying that you have won enormous loads of boodle, or it won't, meaning that you haven't. The game continues in this way until you're totally nickle-less. Just like real life, really.

CRITICISM

'You can't win real money on this 'machine' so there doesn't really seem to be much point in playing it. Many games of this type are well presented and also offer a good simulation of the game. This is not the case with Video Poker. The graphics work well but it sometimes a bit hard to distinguish between the different suits. The way in which the cards turn over is fairly slick but It does take a while, which can be frustrating. The sound is a bit of a let down as there are no tunes and only a few effects. I'd keep well away from this game if I was you'

'Video Poker is one of the most boring poker games around. The game, as with most betting games, is good fun at first, but the pretty graphics and neat presentation don't hide what the game really consists of - not much. Video Poker is not really a game of skill at all. The whole game is based on luck - most of it bad! The different levels are a good idea and are structured well, and the idea of having a screen which gives you the odds is quite nice, but only superficial. The only reality in Video Poker is that you always lose in the end.'

'I wouldn't really play this sort of game anyway, whether it was on a computer or in a casino! Having said that, I did get about half an hour's fun out of Video Poker but after that the addictiveness began to wear off. It seemed that however craftily I played my hand the computer always ended up winning. The whole thing began to dissolve into a game of luck and the skill involved in a real game of poker was lost. If I did pay out the £1.99 asking price I wouldn't be too fed up with my purchase, really.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: ENTER to start, SPACE to select coins, ENTER for cards to be dealt, keys 1 to 5 to retain cards
Joystick: keyboard only
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: adequate
Graphics: no surprises
Sound: spot effects when you win or lose
Skill levels: five
Screens: one main playing screen
General Rating: Another poker/fruit machine simulator, competent but uninspiring.

38%
36%
30%
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28%
39%
35%

Screenshot Text

At first glance it looks as if you've held a pair of Jacks, but look again. The new cards are being turned over. Could be another bum deal.