IGT to Revolutionize Video Poker

When the 2010 Global Gaming Expo (aka G2E) commences in Las Vegas this November, International Game Technology is slated to unveil two new games that could very well change the face of video poker forever.

IGT has long been an international leader in live slot games and in the last decade has expanded their influence greatly by opening an online branch called Wagerworks. Their influence in the video poker segment of the market is also obvious, though up until now they’ve done very little to rock the boat. For years, the world of video poker has remained largely untouched…until now. In response to the growing craze for both live poker and slot machines, IGT has come up with two new and very different takes on modern video poker.

IGT’s two new video poker titles seem to be taking the game in very different directions. One title, Build a Wheel Poker, will add more of an element of chance to IGT’s existing video poker format. Players that spend a lot of time (and money) warming a Build a Wheel seat will be rewarded with a special bonus. For a set amount of play, they will fill a portion of a wheel, and once the wheel has been filled entirely it will spin and reward players with whatever prize it lands on. The wheel feature can also be triggered by a full house.

Since such luck-based rewards have rarely captured the interest of true poker players, we think our readers will be far more interested in IGT’s second new video poker title, Texas Hold’em Heads Up Poker. As you might have already guessed from its name, this game not only breaks the Draw poker mold by using a Texas Hold’em format, it’s also the first title to introduce a true live poker-style form of competition to video poker.

Not only does Texas Hold’em Heads Up Poker do away with the old fashioned video poker paytable, its computer will also be designed to emulate the thought process of a human competitor. This is a video poker machine that actually bluffs! While we’re intrigued by the idea, and it seems like a good option for anti-social players that still want to compete, we’re also dubious about how real poker players will receive a game that’s essentially the live incarnation of an online poker bot.

Think you can outsmart IGT’s virtual player? If you’re in Las Vegas later this winter, then you might get a chance. There’s no denying that Texas Hold’em Heads Up Poker is revolutionary, but we’re not passing judgment on the game until we hear its expected payout percentage against Phil Ivey.

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