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I first noticed Fire Poker at the Palms in early August, 2019. It is a video poker variant that randomly awards free games with random multipliers.
On Fire Poker machines, if the player bets 1 to 5 coins per play, the game plays like conventional video poker. If the player bets 10 credits per play, then he enables the Fire Poker feature. The rules under this feature are as follows:
- Randomly, the game will enter the Fire Poker bonus with every bet made at 10 coins per play. The probability of triggering the Fire Poker bonus is 1 in 15 in 9-5 Jacks or Better. I do not know about other games and pay tables.
- In the bonus feature, the game will award 3 to 5 free games.
- The game will randomly pick a multiplier -- 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 8x, or 10x. Each free game will be awarded the same multiplier.
- Sometimes (with 12% probability in 9-5 Jacks or Better), the game will re-trigger more free spins in a bonus. Again, the number of free games and multiplier will be chosen randomly. If the player already had free games when the bonus was re-triggerd, then the multipliers will be added to those free games.
- The bonus ends when all free games or 25 total have been played off.
As an example of how the bonus re-trigger works, in the image at the top of the screen I had one more free game left at a 3x multipier, after the current game, when the bonus re-triggered. The re-trigger awarded me four free games at a 5x multiplier. The first of those four games overlapped the free game I already earned, increasing the multiplier to 3x + 5x = 8x. After that, I had three more free games at the 5x multplier.
Since the bonus is triggered randomly at the deal, there are no strategy deviations. Play according to the appropriate strategy for conventional video poker for the given game and pay table.
I do not know the probability of each number of free games or multipliers, so I can't analyze the return myself. However, VideoPoker.com kindly discloses the returns of all available games and pay tables by clicking "customize game/pays." Here is a full list I put together:
Fire Poker Return Table
|Jacks or Better||9-5||98.77%|
|Jacks or Better||8-5||97.61%|
|Jacks or Better||7-5||96.46%|
|Jacks or Better||6-5||95.30%|
|Bonus Poker Deluxe||8-6||98.81%|
|Bonus Poker Deluxe||8-5||97.71%|
|Bonus Poker Deluxe||7-5||96.56%|
|Bonus Poker Deluxe||6-5||95.67%|
|Double Double Bonus||9-6||99.30%|
|Double Double Bonus||9-5||98.19%|
|Double Double Bonus||8-5||97.10%|
|Double Double Bonus||7-5||96.02%|
|Double Double Bonus||6-5||94.96%|
|Triple Double Bonus||9-6||98.47%|
|Triple Double Bonus||9-5||97.33%|
|Triple Double Bonus||8-5||96.28%|
|Triple Double Bonus||7-5||95.22%|
|Joker Poker (kings or better)||7-5||98.76%|
|Joker Poker (kings or better)||7-5||96.69%|
|Joker Poker (kings or better)||6-5||94.08%|
|Joker Poker (two pair or better)||8-5||97.50%|
|Deuces Wild Bonus||13-4-3-3-1-1||99.12%|
|Deuces Wild Bonus||10-4-3-3-1-1||97.68%|
|Deuces Wild Bonus||12-4-3-2-1-1||96.53%|
|Deuces Wild Bonus||10-4-3-2-1-1||95.64%|
As you can see, sometimes there are two returns for the same game and pay table. For example, 6-5 Bonus Poker. If you're playing that game there is no way to tell the return between those two settings, other than playing millions of games or asking a slot technician. The difference must be in the average multiplier and/or number of free games.