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Last Updated: November 16, 2015

Split Card Poker

Introduction



Split Card Poker is a video poker variant by IGT where two cards can occupy one position. When this happens, it is much easier to form high-paying hands. Split Cards are always suited and contain either the same rank or consecutive ranks. To enable the Split Card feature, the player must double his bet. The additional bet is a fee and does not increase any win amounts, except it adds a five of a kind to the pay table.

Rules



The following is my understanding of the rules.

  1. The game is based on conventional mutli-play video poker.
  2. For one to five coins bet per line the game will play like normal multi-play video poker.
  3. If the player bets ten coins per line, then he shall enable the Split Card feature. All wins shall still be based on a bet of five coins per line.
  4. One of the 52 normal cards shall be chosen at random to be replaced with a Split Card.
  5. One of the two cards shown on the Split Card shall be the original card it replaced. The second card shall always be the same in suit and its rank shall be equal or one away from the original card it replaced. For example, if the original card were an ace, then the second card on the Split Card can be either another ace, a king, or deuce. All three possible second cards are equally likely.
  6. If the player enables the Split Card feature, then he shall receive a Split Card on the deal approximately 25% of the time. This probability varies according to the game and pay table.
  7. If the player does not get the Split Card on the deal, then he can still get it on the draw.
  8. If the Split Card results in more than one win per hand, then the highest hand only shall be paid.
  9. If the Split Card feature is enabled, then a line item for a five of a kind shall be added to the pay table.


Programming Note: For the perfectionists out there, let me say that I don't know exactly how this game is programmed. The way I assume they achieve the approximate 25% probability of a Split Card is to first determine outside of the cards themselves whether the player will get the Split Card. For example, if the probability were exactly 25%, then the game might choose a random Integer from 0 to 3 and if it is 3, then the player will get a Split Card. Then, whether or not the player is destined to get the Split Card on the deal, the game will deal hands behind the scenes until it gets one that has or doesn't have the Split Card, according to the player's fate. Either way, the draw will be naturally dealt with the remaining 47 cards, whether there is Split Card among them or not.

Following are the screenshots of the actual rule screens.

 


Examples





In the screenshot above, I got jack and queen of clubs in the middle position on the deal. I held that card and the two natural queens in the first and second positions. On the draw, I improved to a four of a kind, flush, and three of a kind between my three hands.



In the screenshot above, I got a Split Card of the two jack of spades on the draw in the first position of the bottom hand. That combined with two natural jacks gave me a four of a kind.



Note the bottom hand in the screen shot above has both a three of a kind and a flush. Only the higher hand, the flush, was paid for that hand.

Analysis



The following tables were provided to me for the games and pay tables available for Split Card Poker. However, the returns are those for conventional video poker. Please be patient while I inquire about the Split Card returns. (Updated: 12/2/15)

Bonus Poker

Hand 99.17% 98.02% 96.87%
ROYAL FLUSH 800 800 800
STRAIGHT FLUSH 50 50 50
FIVE OF A KIND 300 300 300
FOUR ACES 80 80 80
FOUR 2's, 3's, 4's 40 40 40
FOUR 5's THROUGH K's 25 25 25
FULL HOUSE 8 7 6
FLUSH 5 5 5
STRAIGHT 4 4 4
THREE OF A KIND 3 3 3
TWO PAIR 2 2 2
JACKS OR BETTER 1 1 1


Bonus Poker Deluxe

Hand 99.64% 98.49% 97.40%
ROYAL FLUSH 800 800 800
STRAIGHT FLUSH 50 50 50
FIVE OF A KIND 300 300 300
FOUR OF A KIND 80 80 80
FULL HOUSE 9 8 8
FLUSH 6 6 5
STRAIGHT 4 4 4
THREE OF A KIND 3 3 3
TWO PAIR 1 1 1
JACKS OR BETTER 1 1 1


Deuces Wild

Hand 99.73% 98.91% 97.58% 96.77%
ROYAL FLUSH NO DEUCES 800 800 800 800
FIVE DEUCES 400 400 400 400
FOUR DEUCES 200 200 200 200
ROYAL FLUSH WITH DEUCE 25 25 20 25
FIVE OF A KIND 16 15 12 16
STRAIGHT FLUSH 10 9 10 13
FOUR OF A KIND 4 4 4 4
FULL HOUSE 4 4 4 3
FLUSH 3 3 3 2
STRAIGHT 2 2 2 2
THREE OF A KIND 1 1 1 1


Deuces Wild Bonus Poker

Hand 99.45% 98.80% 97.36%
ROYAL FLUSH NO DEUCES 800 800 800
FIVE DEUCES 600 600 600
FOUR DEUCES + ONE ACE 400 400 400
FOUR DEUCES 200 200 200
ROYAL FLUSH WITH DEUCE 25 25 25
FIVE ACES 80 80 80
FIVE 3's, 4's, 5's 40 40 40
FIVE 6's THROUGH K's 20 20 20
STRAIGHT FLUSH 9 13 10
FOUR OF A KIND 4 4 4
FULL HOUSE 4 3 3
FLUSH 3 3 3
STRAIGHT 1 1 1
THREE OF A KIND 1 1 1


Double Bonus Poker

Hand 99.11% 97.81% 96.38%
ROYAL FLUSH 800 800 800
STRAIGHT FLUSH 50 50 50
FIVE OF A KIND 400 400 400
FOUR ACES 160 160 160
FOUR 2's, 3's, 4's 80 80 80
FOUR 5's THROUGH K's 50 50 50
FULL HOUSE 9 9 9
FLUSH 7 6 6
STRAIGHT 5 5 4
THREE OF A KIND 3 3 3
TWO PAIR 1 1 1
JACKS OR BETTER 1 1 1


Double Double Bonus Poker

Hand 99.96% 98.98% 97.87% 96.79%
ROYAL FLUSH 800 800 800 800
STRAIGHT FLUSH 40 50 50 50
FIVE OF A KIND 600 600 600 600
FOUR A's + ANY 2, 3 OR 4 400 400 400 400
FOUR 2's,3's,4's + ANY A,2,3,4 160 160 160 160
FOUR ACES 160 160 160 160
FOUR 2's, 3's, 4's 80 80 80 80
FOUR 5's THROUGH K's 50 50 50 50
FULL HOUSE 10 9 9 8
FLUSH 6 6 5 5
STRAIGHT 4 4 4 4
THREE OF A KIND 3 3 3 3
TWO PAIR 1 1 1 1
JACKS OR BETTER 1 1 1 1


Jacks or Better

Hand 99.54% 98.45% 97.30%
ROYAL FLUSH 800 800 800
STRAIGHT FLUSH 50 50 50
FIVE OF A KIND 200 200 200
FOUR OF A KIND 25 25 25
FULL HOUSE 9 9 8
FLUSH 6 5 5
STRAIGHT 4 4 4
THREE OF A KIND 3 3 3
TWO PAIR 2 2 2
JACKS OR BETTER 1 1 1


Joker Poker — Two Pair or Better

Hand 97.19%
ROYAL FLUSH NO JOKER 100
FIVE OF A KIND 800
ROYAL FLUSH WITH JOKER 100
STRAIGHT FLUSH 100
FOUR OF A KIND 16
FULL HOUSE 8
FLUSH 5
STRAIGHT 4
THREE OF A KIND 2
TWO PAIR 1


Joker Poker — Kings or Better

Hand 99.29% 98.44% 96.39%
ROYAL FLUSH NO JOKER 940 940 800
FIVE OF A KIND 200 200 200
ROYAL FLUSH WITH JOKER 100 100 100
STRAIGHT FLUSH 50 50 50
FOUR OF A KIND 18 17 15
FULL HOUSE 7 7 7
FLUSH 5 5 5
STRAIGHT 3 3 3
THREE OF A KIND 2 2 2
TWO PAIR 1 1 1
KINGS OR BETTER 1 1 1


Super Aces Bonus Poker

Hand 99.94% 98.85% 97.78%
ROYAL FLUSH 800 800 800
STRAIGHT FLUSH 60 60 60
FIVE OF A KIND 600 600 600
FOUR ACES 400 400 400
FOUR 2's, 3's, 4's 80 80 80
FOUR 5's THROUGH K's 50 50 50
FULL HOUSE 8 7 6
FLUSH 5 5 5
STRAIGHT 4 4 4
THREE OF A KIND 3 3 3
TWO PAIR 1 1 1
JACKS OR BETTER 1 1 1


Super Double Bonus Poker

Hand 99.70% 98.69% 97.77% 96.87%
ROYAL FLUSH 800 800 800 800
STRAIGHT FLUSH 80 80 80 80
FIVE OF A KIND 400 400 400 400
FOUR ACES 160 160 160 160
FOUR J's, Q's, K's 120 120 120 120
FOUR 2's, 3's, 4's 80 80 80 80
FOUR 5's THROUGH 10's 50 50 50 50
FULL HOUSE 9 8 7 6
FLUSH 5 5 5 5
STRAIGHT 4 4 4 4
THREE OF A KIND 3 3 3 3
TWO PAIR 1 1 1 1
JACKS OR BETTER 1 1 1 1


Triple Double Bonus Poker

Hand 99.58% 98.15% 97.02%
ROYAL FLUSH 800 800 800
STRAIGHT FLUSH 50 50 50
FIVE OF A KIND 1000 1000 1000
FOUR A's + ANY 2, 3 OR 4 800 800 800
FOUR 2's,3's,4's + ANY A,2,3,4 400 400 400
FOUR ACES 160 160 160
FOUR 2's, 3's, 4's 80 80 80
FOUR 5's THROUGH K's 50 50 50
FULL HOUSE 9 9 9
FLUSH 7 6 5
STRAIGHT 4 4 4
THREE OF A KIND 2 2 2
TWO PAIR 1 1 1
JACKS OR BETTER 1 1 1


Strategy



Sorry, you're on your own with that for now.

Acknowledgements



I would like to thank IGT for providing the return tables above and clarifications in the rules. I would also like to thank VideoPoker.com for the screenshots, which are used with permission.

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Written by: Michael Shackleford

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