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Last Updated: February 24, 2021

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Ultimate X Gold

Introduction

Ultimate X Gold is a video poker variant by Action Gaming. It is based on multi-play video poker, in particular 3-play, 5-play, or 10-play. If the player bets an extra five coins per hand, above the usual five coin maximum bet, then it will enable a multiplier feature. Unlike conventional Ultimate X, the multipliers apply to all hands, but to specific wins only, and remain until used.

Rules

  1. The player may choose to play 3-play, 5-play, or 10-play video poker.
  2. If the player bets one to five coins be play, then the game plays like conventional multi-play video poker.
  3. If the player bets ten coins per play, then he will enable the multiplier feature. Wins will be based on a five-coin bet, the other five coins paying for the feature.
  4. Sometimes, making a max coin bet will also bump up the pay table for some hands.
  5. In all games except deuces wild, hands from a three of a kind to four of a kind will each have an associated multiplier. In deuces wild, multipliers will be associated with hands from a flush to four deuces.
  6. If the player gets any paying hand on the deal, then he will earn a "Multiplier Upgrade."
  7. Usually, a Multiplier Upgrade will bump up the multipliers on the three hands above the hand won on the deal in the pay table. For example, a three of a kind on the deal would bump up the multipliers on a straight, flush, and full house.
  8. Multipliers for any given hand follow a certain progression, defined in the help screens. An example appears below.
  9. An exception to rule 6 is a high pair on the deal will bump up the lowest three multipliers (three of a kind, straight, and flush).
  10. There is a maximum multiplier on all hands. If that is reached, it can't be bumped any further.
  11. In 3-play and 5-play mode, a high pair will bump up a three of a kind only.

Following is a typical multiplier table. This one is for 5-play Bonus Poker.

  • Four aces: 1,4,9
  • Four 2's to 4's: 1,4,9
  • Four J's to K's: 3,4,9
  • Four 5's to 10's: 1,4,9
  • Full house: 1,3,4,6,7,9,10
  • Flush: 1,3,4,6,7,8
  • Straight: 1,3,4,5,7
  • Three of a kind: 1,3,4,5

If that was confusing, the following screenshot explains how the bonus feature works.

ultimate x gold rules

Example

ultimate x gold example page 1

In the screenshot above, I got a full house on the deal, which is more visible in the next screenshot. Notice the multipliers at the start of the hand, as follows.

  • Four 2's to 4's: 9x (max)
  • Four J's to K's: 4x
  • Four 5's to 10's: 1x (implied)

ultimate x gold example page 2

After some animation, two multiplier upgrades are given, as follows:

  • Four 2's to 4's: This hand was eligible for an upgrade, but was already at the maximum 9x, so remained the same.
  • Four J's to K's: This jumped up one position in the multiplier scale, from 4x to 9x.
  • Four 5's to 10's: This jumped one position, from the implied 1x to 4x.

ultimate x gold example page 3

In another hand, shortly after, I received four fives in one of my hands. Four 5's to 10's had a 4x multiplier, earned from the hand in the first image. That increased the win on that hand from 125 to 500. Since the multiplier was used, it dropped back down to 1x after the win was scored.

Video

In this video, I endeavor to explain the rules by example.

Strategy

To put a good strategy in writing for this game would be very difficult. The right play would depend on the multipliers for every hand, which are constantly going up and down. If you wish to play this game properly, my advice would be to run every non-obvious hand through my video poker hand analyzer, putting in the post-multiplier wins for every hand in the pay table. This would be a very time consuming way to play.

However, I can say that the average multiplier will be about 2.9 in this game. Here is a strategy based on 8-6 Jacks or Better, where the wins for a four of a kind to three of a kind were multiplied by 3. This would be a good starting point, especially for holding 0 to 2 cards. However, for plays that are in easy reach of certain wins, like four to a flush, I would consider the multiplier of the hands in easy reach.

Vultering

If a game has enough multipliers, the short-term return will be over 100%. A vulture could play it until enough multipliers were played off bringing the game negative and then leaving.

I have not studied a vulturing strategy is much depth. However, remember that the average multiplier will be 2.9 to just equal the return without the feature enabled. Almost half the value of the multiplier feature is in the three of a kinds. After doing some rough math with my video poker analyzer, I offer the following vultering advice:

  • Never play if the three of a kind multiplier is 1x.
  • If the three of a kind multiplier is 3, then you'll need strong multipliers elsewhere. Play only if the average of the other next three multipliers (on a straight, flush, and full house) is at least 4.
  • If the three of a kind multiplier is 4, then you'll need at least average multipliers elsewhere. Play only if the average of the other next three multipliers (on a straight, flush, and full house) is at least 3.
  • If the three of a kind multiplier is 5, you probably should play. Play if the average of the other next three multipliers (on a straight, flush, and full house) is at least 2.
  • If the three of a kind multiplier is 6 or more, then always play.

I would like to emphasize this vulteruring strategy is rough and errs on the side of being conservative.

Three-Play Return Table

My friends at VideoPoker.com were kind enough to share with me the returns for Ultimate X Gold. As usual, returns are based on optimal player strategy. The following table shows the return for three-play. The pay table column shows the pay table for making a max bet. Sometimes it is less for betting 1 to 5 coins per hand. In some cases, the same game and pay table can have different multiplier tables. In these cases, I use the multiplier column to specify at least one of the differences.

Three Play Ultimate X Gold

Game Pay Table Multiplier Table Five Coin Return Ten Coin Return
Triple Triple Bonus 9-6   0.986087 0.991802
Triple Triple Bonus 9-5   0.986087 0.988727
Triple Triple Bonus 8-5   0.975516 0.977720
Triple Triple Bonus 7-5   0.964948 0.966932
Triple Triple Bonus 6-5   0.954392 0.956384
Double Double Bonus 9-6   0.978729 0.994136
Double Double Bonus 9-5   0.978729 0.979848
Double Double Bonus 8-5   0.967861 0.969552
Double Double Bonus 7-5   0.957120 0.959469
Double Double Bonus 6-5   0.946569 0.949450
Triple Double Bonus 9-7   0.981540 0.992535
Triple Double Bonus 9-6   0.981540 0.982499
Triple Double Bonus 9-5   0.970204 0.975742
Triple Double Bonus 8-5   0.959687 0.965369
Triple Double Bonus 7-5   0.949178 0.958575
Bonus 8-5   0.980147 0.994906
Bonus 7-5   0.980147 0.984079
Bonus 6-5 Flush = 1,3,4,6,7,8 0.968687 0.973279
Bonus 6-5 Flush = 1,3,4,5,7,8 0.968687 0.970282
Double Bonus 9-7-5   0.978062 0.995866
Double Bonus 9-6-5   0.978062 0.986251
Double Bonus 9-6-4   0.963754 0.977334
Double Bonus 9-5-4   0.952738 0.967412
Double Bonus 8-5-4   0.941897 0.959214
Jacks or Better 9-6   0.983927 0.990959
Jacks or Better 8-6   0.983927 0.987219
Jacks or Better 8-5   0.972984 0.976075
Jacks or Better 7-5   0.961472 0.962576
Jacks or Better 6-5   0.949961 0.951763
Bonus Poker Deluxe 9-6   0.984928 0.989401
Bonus Poker Deluxe 8-6   0.984928 0.987353
Bonus Poker Deluxe 8-5   0.974009 0.974499
Bonus Poker Deluxe 7-5   0.962526 0.963988
Bonus Poker Deluxe 6-5   0.953611 0.956914
Deuces Wild 25-15-9   0.975791 0.990164
Deuces Wild 20-12-10   0.975791 0.982737
Deuces Wild 25-16-13   0.967651 0.978811
Deuces Wild 20-10-8   0.959638 0.961225
Deuces Wild 25-15-10   0.948182 0.958125
Deuces Wild Bonus 13-4-3-3   0.973644 0.993278
Deuces Wild Bonus 10-4-3-3   0.973644 0.984564
Deuces Wild Bonus 12-4-3-2 Full house = 1,3,4,7,9 0.962183 0.973722
Deuces Wild Bonus 12-4-3-2 Full house = 1,3,4,6,9 0.962183 0.969755
Deuces Wild Bonus 10-4-3-2   0.953368 0.955533

Five-Play Return Table

The following table shows the returns for the games and pay tables for Ultimate X Gold in five-play mode. Please see the Three-Play section for more details on the column headings.

Five Play Ultimate X Gold

Game Pay Table Multiplier Table Five Coin Return Ten Coin Return
Triple Triple Bonus 9-6   0.986087 0.991802
Triple Triple Bonus 9-5   0.986087 0.988727
Triple Triple Bonus 8-5   0.975516 0.977720
Triple Triple Bonus 7-5   0.964948 0.966932
Triple Triple Bonus 6-5   0.954392 0.956384
Double Double Bonus 9-6   0.978729 0.994136
Double Double Bonus 9-5   0.978729 0.979848
Double Double Bonus 8-5   0.967861 0.969552
Double Double Bonus 7-5   0.957120 0.959469
Double Double Bonus 6-5   0.946569 0.949450
Triple Double Bonus 9-7   0.981540 0.992535
Triple Double Bonus 9-6   0.981540 0.982499
Triple Double Bonus 9-5   0.970204 0.975742
Triple Double Bonus 8-5   0.959687 0.965369
Triple Double Bonus 7-5   0.949178 0.958575
Bonus 8-5   0.980147 0.994906
Bonus 7-5   0.980147 0.984079
Bonus 6-5 Flush = 1,3,4,6,7,8 0.968687 0.973279
Bonus 6-5 Flush = 1,3,4,5,7,8 0.968687 0.970282
Double Bonus 9-7-5   0.978062 0.995866
Double Bonus 9-6-5   0.978062 0.986251
Double Bonus 9-6-4   0.963754 0.977334
Double Bonus 9-5-4   0.952738 0.967412
Double Bonus 8-5-4   0.941897 0.959214
Jacks or Better 9-6   0.983927 0.990959
Jacks or Better 8-6   0.983927 0.987219
Jacks or Better 8-5   0.972984 0.976075
Jacks or Better 7-5   0.961472 0.962576
Jacks or Better 6-5   0.949961 0.951763
Bonus Poker Deluxe 9-6   0.984928 0.989401
Bonus Poker Deluxe 8-6   0.984928 0.987353
Bonus Poker Deluxe 8-5   0.974009 0.974499
Bonus Poker Deluxe 7-5   0.962526 0.963988
Bonus Poker Deluxe 6-5   0.953611 0.956914
Deuces Wild 25-15-9   0.975791 0.990164
Deuces Wild 20-12-10   0.975791 0.982737
Deuces Wild 25-16-13   0.967651 0.978811
Deuces Wild 20-10-8   0.959638 0.961225
Deuces Wild 25-15-10   0.948182 0.958125
Deuces Wild Bonus 13-4-3-3   0.973644 0.993278
Deuces Wild Bonus 10-4-3-3   0.973644 0.984564
Deuces Wild Bonus 12-4-3-2 Full house = 1,3,4,7,9 0.962183 0.973722
Deuces Wild Bonus 12-4-3-2 Full house = 1,3,4,6,9 0.962183 0.969755
Deuces Wild Bonus 10-4-3-2   0.953368 0.955533

Ten-Play Return Table

The following table shows the returns for the games and pay tables for Ultimate X Gold in ten-play mode. Please see the Three-Play section for more details on the column headings.

Ten Play Ultimate X Gold

Game Pay Table Multiplier Table Five Coin Return Ten Coin Return
Triple Triple Bonus 9-6   0.986087 0.992663
Triple Triple Bonus 9-5   0.986087 0.986410
Triple Triple Bonus 8-5   0.975516 0.976879
Triple Triple Bonus 7-5   0.964948 0.965595
Triple Triple Bonus 6-5   0.954392 0.957376
Double Double Bonus 9-6   0.978729 0.990191
Double Double Bonus 9-5   0.978729 0.986173
Double Double Bonus 8-5   0.967861 0.971830
Double Double Bonus 7-5   0.957120 0.958348
Double Double Bonus 6-5   0.946569 0.958260
Triple Double Bonus 9-7   0.981540 0.994405
Triple Double Bonus 9-6   0.981540 0.986197
Triple Double Bonus 9-5   0.970204 0.970640
Triple Double Bonus 8-5   0.959687 0.967460
Triple Double Bonus 7-5   0.949178 0.949447
Bonus 8-5   0.980147 0.991386
Bonus 7-5   0.980147 0.982381
Bonus 6-5 Full house = 1,3,6,7,8,9,10 0.968687 0.970502
Bonus 6-5 Full house = 1,3,5,6,8,9,10 0.968687 0.968977
Double Bonus 9-7-5   0.978062 0.992434
Double Bonus 9-6-5   0.978062 0.983279
Double Bonus 9-6-4   0.963754 0.969015
Double Bonus 9-5-4   0.952738 0.961345
Double Bonus 8-5-4   0.941897 0.948020
Jacks or Better 9-6   0.983927 0.993688
Jacks or Better 8-6   0.983927 0.987510
Jacks or Better 8-5   0.972984 0.977251
Jacks or Better 7-5   0.961472 0.964054
Jacks or Better 6-5   0.949961 0.954012
Bonus Poker Deluxe 9-6   0.984928 0.991650
Bonus Poker Deluxe 8-6   0.984928 0.988760
Bonus Poker Deluxe 8-5   0.974009 0.978739
Bonus Poker Deluxe 7-5   0.962526 0.964624
Bonus Poker Deluxe 6-5   0.953611 0.956593
Deuces Wild 25-15-9   0.975791 0.997417
Deuces Wild 20-12-10   0.975791 0.980698
Deuces Wild 25-16-13   0.967651 0.975605
Deuces Wild 20-10-8   0.959638 0.963358
Deuces Wild 25-15-10   0.948182 0.950030
Deuces Wild Bonus 13-4-3-3   0.973644 0.995243
Deuces Wild Bonus 10-4-3-3   0.973644 0.982359
Deuces Wild Bonus 12-4-3-2 Flush = 1,2,3,5,8 0.962183 0.972054
Deuces Wild Bonus 12-4-3-2 Flush = 1,2,3,5,7 0.962183 0.963688
Deuces Wild Bonus 10-4-3-2   0.953368 0.956610

Analysis

A proper analysis of this game would be difficult. The bottom line with such Action Gaming games is that the return of the game with the feature is marginally higher than without it. Based on Magic Deal, the return with the feature averages 0.68% with the feature than without it. However, the cost of errors with the feature is likely very high for the average player, making the actual return much less. This is because correct strategy with the feature is very complicated and at this point not put into writing by anybody, including me.

External Links

  • VideoPoker.com, where you can play Ultimate X Gold. A Gold level membership is required to play this game.
  • Wizard of Vegas, where Ultimate X Gold is discussed.

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