When it comes to wide-area progressive slot machines with huge, lifestyle-changing jackpots, International Game Technology has been the leader since the very beginning. IGT introduced Megabucks in 1986 as the first WAP – games in which players at different casinos can chase the same jackpot, which builds with every bet made at any participating casino.
IGT also is far and away the market leader in video poker. Roughly 95 percent of the video poker machines in U.S. casinos are made by IGT.
So video poker with a wide-area progressive jackpot seems a natural fit for IGT. That’s now happening in an interstate way with the debut of Super Times Pay Mega Progressive in Nevada and New Jersey. The initial rollout was at the Golden Nuggets in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and both properties celebrated March 28-29 with events featuring merchandise giveaways and free plays.
The wide-area is an interstate link, so players in Nevada and New Jersey are playing for the same pot, which starts building from a $50,000 base on quarter games and $200,000 on dollar machines. The games are Super Times Pay Triple Play, which means you’re playing three hands at once. You can choose among Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Triple Double Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild and Deuces Wild Bonus Poker.
The big payoff comes on a royal flush with a 10-times multiplier, and that’s the key to the super-sized jackpots. Results are random and the big one can hit at any time, but IGT calculates a theoretical top award of $193,179 on quarters and $772,716 on dollars. Some jackpots will be much smaller, some will be larger, but average hits will cluster around those amounts.
New Jersey has had a video poker WAP from IGT since 1999, but the Super Times Pay format brings the opportunity to offer bigger jackpots.
As on all Super Times Pay games, at random times, one card on your initial deal will show a multiplier that means winners are worth 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 10 times their usual value. Any of those multipliers can mean a nice payday – I wouldn’t turn my nose up at 2x multiplier turning a $4,000 royal into an $8,000 bonanza on a dollar game. But it’s the combination of a 10x multiplier and a royal that wins the progressive.
Depending on game and strategy, royals occur roughly once every 40,000 hands. You get a multiplier in Super Times Pay about once per 15 hands, and about 1 in 25 multipliers will be the big 10-times.
A few notes about the mechanics of the game:
- Super Times Pay requires an extra coin bet per hand to activate the multiplier feature. Instead of a 15-coin max bet for three hands in regular Triple Play Poker, it requires an 18-coin bet for the features to be fully active.
- You won’t see top-of-the-line pay tables on these games. That’s normal on progressives, where you usually can find higher pay tables on non-progressives in most casinos. IGT’s promotional literature lists paybacks between 91.7 percent and 92.4 percent.
- At wizardofodds.com, Michael Shackleford calculated that to get the payback percentage of any Super Times Pay game, you can look up the return on any game’s pay table, then multiply by 1.00278. Activating the feature increases the payback percentage. With the progressive, the payback percentage also increases as the jackpot grows, though very slowly since the winning hands are so rare.
Look for John Grochowski at www.casinoanswerman.com, on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
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