When it comes to progressive jackpot games, poker is not the most obvious choice. A game that traditionally can see huge amounts won in a single hand, from another player, doesn't easily translate into a game that offers a progressive jackpot to be won.
Therefore, what Microgaming have achieved with their Cyberstud Poker game is commendable. Let's take a closer look at the game, how it is played, how you can win and perhaps most importantly of all, how the progressive jackpot is created and won.
How do I play Cyberstud Poker?
The game is played against the dealer (the house) and the general aim of the game is to increase your chances of success and a profit by betting higher amounts when you hold the strongest hand and to minimise your losses by betting smaller amounts when you are in a losing position.
The game starts by the player placing two separate bets on the table. The first of these can be altered by the player to suit how much they wish to play for and is the Ante bet. The second bet is the contribution towards the progressive jackpot and this amount always amounts to one credit.
You select the amount of your Ante bet and when you have placed it by clicking the button, your contribution towards the progressive jackpot fund is automatically deducted from your credits.
At this point the deal is made. The player will receive five cards from the pack face up, while the player will also see one of the dealers cards face up. At this point, you now have the first decision in the game to make.
Fold or Call?
Once you have examined your hand compared to the card held by the dealer, you can now decide to do one of two things. If you feel your hand will lose, you can fold, which means you lose your Ante bet and your progressive jackpot contribution and the dealer wins the hand.
Alternatively, you can call. When you elect to call a bet of two times the original Ante bet is added to your original bet. So for example, if you're original Ante bet was 5.00, then your Call bet would be 10.00 and you would have a total bet of 15.00 in the pot, plus your 1.00 contribution to the progressive jackpot fund.
Once you have called, the dealer then receives their remaining four cards to complete the poker hand. The hands are then compared and the winner of the hand declared.
One of the best features of the game is the dealer qualification feature. For a dealer's hand to qualify, they must have at least an Ace and King or better contained in their hand. If for any reason the dealers hand does not contain at least Ace King, then the dealer's hand does not qualify and the player automatically receives back their Call bet in full as well as an even money pay out on their Ante bet.
So in the example above, if the dealers hand when dealt after a call does not qualify, then the player would receive back their 10.00 call bet, as well as their 5.00 ante bet, plus another 5.00 from the casino as the dealer did not qualify. A 5.00 profit.
Things change when the dealer's hand does qualify. What happens now is that the two hands are compared and if the dealers hand beats the players hand then the player loses both their Ante bet and their Call bet as well as their contribution to the progressive fund.
However, if your hand beats the dealers hand, you win a guaranteed 1-1 (even money) payout on your Ante Bet, while how much you receive back from your Call bet depends on the strength of your hand.
The higher the strength of your hand as determined by poker rankings, the greater your payout. This can range from an even money return (for two pairs, a pair or an Ace King hand) up to 999 times your Call bet if you manage to land a Royal Flush.
Of course, this doesn't explain how the progressive jackpot feature on the game works, but the key to that is landing the highest hand possible in the game of poker.
How does Cyberstud Poker's Progressive jackpot work?
Winning the progressive jackpot in Cyberstud Poker is easy to explain, but difficult to achieve. To win the entire progressive jackpot, you need to be dealt a Royal Flush. Only a Royal Flush (10, Jack, Queen, King and an Ace of the same suit) triggers the full progressive win, although you can win other jackpots available for other hands.
A straight flush (any five consecutive cards of the same suit) pays out 20,000 credits, four of a kind pays out 500 credits, a full house is 100 credits and a flush is 50 credits.
What is exciting is that these progressive payouts are paid to the player in addition to the wins they achieve from the base game. So if for example you win a hand against the dealer by landing a full house, you would win a 14-1 payout from your Call bet, an even money payout from your Ante, plus 100 credits from the progressive jackpot for your 1 credit progressive jackpot bet.
Cyberstud is an innovative progressive game that will really appeal to poker players, as well as slot enthusiasts seeking a fresh challenge. Poker skills aren't a massive necessity as it is generally easy to appreciate when you have a strong hand and a better chance of beating the dealer. For progressive fans, this is one game that is well worth a closer look for its innovative game play and quick-fire rounds of action.