Since the early video poker games from the likes of IGT’s GameKing, there have been many interesting game variants. Destiny Poker takes the idea of betting an extra credit (6 instead of 5) for access to a bonus game.
The regular game play is a standard Jacks or Better setup. Things get more interesting when you get 4 to a flush. You’ll now get a second chance at making your flush, with other hands possible. You then flip tiles in a separate bonus. These can reveal free games or credit wins.
Destiny Poker is available at online casinos in regulated states – as well as live casinos. This page covers how the game works, the strategy, odds and how it compares to other ‘bonus poker’ style games.
How to play Destiny Poker
Before you start a hand of Destiny Poker, you’ll need to choose a bet size. You can play for pennies – up to high stakes online. If you want to play higher stakes you can increase both your betting unit and bet up to 30 coins per hand.
In most video poker games you get to bet between 1 and 5 coins per hand. That 5th coin gives you access to a bigger prize for a Royal Flush – making the overall house edge smaller. In Destiny Poker, you can play 6 coins. There is a single pay table, with the 6th coin giving you the added bonus bets which make this variation worth playing.
Next you are dealt 5 cards. You can choose to hold any of them by clicking/tapping on it. The card will move up slightly. The word ‘held’ will appear in red underneath. You then click the ‘draw’ button, which deals replacements for any cards you did not hold.
In most hands, your wins will be calculated based on the pay table in the section below. If you hit 4 cards of the same suit on the initial deal, then you get to access the bonus games.
Payouts for Destiny Poker hands
This is a similar pay table to Jacks or Better. The minimum qualifying hand is a pair of jacks. This pay table is based on betting 6 units per hand (the minimum for this game). Note that any pair below jacks is a lost bet:
- Royal Flush: 4000
- 4 Aces with 2, 3 or 4 Kicker: 2000
- 4 2’s, 3’s of 4’s with A, 2, 3 or 4 Kicker: 800
- 4 Aces: 800
- 4 5’s Through to Kings: 250
- Straight Flush: 250
- Full House: 45
- Flush: 30
- Straight: 20
- 3 of a Kind: 15
- 2 Pairs: 5
- 1 Pair of Jacks+: 5
How the bonus games work
You’ll pay an extra credit for the bonus game, though this does add a lot of interest to an otherwise standard video poker format. Things only get interesting if you deal 4 cards to a flush. The correct strategy is to hold them – even if you also have a pair of jacks or better.
What Destiny Poker gives you is a second chance to draw that 5th suited card.
The first shot comes with the usual draw. If you get it then, you’ll enjoy a 30-coin prize. If you miss, then you get to see all 47 remaining cards face-down. You now pick one by clicking on it, and then confirm by hitting a tick (or cross if you changed your mind).
Sometimes you will complete your flush. It is also possible to get a pair, or even complete a straight or straight flush. You’ll get paid at the standard pay table rate for whatever hand you hit.
Second bonus: Match 3 tiles
The final part of the Destiny Poker bonus shows you a screen full of tiles. You click on them, revealing a number of free games or credit win. Some of these are high – for example 30x your total bet or 10 free games.
As with all good picks bonuses these days, you keep on picking tiles until you hit 3 the same. Those free games will also include the bonus feature – so you’ll have a shot at retriggering.
House edge and Destiny Poker strategy
This game has a low house edge – especially when you compare it to slot machines and many casino table games. Optimal strategy will give you a return of 98.46%. Some very generous Jacks or Better games might do better (up to 99.5%), though this is a solid return for a bonus-poker style game.
Achieving this smaller house edge involves playing optimally. The rules for pay tables with a jacks or better qualifier are straight forward. Most of the time you will hold any pair, and definitely hold 4 to any straight or flush.
The strategy element comes into play only when you have a choice between holding a pair or trying for a higher hand. You’ll only break pairs of jacks or better when you have 3+ to a Royal Flush. If you don’t hit a pair on the first deal, holding cards jacks or over works. If some of these are suited, you can let an unsuited high card go.
With a solid strategy, you’ll get close enough to that low house edge to make your bankroll last with this game.
Wrapping up: How does Destiny Poker compare to other bonus poker variations?
Most other video poker games that involve an extra bet for a bonus game involve win multipliers. Examples include Bonus Poker or Bonus Bonus Poker. You’ll play as normal with these – and multipliers will appear for some of your wins.
Destiny Poker has a more interesting side bet, based only on flushes. The second chance is a welcome addition. The separate tiles game gives you a chance of ‘free spins’. These are unusual with video poker, though very popular on slot type games.
If you’d like to mix up your video poker sessions, then check out Destiny Poker at an online casino in your state soon!