How to Play Ultimate X Single-Hand Video Poker

Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker represents one of the easiest-to-understand twists on basic video poker. It is also a pretty lucrative one, as it will earn you multipliers as long as you are making an extra bet every hand and are also coming up with winning hands along the way. If you can put together a string of winning hands, the payback can really stack up in a hurry.

Ultimate X Poker

When it comes to video poker, there are two basic types of games. On the one hand, there are the games which you play one hand at a time with no real twist on the action. The pay tables may change, but you are essentially playing a simulated version of five card draw poker.

Then, there are the games that add an extra twist to gameplay. And one of the basic ways that video poker game makers do this is by the use of multipliers. Multipliers boost winnings by multiplying them from what would be their normal amount.

In the case of Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker, you are dealing with multipliers that come into play if you can do one of two things. First, you have to make a bet that is twice the normal maximum amount, 10 coins instead of five. And second, you need to come up with winning hands while you play.

Each winning hand has a specific multiplier assigned to it that will be applied to the hand following the winning hand. If you can make a winning hand on the hand following the first winning hand, you will be able to take advantage of the multiplier and also receive another multiplier for the hand after that. The process will continue as long as you can continue stacking winning hands on top of one another.

Building a winning chain like this can really make for a lucrative stretch of video poker in a very short time. You might even want to adjust your strategy a little bit when playing Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker. By working hard to get even small winning hands instead of going for rarer ones, you are giving yourself a better chance at those important multipliers.

Of course, you don’t get such a bonus without giving something up. In the case of Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker, you’ll need to double your maximum bet without having the pay tables adjusted. You will be hard-pressed to keep your bankroll afloat without coming up with those multipliers with regularity if you activate the winning feature.

In the following article, we will explain just what Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker is all about. We’ll also look at the different pay tables that you can play and how the payback percentages stand up to other video poker variations. Finally, we’ll talk about learning expert tips and strategy so that you can maximize your potential winnings.

Video Poker Basics

Video poker immediately becomes a favorite of many people who play it. They love the fact that it is easy to learn and that you can play a lot of hands in a short amount of time, since it is only you and the machine that are involved. They also love the fact that you have the opportunity to affect whether you win or lose with the strategy that you apply.

For those reasons, people sometimes call video poker a combination of table games and slot machines. But there are reasons why video poker might be even more bettor-friendly than those other two entertainments. First of all, the fact that you can play without any help removes a lot of the hassles that are attached to table games, namely other people and the pressure that they add to the situation.

Video poker might be like slot machines in that you can avoid all of those pressures. But it also presents more of a challenging, rewarding experience than slot machines. After all, slot machine play doesn’t go very far beyond mindlessly putting in your money and spinning over and over.

But, as we said above, video poker actually lets you make decisions about your cards, and making the right ones will give you a chance at higher winnings. Plus, slot machines don’t give you any indication about your chances of winning spins. Video poker is governed by the probabilities of making winning hands, which are based on a standard 52-card deck (or 53, if your game includes a joker).

Those probabilities don’t change during game play. And you can combine them with the pay tables to give yourself an estimate about how much payback you can expect. There is no way to make such an estimate when playing a slot machine.

As for the amount of payback you can expect from video poker, the most competitive pay tables will pay you out at the same level or even better than table games. And even the weakest paybacks from video poker are generally better than the best slot machines. That means you get a game that is easy to play, convenient, free of hassles, strategic, and high-paying.

It’s not surprising if that all sounds pretty good to you. But none of that matters unless you first learn how to play. And that’s why we’re here to help.

With this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be able to play basic video poker. And that will be the building block for all of the more complicated games that you might encounter in a casino or online, including Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker. So, read on and find out how it all works.

Step 1: Create Your Bankroll

The bankroll is just a gambling term for the money that you have to play the game. In the case of video poker, your bankroll will be rendered in credits, or coins, when displayed on the machine’s screen. Each of these units will be equal to the denomination, such as a quarter or a dollar, of the machine.

Many machines have the denomination set and you can’t do anything to change it. There are some machines which allow you the opportunity to decide upon the denomination from a number of options. In any case, you should choose a denomination that will let you play for as long as you wish while taking into consideration the size of the bets that you’ll have to make (more on that below).

As far as figuring out how many credits you’ll have, it just takes a bit of quick math. Simply divide the amount that you enter into the machine by the denomination. Thus, $10 at a $1 machine will give you 10 credits (10 divided by 1).

Step 2: Decide on the Size of Your Bet

This will actually be the first piece of strategy that you’ll have a chance to deploy at a video poker machine. You might think that it’s just a matter of picking between one and five credits (or 10 credits, in the case of Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker) based on your budget and the hunch you have at the time you play the hand. In actuality, the size of your bet will actually be part of what determines the payback from the machine.

Why is that? Well, first of all, there is the payback for the royal flush, which is the most lucrative hand in all of video poker. When you play only one through four coins, the payback is at a significantly lower ratio (250 to 1) than it is when you play five coins (800 to 1).

In the case of Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker, you also have to take into account what the extra feature brings to the table in terms of payback. It actually adds slightly to your expected payback percentage. That means that the way to play the game if you want to maximize your winnings is to bet 10 coins per hand to activate the extra feature.

10 coins per hand might be a little bit too expensive for a casual video poker player. But it is also the best way to win a lot of money in a short period of time, so that’s something you have to consider as well. Ultimately, you have to decide your on how comfortable you are with betting compared to your bankroll, even if the ultimate max bet of 10 coins is the way to go over the long haul.

Step 3: Play Your Hand

Video poker is essentially a computerized simulation of the table game known as five card draw poker. In five card draw, you get a five-card deal, then have the chance to discard certain cards to be replaced by others in order to make the best hand possible. You are attempting to come up with a hand that beats everybody else playing the game.

With video poker, it’s a little bit simpler, in that you are only dealing with the machine. You are trying to make a hand that constitutes one of the winning hands as determined by the pay table of the machine that you’re playing. Different pay tables might change the threshold for winning hands, but for the most part, these are the most common winning hands in video poker:

  • Pair of jacks of better
  • Two pair
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight (five cards of consecutive rank, like 3-4-5-6-7)
  • Flush (five cards of same suit)
  • Full house (three of a kind and two pair in the same hand)
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush (straight with five cards of same suit)
  • Royal flush (ten, jack, queen, king, and ace of the same suit)

Once you make your bet, you will see five cards on your screen. This is the deal and the first step in video poker. Ideally, you will have a winning hand on the deal, or maybe several cards that are headed in the direction of a winning hand.

Once you analyze that deal, you will be tasked with making a decision about what to hold and what to discard. Any cards that you discard will be replaced by others from the original deck, which will contain 47 cards (52 minus the original five that you were dealt). Your decision should be made on the probabilities of making certain winning hands and the payout for those hands if you do make them.

Many times, your decision on the draw will be simple. But it could occasionally get complicated, especially if you have the possibility of making several winning hands from your original deal. Let’s take a look at an example deal:

Poker Hand

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that you have a pair of jacks, which is a paying hand, albeit a modest one. You can go in that direction, which is a sure thing and can easily be improved. You could also try for the Flush, since you already have four diamonds.

One other interesting possibility is the straight flush. Since you already have the four, five, and six of diamonds, you would need two more diamonds, either the two and three, the seven and eight, or the three and seven to complete it. The straight flush is one of the most lucrative hands in the game, so it could be tempting to go in this direction.

What makes things even more complicated, in the case of Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker, is that even a small winning hand takes on more importance because of how it brings the multipliers into play. It makes going for big winning hands even more of a risk that it otherwise might be. We’ll talk more about that when we come to the strategy portion of this article.

In any case, once you have decided how you want to play your hand, simply press the buttons on the machine directly underneath the cards that you want to hold. The ones that you discard will be replaced by others, and your hand will be complete. Any winnings will be added to your bankroll and you can move on to the next hand.

You can continue playing video poker as long as there are still credits in the machine (or your online account). Once you run out of credits, you’ll need to insert more. Or you can always cash out at any time and collect a redemption ticket.

That’s how easy it is to play basic video poker. And as you’re about to find out, Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker isn’t all that much harder. But it can definitely be more lucrative, especially with the game’s extra feature tacked on to basic play.

Playing Ultimate X Single-Hand Video Poker

It is important to note that this article pertains to the single-hand version of this game. There is also a multiple-hand version of Ultimate X video poker.

Your big decision in terms of betting during Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker is whether you want to play the game normally or with the extra feature added. If you bet one through five coins, you can play video poker as in the example above. But a 10-coin bet on your hand will give you the chance for multipliers while you’re playing.

What is a multiplier? Well, just like it sounds, it is a bonus which multiplies your winnings from a certain hand. Imagine that you won a hand of video poker that normally would get you 30 coins, but it came with a 5x multiplier.
Your winnings would end up being:

30 coins times 5 = 150 coins

When playing Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker, you will get multipliers whenever you come up with a winning hand. The multiplier is added to the hand following the one where you picked up a win. Score several winning hands in a row and you will be getting multipliers all the way through.

The amount of the multipliers varies depending on the winning hand that you score. It also depends on the pay table that you’ve decided to play. As we’ll see when we get to pay tables, you can choose from among the most popular ones in video poker when you play Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker.

In general, the biggest multipliers that you’ll earn when playing Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker come from the full house and flush hands, making them a bit more important in your strategy than they otherwise would be. But any kind of winning hand will trigger a multiplier of, at the very least, 2x in the next hand. Let’s take a look at how this might work.

Let’s say that you are playing the Jacks or Better pay table during a round of Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker. You decide to bet the 10 coins to activate the multipliers.

On the first hand, you manage a pair of queens, which gives you a payback of five coins. It also activates a multiplier of 2x for the next hand. Then, on the next hand, you end up with a full house.

The normal pay for the full house with max bet is 40 coins. With the 2x in place, it ends up being 80 coins. And the full house triggers another multiplier, in this case 12x.

Let’s move on to the third hand. In this hand, you manage three of kind, which normally pays back 15 coins. With the 12x multiplier, you end up with 15 times 12, or 180 coins. And that would earn you a multiplier of 4x for the next hand.

That example gives you an idea of how quickly your winnings can add up when playing Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker. In the course of three hands, you won 265 coins on bets of 30 coins, for a 235-coin profit. Had you been playing the game without the extra feature, you would have ended up with 60 coins on bets of 15 coins, or just a 45-coin profit.

But that is an example showing the best parts of Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker. It won’t always turn out so well for you. You have to remember that you will only get the most out of the multipliers if you can consistently put together winning hands.

Imagine instead if you were winning every other hand. You would be earning multipliers that wouldn’t be doing you any good, because you’d be losing the hands which would allow you to take advantage. And the hands that you do win would be mitigated because you’d be getting paid for a 5-coin bet even though you had been wagering 10 at a time.

You have to remember that your overall payback will be boosted slightly when playing Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker with the extra twist. But the examples above should show you how it can be a bit of a rocky ride. That’s why it is known as high-volatility, as opposed to simple, single-hand Jacks or Better, which allows your bankroll to remain relatively stable but doesn’t provide many opportunities for big winnings in a hurry.

Pay Tables and Payback Percentages for Ultimate X Single-Hand Video Poker

As we mentioned above, Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker allows you to choose from several potential pay tables. You can choose volatile pay tables like Double Double Bonus which will really boost your chances for jackpot-style payouts, especially if you add in the multipliers. Or you can choose a more stable pay table like Jacks or Better to help balance out the volatility of the bonus feature.

Here are the variations of video poker that will be available to you on an Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker machine:

  • Jacks or Better
  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Double Bonus
  • Double Double Bonus
  • Deuces Wild
  • Joker Poker

The last two of those games are known as wild card games. For those who don’t know, a wild card can be turned into whatever card in the deck improves your hand the most. In Deuces Wild, the four twos in the 52-card deck are wild, while Joker Poker includes a 53rd card in the deck (the joker) which is the only designated wild card.

Here is an example of what some of those pay tables will look like on an Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker machine:

Jacks or Better Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind 25 50 75 100 125
Full house 8 16 24 32 40
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 200 400 600 800 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four of a kind (aces) 80 100 240 320 400
Four of a kind (2s, 3s, or 4s) 45 90 135 180 225
Four of a kind (any other) 20 40 60 80 100
Full house 7 14 21 28 35
Flush 5 10 15 20 25
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or better 1 2 3 4 5

Double Bonus Poker Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Straight flush 50 100 150 200 250
Four aces without any 2,3,4 400 800 1,200 1,600 2,000
Four 2s, 3s, 4s without any A,2,3,4 160 320 460 640 800
Four aces 160 320 460 640 800
Four 2s, 3s, or 4s 80 160 240 320 400
Four 5s through Ks 50 100 150 200 250
Full house 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 30
Straight 5 10 15 20 25
Three of a kind 3 6 9 12 15
Two pairs 1 2 3 4 5
Pair of jacks + 1 2 3 4 5

Deuces Wild Pay Table

Coins/Hand 1 Coin 2 Coins 3 Coins 4 Coins 5 Coins
Royal flush 250 500 750 1,000 4,000
Four deuces 200 400 600 800 1,000
Wild royal flush 20 40 60 80 100
Five of a kind 12 24 36 48 60
Straight flush 10 20 30 40 50
Four of a kind 4 8 12 16 20
Full house 4 8 12 16 20
Flush 3 6 9 12 15
Straight 2 4 6 8 10
Three of a kind 1 2 3 4 5

Note that if you are an experienced video poker player, these pay tables are somewhat discounted from the full-pay versions that you might be able to find elsewhere in casinos or online gambling sites. That keeps the payback for this game a bit lower than is recommended. Normally, you should stick to video poker games where the payback percentage is above 99%, and none of the pay tables in Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker reach that threshold.

Why is 99% important? Because if you are making back 99% of what you put into a machine, you might be able to carve out a profit from bonuses offered by casinos or online gambling sites. It gets harder to do that once the payback percentages drop below 99%.

You have to remember that payback percentages don’t always hold up as accurate, especially when you are playing a short session of Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker. Luck could turn one way or the other during such a session, which means that your own personal percentage could exceed or fall well below the quoted percentage. After playing the game for a while, however, you will see your percentage start to resemble the listed one, since the mathematics of probability will take over.

Just because the payback percentages for Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker are a little lower than optimum, however, doesn’t mean that it’s a game you should abandon. What Ultimate X does provide is the opportunity to rack up big winnings without making rare hands like the royal flush. A hot streak of multipliers can earn you a serious profit in the blink of an eye.

Strategy for Ultimate X Single-Hand Video Poker

For most games like Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker, where many pay tables are contained, the process of developing strategy would simply be how to learn to play the pay table that you choose. You would try to learn perfect play for that particular table, meaning that you would make the mathematically correct choice about what to hold and discard every single hand. This would allow you to reach the maximum payback percentage for the game.

The only problem with this is that the multipliers complicate things a little. Winning hands of any kind become much more important. In addition, the full house and the flush hands suddenly take on extra value because of the size of the multipliers that they create.

This could cause deviations from the normal strategies for certain pay tables. You might want to occasionally go for the flush when you have a non-paying pair already in your hand.

There are a couple of things that you should take into consideration when playing Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker. First of all, you should never walk away from the machine when you still have multipliers in play. Play them out or else you could be walking away from potential winnings.

On the flip side of that, be aware of a machine that still has multipliers active. This can be a great way to take advantage of somebody else’s mistake. There is no harm in winning with multipliers that you didn’t actually earn.

Your best bet for learning strategy on a somewhat complex game like Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker is to take advantage of one of the following two resources that are available to you, so long as they are tailored to the multipliers found in the game:

  • Video Poker Trainers: Find video poker training software that allows you to customize the pay table and, perhaps, include the multipliers of Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker. If you can do that, you can play simulated hands of the game. When you make an error in terms of what you should hold and what you should discard, the software will let you know so you don’t make it again.
  • Strategy Charts: Finding strategy charts tuned into the Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker extra feature might be difficult. If you can, you can conceivably memorize the charts to know what the best play will be in every situation. This is done by comparing what you have in your hand to the table, which ranks combinations of cards on the deal in terms of expected value.

Pros and Cons of Ultimate X Single-Hand Video Poker

Pros of Ultimate X Single-Hand

  • Winnings can rise significantly when scoring several winning hands in a row
  • Access to many different pay tables gives you great variety
  • Not hard to learn how to play in basic version of game
Cons of Ultimate X Single-Hand

  • Multipliers aren’t necessarily paired up with winning hands
  • Expensive game to play
  • Tricky to learn strategy with the multipliers involved

Conclusion on Ultimate X Single-Hand Video Poker

When talking about games that can let you get the maximum possible amount out of a hot streak, Ultimate X Single-Hand video poker rises to the top of the list. The X stands for multipliers, which can come fast and furious when you put together a bunch of winning hands. Just be prepared for the occasional losing streak that can bust out your bankroll in a hurry.