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Wild Sevens

One of the most predictable forms of gambling at any casino – live or online – is video poker. Graphics and presentation are typical an afterthought in this genre, were gameplay elements and pay tables are what serious players are looking for. Even those who are playing more casually usually spend their time focused on the action, with the same old basic graphics being more than enough for them as they make their bets.

But occasionally, we’ll see a game that tries to break this mold by giving video poker the same creative attention that slots and table games traditionally receive. That’s the case in Wild Sevens, an online game created by Playson. Yes, this game has the same features you’d expect from any version of video poker you’ve ever played. But that’s combined with a fresh, stylish look that may attract those who want a little more flash from their online casino play.

A Futuristic Look at Classic Gameplay

Wild Sevens is a single-hand video poker machine that can be played anywhere Playson games are found. At the start of each hand, players must make a wager, with a wide range of bet amounts offered in the denomination you are playing in. The game is available in both desktop and mobile versions, all of which can be played through an instant-play, browser-based interface.

The first thing that will jump out at you is the graphical quality of this presentation. There’s a futuristic vibe, with most of the screen devoted to what looks like the inside of some fantastic technologically-advanced machine. Much of the information is presented via holograms (such as the cards that make up your hand), but there are still plenty of gears and mechanical parts, providing a hint of a steampunk or near-future setting.

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Wild Sevens

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Setting Your Bet

Once you’ve set your bet, it is time to hit the check mark button in order to start the action. Wild Sevens is played from a standard deck of playing cards, without any jokers included. The object of the game is to make the best poker hand possible using standard poker rules, with one exception: as the name would suggest, all sevens are wild, substituting for anything you might need in order to complete a hand.

When the game begins, you will be given five cards at random from the deck. You may choose to keep as many or as few of these cards as you like. The game itself will offer suggestions on what you should keep; while we can’t confirm that these suggestions are optimal, they are at least always logical, and likely come close to a perfect strategy. Anything you plan to hold will have a lock symbol above it for visual reference.

Once you’ve chosen what to hold, you can hit the check mark once again to discard the remaining cards. New cards will be dealt from the deck to replace them. Once this is done, you will have your final hand that will be scored based on your hand rank.

In order to score a win, you’ll need to make at least three-of-a-kind. Higher ranks are worth more money, which can make it worthwhile to take a chance on scoring, say, a royal flush rather than keeping a very low-value hand. The payout chart is as follows:

  • Three of a Kind: 1x Your Bet
  • Straight: 2x
  • Flush: 3x
  • Full House: 4x
  • Four of a Kind: 4x
  • Straight Flush: 10x
  • Five of a Kind: 20x
  • Wild Royal Flush: 30x
  • Four Sevens: 100x
  • Natural Royal Flush (No Wilds): 300x

There are a few additional customization options available if you want to change things up a bit. At any time, you have the option of turning off the music (which has a haunting, technological vibe that really fits the mood of this title). If you want to make your own decisions without any help, you can turn off the auto hold feature that is on by default. You can also trigger a quick game mode that speeds up gameplay significantly.

An Interesting Pay Table Could Impact Strategy

This game is essentially a slightly customized version of a somewhat common video poker game known as Sevens Wild. The biggest difference here is in the pay table. While there are always many pay tables available for a given machine, they are usually vaguely similar; in this case, the payouts vary wildly from what we’ve seen in other implementations of the game. In particular, the natural royals and four sevens payouts are much lower than we’re used to seeing, while many of the other prizes have been increased.

The result is that it is hard to say for certain what the house edge is for this game. We can estimate that the return to player is 95.8% if players use the same strategy that is utilized on standard Sevens Wild machines – the kind that offer 800 credits for a natural royal flush and generally have an RTP of 99% or more. The difference comes mostly from the 4x payout on four of a kind, a reasonably common hand that pays out 5x on the higher-paying machines. While there are other increased payouts that help make up for this, they don’t go far enough to completely offset this loss.

The problem with our calculation, though, is that the pay table is different enough that it could potentially mean the optimal strategy for this game isn’t the same as it is for other machines of this title. The much lower natural royal flush payouts could mean that players should be less likely to try and draw to such hands. Chances are that there are either no or few changes – it is still by far the biggest payout available – but we can’t say this with absolute certainty. Some of the other payout changes could also alter the correct strategy slightly.

In the absence of a strategy that we know is correct, we can still give you some general tips on how you should approach this game. Obviously, any high value hand – a straight flush or better – should be held in all cases, as should multiple sevens whenever you have them. Another important tip to keep in mind is that it is better to keep one pair than two: there are more things you can draw to with a single pair than with four of your cards already accounted for, and neither of those hands is a winner in this game. Finally, draws to royal flushes have value: four cards are better than a straight or a flush, while a three-card draw is better than holding a single pair.

A Cool Change of Pace for Veteran Gamers

Even if you’ve played similar games before, we think that you’ll find Wild Sevens to be an entertaining change of pace. The decision to make an artistic, thematic presentation surrounding the game is definitely worthwhile, as it might attract players who would otherwise pass this by as just another video poker machine. The game is fun and easy to play, and the house edge is still relatively small compared to things like slots and specialty games, making this a decent options for casual players looking for a new challenge.

But this holds up less well for serious video poker veterans. If you regularly play these machines, we imagine you’re looking for the best odds possible, not to mention a game where you can memorize and use a strategy that will get you the maximum return. Because this game doesn’t quite offer the same generous odds as top-tier video poker games, these gamblers are likely to find better options elsewhere. That means that we’d mainly recommend this for occasional play, while those who want to focus on a machine should look for one with slightly better odds.

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