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When is a slot machine not a slot machine, and when is a Video Poker game not a Video Poker game? The answer is when they are combined in Abracardabra, from Betdigital, as this specialty game sees traditional slot machine symbols appearing on playing cards, which are held with the aim of getting the best possible hand. Like many of the best ideas, this is quite a simple one, that players will look at and wonder why they didn’t think of it themselves. But it’s the brains at Betdigital who are going to be able to live off the proceeds of Abracardabra, although with a high return to player percentage of nearly 96%, they won’t be making much from it, and most cash wagered will be paid straight back out as winnings.

Like the concept, the design is fairly straightforward as well, with a magic show theme where the 5 cards are set against a sparkling red backdrop and a jingly, if somewhat annoying, soundtrack plays along with it. Thankfully of course, the music can be silenced, and gamblers can get on with drawing 5 cards, selecting which ones to hold and having any new ones dealt out to determine a final hand. That’s all that is required in this game, but there’s a special Bonus card that multiplies wins and triggers a 17-card side game, while the Magician’s hat is, in effect, a wild symbol.

Betdigital Are a UK-based online casino games developer who specialise in slots that differ in layout and gameplay from most others. All of their range can be played on desktops and across Apple, Android and Windows-powered mobile phones and tablets, and they are all fully certified for fair play, reliability and security.

Dealing the Cards

At the start of any round, players will see 5 cards lined up, with a variety of familiar symbols seen across them. These consist of the traditional fruit machine icons such as cherries, watermelons, BAR’s and 7’s and all that’s needed is a click on the Deal button to get these initial cards removed, while a new set replaces them in a nicely animated way.

Once the initial cards have been drawn, players have the option to Hold any number of them and get the remaining ones replaced by clicking the Draw button. As with Video Poker, this hand is the final one, and any wins are calculated based on what is now held. The cherries return 0.5x the stake when the final hand has 3 cards with them on, while 4 cherry cards are worth 1x and a full 5 cards pays out 2.5x. Values rise through the lemons, oranges, watermelons and plums, with the top fruit being a bunch of grapes that pays 5x, 30x and 75x the bet when 3, 4, or 5 are seen.

A single BAR symbol pays up to 100x, but by far the best result is from the blue number 7, as just 3 of these pays out 25x the triggering bet, 4 will be worth 100x and anyone who manages to land a full set of 5 cards with the number 7 on them will win a massive 10,000x their bet. The magic hat can appear at random and new cards will fly out, replacing any others, which can create a new winning set, although it isn’t certain to result in a winning hand.

Bonus Cards

The Bonus card is a real highlight of Abracardabra, as it triggers a side game whenever 3 or more are drawn at once. In this round, 17 cards are lined up, with 5 cards in their normal places and 12 smaller ones below. Any cards that make up a win are removed from the table and more are dealt out for the process to repeat itself until no winning hands are seen or a ‘Cards Remaining’ meter is empty.

While this can be a lucrative round, it’s actually possible for wins throughout to be multiplied in value, as any time the feature is triggered by 4 Bonus cards, wins are doubled, and should 5 Bonus cards have been seen, any payouts are multiplied by 10x.

But the magic isn’t over yet, as Abracardabra has another trick up its sleeve, with further multipliers for every extra Bonus card found in the feature. Those multipliers are applied to any winning card combinations in place once the Bonus cards have been removed from the table.

Betting Option on the Cards

Simple up and down arrows are used to adjust the stakes, from a low limit of just 0.01 per hand, to a maximum bet of 25.00. Clearly the higher the stakes, the higher the returns will be, and as this can be a fast-paced game, you could be claiming back some big wins pretty frequently.

Free Abracardabra games are provided at online casinos where the Betdigital range is carried, but it’s easy to learn and anyone who has played a slot machine, or a few hands of Video Poker, will instinctively get to grips with how it works.

Similar Specialty Games

A review of the most popular specialty games reveals just what a diverse collection they can be, which is really the whole point. They work in unique ways and have varied styles, formats, themes and bonuses, so the closest games to Abracardabra are the various Video Pokers that players will be so familiar with.

The principles are the same, with players holding or discarding the cards dealt out to them, and a final hand being revealed, but of course, the aim of these games is to get a winning set of number and Royal cards. The most common version is Jacks or Better Video Poker, where punters win with just a single Jack in the final hand, while payouts rise up to the ultimate Royal Flush that can be worth a fortune.

While Video Poker is certainly a popular pastime at online casinos, Roulette is perhaps the best-known classic game, and Fortuna, from InBet, is a new twist on this old favourite. The wheel spins at set times, and players across multiple casinos are betting on the same round. Fewer betting options, with singles, rows, even/odd and red/black being about it, makes Fortuna a good introduction to the intricacies of Roulette wagering.

Has Betdigital Dealt us a Quality hand?

A great concept and entertaining implementation, has made Abracardabra a fascinating game to try out. The clever mix of slot machine and Video Poker game should appeal to fans of both, while the element of skill needed to hold the right cards is sure to attract gamblers who like a bit of a challenge, although an Auto Hold option is there for anyone who is happy for the software to make the decision for them.

It’s quick and easy to learn, comes with the magician’s hat feature that can create extra winning hands, and has a great bonus round that can bring in huge real cash rewards when the multipliers are in effect, so even if you have never played Video Poker before, Abracardabra is a great way to get all the excitement without needing to understand card rankings.

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