Being around since the early 1990s, Microgaming is the oldest and certainly, among the most recognizable developers of online casino software in the world. Its extensive gaming collection includes hundreds of online slots, classic table games, and exciting progressives that promise six and seven-figure jackpots. It is hardly a surprise that Microgaming’s assortment of video poker titles is just as outstanding – dozens of variations, solid payouts, and the highest returns in the industry.
Currently, the company provides browser-based gaming content and software for download to more than 500 online casinos in regulated jurisdictions, while its mobile platform makes gambling accessible through any iOS or Android device. Versatility, however, is not Microgaming’s only advantage over most of its competitors – the studio is widely known for creating fair, high-quality games and a secure gaming environment on the Internet. It is also one of few companies that pay out even the largest progressive jackpots immediately and in full.
Microgaming History and Overview
Nowadays, online casinos are being enjoyed by millions of casual and professional players from all around the world but none of it would be possible without a handful of innovators, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who revolutionized the gambling industry at the beginning of the 1990s. Among them were the founders of Microgaming, originally a small firm launched by South Africa-based computer scientist and entrepreneur Martin Moshal and his partners.
The company, which specialized in the development of gaming software and virtual gaming platforms, slowly grew to one of the leading names in the industry. This started in 1994 when it introduced the world’s first online casino, the Gaming Club, which uses Microgaming software to this day. In these first days of Internet-based casinos, the firm not only developed gaming content but it also operated gambling websites.
Within just a few years, it focused primarily on the development of games and stopped offering them to players. This is how Microgaming became the largest provider of online casino software, supplying content to hundreds of certified operators around the world. Today, its headquarters is located in the Isle of Man and it holds licenses from multiple jurisdictions, including Europe and the United Kingdom.
Over the years, Microgaming has released hundreds of virtual games across all categories – video slots, table games, classic slots, video poker variations, bingo games, and progressive jackpots. Its products also include Live Dealer, retail, and sportsbook software. In 1998, the studio created the first networked progressive jackpot slot, Cash Splash, which is still available today. In March 2003, it introduced its Prima Poker Network, which was later rebranded as MPN or the Microgaming Poker Network.
But that is not all. Microgaming teamed up with several other companies to create the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC, now known as the Internet Gaming Council), an international, non-profit trade organization, which advocates strict regulation, fairness, and responsible gambling practices in the industry. Later, Microgaming became a founding member of eCOGRA (e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance), which is now the world’s most respected testing agency and player protection and standards organization.
One of Microgaming’s biggest accomplishments is its progressive jackpot network, which started out with the old-school slot game Cash Splash but grew to become the largest network of its kind in the world. It has paid out more than €1 billion to date over its great range of progressive jackpot games.
Currently, the network includes around 40 titles, most of which are either classic slots like Cash Splash, Major Millions, Lotsaloot and Wowpot or video slots such as the famous Mega Moolah. This is the game that has been recognized for paying out the largest jackpot online the most times, including by the Guinness World Records. There are also roulette and poker games with progressive jackpots, as well as a couple of progressive video poker versions, namely Jackpot Deuces and SupaJax.
Microgaming’s Video Poker Software and Key Features
The full collection of the studio’s video poker games is available at online casinos powered exclusively by Microgaming. However, many of them can also be played at hundreds of other casino sites that typically feature at least a dozen of these variations. The games can be downloaded on players’ computers or played in-browser, depending on the gaming platform used by casinos. Of course, many Microgaming video poker variations have also been optimized for mobile play.
Regardless of which option you choose, you can play the games in fun mode before accessing them for real money. Many online casinos allow new users to try the games without even registering an account - a practice mode is a wonderful tool for exploring new and interesting games or testing strategies.
Standard Rules in Microgaming’s Video Poker
The video poker versions by the software studio follow the standard rules of the game and there are a few variations that include wild cards or additional payouts for particular hands. What sets them apart from most games by other developers is their good theoretical returns or Return to Player percentages.
Power Poker Series by Microgaming
Microgaming has introduced a nice range of multi-hand video poker games, called Power Pokers. The full series of variations can be accessed from the Microgaming Casino Client but many instant-play online casinos also offer some of these games. They are played basically the same way as regular video poker but with one major difference – players can bet on more than one poker hand at the same time.
At the beginning of each round, they receive 5 cards and once they decide which ones to hold, they click the Draw button. Along with the main 5-card hand they play with, the game deals them more hands – the exact number of hands they have chosen to bet on. Each of these hands uses a separate 52-card deck, so the odds for them remain the same as in regular video poker. The cards they wish to keep, however, are held in all available hands.
Players should consider the cost of playing multi-hand video poker. If they decide to bet the maximum 5 coins in regular, single-play Jacks or Better and go for a coin denomination of $0.25, they will be wagering $1.25 per round. If they play a 25-hand variation, however, a 5-coin bet ($0.25 coin size) will cost them $31.25. That’s why it is important to carefully adjust the size of your bet before starting to play Microgaming’s Power Poker games.