Aces and Eights is a game steeped in history. It is widely believed that gunslinger and professional gambler James Butler Hickok - better known as the infamous “Wild Bill Hickok” - was holding a pair of black aces and a pair of black eights when he was murdered in a saloon in the town of Deadwood in the Old West in 1876.
This video poker variant places value on the gunslinger’s final hand, adapting Jacks or Better by offering high payouts for four of a kind hands made up of all aces or all eights. Players of this unique variant are sure to love the additional chances to take home the pot.
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What separates this game from those on other video poker games is that a range of four-of-a-kind variants disrupt the normal hierarchy of hands. A royal flush is the highest paying hand, followed by a straight flush, then four of a kind (aces or eights), four of a kind (sevens) and four of a kind (any other card). Chasing one of these four of a kind combinations makes Aces and Eights one of the most rewarding and exciting poker variants to play.
What Aces and Eights does have in common with most online video poker games is that it will offer players the chance to play multiple hands at the same time, increasing the chances of winning, with players often able to try their luck on up to 100 hands at once.
Unlike online poker, players play directly against the dealer. Clicking “deal” in a game of Aces and Eights will result in five cards being dealt to you, face up. Hold the best cards and discard the rest before clicking “draw” to replace the discarded cards with new ones from the same pack, with the ultimate goal of building the strongest hand. The rankings of each hand shown below:
It's not advisable to break up a paying hand, unless you have four of the five cards needed to make up a royal flush. If you aren't dealt a paying hand, hold all strong cards for the best chance of a high-paying hand after the draw.
While the name of the game may be Aces and Eights, with only one additional draw after the deal, the chances of hitting them are slim, so make the most of the hand you're dealt. A pair of jacks or better is all you need to earn a payout, and, depending on the version you're playing, you may have the chance to double your winnings afterwards by playing higher/lower with the dealer.
"A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade."