HomeThe ShuffleNew Game Review: Red Hot Tamales! and Texas Hold’em Plus

New Game Review: Red Hot Tamales! and Texas Hold’em Plus

Introducing two great new games for the online casino player: IGT’s Red Hot Tamales! And Scientific Games/Shuffle Master’s Texas Hold’em Plus. Get the basics here, then try your luck.

Red Hot Tamales!

This Mexican-themed game adapts one of IGT’s most popular mechanical reel-spinning games for the online space. Red Hot Tamales! features classic game play with three reels and 27 paylines. When yellow 7’s or red 7’s fill the nine reel spots, they trigger “Blackout Wins” that can rise into the thousands of dollars. Yellow 7’s filling the screen pay 1,000 credits times the line bet; red 7’s pay 5,000 times the line bet.

This game will appeal to players of all levels who like the ubiquitous, popular and easy-to-understand three-reel slot machine. Novice players will be attracted to the simple, intuitive nature of the game play. Experienced players will enjoy the high win potential of the classic mechanical-reel experience and the volatility of the game program, which can lead to huge wins.

Check out a brief video here:

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Red Hot Tamales!
Three-reel, 27-line game; “Blackout Wins” pay extra for filling the screen with 7’s

  • Denomination: .01 to 20.00
  • Max Bet: 540
  • Payback Percentage: 92.67% o – 95.83%
  • Hit Frequency: Approximately 30%
  • Top Jackpot: 7,700 credits times line bet

Texas Hold’em Plus

This game replicates one of Scientific Games’ specialty poker games under the Shuffle Master brand. Texas Hold’em Plus is a head-to-head poker game, player versus dealer. The screen interface presents a standard hold’em poker layout, with spaces for each dealt card and spots for the ante, flop, turn and river wagers.

There also is a “Plus” side wager offered with payouts ranging from 3-to-1 to 30-to-1 for combinations of the two “player” cards.

After betting the ante, two cards are dealt face down to the player and dealer. The player’s hand is revealed, and if the side bet has been made, it pays according to the following table:

  • Pair of 2s to 10s 3:1
  • AJ or AQ Unsuited 5:1
  • Pair of Jacks to Kings 10:1
  • Ace and King Unsuited 15:1
  • AJ or AQ Suited 20:1
  • Ace and King Suited 25:1
  • Pair of Aces 30:1

The game then proceeds as a normal Texas hold’em game. After the first two cards are revealed, the player must choose to fold or call the bet. “Fold” will forfeit the ante bet and the game will end. “Call” will increase the bet by twice the ante. The face-up cards are then dealt—three cards for the flop, one each for the turn and river. After each of the first two is revealed, the player chooses to bet, check or fold. “Bet” will increase the wager by the ante bet. “Check” will move the game on to the turn, and then to the river.

On the river, the dealer’s cards are revealed, and the best hand wins.

If the player wins, twice the bet is awarded. If the player wins with a hand rank of less than a straight, the ante bet is pushed. If the player wins with a hand rank of a straight or higher, twice the ante bet is awarded. In case of a push (tie), the ante is returned to the player.

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Texas Hold’em Plus
Texas hold’em poker game with optional side bet

  • Denomination: .10
  • Max Bet: 100.00
  • Payback Percentage: 97.01%
  • Top Jackpot: 4,100 credits

Talking the Talk

  • “Payback percentage”—also known as return to player or RTP—refers to the percentage of wagers that are returned to all players over the active life of a game. A 94% payback percentage doesn’t mean you’ll get 94% of your money returned to you every time. It means there’s a 6% house edge on the game. (Even a 100% payback doesn’t guarantee you’ll win—it means there’s no house edge. It’s like the flip of a coin.) Manufacturers offer operators a range of percentages, and it’s up to the operator to pick which to offer players.
  • “Hit frequency” refers to the percentage of all spins that will result in a win of some kind. Remember that these wins can often be less than your bet. (If that happens too often, find another game!) Some manufacturers don’t provide this statistic; in this case, we estimate based on the volatility of the game program.
  • “Volatility” refers to the way wins are distributed on a slot machine. Low volatility means there will be lots of little hits, with wins of some kind very frequently (again, watch for too many wins less than your bet). High volatility means the hits are fewer and farther between, but there are lots more huge wins—the kind that can turn a losing game into a winning session.
  • “Ways to Win” refers to a game with no paylines. In this style of game, adjacent like symbols on the screen register wins, and the number of spots on the entire reel set determines how many ways the player can possibly win on each spin.
  • “Cost to cover” refers to the level of wager required to activate all the paylines on a screen. The good advice was always to wager enough to activate all the paylines, but these days, most games use this figure as a minimum bet. (Too many people were betting a penny on a penny game in the past.)
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