PokerStars Launches “The Deal” Mini-Game

The ghost of Full Tilt Poker lives. PokerStars, which owns the Full Tilt brand, merged Full Tilt’s liquidity into that of PokerStars this spring and discontinued the development of Full Tilt’s popular poker software, killing the former beleaguered online poker room as an independent entity. Full Tilt’s brand still exists, but just as a skin of PokerStars. Stars, though, announced on Thursday that it has brought a piece of Full Tilt over to Stars, launching a minigame called “The Deal,” which originated at Full Tilt in August 2015.

The Deal is not an actual poker games, but just a side game designed to take StarsCoin out of the poker economy. It is basically just a game of luck, resembling some sort of marriage of video poker and slots. While I sound cynical, that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t play. Silly games like this can certainly be plenty of fun; it’s not like I have never played the slots at a casino. And hey, someone’s going to win it, right?

Players can choose to play for either 7 or 70 StarsCoin. As one would expect, the potential prizes are greater with the pricier entry option. When the game starts, seven cards are presented, face down. The player then chooses two to discard, leaving a five-card poker hand. The five cards are then turned over, revealing the player’s hand. The higher the hand strength, the better the prize.

At the 7 StarsCoin level, prizes start with Ace-high hands, though this minimum prize is just a single StarsCoin. The lowest hand needed to at least break even is Two Pair, which awards 7 StarsCoin. Above that, players can win more StarsCoin or cash.

At the 70 StarsCoin level, One Pair is the lowest hand that comes with a prize, 10 StarsCoin. Two Pair is also the break-even mark; cash prizes are easier to obtain at this level.

Below is the table of prizes for each StarsCoin level:

7 StarsCoin Entry

High Card – No prize
Ace High – 1 StarsCoin
One Pair – 2 StarsCoin
Two Pair – 7 StarsCoin
Three of a Kind – 25 StarsCoin
Straight – 50 StarsCoin
Flush – $1
Full House – $5
Four of a Kind – $30
Straight Flush – $250
Royal Flush – Jackpot Round

70 StarsCoin Entry

High Card – No prize
Ace High – No prize
One Pair – 10 StarsCoin
Two Pair – 70 StarsCoin
Three of a Kind – 300 StarsCoin
Straight – $10
Flush – $25
Full House – $75
Four of a Kind – $300
Straight Flush – Jackpot Round
Royal Flush – Jackpot Round

Most of the prizes are self-explanatory, but then there is that “Jackpot Round” sitting there. Whoa! What might that be? Jackpots sound cool!

pokerstars-the-deal-jackpot-wheelThose who hit the rare hands to qualify for the Jackpot Round get whisked away to another screen (well, I suppose the screen just changes and the player stays in place) where a big Wheel of Fortune-type wheel is starting them in the face. There are eight spaces on the wheel: four $500 spaces and one each worth $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, and the jackpot.

Clearly the player who gets to this point already has a nice payday worth at least $500, but that jackpot is the thing. The progressive jackpot starts at $25,000 and, as it is progressive, increases every time someone doesn’t win. According to the contest’s rules, for every 7 StarsCoin used to buy-in to The Deal, 2.8 cents are added to the progressive jackpot. Of those pennies, 77 percent goes into the current jackpot, while the remainder is used to seed the next jackpot.

The person who does win it receives half of the jackpot. Well that kind of stinks, right? Only half? Yeah, it kinds of stinks, but really, it benefits a lot more people than just the one that gets crazy lucky. Everyone who played The Deal mini-game in the previous twelve hours will split the other half.

So, I suppose if the jackpot was sitting at $100,000 and I won it, I would be momentarily disappointed that I only won $50,000, but then I’d realize I won $50,000. I could also have played it smart and gone into the thing looking at the jackpot as just $50,000 and not be mesmerized by the six-figure sum.

In a press release, Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations for PokerStars, said, “This introduction of The Deal to PokerStars is great news. PokerStars players get the chance to play an exciting game, and Full Tilt players benefit from the additional liquidity that the PokerStars clients bring to the table. It’s sure to mean that the progressive jackpot builds up at an even faster rate and is triggered more frequently.”

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