The poker run in slots: Symbolic heritage or designer laziness in slot games?

Even less accomplished, casual slot players have seen them all a thousand times before: The highest cards in the deck reduced to a status as lowest-paying symbols in the one-armed bandit. Why do so many casino software producers OK designs featuring the poker run?
Game type Theme Game feature Rating

Poker run symbols – Those A, K, Q, J, 10 and 9 icons in online slots games


Is there anything you hate more in slots than the “poker run” symbols?

Absolutely not! Not only are the A, K, Q, j, 10 and 9 symbols so profoundly dull so as to be cliché, in many (many!) instances, the milieu of poker outright clashes with the slot’s dominant theme. If mothering else the poker run symbols are evidence that that much less time was spent on on other aspects of game design.

And speaking of game design, another fundamental problem with these same old icons is that making these things look interesting apparently represents quite a challenge – in fact, many casino game software producers such as Aristocrat have taken to simply rerunning a brand-specific poker-run set, i.e. the A through 10 symbols in all their slots games are identical.

What’s the alternative, then?

Okay, we’ll admit that a solution to the question “What will comprise the low-paying symbols?” can be sticky. And most players probably don’t want to have to remember the payout ranking order of 10 to 12 different symbols in the game. Fair enough.

But. A lot of slots games could’ve been helped aesthetically by a little more thought in the planning stages. Let’s say you have a China-themed game, for example: Why not use Chinese characters as the low-payers? Or in a tropical island-themed slot, how about good old fashioned fruit symbols – surely some folks remember fruit machine-style gaming. Or in a game themed on the ever-popular Ancient Egypt, why not use hieroglyphs for the purpose of filling out those lower ranks?

I mean, these ideas aren’t completely bonkers, are they…?

Above are just a few examples of online slot games with the poker game in play across their reels. We’re sure that this is but the tip of the iceberg, but there are some good ones in there...
Looking to draw five aces in online slots with the poker run...