US gaming supplier International Game Technology (IGT) has secured a patent granting it exclusive rights for multi-hand poker functionality to be used in its video poker content.

The company has been issued US Patent No. 9,105,158, which allows it to use the multi-hand functionality in its video poker titles until November 2016.

The patent is described as key to a number of its popular multi-hand poker games including All-Star Poker, Ultimate X Poker, Hyper Bonus Poker, Triple Play Five Play Ten Play Draw Poker and many other five-, ten-, twenty-five-, fifty-, and one hundred-play products.

IGT acquired the original patents for the products from casino games developer Action Gaming in February last year, further expanding the companies’ long-running partnership which dates back to 1998.

Under the terms of the deal agreed last year, the patents are to be used to develop a range of new video poker titles across all channels, including real-money online gaming variants and free-to-play content for DoubleDown Casino.

“Multi-hand poker remains a pillar of IGT's industry-leading video poker product portfolio,” IGT vice president of product management Jacob Lanning commented.

“This important patent enables IGT to maintain its global leadership in video poker content creation and deployment and allows the company to continue to create proven game themes that are often some of the highest-earning titles on our customers’ floors,” Lanning explained.

Shares in International Game Technology plc (Co.Data) (NYSE:IGT) closed down 2.31 per cent at $19.00 per share in New York yesterday.