Poker is a hugely popular card game with millions of players all over the world. Over the years, its popularity has grown thanks to major televised poker tournaments and huge prize pools. Online poker has also helped spread the game to a wider community of players, making it more accessible and fun.
While online poker remains the most popular way to play, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy poker. One of the most interesting ways to play is in video games. Over the years, lots of video games have included poker, either as part of the game or as the entire game itself. While it’s difficult to capture the atmosphere and feeling of playing at a live poker table, a lot of these games are brilliantly fun to play. You can enjoy these online poker games on a variety of game console systems as well as on PC. Here are a few of the best.
World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets
World Series of Poker is considered the pinnacle of the game in terms of live tournaments. In 2005, the company behind the tournament released its first officially licensed video game. Known as the World Series of Poker, it came out on Xbox, Gamecube, Playstation 2, and PC. Despite the official license, it received poor reviews and was a bit of a flop. The next iteration in 2006 wasn’t much better, but in 2008, the developers finally got it right.
WSOP 2008 is the best game of the series, and its main selling point was that it contained over 20 real professional players. The game allows anyone to play against the biggest names in poker, listening to their voice lines and seeing their likenesses across the table. The AI for the game is decent, and there are plenty of game variants and challenges to choose from.
Full House Poker
Full House Poker is an Xbox arcade video game that can be played over Xbox live with real opponents. Unlike a lot of other poker games that have focused on a single-player aspect with AI, this game allows you to sit at tables with friends and people from all over the world. The fact that you can play against human opponents meant it’s far more exciting to play than a lot of other poker games, and it received great reviews from critics such as IGN.
Because it’s only available on Xbox, some players may miss out. However, the advantage is that it uses the Xbox avatars, so it gives it more of a social aspect, especially when playing with friends. The best part of the game is the thirty-player tournaments and the half-hour Texas Heat ranked games are also a lot of fun to play. For some people, the cartoonish style might put them off, but there’s a lot of potential for fun and serious play.
Prominence Poker is an interesting game that combines single-player, story-driven gameplay with multiplayer. You can find this free-to-play game on multiple platforms, including PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. The game was released in 2016 and so far has over 3 million downloads. It has some great visuals and a unique style that set it apart from a lot of other poker video games out there.
In the single-player modes, players will earn reputation beats by beating opponents, allowing them to unlock higher levels and tougher opponents. While some games fall down when it comes to AI, the difficulty levels are actually pretty good here. You’ll start off against basic opponents and work your way up, and the AI is pretty good even at lower levels. For online play, you can join six player tables for sit-and-go tournaments, beating real human opponents and earning progression points for your wins.
Stacked: With Daniel Negreanu
Negreanu is a huge name in poker and has appeared on TV and even in movies. In 2006, he and several other poker stars worked with developers 5000ft to release this video game on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. At the time, it received mixed reviews, but many poker players consider it the best poker video game ever made in terms of the details given to the game itself.
What sets Stacked apart from other poker games is the highly complex AI. The system used in the game was developed over years of research by the University of Alberta. Opponents in the game use stat tracking to read how you play and adjust their strategy accordingly. This creates a far more immersive experience, as it’s closer to how human opponents react. Despite this, it’s a fairly difficult game to get into, with realism preferred over fun features.