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Texas Hold’em is Apple’s first attempt at creating a game for the new iPhone and Apple has raked in the pot. I have spent my fair share of time in casinos and playing poker online and Apple’s Texas Hold’em is by far one of my favorite poker game’s to date.
Hold’em has two modes of play, Single Player or Multiplayer. In the single player mode, you participate in tournaments starting with a $0 buy-in at your local garage ending in a posh poker room in the future hedonism capital of the world, Dubai. As you move through the different tables, your opponents become better and their bluffs bigger and more difficult to discern. In multiplayer mode, Hold’em utilizes the iPhone’s built-in wireless capabilities to allow you to play Hold’em with other players in the vicinity.
There are two methods of play. If you keep your iPhone tilted in a normal, vertical manner, the game play is heads up, meaning game play progresses one player at a time as if you were actually staring at your opponent. Apple used real people and captured their movements, so it actually feels like you are playing against real people. Like real life, each opponent has their own unique style, mannerisms and even tells.
If you tilt your iPhone in a horizontal manner, you get a top view, allowing you to see what characters are in and out of the game, as well as how much money your opponents have left. This is the view that many poker players who are used to online play will instinctively want to use.
Actually playing the game in terms of betting and playing your cards works exactly how you think it would intuitively. To fold, just throw your cards into the table, just like you would in real life. To bet, just click on the chips and if you want to bet more than the minimum, simply use your finger to scroll to the amount you want to bet.
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While the game is very good, there are certain things I would have liked to see.
- Checking (not betting) should be able to be done by double tapping anywhere on the screen. This is the standard method of checking in Texas Hold’em while you are playing at the tables, and it would have brought more realism to the game if they had implemented this correctly. There is a “sweet spot” that if you double tap, it will actually work how you would expect, but it should be more intuitive and accept the double tap anywhere on the screen.
- I wish that I had a choice of what type of game I want to play at. The strategies employed at a no-limit tournament (which is all the game allows) and say, a 2-4 Limit table vary dramatically.
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Overall, this game is one of my favorite poker games for any platform. Apple has made a game that is fun, looks good and is easy to use for a terrific value. The price of the game is only $4.99, which I consider a steal.