27th Feb2019

Poker Games – The Best Examples on Every Platform

by James Smith

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Poker games are a little bit like cups of coffee – they all do basically the same thing but some are much, much better than others. From the ultra-basic first efforts like AV Poker on the NES to Red Dead Redemption 2’s immersive, violent Texas Hold’em minigame, there have been thousands of ways to play poker on home consoles, PCs and mobile phones throughout the years.

Some have brought innovative gameplay twists, others have focussed on advanced AI, whilst more modern titles have enabled immersive PvP poker games. What unites each, however, is an effort to recreate the thrill of playing live poker against talented opponents.

Historically, poker has made for an excellent fit on digital platforms but what’s the best way to play on each platform in 2019? In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the best versions of the game on each of the major platforms, excluding those which have poker as a minigame. Let’s get started.

Nintendo Switch: The Card

Poker on the Switch is, depressingly, quite underserved at present. Blame it on the family-friendly nature of the Switch if you will (although the likes of Wolfenstein 2 beg to differ) but there just aren’t that many good poker games on the platform. The best at present is The Card: Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, Blackjack and Page One. It’s a cheap game at less than £5 (at time of writing) but it offers solid versions of each of the games listed in the title. The AI is smart enough to pose a challenge, the touchscreen is supported so you don’t need to fumble with physical controls and you can even play free games online, though that feature seems somewhat broken at the time of writing.

Is it a glorious example of the sport? Hardly, but for poker in a pinch, you can do worse.

Mobile: Paddy Power Poker

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of mobile versions of poker available at present. From 3D versions to story-mode versions, there’s a little something for everyone. For our money though, Paddy Power Poker takes the biscuit.

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You’ll play online against other real people in either free-play or real-money tournaments which run all day, every day. There’s a huge number of players online at any given point, a high number of modes available and a slick mobile app, all of which make it a top choice. Oh, and you can download it on your PC too, where you can use the same account. Nice.

Xbox One/PS4: Prominence Poker

Sifting through dozens of pretty mediocre paid poker games on the big two consoles leads you to one major conclusion: Prominence Poker is a superb free effort. Available for both Xbox One and PS4 and developed by Pipeworks Studios, Prominence Poker includes fully 3D environments, a single player story mode about taking down “The Mayor”, and strong online multiplayer (albeit of the for-fun variety). It’s a great way to play a few hands of poker from your living room and, although no real money changes hands, it’s a cool way to hone your skills against real people none the less.
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