In the world of online poker apps, one game is pretty much like any other—or at least that’s how it used to be. But then PokerStars released the new version of their app last October and turned the game on its head. Their all-new app includes everything you would expect from the world’s largest online poker platform, plus a few things you certainly wouldn’t expect (and that would get you thrown out of most games!).
The PokerStars mobile App has been downloaded over 100,000 times on the Google Play site alone, and it seems to be going down well with players. Seventy-two percent of reviewers on Google Play have given it 4 or 5 stars, and it’s received an average rating of 4½ stars from 10,586 reviews on the App Store. Of course, there are still the usual moaners who wail that ‘it’s not fair’, but then again that’s been true of every poker game since the invention of cards!
Alongside all of the usual features you’ll find on every poker site, including a range of game formats, competitions, tournaments and stakes, the PokerStars app gives you a few really original extras.
First of all, you can play online on the train to work and win the chance to play for real at one of their big money tournaments in the Caribbean or Monte Carlo. You can also play for big money on the app, which makes some major tournaments available online. There are games that start around the clock, and—just as importantly—there’s 24-hour tech support to keep you at the table when your technology lets you down.
But by far the most enjoyable feature of the new app is the Power Up games, which are set in a future where the normal rules of poker no longer apply. This is the poker equivalent of fantasy football; you can pick your cards and change the game in ways that give you the kinds of hands you’ve never dreamed of. With Power Up, you can change your Texas Hold‘em hole cards, peek at what is next in the deck, and even get a hint of what your opponents are holding in their hands. You can swap the community cards for something more useful and even destroy the ones you don’t need so that they don’t help other people.
It might sound a bit gimmicky and pointless at first, but it can be fun to play with some decent cards for a change instead of constantly folding or struggling with a low pair in the vain hope of victory. The makers describe it as ‘supercharged poker’ with ‘game-changing powers’. And why not? After all, statistically, you’d have to play twenty hands a day—every day of your life—to get dealt a royal flush. So, wouldn’t it be good to know what to do with it in the off chance that it ever happened to you?
We’ve all had plenty of experience at losing, but if you’re not prepared, winning can be just as testing. Power Up gives you the chance to experience what it is like to get some good hands. As a result, when that golden run of form finally does come along, you’ll know how to cope and make the most of it, helping you to maintain that all-important poker face. At the end of the day, no app will ever truly replace the thrill of meeting eyeball-to-eyeball across the green baize, but if you are going to play online, you might as well enjoy yourself while you are doing it!