PokerStars has announced their latest invention, Power Up poker, will be going live for the players in the UK soon, with other markets to follow shortly after the initial roll-out. This new product has been long coming, and we talked about Power Up when it still in the alpha stage, but now there is much more detail about how the game will actually look like.
Evolution of the game?
According to statements from the company, Power Up poker represents an evolution of Texas Hold’em, aimed to offer an experience quite different from what players are used to, but still holding on to classic game elements.
When players get a chance to fiddle around with Power Up I’m convinced they will find it fun and even more strategically dynamic. https://t.co/aIBhG5reof
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) August 25, 2017
The game is still played according to standard Hold’em rules, with all players getting two hole cards to start them off, and there are flop, turn, and river, and the betting is done the same way players are used to. However, the similarity between Power Up poker and Texas Hold’em ends where the powers start.
What are powers in Power Up poker?
As the name suggests, powers are special abilities players are allowed to use during a hand to improve their winning chances. These abilities are reminiscent to what younger generation players are used to in strategy card games such as Hearthstone or Magic The Gathering, a game that many professionals used to play before poker.
Of course, these aren’t some abstract magic powers (you won’t be able to throw fireballs or freeze your opponents, which is a bit disappointing), but have to do with the game and how you can manipulate cards in your favor. With the launch of the game looming, PokerStars have announced nine different powers.
Make your choices wisely
The way these powers will work is that players will get an equal amount of energy at the start of every hand, and they’ll be allowed to use it as they see fit. Different abilities cost different amounts of energy, depending on how valuable is a particular power deemed to be. The current list, published at PokerStars blog, contains following items:
- X-Ray: forces all opponents in the hand to expose one hole card
- Engineer: Lets you pick the next card off the deck from one of three available choices
- Scanner: Allows a player to see top two cards in the deck and gives an option to discard them
- EMP: Block all players from using powers during the current street
- Clone: Get a copy of the power that was last used during the hand
- Upgrade: You can draw a third hole card and then pick which two of the three cards to hold on to
- Intel: Lets you see the top deck card for the remainder of the hand
- Disintegrate: Destroy one card that was dealt during the current street and switch it with a different one
- Reload: Redraw random two new hole cards
When a player is all in, all powers that can change the cards that are already on the board are blocked.
Is Power Up the revolution poker needs?
There is no denying that popularity of online poker has been on a steady decline lately. For that reason, many companies have been looking for ways to change the game and make it more appealing for wider audiences. Power Up poker is one such attempt, and it is definitely the one going in the right direction.
While the game may not be the full-scale revolution, it is still an interesting touch that will add to the excitement of online games, making them more appealing to younger players who may have never considered online poker before.
Additionally, Power Up may seem a bit random, but these powers and their proper application could actually add new strategic elements to the game. If this game does take on, there is no doubt there’ll be plenty of capable players looking to devise strategies and optimal ways to use your powers and manage your energy.
So, we said it before and we say it again, Power Up poker does seem like a very interesting and highly entertaining Hold’em variation that could easily pick up a lot of interest.