Lockdown Alternatives: Poker Club Leads New Generation of Video Games

4 min read

COVID-19 restrictions have prompted online poker operators to launch new products in 2020, but they’re not the only companies putting out new content.

Poker Club
Ripstone’s Poker Club will add to the growing library of video games aimed at fans of Hold’em et al. (Image: Ripstone Games)

The market for poker video games has gradually evolved over the last two decades and now, there’s a new player in town. Poker Club from Ripstone is due to launch on Nov. 19 and, whether planned or not, it couldn’t come at a better time.

With the market for digital entertainment booming in the face of fresh COVID-19-related lockdowns, the free-play product should strike a chord with gamers. What’s more, it will provide another bridge between video gaming and poker.

Poker Club Open to Everyone

Poker Club will be available across all major platforms, including Xbox and PlayStation. Game director Phil Gaskell said his intention was to make the product as affordable and accessible as possible.

The purchase price is £19.99/$24.99/€24.99. Paying to download a poker product will be a strange concept for seasoned players. However, in video gaming, there are two distinct models: premium and freemium.

The former refers to products that come with an upfront cost. The latter are free-to-play and feature in-game microtransactions. Poker Club comes with an upfront cost, which means in-game purchases aren’t required to unlock new levels or features.

For the $24.99 price tag, gamers get a 4K poker experience across a range of formats and settings (see video above). What’s more striking about Poker Club is the inclusion of games normally found at real-money sites, such as super turbos and bounty tournaments.

Video games of old didn’t offer as much in the way of variety, which shows how far products have evolved. This, in turn, has the potential to make Poker Club appealing to gamers and poker players at a time when digital entertainment is in the spotlight.

Video Games to Try During Lockdown 2.0

With parts of Europe in a state of lockdown, live events are being canceled and the internet has once again become the go-to medium for fun. As a result, Partypoker and others are continuing to push new products and features in a bid to engage more players.

However, the release of Poker Club comes at an opportune time as it gives poker players another way to play during lockdown. While it may not be quite the same as playing for cash prizes, the video game industry has tapped into the entertaining parts of poker.

When Poker Club is released, it will join a varied roster of video games with poker-related content.

Stacked: With Daniel Negreanu

This game’s defining feature, other than featuring Daniel Negreanu, is that it uses artificial intelligence (AI) developed by the University of Alberta. The AI powers 10 strategy matrices that allow opponents to adjust to a player’s strategy.

Prominence Poker

This freemium product started out as a poker RPG (role-playing game), but it’s now much more of a straight tournament platform. Some RPG elements remain, however, such as earning rewards and leveling up.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Like Grand Theft Auto, action-adventure game Red Dead Redemption 2 features poker mini-games. The aim is to win credits that can be spent within the Red Dead Redemption universe. Like all Wild West showdowns, these games can be a matter of life and death.

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