In movies and games, poker generally gets characterized as an “all boys club” deal. You get a bunch of macho guys huddled over cards and chips while they smoke cigars and drink whiskey. You can tell there’s a definite market in mind when you see grizzled pro players on ESPN juxtaposed with buxom casino babes, which is why Dogs Playing Poker is really kind of brilliant. It takes out all the intimidation and sexism and approaches Texas Hold ‘Em as what it is, a fun card game.
Don’t let the cutesy doggy graphics fool you; this is a legitimate poker app. Although mostly geared towards poker newbies, it will provide a challenge for intermediate players too. You play against a bevy of computer-generated canines (with a few unusual exceptions) at a number of different locations, with table difficulty gradually ramping up. The computer will learn your playing style over time, and there are even features in place to let you learn your opponents’ tells. The more rounds you win, the more features you unlock, including access to the different breeds you can use to customize your own character.
The game is ideal for those looking to learn Texas Hold ‘Em, as the layout is super-clean and the learning curve appropriately gentle, but it really doesn’t take long before you’re facing down legitimate poker challenges. It doesn’t dumb the game down, but it also doesn’t flood you with too much information, and the play style is very smooth and becomes beautifully intuitive after awhile.
I’m not totally sure how I feel about kid-friendly gambling apps (even if the gambling isn’t real), but I will admit that if you wanted an app to teach kids Texas Hold ‘Em, this is just about ideal. You could probably also use this one to hook poker resistant adults too, because the overall design scheme is really pretty charming. The dogs are oozing personality, and the settings are all different and attractive.
Dogs Playing Poker has far and away the most personality as I’ve ever seen in a poker app, and it goes a long way to making the game fun for people who aren’t serious about their poker. Sadly, there are no online or multiplayer options, but there is an online leaderboard for those who want to compare winnings. I’m not usually a big poker fiend, but I had a lot of fun with Dogs Playing Poker, and it helped hammer home the widespread appeal of Texas Hold ‘Em. The tutorial is great, the controls are intuitive, and the art work has a ton of charm that transcends the game’s cheesy inspiration. There really isn’t much more that you could ask of a poker app, so Dogs Playing Poker is definitely worth checking out.
Here is a video demo of the Dogs Playing Poker app on the iPhone
This 3rd Party App is available at the Apple iTunes AppStore. Browse the full list of all AppStore apps filed under the AppStore category.
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