After bumping into the World Series of Poker (WSOP) a bajillion times on late-night sports channels, I wanted to find an easy way to hone my skills in Texas Hold ‘Em, without having to lose my shirt (and money) at Vegas or my dignity among friends who knew the game.
Imagine Poker from Candywriter lets me play at home on my Mac against an array of characters, from Abraham Lincoln to Blackbeard the Pirate, the Wicked Witch and Napoleon, through increasing levels of difficulty. Like the real game, Imagine Poker features Small and Big Blinds, No Limit tables, betting on the flop and hoping your opponent doesn’t have pocket aces.
A scene from the game: Courtesy: Candywriter
Unique to the game is a running text log that shows what each player has done in each hand, the ability to “fast forward” through a hand if you have folded, and a “Poker Ghost”, who when clicked, tells you the percentage chance you have to win the hand. Feel free to go against the Poker Ghost, if you dare.
Version 2.0, which released earlier this month, adds new characters, more random levels of difficulty, and the addition of a Vanna White-like dealer, who will look you in the eyes when it’s your turn to raise, check or fold.
Whether a poker pro or a novice, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the game. It’s harder than you think, though I have managed to beat the three levels that came in version one. Each level increases the pot and aggressiveness of the competition. Just imagine trying to hold out for an inside straight against Josef Stalin…