Play Texas Hold’em online

Watched some Pokernights on TV I finally crawled my ubuntu Synaptic Package thingie to search for some simple pokergame I found out there is a non-profit, open-source, online Texas Hold’em poker game.

It is multi-platform, available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Great thing!

So of course I had to try that, as there should be widely available poker players around the world, not registering on the typical online casino spamshit with losing their hard worked money.

Just poker for fun!

Key Features

Reviewed version 0.7.1 (release date 2009-06-25) – latest stable -DOWNLOAD-

  • Open source, so it’s “free” for everyone
  • No registration needed yet, so no fees, spam-mails or else
  • Local play against up to 9 CPU players
  • Network/Internet play against up to 9 human/CPU players also in mixed mode! Empty slots can filled up by CPU players
  • Multi-platform: MacOS, Windows, Linux
  • Decent default setup
  • Very handy fine-tuning, a lot of settings available

The game

Running with default settings and chosen “Start Local Game”, you play against 9 CPU players.

That’s the starting playfield (click to view fullsize).

So let’s breakdown the table. I assume that you know the rules. If not, read them here on Wikipedia or for short here at the PokerTH – Wiki. On the bottom left you can see the possible hands with their cards and their rank in the Texas Hold’em poker game. Quite self-explanatory. If in online game, there’s also chat displayed in another tab then.





On the middle you see your options in buttons. The really nice thing here is, you can play it with mouse or completely with keyboard shortcuts shown on the buttons. You can also queue a decision, as (even in a networked/internet game) it may take some time to go round the table. But the queue is intelligent, it only saves the safest button i.e. “Check” as long as others do check. If someone bets or raises the pot, it’ll switch back to manual. Pretty neat.





On the right there’s a log which displays what happened bets/raises/folds in game). It also got tabs. The “Away” tab, which is for setup the “auto-pilot” and the “Chance” tab which I describe below. As you can see is that after the dealer a small blind and a big blind was set before it’s your turn. Blinds raise as setup in settings after an amount of time or hands played.

Now let’s have a look further in the game and on the “Chance” tab here:

There you can see the chance on how possible it is to win the pot with the kind of hands you got combined with the current flop. F.e. getting the pot with “One Pair” is 50% so 1:2 chance to win the pot, because everyone would have the “One Pair” as it is on the flop with two aces. The hands would win if you got the highest card of all (i.e. King of clubs).

Internet game

For playing on the internet, there are by now (9 p.m. CET) around 500 players connected to the lobby and 20 games running.

As you can see the chat is quite crowded and the flood protection is on often… You’d better find your permanent place on a table with regular players or meet your mates there.

You may also create a networked or private game instead of an internet game. But then you have to tell all your buddies your IP-adress.

So in the lobby search for open state games and join them, you’re then in the game’s room and wait for the game creator to start the game. You might also want to use the filter function on top of the window. There you could choose f.e. “3 – Show open & non-full & non-private games”.

The game itself then runs like a single player game besides that you get a timer to choose your options. You only have a limited time, it depends on the game hosts settings, the default is 20 seconds. If you not choose your option in the limited time you get fold and the next player’s on.

If you create a game you can set some options. To get familar with your fellas I would set:

  • “Game Speed for computer opponents” to 3
  • “Timeout for player action” to 45s – quick enough and long enough to think and choose
  • “Maximum number of players” to 6 – to have a better overview, you can fill empty seats with CPU-“buddies”
  • Any random “Password” – to make the game private, so only your fellas may join it and no nagging pokernerds disturb you
  • “Start Cash” of $5000 – is a good choice for medium time the round ends

Further plannings

As on the games homepage roadmap, they plan some further enhanced features including registering and so on. This could be great, because then your wins/losses are saved in a database and you play for online ranking and so on… But those have to come, don’t know when…

Conclusion

This is a really neat poker game, easy to get into, technical simple but decent and a lot of fun even in single player mode. The internet option without registering is also good to do one or two games against real humans or spend some time with your mates at home without leaving the house. I’m know on to get into it further…

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  1. Poker is legal everywhere in California. As long as the host will not have any monetary gain from
    the game it is legal.. You can go play poker for money right in front of a police station and it is legal as long
    as the person organizing the game does not profit from the people playing( except the winnings from the game)

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