The action is fast and furious that’s for sure, and with almost 2 billion users to appeal to on Facebook, it looks like PokerHeat has every chance to snaffle a huge proportion of the social gaming poker players out there.
I have to confess I’d never heard of the app before, but there are already close on 100,000+ monthly players, so I didn’t have to wait long to play when I finally gave it a go – so what’s good and what’s bad about the latest app to hit the streets?
Well, for starters, the graphics are great! That’s always my number one priority for a poker site or game, way ahead of things like money or chips or functionality or pretty much anything else. If it looks like shit, I don’t want to play even if it’s a goldmine!
How PokerHeat works
PokerHeat has a ladder system, so you need to win to move up the stakes, and they get you off to a free start with enough chips to play the $100/200 tables – and then it’s up to you. Win chips to progress, or take the easy route by paying for extra chips to get into the big league games.
It’s all pretty user-friendly, especially for those for whom apps are an everyday thing, but even techno-tard me managed to catch on quickly!
So, you’re playing 5-max cash games against other FB users, and it’s up to you if you want to play the newbie ‘all-in’ approach, or play proper poker and stack the chips up more slowly.
Naturally, if you spunk away all your chips quickly on crappy hands as I did, you’ll want more – and indeed I got a beginners (bad?) Luck Bonus – but apart from that you’ll need to wait 4 hours to ‘re-buy’ for free.
A tad long perhaps, but there has to be some balance between those who want free play and those who don’t mind forking out a few bucks for chips. The plus-side of the wait is that it’s not an all-in free-for-all fest, so plays much more like a traditional poker game than most apps.
Of course the developer’s Playtika are a massive company – recently sold for $4.4billion – so you’d expect a quality-looking product with great ideas, but how does it play?
The game is played quite quickly – an 8- or 10-second clock per player and no timebanks - so even if you’re a nit you’re not going to get bored waiting, and there are plenty of stats you can bring up to keep yourself amused if you’re not in a hand anyway.
You won’t be able to tell any difference between this app and any of the major sites, to be honest. The rules are the same, you have your FB avatar, the cards are clear, as are the chip counts and the clock, so don’t worry about some cheap-ass problems in this respect – I certainly haven’t encountered any.
So, this is essentially PlayMoney, but you can get chip prizes and special awards whether you bought chips or were given them for free to start with, and the wider Playtika rewards system covers PokerHeat as well.
The really fun aspect of this app, however, is the league ladder system – the ultimate goal to fight your way up the ranks from the Amateur League starting at ‘Newbie Court’ through to the Pro League, then more rungs to reach the AllStar League – culminating in the World Class league’s Imperial Dome where the buy-in starts at $30million chips! That right there is your prize!
Overall, PokerHeat is a very well-thought out and absorbing addition to the poker app world, available on all the usual platforms and streets ahead in terms of design and gameplay. Problems? Yes, a few, but the new version out this week seems to have addressed most of them as far as I can tell. It would still be nice if the ‘friend invite’ function actually brought them to your own table, for example! But anyway, it’s free, it’s fun and it’s turning up the PokerHeat on the competition!
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