Going by stats from the World Poker Tour, worldwide, around one hundred million people love playing poker. Hence, this is a globally favored pastime that people from all corners enjoy, both as a social activity and a real money game. It has managed to seep into various segments of pop culture over the years, and video games are no exception.
In fact, most gamers may get shocked to discover how many titles feature poker mini-rounds or embed card action in their storylines. Thus, below, we round down ten picks that feature simulated gambling action on the world’s favorite card game.
Police Quest 1
Here is a long-forgotten classic that only old-school hard-core gamers remember. Police Quest was a series of police simulation video games produced by Sierra Entertainment from 1987 to 1998. It later morphed into the 3D FPS franchise – SWAT. The first Police Quest game, In Pursuit of the Death Angel, cast players as Sonny Bonds, an officer that sets afoot to solve a crime mystery in the fictional town of Lytton, California. For the day, Police Quest had a pretty novel card mini-game. Somewhat reminiscent of video poker.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is likely the closest that a video game has gotten to online real money poker, given that players can play this card game in multiplayer mode against others. In general, gambling is one of the most often used money-making methods in Redemption 2, and the rules used in this title for poker are those from no-limit Texas Holdem. There are multiple locations where poker tables can be found in Redemption 2, with the ones featuring the highest stakes located in the Blackwater Hotel.
Developed by Ryu Ga Gotku Studio and published by Sega, Judgment is a spin-off title from the famous Yakuza series. It has poker action available in Chapter 2 inside the underground L’Amant casino, and in Chapter 5, at the casino in Dragon’s Palace. The gameplay interface here is similar to what gamblers may have seen at a poker site, as it features a top-down view of a table and a simple betting interface.
Far Cry 3
When the first Far Cry game in Ubisoft’s renowned franchise hit store shelves in 2004, it was a massive industry achievement due to its super high-end visuals and open-world-like map. Eight years later, Far Cry 3 showed up, with a storyline not-related to the previous two entries in the series. To unlock its poker mini-game, players must liberate the Valsa Docks Outpost. That is one of five poker spots in Far Cry 3.
Watch Dogs is another Ubisoft action-adventure classic. Released in 2013, it used the Disrupt game engine and was followed up by two other sequels in 2016 and 2020. There are four poker levels available through the fictionalized version of Chicago in Watch Dogs. In terms of gameplay, each one is similar, but their pots vary depending on the level the main character, Aiden Pearce, is playing.
Dragon Quest XI
Echoes of an Elusive Age is the eleventh entry in Square Enix’s Dragon Quest series. It is an RPG that offers some colorful, manga-inspired visuals. Upon its release in 2017, this title instantly received critical acclaim for its narrative structure, and it supplies three poker tables with varying bet limits inside the game’s Puerto Valor’s casino.
Dead or Alive Xtreme 2
Who would think that primarily a beach volleyball game would need a dose of card gambling? Japanese developer Team Ninja seemed to believe that this was what the genre lacked. Hence, they infused this franchise with poker mini-games. The one in Xtreme 2 offers it in a casino setting, with bikini-themed cards.
Dead Rising 2
When images of Capcom’s first Dead Rising game showed up on the internet, they caused quite the stir due to featuring hordes of AI-powered zombies, a previously unimaginable sight. The sequel, Dead Rising 2, came out four years later, improving dramatically on its predecessor, supplying a special mission called Ante Up, where the game’s title character gets challenged to Strip Poker in a safe house by three survivors.
Super Mario 64 DS
Yes, a Super Mario game where players can enjoy a hand of poker does exist. It is one of Luigi’s minigames in Super Mario 64 DS and is a variant that is pretty much identical to five-card draw poker. The title is the tenth-best-selling DS game ever, with eleven million copies sold.
Harvest Moon DS
In Harvest Moon, players assume the role of a young farmer, living in the Forget-Me-Not-Valley, and the gameplay here consists of earning money by growing crops and raising livestock. Playing poker is an option in this Nintendo DS title, but not in the European-International version of the game.
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