How to Increase the Pace and Enhance the Fun when Playing Poker
Poker is, primarily, a very cerebral game and there are lots of qualities required in order to walk away from the table with a profit. Texas Hold’Em is the most popular version among players and its many processes can make each hand a protracted affair.
After each turn of the card, a player has to assess the situation before deciding whether to fold or continue. While the hand develops, everyone involved has to maintain that classic poker face.
Speed it up
Following an initial round of dealing, Texas Hold’em moves on to reveal a set of community cards and there are three additional stages known as the Flop, the Turn and the River. The complexity of regular poker is part of its appeal, but this methodical style of play isn’t for everyone.
The idea of speeding up poker may seem like sacrilege for the traditionalists but there are options already in place. Whether it’s an online game with money at stake or just a friendly hand among mates and family, there are ways in which to have considerably more fun.
Give it a Twist
If you’re a devotee to Texas Hold’Em, there are ways in which you can make some subtle twists to the rules without ruining the concept of the game. One suggestion is to deal one of every player’s hole cards face up. This could have the effect of giving players a better chance of assessing their chances of winning and losing. The game duly speeds up as a result.
Other games could see some of the community cards dealt face down. The pace could slow down if this rule twist is implemented but it could certainly add a new dimension to the play and give players a little bit extra to consider.
The Need for Speed
We’ve mentioned the popularity of Texas Hold’em and, while this remains the first choice for many, this isn’t the only version available when you head online and play poker. Other variants take out the competition, leaving the player with a straight battle against the dealer.
This option means that there are fewer opponents to beat and the chances of landing winning hands are enhanced. At the same time, the game is quicker as the solitary player isn’t waiting for others to consider their hands before deciding whether to fold or ‘up the ante.’
The digital age has also allowed games developers to be more creative and brand new poker versions have emerged as a result. One such example is SNAP which features a ‘fast fold’ system, allowing players to immediately switch to another table after folding an initial hand.
BLAST is another variant and this time, players are up against the clock. So, for those who want to eliminate the slow pace of traditional Texas Hold’em, there’s more than one way of speeding things up.
Spice it up
Pace can be one solution but for those wanting to add more of a fun element to poker, there’s plenty of options in this respect. In a physical setting, away from online play, it can help to remove real money stakes. Everyone likes to scoop the pot but, with friends and family, it’s not always about emerging with a profit at the expense of others.
While playing with family, why not replace the cash with a list of chores? The loser could, for example, be saddled with the task of loading and unloading the dishwasher for the remainder of the week.
Alternatively, perhaps a set of forfeits could be introduced. Drinking games are exceptionally popular in isolation and, as part of an overall package, poker can play its part. If done in moderation, the odd drink for the loser can add an element of fun without impairing the cognitive qualities needed to win some hands.
Whether playing online or in the physical realms, poker is a great game in isolation and many hours can be passed at the tables. As an alternative to this style of gameplay, it is possible to incorporate poker into an overall games night.
How about taking the game and implementing it as part of a virtual triathlon? At any online casino, there is a huge choice of card games including blackjack and baccarat. Alternatively, it’s possible to make a switch to the roulette tables or to seek out a dice game in order to shake things up.
Away from online play, the potential is even wider. With poker as a main focal point, players could also take in party games or sports such as darts and pool. The only limit in place is the availability of equipment but, by having a wider games night in place, poker remains a fun and important element without being the sole choice.
Over to You
Of course, for many players, there will be no need to take different approaches to the classic game of poker. A complex game such as Texas Hold’em, with all its intricacies, is enough to keep them entertained.
For others, there will be times when the pace needs to be increased or a fun element has to be introduced in order to lift the mood and suit the occasion. There are definite options to follow and this article should include plenty of ideas to address both concerns and to keep poker both fast and entertaining.
JR Dominguez is the technology, finance and music editor for MiLLENNiAL. When he's not writing, you can find him day-trading stocks, playing video games, or composing commercial scores.