PokerStars’ Power Up Review

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There are lots of different variations of the card game poker. The most popular is Texas Hold ‘Em, a game in which you are given two cards and have five on the board. You must make the strongest hand using five cards, and bet to gain the most value out of the situation.

Since the rise of online gaming, poker has branched off even more, and there are now hundreds of variants that tweak the rules and gameplay, from nine-handed cash games to hyper turbos with knockout bonuses. PokerStars’ Power Up is the most recent addition to the lineup, and the unusual and audacious game takes poker to a whole new level.

Power Up uses the normal rules of Texas Hold ‘Em with the same hands and the same betting rounds. The big difference is that players can now hold and use power cards, which allow them to greatly influence the dynamics of the hand. The game has been described as a sort of poker meets “Hearthstone.”

These powers allow players to change their hole cards for new ones — as is the case with “Upgrade” and “Reload” — gain extra information about their opponent’s hands or the deck cards to come and even tamper with the board to select or destroy cards. Players can hold up to three power cards at a time and can use as many as possible within the round of betting.

Powers cost energy, of which players have a limited amount — up to 15 points. However, these points replenish after each hand at a rate of two points per turn. Stronger powers take more points, from two all the way to five
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If all this sounds a little bit complicated, then don’t worry! Power Up is not a difficult game to pick up and play, especially if you already know the basics of poker already. The gameplay is fun and exciting, and the addition of power cards make for more opportunities to take your opponent by surprise. It’s awesome to blast away a player’s chances with your powers and then scoop a large pot!

Power Up also comes with a unique set of futuristic avatars that players can choose from, as well as new animations and sounds that give more of a feel of being transported into a game world. This is eSports! Although Power Up manages to maintain the key elements of poker, so as not to lose touch with the original game, its attention to detail when it comes to visuals will impress recreational players who want to kick back and relax.

But what will the pros think? Power Up is currently available to play for real money at three buy-in levels: $1, $3 and $7. The games are played three-handed, making for small prize pools. This is perhaps not the best game to try to grind for profit but is aimed at decent players and beginners alike who want to experience a totally different kind of poker.

Traditional players may automatically dismiss such a modern twist on the game and pros may scorn at the lack of money involved, but Power Up succeeds in being an incredibly fun and tactically sound online game that many will enjoy. It can be played now at PokerStars.com. Check it out.