Poker has evolved dramatically over the years, and includes a wide range of mini games that are fashioned off popular poker variants. Most of the poker mini games we have seen over time are based on the inimitable Texas Hold’em poker game. An example of a sizzling-hot poker mini game is Red Dead Redemption. Poker mini games are played anywhere, at any time. These games mix tournament-style play and cash games in a fabulous ensemble of strategic gameplay. Players can typically choose the virtual location, buy-in, and customize many elements in these games.
One of the most authentic niche games is Red Dead Redemption. This game in particular allows for multiple hacks, cheats, and multiplayer functionality. The game’s head honcho is the gun slinging cowboy named John Marston. Catch him on a good day, and you’re in the money – catch him off guard, and you may be staring down the barrel of a six shooter. The artistry that characterizes these themed games is extraordinary. The evolution of the mini game has paralleled the rising popularity of poker, notably Texas Holdem over the years.
Poker Dice? Rolling instead of Folding
Mostly everybody has heard of the Dead or Alive game. This action-packed franchise is universally popular, and also a big hit with poker fans. This time around, the name of the game is 5-card draw. Dead or Alive rode on the coattails of the poker boom, but the audio-visual prowess of this game is extraordinary, and it warrants inclusion in a history of poker mini games. Poker aficionados across the board agree that Dead or Alive is a world-class game that has built up quite a following among fans.
Not every poker mini game is a purist’s delight. There are some games that are simply outlandish and unlike poker in every way. For example, The Witcher does not use cards – it uses pairs of dice. Each player will receive 5 dice and he/she gets to roll them to determine the poker hand. First you ante up, then you have the option to reroll any of your own dice. Remember there are 5 dice for each of the 5 poker cards that you’re dealt in this 5-card draw poker game. Your goal is to put together the strongest possible poker hand in 2 of 3 hands. Simple enough? Not quite – it gets plenty challenging, albeit frustrating at times.
What Spurred a Boom in Poker Mini Games?
The growing popularity of poker over the years is directly attributed to its widespread adoption by players everywhere. Perhaps the most defining moment of poker came with the advent of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) when a handful of talented poker aficionados would gather for the ultimate poker contest. This Las Vegas showstopper commenced in 1970 with just 50 poker tables in play. At the time, the state of Nevada only featured 70 poker tables in total.
Meteoric Rise in Poker Popularity
Perhaps the greatest catalyst for the rising popularity of poker was TV. CBS Sports televised the WSOP in 1973, and since then more games were introduced, and colourful characters emerged on the scene. The legendary Texas Dolly – Doyle Brunson cemented his position as one of the all-time greats by winning consecutive titles at the prestigious contest. His larger-than-life persona, alongside other legendary characters in Puggy Pearson dominated the poker scene. The first woman to enter the high-stakes poker arena was Barbara Freer.
The all boys club was gone, and the ladies got a foot in the door in the 1970s. Stu Ungar injected new life into the game, and went on to upstage the Texans who had long since dominated the scene. By 1982 a total prize pool of $2.6 million was available to the top finishers in the game, but seven years later Benny Binion died. After the Horseshoe Casino endured some difficulties, poker evolved to include the World Poker Tour. This is when the unthinkable happened – Chris Moneymaker won $2.5 million from an online buy in in 2003. He became an overnight sensation, and the new face of poker in the modern age.
The rapid rise of online poker has given wings to the game and made it far more accessible to players everywhere. In the days of old, traditional poker games like Texas Holdem, 7 Card Stud, Razz, Caribbean Stud Poker, and others were played with play money chips, a bag of Doritos and a six-pack of beer among friends. Today, players from all over the world can take a seat at the same virtual table, in real time with poker mini games or traditional online games. The stakes range from a few dollars per hand, with winners being able to compete in satellite tournaments for entry to high-stakes poker tournaments. Poker avatars, face-to-face poker, private online poker rooms, live video streaming, and designer poker games are now a reality that players can contend with.
Poker Mini Games Breaking New Ground with Far Cry 3 and Fallout New Vegas
Everyone has access to the same information, and anyone can compete at the highest level. Not all of these skills are necessary for poker mini games however. Far Cry 3 features Jason Brody – a protagonist who also has quite a remarkable skill set in poker games. The name of the game in Far Cry 3 is Texas Hold’em Poker. Since this is a rather rudimentary game, you’d simply choose between difficulty levels with 1 being easy and 4 being expert level. Unfortunately, with this poker minigame, you cannot rack up real-money winnings in practice play mode.
The creative flair that exists among players today has resulted in more inventive ways of beating the field of players. The evolution of poker is one of the most dazzling social studies in modern times. For starters, players have become increasingly aggressive, using strategy, psychology, and risk intelligence to gain the edge over their competition. With all the razzle dazzle, hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, it makes sense that we close out our exposé into poker mini games with Fallout: New Vegas.
Imagine Vegas after the apocalypse? Crazy concept. Fallout: New Vegas is precisely that. If you’re wondering where all the poker excitement is – it may have evaporated in the post-apocalyptic burn, but there are other skill-based strategy games to enjoy like blackjack in this mini game. The game is promoted with many poker collectibles, so it is a little surprising that the actual game of poker is absent in New Vegas. Watch out for some limited-edition poker chip sets – they are quite compelling. This eclectic mix of poker games and mini games combine to create the dynamic force that makes poker such a global phenomenon.