Poker Hands is teaching me when to hold ‘em
And when to fold ‘em. A couple of months ago I competed, on a whim, in my first Texas Hold ‘Em tournament. Despite the fact that my dad taught me to play with pennies when I was barely old enough to count, I had only ever played with friends and family beforehand. I was a shaky mess, and the boys at my table were super sweet to me, patiently coaching me through a series of gaffes, and gently teasing me. They laughingly nicknamed me “Goldfish,” as I kept forgetting when it was my turn to put up a blind, or whether a straight trumped a flush or vice versa. The were good sports, until I took all of their money, and they suspected me of playing them rather than the game.
The Poker bug bit me, and I joined a club (where some of these boys play) a week later. We meet friday nights after work over beer in a smoky room, and I’m having a blast. I do still get called Goldfish, as well as “Ploof “and “Oops!”, but I’m working at cleaning up my reputation. I try to win when I can, but I’m trying to do it without looking like a ditz, or as if I’m maniplating them. And honestly, Poker Hands is helping.
There are a couple of different ways you can use the app. One is during actual gameplay. It’s possible to enter nicknames, as well as seat order, and there is even a built in blinds timer, although the sound does need to be updated. (It is a highly annoying pitch.) The app will even tell you whose turn to deal it is, and who gives blinds. This is handy if you’re playing with your drinking buddies or beginners. The boys in my Poker club are good about staying sober, and know what they are doing, so we don’t use this, but for other friends that I play against, it can come in handy. If people at the table are confused or disagree whether one hand trumps another or not, everything is in the app. A quick reference will settle any potential disputes.
The features I love, however, are not even the gameplay ones. I like perusing the best and worst starting hand rankings and odds calculators. I don’t do this during the games, I do it afterwards, and when I have a little spare time. I use Poker Hands to analyze and improve my game. This isn’t an app that I will keep on my phone forever, but it is a shortcut to learning some useful tips and tricks. Oh, and I’m definitely going to be having those boys call me “Cowgirl”, instead of those other nasty nicknames from now on.
Poker Hands on Google Play
Samantha Villenave is an artist, translator, and art blogger. She lives in southern(ish) France and sometimes Paris. She spends way too much time on the internet.