Turn-based poker's lack of popularity?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by rockyfive, May 9, 2012.

  1. rockyfive

    rockyfive New Member

    Why hasn't anybody created a successful Poker For Friends mobile game?
    There's Draw Something, Words With Friends, and other asynchronous (i.e. turn-based games) but no popular turn-based poker mobile game.
    Buddy Poker is one example of an iPhone turn-based poker game, but it hasn't proved very popular. Zynga Poker is not turn-based but is hugely popular, so why not a hypothetical 'Poker With Friends' iPhone/iPad game?
  2. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    There is a very popular turn-based poker game. It's called 'poker'.
  3. rockyfive

    rockyfive New Member

    Excellent intro for a new member, thanks Bucky. I feel much more comfortable asking questions now.
  4. CrystalChaos

    CrystalChaos Moderator Staff Member

    I do not think that poker is well-suited to a turn based system like you describe because it is based on bluffing and reads, which can be easily disrupted if each turn is on a different day or another separated time period.

    This does not mean that such an iapp would not be wildly successful, however.
    rockyfive likes this.
  5. rockyfive

    rockyfive New Member

    1. Bluffing - One of the problems that I can see is that 'play money' limits the bluffing opportunities in any non-gambling form of poker. After all, what does it really cost you to go "all in"? I tested this by trying to chip-dump in Zynga and other iphone and Facebook poker games and found that I always had multiple callers and nobody ever folded. In a real-money game most people would fold to an all-in - or, at most, you would have one or two callers.

    2. Reads - These mainly apply to live poker. But you are right, with asynchronous poker, it would be impossible to pick up 'timing reads'. However, even in Zynga Poker (synchronous), the time to act is so limited I'm not sure that you can pick up any reads there, either.

    In other words, I feel that the bluffing/reads issues SHOULD apply to all forms of iPhone and Facebook poker, yet don't really explain why turn-based (asynchronous) poker seems to fare worse than real-time (synchronous) poker?
  6. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    The problem is that poker is a really boring game.

    It's like reading a textbook on statistical analysis, except I guess some people like to pretend it's actually a game because they haven't learned statistics yet?

    If that human element of bluffing is gone, and the risk element of gambling is gone, then there's nothing left to bother with.
    Leartes likes this.
  7. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Moderator (old) Staff Member

    Did you think I was bluffing, Mr. Bond?
  8. Jobber

    Jobber Well-Known Member

    I used to play free online poker, as early as 1996. You know what? It's awful. There's no deterrent for making risky plays. Too many guys play every hand, bet all their chips (why not? no penalty for running out), never fold when you raise... it's really just a game of chance at that point, like bingo or roulette.
  9. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    The worse people play, the higher you win - not the more luck you need.

    Just like Claytus said, it is really boring to do so if nothing is at stake. If people just call everything you have to play pretty tight, which is the most boring way to play.
  10. Fry

    Fry Well-Known Member

    In addition to the other problems outlined above, seems like asynchronous poker would suffer from taking forever to resolve a single hand, particularly if there were more than two players at the table. This makes it even more likely that people would just say "fuck it" and go all-in.
  11. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    I'm not familiar with zynga, but can you just sit down/get up from a table whenever you want? Rather than playing asynchronously it seems always better to play synchronously for a few hands when you have the time.
  12. Jobber

    Jobber Well-Known Member

    Basically what Leartes said. I've played free and cash games online. They are completely different animals. Yes, in cash games, you still come across players who have streaks of recklessness. That has no comparison to what you see in free games.

    What's the point in bluffing in a free game? You're going to get called anyway. What's the point in betting large with a high pair to get a guy with a straight draw to fold? It's not going to work, that guy with the draw is going to call your bet.

    Have you played both free and cash games online? If you have, maybe your experience is different than mine. But the way you win a free game is just wait until you have a monster hand and bet big, and hope someone doesn't suck you out or have a bigger hand. It's that or be the guy who wins by sucking out. Then that's just playing chance, not out thinking your opponent.

    Edit: also, I think your logic is backwards. When players play with play chips, they become far MORE exploitable as long as you have a decent strategy. That's not so bad if you're just learning the game, but if you want to experience the human element, and not just the randomness, it's not all that satisfying. On my free account, I turned 1000 play chips into 2,000,000. If I could do that with cash, I wouldn't need my current job.
  13. Leartes

    Leartes Well-Known Member

    That is perfectly normal as players are super bad. You have proven yourself, that strategy >> luck in play money poker. Your strategy is simply better than the average playmoney player.

    The gameplay might be boring but it is there. If people played better you'd win less.
    dereferenced likes this.
  14. Jobber

    Jobber Well-Known Member

    My preference with cash games is actually to play really tight. I prefer to bluff very infrequently. My issue with playing a free online game with guys who don't care much about losing their stack of free chips is that at least in a cash game, on the rare occasions I want to bluff, that strategy actually has a chance of working. If I'm in a string of awful hand after awful hand, I want to be able to salvage a win, instead of auto-folding every time.

    I shouldn't say free poker is awful. After all, I'm a guy who defends one player modes for fighting games. I just think playing random strangers online just has frequently, well-pronounced flaws as far as the fun factor goes, because in my experience you run into more guys who play without concern for losing than otherwise.

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