Hold`em or Fold`em

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The most popular variation of poker currently played is Texas Hold’em, and perhaps the most challenging version of that game is “Heads Up.” Two opponents go against each other, one-on-one, turning each and every hand into a showdown of wills as well as cards. Now on casino web sites like Bet365 and 888.com, there is an opportunity to experience this type of action firsthand, playing against computer opponents in the new 3-D table game called “Hold’em or Fold’em”

The game opens with a choice of three opponents. There’s Mike in London wearing his glasses and baseball cap, ready to play for stakes of €0.25 to €4.00. Pictured next to him is Mia in Rome, who plays for chips that are denominated from €2.50 to €10. And then there is David in Paris, whose game is the most lucrative of all with betting at €6 to €20. Below the three opponents are the chips, so simply click on the one to play against and the chip value desired to start the game.

A new window opens to show the poker table with the selected opponent seated in front of a window high above the Las Vegas Strip. The lights of various casinos can be seen down below, but the real action is just starting on the green felt, as the game automatically puts up the player’s selected bet in the “Pot” on the left and two cards are dealt face down to the player and the opponent.

On the right side of the table are two counters, one for the size of the “Unit Stake” and the other for the size of the current “Pot.” Appearing above the counters are the words “Game uses one standard deck of cards.” Passing the cursor over the player’s hole cards allows a peek at their values. Clicking on the cards will lock their edges in view so that they can be seen by the player throughout the hand.

The opponent will peek at his/her own cards and then fidget or act nonchalant, much like a real opponent might. In Hold’em or Fold’em, the player must always go first, which is how the House gets its edge. There is only one choice to make upon each turn of the cards—Hold’em and play on or Fold’em and surrender the hand, losing any amount that is in the Pot. The Hold and Fold buttons are located on either side of the player’s hole cards.

If the player chooses to Hold’em by clicking on the Hold button, an additional wager will be added to the Pot. Then, the opponent must Hold or Fold. In case of a Fold, music will play and message windows will appear on the screen: “You won!” and “House Folded.” The contents of the Pot will be added to the player’s Balance at the upper right corner of the screen, and two options are made available—“Repeat” to play again or “Change Stake” to obtain a different chip value or a new opponent.

If the opponent also Holds and adds a wager to the Pot, the game will continue with the three cards of the “Flop” dealt face up in the middle of the table. Again, the player may Hold or Fold, wagering or surrendering, and then this process continues through the “Turn” (fourth community card) and the “River” (fifth community card). If both the opponent and the player have remained in through all five cards, there is one final round of betting and the showdown.

Again, music plays as message windows will appear on the screen: “You won!” or “Tie” or “House Won,” along with a breakdown of both hands indicating their relative strengths. In case of a win or a tie, the amount won from the Pot is displayed prominently, too. The options also appear to “Repeat” or “Change Stake.”

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