For poker players who are looking for good games to play online on the side, there are many options that have taken inspiration from the popular card game. A number of fantasy card games have borrowed elements from poker, and even open-world shooters like Fortnite can be compared to Texas Hold’em. Here are some fascinating games that have similar features to poker. Playing these titles can provide some enjoyable respite from the felt – and they may even give poker players an opportunity to improve their overall skill sets.

Fortnite


Fortnite’s sudden rise in popularity is reminiscent of the online poker boom of the 2000s.

Fortnite was an overnight success when it was released in 2017. The Epic Games title attracted more than 125 million players in its first year and continues to bring players in with its regular updates and expansions. On the surface, the battle royale game doesn’t appear to have much in common with Texas Hold’em or stud poker but, in fact, there are some commonalities between Fortnite and poker.
The games in Fortnite follow a tournament structure, which is similar to that of poker. The two games are also alike in the way that players get loot whenever they knock out an opponent, especially in bounty hunter poker tournaments. The storm in Fortnite has been compared to blinds in poker, as both are vital in driving the action forward. In addition to these aspects, both games require players to train and gain mastery in order to succeed, and there are certain instances of “tilt” that players need to mitigate against.

Hearthstone

Hearthstone is one of the best-known fantasy card games on the market, originally making its appearance as a mini-game in the hugely popular MMORPG World of Warcraft. The Blizzard Entertainment offering has now grown into a whole new game of its own and claimed its place as one of the giants of the booming eSports industry. It is a PvP title in which players have to build their own decks and then try to reduce their opponent’s health to zero in turn-based battle. There are numerous restrictions as to what hands players can play at any given time, so a lot of thought has to go into their decisions.

Hearthstone is similar to poker in numerous ways, but the strategic elements of both games are perhaps most alike. Just as poker players have to calculate their pot odds and the number of outs they have to make an unbeatable hand, Hearthstone players need to pay attention to their mana, which increases every turn, as well as the remaining cards yet to be dealt from their pack. Certain cards can only be played once a specified amount of mana has been accrued, so players need to have a strategy in place to decide on the order they play their cards. At the same time, they need to adapt to what their opponent is doing and try to hinder their progress.


Poker pros Daniel Negreanu and ElkY are both fans of Hearthstone.

In fact, a number of well-known poker players have seen the similarities between poker and Hearthstone and have been seen playing the fantasy game when they need some respite from the felt. The best-known players to indulge in this form of fantasy gaming are Daniel Negreanu and Bertrand Grospellier, otherwise known as ElkY. They have played in some live games together, and have been able to put their poker-savvy wits to good use in the game.

Gwent

Gwent is one of the newest additions to the fantasy card game scene, but its popularity has risen rapidly since its full release in October 2018. This could be thanks to the fact that some of the characters that appear in it are now in the Netflix series The Witcher. It first appeared as a side game in the 2015 Game of the Year, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and gained a mass following of players who virtually begged CD Projekt Red to release it as a standalone game. It has evolved greatly since its use in the open-world fantasy and is now making waves in the eSports industry.

The developers at Polish studio CD Projekt Red have always stated that they want Gwent to be a game of skill rather than chance, which puts it in a similar boat to poker. It relies heavily on deckbuilding, tactics and knowledge, and aims to minimize the instances of RNG. The most basic explanation of this title is that the aim of the game is to outscore the opponent over the course of three rounds. Each card has a certain value and this adds to the player’s overall score.

Just like in a game of Texas Hold’em, players have to try and work out what their opponent is holding. This requires them to have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the different cards, abilities, and popular deck archetypes. They then need to carefully choose the order in which they play their own cards so that they can control and combat whatever the other player does.

In poker, there are some things that come down to chance, and this can’t be avoided. But experts have developed strategies to use the laws of probability to their own advantage and give themselves the best chance of winning in any situation. Similarly, in Gwent there are some instances that come down to RNG. There are cards that create random effects and cards that deal damage randomly. Players can reduce how much this comes down to sheer luck by playing these cards at the right time and making educated guesses about what effect could be triggered.

Eneba Many GEOs

In addition to these games, there are plenty of other video games that bear similarities to poker, and can even be said to have been influenced by it. Magic the Gathering and Dota Underlords are two other great games that would appeal to card players.

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